Safety Advisory Group – Terms of Reference Checklist

Ensuring reasonable safety at a sports ground involves considering the risks of physical injury or harm for all people present at a sports ground. This includes risks from crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour or terrorist activity. It also means ensuring that all people at a sports ground are protected, not just spectators.

This has raised the need for certifying authorities to consider if changes might be required in the SAG terms of reference.

The SAG terms of reference are generally specific to the local authority or ground and have a variety of interpretations, but local authorities may wish to consider the following when checking their terms of reference for possible changes:

  • Have adjustments to wording been made throughout the document to reflect the new understanding?
    • For instance, consider changing the word ‘spectators’, where appropriate, to other more generic terms such as “those present during an event”
  • Have police counter terrorism officers been added to the list of people who may be invited to attend SAGs?
  • Have arrangements that protect the confidentiality of discussions on sensitive counter terrorism matters been included in the Group arrangements?
    • If not, local authorities may wish to consider inserting the following wording, as appropriate:

Where a meeting will discuss confidential counter terrorism information and/or intelligence, only the following people/representatives shall be present for those discussions. (insert list)

  • Have the arrangements to share information and record minutes of SAG meetings been outlined bearing in mind the sensitivity of counter terrorism information and/or intelligence?
    • If not, local authorities may wish to consider inserting the following wording, as appropriate:

Any written papers relating to confidential counter terrorism information and/or intelligence shall be marked according to the Government Security Classification Policy (GSCP).

The minutes of meetings will be adapted to ensure that, in relation to counter terrorism information and/or intelligence, the aims of the GSCP are not compromised.

  • Does the section on the role of police include advising the local authority on matters related to counter terrorism?
  • Does the section on the role of police include advising the local authority on matters related to crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour?

SAG Terms of Reference

Check the regulations

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

As a Safety Officer, you will need to be aware that 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.


Reflections on the Hillsborough Inquest verdict

SGSA Chief Executive Karen Eyre-White reflects on the verdicts of the Hillsborough Inquests

Terrorism, Technology and Thinking – Key messages for Venue Safety

In this blog, Head of Inspectorate Ken Scott reflects on the challenges for modern stadiums.

View all Insights


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.

View all News

Tools and resources

Historic Circulars

Historic Home Office and DCMS Circulars affecting football and sports grounds.

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.

Preparing Counter Terrorism Measures

Guidance for sports grounds and local authorities when considering their responsibilities to counter the terrorist threat to sports grounds.

Safety Management

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

Preventing Crowd Disorder and Anti-Social Behaviour

Guidance on preventing crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour at sports grounds.


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.

Planning for Dynamic Lockdown

Guidance notes for sports grounds on planning for a dynamic lockdown as a response to the threat of a gun, vehicle, weapon or other type of terrorist incident at the ground or in the vicinity of the ground.

Reducing slip hazards on concourses

Advice and guidance on reducing slip hazards on concourses. with links to additional guidance via the Health and Safety Executive website.

Safety for all at sports grounds

This guidance note describes the interactions between the different legislation in this area and the impacts on the safety management of a sports ground thereby protecting all those present, including spectators, staff, contractors and participants.


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.