Advisory services

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is the safety regulator for football grounds in England and Wales and the UK Government’s independent adviser on sports grounds safety.

We:

  • Licence league and international football grounds in England and Wales and regulate their safety certification by local government;
  • Raise standards with our world-leading guidance, particularly the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (‘Green Guide’); and
  • Advise and support sports grounds, governing bodies and others, both in the UK and internationally.

Our aim is to ensure everyone can enjoy live sport safely and our ambition is to be the world’s leading authority on sports grounds safety.

As part of our wider advisory remit, we work with governments, sporting federations, organising committees and individual venues both nationally and internationally to improve spectator safety.

Advisory opportunities

We have worked with many different sporting codes in countries across the world on spectator safety.  Our services cover four broad areas:

  1. The fundamentals of calculating a safe capacity for your stadium or sports ground
  2. Providing strategic safety management advice to enable you to manage a sports ground.
  3. Giving you the tools and knowledge to be able to do it yourself through our bespoke training services.
  4. Design reviews for new or refurbished stadia against Green Guide standards

For more information, or for a discussion on how we can help you, please contact Darren Whitehouse, Head of Strategy and Partnerships.

Calculating safe capacity

The fundamental element of safety at sports grounds is knowing the safe capacity for a venue.

The determination of the safe capacity is much more than just counting the number of seats or areas of standing that you have available in a stadium.  To do it properly, you must consider other factors such as the capacity of ingress (entrance) and egress (exit) systems. The resultant figure must then be balanced against the skills and competency of the safety management team to arrive at an overall safe capacity.

The above is often referred to as:

  • P Factor – physical infrastructure; and
  • S Factor – safety management procedures.

The SGSA’s advisory work here goes beyond providing a safe capacity figure.  We look at the infrastructure of the stadium or sports ground and provide advice on more detailed safety considerations.  This can include:

  • Safety audits and inspections
  • Review of site plans for new developments or stadia for compliance with international safety standards
  • Advice on improving safety standards across an entire league or sport
  • Advice on holding safe events to international safety standards across multiple venues
  • Independent assessment of the spectator safety element of bids from host cities

Strategic safety management

There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to safety management.  Safety should not be seen as a set of rules or conditions imposed by others, but rather as standards established that reflect a safety culture at the ground.

At the SGSA, we are the experts in identifying the strategic considerations that sporting events grounds should consider when it comes to safety management.  We advise individual grounds, host cities, governing bodies, governments, and others on the importance of strategic safety management.

This can include:

  • Safety workshops to identify and address emerging issues
  • Planning exercises to test contingency plans
  • Advice on legislative and policy solutions designed to improve spectator safety
  • Advising on the development of an Operations Manual

Bespoke training and workshops

As the leading authority on sports grounds safety, we can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to manage events safely.

We offer bespoke training opportunities, based on your needs and requirements.  This can cover broad areas such as strategic safety management, or offer detailed discussions and plans on areas such as risk management or capacity calculations.

Our training sessions will be focused on clear outcomes, agreed in advance.  They will:

  • Reinforce best practice
  • Challenge thinking
  • Provide tools and templates to assist in ongoing professional development