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If you own or run a sports ground you must have a safety certificate if the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) says you need one.

You can apply for:

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

You must specify which activities you’ll be hosting when you apply for a safety certificate. Your certificate will only be valid for these activities.


You must follow the terms and conditions attached to the safety certificate, eg keeping attendance and safety records. You must also tell the council before making any changes to the grounds or installations.

How to apply

Contact the local council where the sports ground is located for an application form.

Applications must include a:

  • fee of £100 (from 31 July 2012)
  • site layout plan
  • structural condition report

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

Other applications

A fee of £50 is charged for changing, replacing or transferring a general safety certificate.

Fines and penalties

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