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Extra training for door staff

Security consultant Andy Walker goes through the contents of the SIA’s new training requirements for door staff, and the reasons for them.

In October 2012 a 17-year-old girl was asked to leave the Digital nightclub in Newcastle. Following her ejection by door staff, the young lady was taken advantage of by a stranger in an alcove nearby, before two men took turns to rape her. After the sentencing of the two rapists, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC ordered an investigation into the case, which resulted in local police, the council, and pubs and clubs in the area being required to review their policies on protecting vulnerable women. Although the development of the new training is said not to have been as a direct result of this particular incident, it certainly seems to have speeded up the process.

As the result of a combined project between Northumbria Police, the Home Office and the SIA, it was announced on September 17 that there would be a roll-out of this new training to all new door supervisors trained on or after November 1, 2013. The new training, which is to be incorporated into the initial training for the basic level two licence-to-practice qualification, covers four main areas:

• Identifying vulnerable people;
• Understanding the risks to vulnerable people being ejected from, or refused entry to, a venue and what actions can be taken to protect them;
• Identifying the behaviour of sexual predators;
• Identifying and knowing how to report indicators of child sexual exploitation.

These four areas need to be covered in the training of all new door supervisors, because of the clear evidence of the various risks posed to young and other vulnerable people in the night-time economy. The Home Office, the SIA and other agencies such as the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOPC) believe that security staff can play an important role in keeping people safe. The last of these four areas, the one regarding the indicators of child sexual exploitation, is also required to be taught to all new security officers and CCTV operators.

The SIA has outlined quite specifically what needs to be covered in the classroom training, and it is now up to all of the approved awarding organisations involved in licence-to-practice qualifications to ensure that all of their approved trainers and training centres are aware of, and comply with, the new requirements.

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC), a provider of security qualifications and training materials, is already assisting its own approved training centres to comply with these important new requirements from day one, by providing them with a new Top-Up Unit Workbook and supporting Powerpoint presentation. These new materials have been written closely following the SIA’s guidelines, and have been designed to slot into the current Highfield materials that the majority of HABC centres currently use.

The new requirements will undoubtedly improve the basic training being given to door staff, and will raise the levels of safety of the tens of thousands of young and vulnerable people out and about enjoying themselves in all of our towns and cities every weekend.

Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I am delighted this is now a compulsory part of the SIA approved door supervisor training nationwide. We need to be doing everything we can to protect vulnerable people. It’s really important for people to be able to go out and socialise and know that they are in a safe environment. This kind of partnership is the first of its kind in Northumbria, and has proven to be a leading example of what can be achieved when agencies work together on key issues. I’m really proud of this work and what we have achieved so far.”

Further information

For Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) visit – And more on Highfield security training materials can be found at –

About Andy Walker: The former police officer, pictured, became the SIA’s first security consultant after the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The trainer is now exam awarding body HABC’s Lead Investigator and Security SME.

In the Newcastle nightclub case, two men pleaded guilty to rape and were each jailed for seven and a half years at Newcastle Crown Court.


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