Civil enforcement officer

A civil enforcement officer


Civil enforcement officers patrol the streets to enforce parking restrictions, ensure a free flow of traffic is maintained, ensure the safety of pedestrians, and ensure traffic and parking laws are complied with. They aid with the combating of crime and crime reduction by providing assistance during incidents and providing patrol services.

Includes crossing guards.

Civil enforcement officers typically do the following:

  • patrol streets and car parks, to check regulations are being followed
  • give advice to the public on parking regulations and facilities
  • check parking tickets and issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)
  • write simple reports and pocket book notes
  • authorise the clamping and removal of vehicles
  • check parking meters and car park equipment, to report damage or faults
  • report defective signs and road markings or any suspect vehicles
  • attend court or a tribunal if a parking ticket is being disputed
  • work with other professionals like police community support officers or the police, to report crimes or anti-social behaviour

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to civil enforcement officer:

traffic warden
civil enforcement supervisor
parking manager
civil enforcement agent
parking attendant

Working conditions

Civil enforcement officers wear a uniform and waterproof clothing, and usually work as part of a team. They use mobile radio communication systems to communicate with colleagues. They spend most of the time patrolling on foot. They vary the pattern of visiting and patrolling car parks and usually work shifts. Work takes place outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions.

Civil enforcement officers usually work for local authorities, or private firms contracted by them.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a civil enforcement officer. The training is done on-the-job, by shadowing another civil enforcement officer.

In some cases, a valid driving licence may be required.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Civil enforcement officer is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Civil enforcement officer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to civil enforcement officer.

crossing guard
street warden
juvenile correctional officer
police officer
prison officer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of civil enforcement officer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of civil enforcement officer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

court bailiff
immigration officer
aviation data communications manager
passport officer
police detective

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of civil enforcement officer.

  • Law enforcement: The different organisations involved in law enforcement, as well as the laws and regulations in law enforcement procedures.
  • Road traffic laws: Understand road traffic laws and the rules of the road.
  • Parking regulations: The up-to-date regulations and enforcement procedures in parking activities.
  • Local geography: The range of physical and geographical properties and descriptions of a local area, by street names and not only.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of civil enforcement officer.

  • Assist emergency services: Assist the police and emergency services where needed.
  • Comply with legal regulations: Ensure you are properly informed of the legal regulations that govern a specific activity and adhere to its rules, policies and laws.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Regulate traffic: Regulate the flow of traffic by using assigned hand signals, assisting travellers on the road, and aiding people to cross the street.
  • Escort pedestrians across streets: Help pedestrians who have difficulties crossing streets across the street, stopping traffic if necessary.
  • Interpret traffic signals: Observe lights on the road, road conditions, nearby traffic, and prescribed speed limits to ensure safety. Interpret traffic signals and act accordingly.
  • Monitor traffic flow: Monitor the traffic that passes by a certain point, like for instance a pedestrian crossing. Monitor the amount of vehicles, the speed at which they go by and the interval between the passing by of two successive cars.
  • Patrol areas: Patrol a designated area, watch out for and respond to suspicious and dangerous situations, and communicate with emergency response organisations.
  • Issue fines: Recognise a violation in legislation, and issue the appropriate fine to the offender compliant with regulations and ensuring the person is aware of the specific violation they performed.
  • Ensure law application: Ensure the laws are followed, and where they are broken, that the correct measures are taken to ensure compliance to the law and law enforcement.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of civil enforcement officer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Traffic signs: The signals and road signs used in traffic, their meaning and what to do or not to do when you come across them.
  • Legal use-of-force: The characteristics of the use-of-force, which is a legal doctrine employed by police and army forces, to regulate acts of violence during interventions. Use-of-force is ought to balance security needs with ethical concerns for the rights and well-being of intruders or suspects.
  • First response: The procedures of pre-hospital care for medical emergencies, such as first aid, resuscitation techniques, legal and ethical issues, patient assessment, trauma emergencies.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of civil enforcement officer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Apply first response: Respond to medical or trauma emergencies and care for the patient in a manner compliant with health and safety regulations, assessing the legal and ethical issues of the situation, and provide proper pre-hospital care.
  • Provide first aid: Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.
  • Perform risk analysis: Identify and assess factors that may jeopardise the success of a project or threaten the organisation’s functioning. Implement procedures to avoid or minimise their impact.
  • Write signalling reports: Write accurate communications and reports about signalling operations and safety procedures. Perform record keeping and event recording.
  • Undertake inspections: Undertake safety inspections in areas of concern to identify and report potential hazards or security breaches; take measures to maximise safety standards.
  • Use signalling equipment: Utilise signalling equipment, like traffic signs or signalling lights, to regulate traffic or transport.
  • Record license plates of violators: Write down license numbers of vehicles of drivers who disregard traffic lights who violate traffic laws in any way. Report the infractions to the appropriate authorities.
  • Provide testimony in court hearings: Provide testimony in court hearings regarding a variety of social matters and other events.
  • Ensure public safety and security: Implement the relevant procedures, strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities for the protection of data, people, institutions, and property.
  • React calmly in stressful situations: React quickly, calmly, and safely to unexpected situations. Provide a solution that solves the problem or diminishes its impact.
  • Work in shifts: Work in rotating shifts, where the goal is to keep a service or production line running around the clock and each day of the week.
  • Ensure compliance with types of weapons: Use different kinds of firearms and other types of weapons and their matching ammunition, in compliance with legal requirements.
  • Stay alert: Stay focused and alert at all times; react quickly in the case of unexpected events. Concentrate and do not get distracted performing a task over a long period of time.
  • Manage major incidents: Take immediate action to respond to major incidents that affect the safety and security of individuals in private or public places such as road accidents.
  • Educate public on road safety: Develop and execute educational and promotional plans to educate the public on road safety in order to raise awareness and tackle issues such as the proper attitude to adopt as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver and the ability to identify hazards.
  • Respond to enquiries: Respond to enquiries and requests for information from other organisations and members of the public.
  • Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
  • Handle conflicts: Mediate in conflicts and tense situations by acting between parties, such as service users, important others like families, and institutions, striving to effect an agreement, reconciliate, and resolve problems.
  • Apply knowledge of human behaviour: Practice principles related to group behaviour, trends in society, and influence of societal dynamics.
  • Check official documents: Check an individuals’ official documentation, such as driver’s licenses and identification, to ensure compliance with legal regulations, and to identify and assess individuals.
  • Identify security threats: Identify security threats during investigations, inspections, or patrols, and perform the necessary actions to minimise or neutralise the threat.
  • Report unsafe behaviour: Report unsafe behaviour of children to parents, supervisors or school officials, depending on the location or situation.
  • Follow given instructions: Follow instructions to achieve goals and meet deadlines.
  • Stop speeding vehicles: Stop people who drive too fast or ignore traffic signs to make them aware of traffic laws.
  • Instruct public: Give instructions to the public during situations where they behave in a manner which is not compliant with laws and regulations, or to guide them during abnormal situations.
  • Tolerate stress: Maintain a temperate mental state and effective performance under pressure or adverse circumstances.
  • Inform drivers of detour routes: Give directions to drivers to use detour routes through construction sites or roads that are blocked due to emergency situations or events.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
  • Deal with aggressive behaviour: Respond promptly to adverse behaviour in a professional manner by taking appropriate and legal action to prevent further aggressiveness, such as verbal warning, lawful removal from the premises or apprehension of the person involved. Report details of adverse behaviour in line with the organisation’s procedures.
  • Practice vigilance: Practice vigilance during patrol or other surveillance activities in order to ensure safety and security, to look out for suspicious behaviour or other alarming changes in patterns or activities, and to respond quickly to these changes.

ISCO group and title

5419 – Protective services workers not elsewhere classified

  1. Civil enforcement officer – ESCO
  2. Civil enforcement officer | Explore careers – National Careers Service
  3. Civil Enforcement Officer – Job Role – Careers Wales
  4. Featured image: Photo by Caspar Rae on Unsplash
Last updated on November 19, 2022

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