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SGSA policies and procedures

As a public body, we are committed to being open about our policies and procedures.

We are committed to providing a courteous and helpful service at all times.

Publishing performance details

Every year we shall publish details of our performance in our Annual Report and Accounts. This will be sent to all the clubs, local authorities and other bodies with whom we deal, and to anybody else on request, without charge.

These details shall include:

  • number of visits to grounds;
  • number of formal meetings with local authorities, clubs, the emergency services and other representative bodies;
  • number of licences issued and the time taken;
  • number of safety certificates examined and the number considered satisfactory;
  • time taken to handle enquiries;
  • number of complaints received and the outcomes

Information and openness

We shall act fairly and impartially at all times.

We shall give clubs and local authorities advance notice of our licensing procedures.

We shall advise all clubs of likely licence conditions in sufficient time for them to take any necessary action.

When clubs tell us their plans for redeveloping their grounds we shall advise them as soon as possible how best to reach acceptable standards.

We shall answer all requests from local authorities and clubs for advice on safety as fully as we can and without charge.

We shall explain to local authorities or clubs when and why we consider that existing safety arrangements will need to be changed.

We shall not overrule reasonable requirements by a local authority based on competent professional advice and correct procedures.

We shall whenever possible accept every invitation to explain our principles and our policies in public but will not disclose information about particular clubs given to us in confidence.

Consultation and communication

Even where there is no statutory requirement, we shall formally consult local authorities and clubs about any proposed licence conditions on seating and standing accommodation.

We shall give clubs the opportunity to make representations about any licence conditions before we impose them.

At all times, we will seek what is necessary for the reasonable safety of the public at any particular ground.

Before we issue any general guidance on safety we shall consult representatives of all those who will be affected and will take their views into account.

We shall not impose any safety requirement without first trying to reach agreement with the local authority and club concerned. We shall use our legal powers only as a last resort.

As part of our procedures, we shall visit grounds frequently to see them for ourselves and to listen to the views of clubs.

We shall keep in close contact with each local authority and club so that they can quickly warn us of their problems or concerns.

Courtesy and helpfulness

We are committed to providing a courteous and helpful service at all times. Our team shall identify themselves by name in all dealings with local authorities, clubs, other bodies or members of the public. Our team shall all carry identification cards.

We shall keep each local authority and club informed of the name and telephone number of the Inspector who is responsible for the ground concerned. The local SGSA Inspector will be the first point of contact for local authorities and clubs on all matters. Save in exceptional circumstances, our Inspectors shall give advance notice of their visits to grounds; visits shall be at reasonable times and designed to cause the minimum possible disruption. Official visits to grounds by other SGSA representatives shall be by prior agreement with the club.

Customer service standards

Our staff will be courteous and helpful. They will identify themselves when requested to do so. Should the team be unable to resolve your enquiry, we will endeavour to put you in touch with somebody who can.

We aim to answer all correspondence within 20 working days of receipt. We aim to answer all the points raised, be accurate and use plain English. If it is not possible to reply within 20 working days, we shall send you an interim reply explaining the delay, answering any points we can, and advising when you can expect to receive a full reply.

We will see visitors with fixed appointments no later than 10 minutes after the appointment time and we will give an explanation for any delay.

All telephone calls will be answered within eight rings. Where an answerphone is used we will return your call within one working day.

We will not reply to rude or abusive emails, calls or letters.

We will do everything reasonably possible to make our services available to all.

If you are unhappy about the standard of service you have received from the SGSA then we want you to tell us about it so that we can put things right. We are also keen to hear positive comments you may have about the SGSA and our work.

If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive then you can also ask for the complaint to be reviewed by a senior official within the organisation.


If you have a complaint about the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, you can email the Chief Executive, at, or write to: 10 South Colonnade, London, E14 4PU

We shall reply as fully as possible to all complaints within 20 working days. If the matter will take longer to investigate we shall write and tell you. If you are still not satisfied you may ask for the matter to be considered by our Board Chair and Members. If the complaint is justified, we shall immediately take such steps as are necessary to put matters right and prevent any repetition.

If we receive complaints about matters for which we have no responsibility, we shall immediately pass these on to the appropriate authority and tell you what action we have taken.

Value for money

We shall seek to ensure standards of safety that are proportionate to the risk and take account of the design and size of the ground. We believe that it is in clubs’ own interest to provide high standards of facilities, comfort and service for spectators.

We aim to limit the cost to clubs to no more than is reasonably necessary.

We shall encourage and help them to do this but it is not for us to compel them. Where seating or standing accommodation for spectators falls below a certain standard, we shall expect clubs to manage it safely. We shall only prevent it being used if it presents an unacceptable safety or public order risk.

We shall encourage clubs to identify and adopt for themselves the measures necessary to ensure the reasonable safety of spectators without having to be told what to do.

We shall look for consistency but not uniformity in the enforcement of safety requirements by local authorities.


The SGSA advertises all vacancies it is seeking to fill by recruitment from this website.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Records management and personal data policies

Our general policy is to retain records for a minimum period of six years.

A copy of the detailed retention policies in respect of each class of document held by the SGSA is available on request.

Charging regimes and policies

We may seek to recover costs under certain circumstances. A copy of our charging policy is available upon request.

Services we provide

In addition to publishing safety guides, which provide detailed advice and guidance to those involved with the safety management of any sports grounds, the SGSA also publishes guidance for local authorities on the issue, monitoring and enforcement of safety certificates issues under the provisions of the Safety of Sports Ground Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987.