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Stewarding factsheet 2 – Safety, security and non-safety critical roles

Roles within a sports ground can be identified as safety, security and non-safety critical.

Stewards and safety personnel perform numerous duties, which require different qualifications and training requirements. This factsheet explains safety, security and non-safety critical roles.

Roles within a sports ground can be identified as safety, security and non-safety critical (often referred to as the service element to stewarding). Ground management should identify these roles and locations to best utilise the resources available to them. This may vary from event to event.

The identification of these roles is part of the Stewarding and Security Plans.

This factsheet is not prescriptive. It highlights that some non-safety critical/service roles within grounds may be conducted by those who are not qualified stewards. This in no way detracts from the importance of stewards. Instead, the aim is to ensure that qualified stewards are positioned in roles and locations which require the specific qualifications, training and experience they possess.


Safety critical roles and locations

Safety critical roles and locations are those which require appropriately qualified, trained and equipped individuals in order to effectively handle safety critical events.

Safety critical roles and locations should be filled only be experienced, qualified and competent stewards.

The basic duties of most stewards are:

  • Assist with the circulation of spectators.
  • Prevent overcrowding.
  • Reduce the likelihood and incidence of disorder.
  • Provide the means to investigate, report and take early action in an incident.

Section 4.6 of the Green Guide and Section SG03 4.16 of SG03: Event Safety Management and Factsheet 3 – Steward Roles and Duties outline further details on the stewards’ duties.

Security roles (licensable activities)

Security roles and locations are those which require a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). In-house stewards carrying out licensable activities at sports grounds are exempt from this requirement if the sports ground is covered by a safety certificate.

‘SIA licensable activities’ at sports grounds are:

  • Stewards searching spectators on their entry to the ground.
  • Stewards specifically tasked with physically intervening against and ejecting spectators who are in breach of ground regulations. This includes decisions on refusal of entry.
  • The supervisors of those stewards in categories a and b immediately above.
  • In a non-front-line capacity, safety officers and chief stewards.

Further details on this can be found in Factsheet 6 – SIA Stewarding Exemption for Sports Grounds.

Non-safety critical (service) roles and locations

There are various roles at a sports ground which can be safely conducted by well-trained and briefed individuals who are not a qualified steward. These roles are focused on customer service and enhancing the experience of spectators in and around the venue.

The non-safety critical roles can be completed by an Event Attendant.

Whilst Event Attendants do not require the Level 2 Spectator Safety qualification required by stewards (see Factsheet 4 – Qualifications), they must have similar qualities and attributes.

That is, they should:

  • Be fit and active
  • Have a mature character and temperament
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills
  • Communicate fluently in English

Event Attendants must be sufficiently trained and briefed by the venue, outlined in Factsheet 5 – Training.

Basic duties

The basic duties of the Event Attendant include:

  • Wayfinding and general support to spectators.
  • Guidance and direction to attendees arriving by car or on foot.
  • Customer care duties including directing to refreshments, toilets and first aid facilities.

Monitoring non-safety critical locations, as identified by the safety management team and included in the deployment section within the Stewarding Plan.

Stewards can carry out the duties of non-safety critical roles and locations. It is the responsibility of individual grounds to determine how best to use their resources, as part of the Stewarding Plan.

Examples of safety, security and non-safety critical roles

Safety critical: segregation line, vomitory/gangway

Security: searching, spectator ejections

Non-safety critical: car park attendant, Zone Ex / soft ticket checks

Quick Q&A

Can volunteers be used in safety critical roles?

Yes, but only if they have the qualifications and experience outlined in Section 4.3 of the Green Guide (and outlined in Factsheet 4 – Qualifications).

Can volunteers be used in non-safety critical roles?

Yes. Volunteers can be employed as Event Attendants. While they do not need a qualification, they must receive sufficient training and briefing from the venue.

For major events, and for events held across a number of sites, the recruitment of voluntary Event Attendants should commence sufficiently in advance to allow for vetting, training, accreditation, role allocation and the distribution of clothing and, where needed, personal protective equipment.

Find out more

Further details can be found in the SGSA’s existing guidance:

Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide) sixth edition – Sections 3.10 – 3.13 and Section 4.1 – 4.22.

Supplementary Guidance 03: Event Safety Management – Section SG03 4.12 – 4.26.

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