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Philadelphia Tavern Owners: Are your bouncers certified, registered?

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Philadelphia Tavern Owners: Are your bouncers certified, registered?

Within the past several years, Philadelphia City Council enacted an ordinance detailing certification requirements for bouncers.

The ordinance requires “that bouncers employed at covered establishments be registered and receive proper training, to prohibit employers from employing unregistered or untrained bouncers and to permit employers to refuse to hire bouncers with certain past criminal convictions; all under certain terms and conditions.” To read the full ordinance, click here.

Essentially, this prohibits bars and other places from employing security who have not completed an appropriate bouncer training course.

To become a registered bouncer, an individual must complete 16 hours of training from an approved
third-party training provider. A list of approved training providers is available at
Upon completion, the training provider must provide the individual with a certificate demonstrating that
the individual met the training requirements. The individual shall then submit a copy of the certificate to
the Managing Director’s Office by emailing it to Once certified,
bouncers are required to complete an 8-hour refresher course every two years.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association encourages its members in Philadelphia to make sure their bouncers are certified and registered. All security personnel at restaurants, clubs, bars, and similar establishments must be certified and all establishments should have certificates on-site.

To learn more about Philadelphia’s bouncer certification program, click here. The City of Philadelphia also provides a frequently asked questions document, which can be found by clicking here.


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