Employing Door Supervisors

Even though you might consider your pub to be a safe venue and you don’t experience too much “trouble” there may be times when you feel you need to employ door supervisors. It might be on the occasion of a local football derby match, it could be because you are having a ticket only night such as New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve. Whatever the reason employing door staff isn’t as simple as it used to be when you could get a couple of lads (or lasses) from the local rugby club to “stand on the door” for the night. Door supervisors can be an integral part of managing conflict in your pub.

Since 2007, throughout the UK, door supervisors are obliged to hold a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence and to work with as or employ one without the requisite licence (as a door supervisor or as one who employs door supervisors) has been a criminal offence.

Two types of SIA licence

There are two types of SIA licence:

  • “Front-line licence”: – for door supervisors (including publicans who supervise doors)
  • “Non front-line licence”: for some publicans, managers, supervisors and directors or partners of security companies


The former is for individuals who actually work in the role of door supervisor (even you, if you act as door supervisor) and the latter is for those who employ door supervisors (if you pay door staff directly).

If you use the services of a “contracted-in” door supervisors provided by an agency or security firm, and do not work as a door supervisor yourself, you do not need a licence.

SIA qualifications

In order to obtain a SIA licence you need to undergo comprehensive training and gain a minimum level of qualification laid down by the SIA before you can be issued with a SIA licence.

Door supervisors have to attend a two-part training course and then take (and pass) two exams. The course is usually delivered over 4 days, during weekends and/or evenings. The total training time is 30 hours which includes two hours of exams.

Training is delivered in two parts as follows:

  • Part 1: Role and responsibilities of a door supervisor (14 hours)
  • Part 2: Communication skills and conflict management (14 hours)


Where someone has already completed a training course and holds a qualification in door supervision, they may be exempt from all or part of the training required for an SIA licence.

For a list of SIA acceptable qualifications click here.

More information

You can obtain more information via Security Industry Authority (SIA)

If you want an industry-eye view on door supervision visit Working The Doors a website dedicated and run by those in the security industry.

See separate article on Conflict Management

Back to main Staff page