Safety Advisory Groups

A Safety Advisory Group (SAG) exists to provide specialist advice to the local authority so it can discharge its functions under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 (1975 Act) and / or Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 .

In practice, it also provides the vital forum within which the local authority and other agencies may develop a corporate approach to safety at the sports grounds concerned, while each exercising its own responsibilities.

Although the SAG is not constituted to advise the ground management on sports ground safety, the management may nevertheless frequently benefit from the expertise within the SAG.  However, it cannot thereby transfer its responsibility for safety to the SAG or any of its members.  Moreover, it is the local authority, not the SAG, that issues the safety certificate, and which is responsible for advising and assisting the certificate holder where necessary.


In addition to appropriate members of local authority staff, the SAG should include representatives of the following:

  • Police
  • Fire service
  • Ambulance service
  • Building authority

In many cases, it may be sensible to invite someone from the relevant first aid agency.  SAG chairs may also wish to arrange formal regular liaison with the local authority staff responsible for emergency planning and traffic management and with those enforcing the HSWA, Licensing and the Fire Safety RRO.

Inspectors from the SGSA can attend meetings of the SAG in respect of those football grounds which fall within its regulatory oversight.  The Inspectors are not members of the SAG, but are independent advisers who are present at the invitation of the local authority.

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.

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.

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.