Advertising changes to safety certificates

The advertising of changes to safety certificates is a legal requirement imposed on local authorities under the provisions of Safety of Sports Grounds Regulations 1987 and the Safety of Places of Sport Regulations 1988.

As those regulations were drafted before the introduction of the internet the SGSA asked DCMS if local authorities would be able to discharge their statutory obligation to advertise changes to safety certificates on their web sites. The department’s legal advisor responded advising that:

“As soon after a local authority makes a decision to issue, amend, or refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate, it is required under Regulation 5(5) of the 1987 Regulations to publish “in a newspaper circulating in the locality of the sports ground to which the safety certificate relates a notice setting out that decision”.

Accordingly, as the law stands, the notice must be published in the local paper to be effective. However, there is no reason in principle why the local authority could not publish the notice on their website but it must be in addition to publishing the notice in the local paper rather as an alternative.

Does the requirement to advertise changes to safety certificates extend to advertising changes made to an operations manual?

Under the provisions of the Safety of Sports Grounds Regulations 1987 and the Safety of Places of Sport Regulations 1988 local authorities are required to advertise changes made to safety certificates. A new style safety certificate will place a requirement on the holder to produce an operations manual, to adhere to it and to notify the local authority of any changes to it.

However, while the holder may be required to keep a copy of the operations manual with the safety certificate or alternatively the manual may be appended to the certificate, it does not actually form part of the certificate. Therefore changes to the operations manual do not have to be advertised in the same way as changes to the conditions in the certificate.