Publicans warned over door staff licence rules

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Documentation rules: venues could face enforcement action if they don't have the correct licences (image: Getty/iunderhill)
Documentation rules: venues could face enforcement action if they don't have the correct licences (image: Getty/iunderhill)

Related tags: Security industry authority, Licensing, Pubwatch, Night-time economy

Operators are being warned to check they have the correct licences in place to employ door staff.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA), which regulates the private security industry, has warned that publicans, managers and supervisors, employing their own door staff, often referred to as ‘in house’ need to ensure they have their own non-front line licence as a minimum. This is not required if a venue contracts door staff through a registered security company. 

John Sandlin, SIA regional investigation manager, said that it was important for publicans and pub managers to be aware of the legal implications. 

“We are here to educate the buyers of security services and we don’t want them to fall into this trap. More pubs are employing door staff directly and may not realise the implications,” he said. 

Enforcement action

While the SIA said it prefers to work with venues to ensure compliance there could be enforcement action if they fail to meet the requirements. These could include a written warning, which could be taken into account in future licensing or enforcement decisions, to revoke or suspend an SIA licence and ultimately prosecution, which could result in a fine or even imprisonment.

National Pubwatch chairman Steve Baker said that the SIA has raised concern about this issue.   

“The problem would appear to be that some operators do not understand that in certain circumstances there is a requirement for the door supervisor’s manager/supervisor ​to hold (as a minimum) a non-frontline licence, as required by the Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001,” he said. 

Door staff shortage

“This issue may be a result of Covid; for example, the ‘churn’, which has resulted in the loss of experienced bar staff or the current shortage of licensed door staff operating in the night-time economy.”

The news comes as the SIA has made some changes to the training door staff​ need to undergo before they can get a front line SIA licence.

In particular, individuals must have a first aid qualification before taking any training as a door supervisor. From October any new applications or licence renewals will require the doorstaff member to have taken the first aid course. 

Related topics: Legislation

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