The future of the UK’s nightclubs is being put under further stress because of a looming shortage of door staff, industry experts say.

With the relaxation of Government restrictions the UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) said it is now worried about how many licensed security staff will be available to work once businesses reopen.


As a result of the Covid pandemic and the extended period of restrictions on licensed premises/events, the trade body fears six in every 10 late night/pub/bars/club door supervisor positions are at risk of not being filled.

Although there have been more than 14,000 licence applications and renewals submitted each month to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), new door supervisor SIA licence applications in the past 12 months are significantly down on previous years.


And the UKDSA found many door supervisor licence renewals have actually been used for other security jobs, for example security guards using a door supervisor licence.

This is because many security professionals have had to seek other sources of employment during the pandemic and no longer want to work short hours, with increased risk to health, at low rates of pay on the doors at nightspots.


This leaves door security companies needing to fill significant staff shortages ahead of the reopening of night time events as planned under the Government’s roadmap, the UKDSA said.

And the industry body believes the situation is set to become worse with regulation changes that would see the costs to become a licensed door supervisor increase due to extended training requirements.


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The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is planning an upgrade of its CiSP platform for sharing intelligence on cyber threats.

Man pressing digital lock on screen

CiSP manager Martin R said the move comes in response to a review of the platform and a gradual increase in understanding user needs since it was set up in 2013.

Otherwise known as the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership, it is a joint industry and government initiative for the secure exchange of cyber threat information in real time. It has been promoted as an important element in preserving cyber security for public and private sector organisations.

Martin R said that NCSC has interviewed a range of stakeholders and now plans a series of workshops to develop key requirements for CiSP 2.0.

Clean-up effort

Although he did not indicate a timetable for launching the new version, he pointed to a first step in dealing with the trust issues caused by a number of inactive accounts on the platform.

In response, NCSC plans to begin deleting them from next month, also removing any content that comes from them. This will begin with the deletion of approximately 5,000 accounts for which there has never been a log-on, then the 5,775 that have been inactive since the end of 2017, then 4,000 that were not active over 2018 and 2019.

In each case the account owner will be contacted by email and given the opportunity to log in.

“The account clean-up means that active groups, spaces and fresh content should be easier to find,” Martin R said. “This will help protect, educate and spread important information about the continuing cyber threats the UK faces.”

NCSC took a significant step with CiSP in January of last year by moving it to an AWS cloud platform, indicating it would reduce the running costs and provide better scalability and security.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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What the changes are, when they will happen, and how they affect SIA licence applicants and licence holders.

We have made some changes to the training you need to take before you can get a front line SIA licence.

The changes are:

  • we have introduced new, updated qualifications for all sectors except close protection and vehicle immobilisation
  • you must have a first aid qualification before you can take the training required for a door supervisor or security guard licence

We will be making more changes in October 2021:

  • on 1 October 2021, we will introduce updated close protection qualifications
  • from 1 October 2021, you must have one of the new qualifications or take top-up training before you can apply for a door supervisor and security guard licence – this includes renewals

We explain these changes in more detail below.

Why are we making these changes?

We need to make sure that people working in the private security industry can:

  • keep the public safe
  • follow new working practices
  • understand recent changes to the law
  • make the best use of new technology

New requirement: first aid training

We already expected applicants for a close protection licence to complete a first aid qualification before taking their licence-linked training. We now expect applicants for a door supervisor or security guard licence to do the same.

You will need to do this if either of the following apply:

  • you are applying for a licence for the first time
  • it has been longer than 3 years since you last held a licence for that activity

From 1 October 2021, you will also need to do this if you are renewing your licence.

The qualification must be an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification or equivalent.

The requirement for first aid training will improve your skills as an SIA licence holder. It will not change the obligations you have when responding to an emergency.

What do we mean by “equivalent”?

We will accept other qualifications that comply with the relevant guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. Some examples are:

  • First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • First Person on Scene (FPOS)
  • First Response Emergency Care (FREC)

Your training provider can tell you more about this.

New requirement: top-up training for some licence holders

From 1 October 2021, you must have one of the following before you can apply for, or renew, a door supervisor or security guard licence:

  • one of the new qualifications set in place in April 2021
  • one of the older licence-linked qualifications and a ‘top-up’ qualification

This applies to any applications submitted on or after 1 October, including renewals. If you submit your application before this date, you will not need to take additional training.

If you hold a door supervisor licence

From 1 October 2021, if you hold a door supervisor licence you can choose one of the following options:

  • take the door supervisor top-up training and renew your door supervisor licence
  • take the security guard top-up training and switch to a security guard licence

In either case, you must have an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification, or equivalent, before can you take the top-up training.

The security guard top-up training is shorter than the door supervisor top-up training, so is likely to be cheaper. However, you should consider the day-to-day duties of the job that you do. If your job involves guarding licensed premises (such as a pub or a club) you will need to renew your door supervisor licence.

Other changes

More relevant course material

We have moved training that is critical for all sectors to the ‘common unit’ (taken by all security operatives). This includes new training on:

  • terror threat awareness
  • dealing with emergencies

We have introduced new sector-specific content – for example:

  • the close protection course includes new material on physical intervention
  • the door supervision course includes new material on the use of equipment such as body worn video recorders and breathalysers
  • the public space surveillance (CCTV) course includes new material on CCTV operational procedures and the law
  • the security guarding course includes new material covering personal safety

More practical assessments

We have increased the number of practical elements in the training to help learners reinforce their knowledge. The practical assessments include:

  • searching
  • dealing with conflict
  • report/statement writing
  • using communications devices

Find out more

Read Changes to SIA licence-linked training: your questions answered to find out more.




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Information about how we are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.


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Use the ‘Covid-19 and the Private Security Industry - FAQs’ document to find out how we are responding to the covid-19 pandemic.

Published 30 July 2020