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How to Become a Door Supervisor

Written by Mark Battershill – Director/ Trainer at Pretium Training Ltd

So, you want to be a Door Supervisor?

Many times over my 20 years within the Security Industry I have been asked “How do I become a Door Supervisor” or “How do I become a Bouncer”?  Just to clarify we are NOT “Bouncers”, we do NOT “Bounce” people and often correct people to let them know I am a “Door Supervisor”.  I won’t bore you with the background, the why’s the what’s the how’s but the industry is now governed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) – we will save details about them for another time/ blog.

First things first, at the time of writing this, the course length to become a Level 2 Door Supervisor Course is 6 days.  This includes pre-learning and a workbook that must be completed and handed in on Day 1 of the course.  ALL Door Supervisors entering the industry or renewing their licence must hold a minimum of a Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work qualification, if you do not hold this then this must be obtained prior to starting making it a 7 day course.

What’s involved on the course to become a Door Supervisor?

The current course covers 4 main topics:

Module 1 is usually undertaken as distance learning as previously mentioned above and students should be sent a pre-course textbook and answer book to help them achieve the desired standard.  Working as a Door Supervisor is really the start of the course where you will get to understand law and legislation, evidence, searching, what we can and can’t do, what we can/ should carry etc etc.  Conflict Management covers conflict (obviously), and how we can recognise and deal with it to keep us and others safe whilst working within this industry.

Lastly we have my favourite, Physical Intervention or P.I as it’s known.  This is a minimum of 13 hours (or should be) and this element of the course covers disengagement techniques (how to get away from danger), stance, posture and movement and restraint techniques (how we actually take hold of someone to secure them).  Pretium Training currently utilise the McCormack Training Ltd system which was developed by Mr Andy McCormack, 9th Dan Taiho-Jutsu.

What exams are there?

There are currently 4 Multiple Choice exam papers, 1 for each of the main topics discussed above.  This is based on the Highfield Awarding Body model but other providers/ Awarding Bodies may do things slightly different.

Module 1 Exam – 1 hour 50 Minutes, 72 Questions – must get 50 out of 72 to pass

Module 2 Exam – 1 hour 15 mins, 50 Questions – must get 35 out of 50 to pass

Module 3 Exam – 30 mins, 20 Questions – must get 14 out of 20 to pass

Module 4 Exam – 45 mins, 30 Questions – must get 24 out of 30 to pass

What happens after the exams?

Once you have completed the above course and sat the exams the exams are then returned to the Awarding Body who will mark them and release the results accordingly.  You can then apply for your SIA licence via the following website:

How much is the SIA Door Supervisor Licence?

The current licence fee is £190 for your first licence and then £95 for any additional licence you wish to hold.

And after I pay my SIA Licence Fee?

As long as the SIA are happy with your proofs of ID submitted (Passport or Driving Licence via your nearest Post Office) and that your criminal record is clear of any major convictions then your licence will be granted and sent in the post!  And that is it!!!

Can I work whilst waiting for my licence to arrive?

As long as your application is at the “Checks in Progress” phase and the company you wish to work for in Approved Contractor with the SIA (ACS) then the company can issue what is called an LDN – a Licence Dispensation Notice which will allow you to work.

Where can I book my Door Supervisor Course and how much does it cost?

Our Level 2 Door Supervisor Course costs just £299, or £349 if you require First Aid and can be booked following this link HERE!

What should I look for in a Training Company?

Firstly I would say credibility and experience, there are too many providers out there of whom use trainers with very little real world experience to teach their courses.  This in return does not give the students the insight they need!  Secondly look at where the training will be provided, again, many providers rent church halls/ community centres to run their training which in my opinion are not fit for purpose, cold and sometime very dirty!  Again, this is not every church hall or community centre but in order to learn you need to be relaxed and feel comfortable.

Here at Pretium Training based in Eastbourne, East Sussex we have 2 fully equipped classrooms that allow for both theory and practical elements and we are fully Covid-19 compliant with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) provided to our students.

I don’t think I have the build/ strength/ height to be a Door Supervisor?

I hear this alot, and when I say alot I mean during 90% of conversations I have with people.  The Security Industry is not about Brawn, it’s about Brains, well, communication to be exact!  Communication is the key to our industry and learning to do so effectively with different people.  This is something we cover in depth here at Pretium Training to ensure our students have the best possible skills to start with.  These skills can then be adapted and improved upon.

Are females welcome in a male dominated industry?

I can honestly say this with hand on my heart, I would much rather work with a team of females than a team of men! Why? Let me explain, when it “goes wrong” and an all male team turn up, in my experience the level of aggression and violence increases.  Testosterone, Alpha Males, Peer Pressure etc all play there part in this.  When it goes wrong and female Door Supervisors turn up, 9 times out of 10 they will defuse a situation far quicker than any male can due to their nature – not always, and sometimes it does go wrong but females, in my opinion are worth their weight in gold when it comes to altercations.

Female Door Supervisors can also search men as well as women (with consent of course), where as a male Door Supervisor can only search a man even if the female gives consent to be searched!!!!  Like I said, worth their weight in gold and we need more females in the industry!

Is it a great industry to work in?? 

Let’s put it this way, I’m over 20 years into this industry and still love it!!  I have undertaken some amazing tasks, Private Investigation, Surveillance, Close Protection, Asset Protection and worked with some amazing people (who know who they are) so I will let you decide whether or not it’s a great industry to work in!

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