Door supervisor

A door supervisor


Door supervisors ensure that the people entering public places such as bars, restaurants and concert venues are suitable and that they do not represent potential problems. They enforce legal regulations by checking individuals’ legal age to enter a bar, manage crowds and emergencies, monitor dress codes and handle aggressive and abusive behaviours.

Door supervisors typically do the following:

  • manage crowds and queues
  • make sure people keep to the dress code
  • check tickets
  • patrol inside and outside the venue
  • watch people’s behaviour and deal with conflict
  • physically intervene and escort people out of the venue, if necessary
  • deal with emergencies
  • co-operate with police, first aiders and management

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to door supervisor:

nightclub doorman
disco doorman
bar doorman

Working conditions

Door supervisors work in a pub or bar, at events, at a sports arena or at a music venue. Their working environment may be crowded, noisy and outdoors in all weathers. They may need to wear a uniform.

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a door supervisor.

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.

Door supervisor is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Door supervisor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to door supervisor.

crowd controller
gate guard
life guard
security guard

Long term prospects

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

hand luggage inspector
store detective
lifeguard instructor
court bailiff
police detective

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of door supervisor.

  • Fire safety regulations: The legal rules to be applied for fire safety and fire prevention in a facility.
  • Illegal substances: The forbidden substances which cannot be transported from one area to another, or carried by an individual, as well as their nature and how to handle them.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of door supervisor.

  • Restrain individuals: Restrain, or control by force, individuals who violate regulations in terms of acceptable behaviour, who present a threat to others, and who perform acts of violence, to ensure the individual is unable to proceed in this negative behaviour and to protect others.
  • Monitor guest access: Oversee guests access, ensuring that guest needs are addressed and security is maintained at all times.
  • 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.
  • Comply with the principles of self-defence: Observe the principles according to which a person should only use so much force as is required to repel an attack. The use of deadly force is limited to situations where attackers are using deadly force themselves.
  • Show confidence: Demonstrate degrees of maturity by fully understanding one’s own qualities and abilities which can serve as sources of confidence in different situations.
  • Control crowd: Control a crowd or riot, ensuring people do not cross to areas they are not allowed to access, monitoring the crowd’s behaviour and responding to suspicious and violent behaviour.
  • 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.
  • Identify security threats: Identify security threats during investigations, inspections, or patrols, and perform the necessary actions to minimise or neutralise the threat.
  • Perform security checks: Monitor and check individuals’ bags or personal items in order to make sure the individuals present no threats and that their behaviour is legally compliant.
  • Handle veterinary emergencies: Handle unforeseen incidents concerning animals and circumstances which call for urgent action in an appropriate professional manner.
  • Detain offenders: Keep back offenders and trespassers in a certain area.
  • 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.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  • Law enforcement: The different organisations involved in law enforcement, as well as the laws and regulations in law enforcement procedures.
  • First aid: The emergency treatment given to a sick or injured person in the case of circulatory and/or respiratory failure, unconsciousness, wounds, bleeding, shock or poisoning.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Operate radio equipment: Set up and operate radio devices and accessories, such as broadcast consoles, amplifiers, and microphones. Understand the basics of radio operator language and, when necessary, provide instruction in handling radio equipment correctly.
  • Ensure escape routes: Make sure emergency exits and emergency escape routes are clear.
  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • 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.
  • Monitor parking areas to maintain security: Monitor the entry and exit routes within the parking areas and report on any hazards, accidents or violations.
  • Ban cameras: Impose a prohibition on filming or making pictures.
  • Assist emergency services: Assist the police and emergency services where needed.
  • Perform body searches: Examine visitors by performing a body search, in order to detect weapons or illegal substances.
  • Assist police investigations: Assist in police investigations by providing them with specialised information as a professional involved in the case, or by providing witness accounts, in order to ensure the police have all relevant information for the case.
  • Assess character: Assess how a certain person will react, verbally or physically, in a specific situation or to a specific happening.
  • 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.
  • Manage lost and found articles: Make sure that all articles or objects lost are identified and that the owners get them back in their possession.
  • Identify terrorism threats: Identify the possibility of terrorism activities posing threats and danger in a specific area by monitoring activities of potentially dangerous groups of people, assessing risks in different areas, and gathering intelligence.
  • Check tickets at venue entry: Ensure that all guests have valid tickets for the specific venue or show and report on irregularities.
  • Manage emergency evacuation plans: Monitor quick and safe emergency evacuation plans.
  • Handle cash flow: Handle the movement of money into or out of a business, project, or financial product.
  • Patrol areas: Patrol a designated area, watch out for and respond to suspicious and dangerous situations, and communicate with emergency response organisations.
  • Liaise with security authorities: Respond quickly to security incidents and violations by calling the police and keep in touch with other relevant parties involved in the potential prosecution of the offender.
  • Operate fire extinguishers: Understand the operation of fire extinguishing equipment and fire extinguishing techniques.

ISCO group and title

5414 – Security guards

  1. Door supervisor – ESCO
  2. Door supervisor | Explore careers – National Careers Service
  3. Featured image: By RAR Security – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on November 18, 2022

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