I’m a new Safety Officer, what do I need to know?

The primary purpose of a safety certificate is to set the safe capacity of a designated ground or of a regulated stand at a non–designated ground. In addition to setting the safe capacity the safety certificate will set out the detailed terms and conditions with which the certificate holder must comply if that capacity is to be maintained.

Safety certificates are issued by the local authority. Depending on the area in which the sports ground is located the local authority will be either the county council, unitary authority, metropolitan or London borough.

The Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide) provides detailed guidance on calculating how many spectators can be safely accommodated within the viewing accommodation of a sports ground. The Guide also provides advice on measures to improve safety at sports grounds.

Although the Guide has no statutory force many of its recommendation will be given the force of law at individual grounds by their inclusion in the safety certificate for that ground.

To assist the local authorities discharge their functions under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 (1975 Act), at grounds at which designated football matches are played, the SGSA has produced Safety Certification, which provides a single source of reference on the safety certification process, monitoring and enforcement.

Check the regulations

Which parts of a ground should be covered by a Safety Certificate?

The terms and conditions of the safety certificate should cover all areas to which the spectators have access, including restaurants, licensed bars, and concourses.

What is a Safety Certificate?

Details about what a safety certificate is.

Monitoring Local Authorities

Details of how the SGSA monitors local authorities.


Safety Certification Guidance Updated

Updated safety certification guidance for local authorities released.

Government review of evidence relating to the all-seater policy

Government has recently announced that it will commission an external analysis of evidence relating to the all-seater policy. Its aim is that initial analysis work will be completed by the end of 2018.

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Tools and resources

Guide to Safety Certification

The Guide to Safety Certification is intended to assist local authorities to identify, apply and enforce the terms and conditions that it prescribes in the safety certificate.

Standing in Seated Areas

The 2013 Joint Statement on Standing in Seated Areas at Football Grounds, agreed by SGSA, Premier League, English Football League, the FA, FSOA and others.

Model Safety Certificate

Download a model safety certificate.

Safety Advisory Group – Terms of Reference Checklist

A checklist for making any changes to the SAG Terms of Reference as a result of the wider understanding of safety.

Safety Management

Our Safety Management guidance brings together good practice on safety personnel, safety management procedures, event management and preparing for incidents.

National Occupational Standards for Steward Training

The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Spectator Safety are standards which set out the skills, knowledge and experience needed to work in spectator safety.


Our Concourses document contains helpful information including advice on occupancy levels and floor space factors.


Safety Certificate Checklist

A checklist local authorities may wish to consider when checking their safety certificate for possible changes.

Local Authority Checklist

A checklist that certifying authorities may wish to consider to check their progress in ensuring that the wider understanding of safety has been adopted by sports grounds to whom they issue safety certificates.

Stewarding and SIA licence

Information about stewarding and the SIA licence.

Support for Local Authorities – Policies and Procedures

Guidance to assist local authorities to develop appropriate policies and procedures, or to review existing ones, for safety certification

Can I hire Stewards whilst they are still training?

Yes. If they have undertaken all aspects of relevant familiarisation and induction training they may start work accompanied by a qualified steward.

What are the alternatives to level 2 NVQ in spectator safety?

Questions and answers about alternatives to qualifications in spectator safety.


Drones are an emerging issue and we have not seen widespread use of these at sports grounds in the past. These recent incidents have highlighted the potential safety and security risks.

What does Zone Ex mean?

In the planning, design and management of sports grounds it may be helpful to consider the circulation area in terms of zones.

When should the first annual inspection and structural appraisal be undertaken at a new, or recently completed, stadium?

What they're saying

“Fan safety at sports grounds is paramount. The world looks to us as an example of how to manage risks and improve safety records and this guide will continue to contribute to that legacy.”

Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in relation to the Green Guide