April 2004

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Live concert industry
New door supervisor licences come into effect: The PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY ACT 2001. The Private Security Industry (Regulations) 2004.

Ben Challis

Variation in the quality of regulation and licensing of the private security industry in the United Kingdom and a small but noticeable criminal element within the industry led to the passing of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (the Act) and the creation of the Security Industry Authority (the SIA) which has the remit to regulate and licence the private security industry in England and Wales. The SIA aims to ensure that there are professional, trained and qualified door staff working at all licensed pubs and clubs. An estimated 85,000 door supervisors and staff now have to or will have to have a SIA licence to work in licensed premises (as defined under the Licensing Act1964). The Act defines a door supervisor as those whose work

is limited to licensed premises and includes guarding against unauthorised access or occupation or against outbreaks of disorder or screening the suitability of people entering premises when they are open to the public.

The door supervisor licences are being introduced on a regional basis with over half of the country already part of the scheme. Wales introduced SIA licences on the 14th June, The North East joined on 6th September and the East on 4th October. The last region will be London where all door supervisors must be licensed by the 11th April 2005. The licence is personal to each door supervisor who must apply for his or her own licence. The application fee for each application is £190.00 and is non-refundable..

The criteria which have to be met by an applicant are:

  • proof of age (over 18)
  • a criminal record check: A criminal record is not an absolute bar to the licence being granted but the nature and seriousness of the offence would be considered as would the period lapsed since the offence took place.
  • a national qualification in door supervision must be obtained
  • individuals must have the right to work in the UK
  • applicants must not have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act in the last five years


Where an application is refused by the SIA the applicant may appeal to the Magistrates Court under section 11 of the Act within 21 days of the SIA’s decision. If a licensed person’s personal circumstances change (for example they are convicted of a criminal offence) then their licence can be suspended or revoked by the SIA. Again if this happens the individual may appeal this decision to the Magistrates Court.

The penalties which are available to the SIA to bring prosecutions against unlicensed door supervisors are comprehensive and the SIA plans to have a team of investigators working alongside the police and local authorities to ensure strict compliance with regulations. An individual acting as a door supervisor without a SIA licence (when such is needed) is acting illegally and can be tried summarily and could be liable to imprisonment for up to six months or a fine of up to £5,000.00. A person found guilty of knowingly employing or providing unlicensed staff commits and offence which attracts unlimited fines and up to five years imprisonment.

The Security Industry Authority website is at
Their call centre number is 08702 430100

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