New Regulations for Door Supervisors and Security Staff Introduced in the UK

April 2004

Live Concert Industry
The Private Security Industry (Licences) Regulations 2004

In a move to take the image of door staff away from ‘bouncers’ and into the new millennium the UK Government have introduced The Private Security Industry (Licences) Regulations 2004 which are effective from the 01 March 2004. These Regulations make provision in relation to applications to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) for the grant of licences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to engage in the activity of door supervision for public houses, clubs and comparable venues. The new Regulations prescribe the application form to be used for such applications and prescribe the forms of licence to be issued for that activity. A distinction is made between licences for people who carry out that activity themselves and licences for those who act as manager, supervisor, employer or director etc of people who carry out that activity. An obligation is placed on door staff to wear the appropriate identifying licence at all times when working, to notify the SIA of any conviction or caution and to produce the licence on demand to the SIA or the police. Appeals from SIA decisions, alongside appeals from Local Authority decisions on public entertainment licensing and alcohol licensing are to the Magistrates Courts. The Magistrates Courts are in the process of setting up new appeals panels for hearings.

Mick Upton from the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association adds the following COMMENT:
The introduction of a mandatory requirement for all door supervisors to be licensed was brought about in response to allegations of criminal activity by some night club door staff. On the plus side the new regulations will tidy up a chaotic situation brought about by local councils introducing their own schemes. Although the principle of licensing security staff is supported by the private security industry local schemes were criticised for having little to do with protecting the public and more to do with generating income for the council. A national system of affordable licensing is therefore much better.
On the downside, regulation has been introduced without consultation with the broad range of sport and entertainment interests that might possibly be affected. The United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA) made strenuous efforts to be included in formulating sensible legislation but was sadly ignored. Consequently new legislation classified all staff involved in crowd management or crowd control operations both indoor and outdoor to be door supervisors and therefore required a licence. It is estimated by the UKCMA that this would have increased cost to the client of somewhere in the order of 600%!
The UKCMA has subsequently been more successful in negotiations with the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the body charged with administering the scheme, which has now agreed that event stewards do not require a security licence. The thorny problem of what constitutes a security function at an event remains unsolved however.
In an effort to moves things forward, the UKCMA invited interested associations and organisations to a meeting hosted by the Wembley Conference Centre in February this year. The meeting was well attended and the issue of event security was discussed at length. At the end of the meeting a committee was formed comprising of representatives from the UKCMA, Venue Operators, Football and Horseracing. The mandate for the committee is to agree with the SIA the specific functions that will be licensed and the introduction of national training systems to address those categories that have been identified. Unfortunately the Concert Promoters Association (CPA) failed to respond to the UKCMA invitation to the Wembley meeting and is not therefore represented on these committee negotiations with the SIA. In March another meeting between the UKCMA and the SIA took place where the SIA stated that they now wish to reconsider their decision not to include the event steward in the new license requirement program. As things stand at this time, stewards employed directly by a venue or football club will not need a license but those supplied by a private security company will. If this decision stands it would of course have a dramatic effect on the number of events that could take place and the cost to the organiser. It is now up to the industry to present evidence to the SIA to support a claim that stewards have a safety role not a security function.

Mick Upton was the founder and until 2000 Chairman of ShowSec International Ltd. Mick is a senior music industry consultant on concert and event crowd management.

Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 255
The Private Security Industry (Licences) Regulations 2004

For an Australian perspective on this subject area see “Getting Tough On The Muscle” by Padraic Murphy, The Australian, January 21, 2004,5744,8447141%255E28737,00.html

See Upton, M Crowd Safety Planning For Major Concert Events in Kemp C & Hill, I (Eds) Health and Safety Aspects In The Live Music Industry Entertainment Technology Press ISBN 1 904031 226

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