Nightclub door staff are knuckling down to a specialist training diploma to prove they have a softer side. The course is being offered as shocking new research of 2,500 adults shows half of partygoers find security intimidating and don’t feel safe on a night out.
One in five say they would not turn to a bouncer for help because of their threatening body language.Now the Doorperson Diploma, being rolled out across Europe, aims to upgrade existing training with a one-off session that will focus on people skills to win the public’s trust and make staff more approachable.
The programme is being run by Desperados beer in partnership with the nightclub safety specialists Good Night Out Campaign.
It draws on the expertise of sociologist Dr Phie van Rompu, from the University of Amsterdam, and legendary Berlin club doorperson Smiley Baldwin (pictured).
This is expected to help to reassure the 59% of party goers who said they’d feel safer on a night out knowing that security staff underwent more in-depth training.
The Doorperson Diploma is part of Desperados’ wider partnership with Good Night Out, supporting them to expand and offer more virtual training and accreditation across several European markets.
It is also the first of a whole programme of initiatives under Desperados’ new F.R.E.E platform – Fostering Respect, Equity, and Empowerment on the dancefloor so that everyone feels safe to be themselves in the party space.
Desperados has already started accrediting venues across the Netherlands and the UK and through this collaboration, will enable many more venues across key European markets to undergo the training.
Dr van Rompu, who has spent four years studying the night-time economy and security guards, said: ‘Practising awareness, bodily gestures and de-escalation techniques in real-life situations, can help remove the barriers between security staff and partygoers and therefore, create a safer environment.
‘The new training course enriches the toolkit of security personnel by applying different learning forms and exercises that tap into more implicit, but pivotal, bodily techniques, crafting them into (even) more approachable and proactive protectors.
‘It is one of the most difficult jobs that we should champion.I am thrilled that Desperados and Good Night Out reached out and included insights from my research on social control techniques in the Doorperson Diploma.’
Smiley Baldwin, a former U.S. Army soldier who has been on the Berlin club scene since the fall of the Wall, said: ‘I’m really excited to be a part of this, and excited to help create a more positive nightlife culture and a safer future for partygoers in Europe and the world over.’
Global Head of Desperados Rutger van der Stegen said: ‘We pride ourselves on championing playful experimentation and having fun responsibly. As feeling safe is vital for this, we are pleased to support the education needed to create safer nightlife spaces.
‘The Doorperson Diploma has been designed to complement the existing training given to door staff across Europe. They play such an important role in allowing everyone to feel safe while getting into the party spirit, and we feel strongly that the honing of these softer skills will have a profound and positive impact on the relationship between security staff and party goers as this training is rolled out more widely.
‘This is only the start of what we hope to achieve through F.R.E.E, as we aim to address the many issues that contribute to people feeling unsafe and unwelcome on a night out and inspire positive change across dancefloors around Europe.’
Bryony Beynon, founder of Good Night Out Campaign, said ‘The doorperson does one of the toughest jobs in nightlife. We salute them and are looking forward to training folks across the UK and Europe on the core skills needed to create safety and offer support when things aren’t right on a night out.
‘We’re really happy to be building our capacity to do more of what we do, supported by Desperados. We’ve been delivering training, education and advocacy for safer nightlife spaces for ten years, as an independent non-profit organization.
This is already shaping up to be a transformational partnership and Desperados is helping us take things to the next level, when the industry, and all nightlife lovers, need it most.”
The Doorperson Diploma will be found in venues across Europe from November. To find out more, and understand how you can make a difference on the dancefloor, visit the Good Night Out Campaign.