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Because there is no duty of care at a formal (see previous blog post), and school staff members & parents have no greater power or responsibility than ordinary guests, this also means that they cannot take on normal directing roles, as they might at school or home. That is to say, no checking of lists, no direction of the movements of people in or out of the venue, no forbidding of access to anyone trying to go into or out of any area, no decision-making about who is granted or denied entry. No disciplining anyone in any way, shape or form whatsoever.

All of these roles and activities that I’ve described above, whilst during the normal course of a teacher’s school day on school premises, or for parents while at home, sounds like (and is) part of a normal job done by teachers and parents every day. So why should the formal be any different?

One important factor flips the switch here. “On Third Party Premises”.

When on site at a venue where a formal is being conducted, the moment you cross the threshold onto the premises, all of these roles, jobs and activities become the exclusive domain of Licensed Security Operatives and Venue Management.

Teachers & Parents are not legally qualified, nor permitted, to conduct any of these roles.

In order for Security Guards to conduct these roles, they should be appropriately licensed by the state, certified and accredited in the various mandatory disciplines for first aid, search & seizure, RSA, crowd control, evacuation and emergency procedures, be independently insured and must display some of these credentials visibly.

Guards must register these credentials with the on-site manager of Security Operations representing the venue, and the company providing the guards must also register their “Master” license with the venue management. If specialist equipment is used, there needs to be a properly formatted procedure written by a Security Equipment Specialist (which requires a different class of security license from the state). The guards need to go through a properly formatted induction and examination process before being qualified to use that equipment.

In order for any of this to happen, there must be a contact executed between the security provider and the client (being either the school, venue or event manager) specifying the precise details of that particular event.

It’s a huge list of compliance surrounding this small portion of the event plan, however getting any of this wrong can be your undoing if any incident takes place. When you take these details into account, it becomes very apparent why the state forbids the under-qualified to undertake these roles.