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You need a safety certificate for any covered stand that holds 500 or more spectators, even if your sports ground doesn’t need a safety certificate. A certificate can cover more than one stand.

You can apply for:

  • a general safety certificate
  • a special safety certificate for specific occasions

You must specify which activities will be viewed from the stand when applying for a safety certificate. Your certificate will only be valid for these activities.


For a general safety certificate you must be the person responsible for the management of the ground.

For a special safety certificate you must be the person responsible for the activities being viewed from the stand.

You must follow the terms and conditions attached to the certificate, eg keeping safety maintenance or attendance records. Local officers can inspect your stand and records at any time.

If you have a general safety certificate you must also tell the council before making any changes to the stand or installations, eg changing entrances or exits to and from the stand.

How to apply

Get an application form from the council where the stand is situated. You may also need to provide:

  • a site plan
  • a risk assessment
  • contingency plans
  • your spectator safety policy
  • an electrical certificate

The council will tell you the deadlines for supplying this information.

Fines and penalties

If you don’t follow the terms and conditions of your safety certificate, or you operate without one, you can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 2 years.