Sports Ground Safety Certificate

Safety Certificate Summary

If you operate a designated sports ground in England, Scotland or Wales that accommodates more than 10,000 spectators, you will require to hold a safety certificate.

A safety certificate is issued by the local authority for the area in which the sports ground is situated.

A safety certificate may be:

  • a general safety certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for an activity or a number of activities specified in the certificate during an indefinite period
  • a special safety certificate for the use of a sports ground for an activity or a number of activities specified in the certificate on a specified occasion or specified series of occasions or
  • a safety certificate for a stand at a sports ground which provides covered accommodation for 500 or more spectators.

A safety certificate must contain terms and conditions that the local authority consider are either necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at a sports ground.

The holder of a certificate must comply with all of the terms and conditions attached to the certificate. Failure to comply with the certificate's terms and conditions is an offence.

A safety certificate must also have attached to it a plan of the sports ground to which the certificate relates.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a safety certificate, you must be likely to be in a position to prevent contravention of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

Regulation Summary

Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 (c.52)

The local authority may by notice in writing require an applicant for a safety certificate to provide them with information and plans as they consider necessary to enable them to determine the terms and conditions that ought to be included in the certificate. This information must be submitted within a reasonable time frame. If the applicant fails to provide the requested information within the specified time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

Evaluation Process

The local authority must send a copy of an application for a safety certificate to the chief constable and building authority for the area in which the sports ground is situated. Each of these bodies must be consulted about the terms and conditions to be included in a certificate. The fire authority are also notified of the application and consulted on the certificate's terms and conditions.

A certificate may be transferred from its holder to another person. Prior to transfer, the local authority must determine whether the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred is a person likely to be in a position to prevent contravention of the terms and conditions of the certificate. If this is so, the local authority may transfer the certificate to that person.

The local authority must send a copy of a transfer application to the chief constable and the  building authority. They must consult these bodies about any proposed transfer. The fire authority are also sent a copy of the transfer application and consulted on the proposal.

Safety certificates can also be amended or replaced.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. The local authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period following submission of your application, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

It is an offence to admit spectators to a designated sports ground when no application for a safety certificate has been made.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a safety certificate because they are not considered to be an eligible person can appeal to the Sheriff Court.

An applicant who is refused a special safety certificate may also appeal to the Sheriff Court against a refusal of his application based on grounds other than a decision that they are not an eligible person.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, their safety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate, may appeal to the Sheriff Court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

Any person concerned in ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the safety certificate may appeal to the Sheriff Court against any condition attached to, or the omission of anything from, asafety certificate, or against the refusal to amend or replace a safety certificate.

Trade Associations

Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA)

Scottish Sports Association (SSA)

Contact

If you require further information please Contact Us.