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Sports ground safety certificate

If you operate a sports ground in England, Scotland or Wales that holds more than 10,000 spectators, you may be required to hold a safety certificate.

A safety certificate may be either:

  • a general safety certificate issued for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity, or activities, during an indefinite period
  • a special safety certificate for the use of a sports ground for a specified activity or activities on a specified occasion or occasions

Safety certificates are obtained from your local authority. You must comply with any terms or conditions attached to a certificate.

You can apply online for the following on the Gov.UK website:

Apply for a sport ground safety certificate

Apply to change a safety certificate for a sports ground

Am I eligible for a certificate?

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

What happens next?

Applicants must provide requested information and plans to us within the time specified. If the applicant fails to provide the requested information within the specified time the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

We will consider if the applicant is in a position to prevent any breach of the terms and conditions of a certificate.

In Scotland they shall send an application to the chief police officer and either the fire authority or building authority. Each of these bodies must be consulted about the terms and conditions to be included in a certificate.

What if my application is to transfer a certificate?

If an application is made to transfer a certificate we must determine if the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred, if they made an application, would qualify for the issue of a certificate. The applicant may be the current holder of the certificate or the person to whom the certificate is to be transferred.

We must send a copy of an application or transfer of application for a safety certificate to the chief police officer of the area, the fire and rescue authority if we are not that authority and the building authority if we are not that authority in England and Wales.

Will tacit consent apply

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

When will a decision be made?

You can expect to be contacted by an Officer within 14 days of receipt of your application. We would normally expect to let you know our decision on your application within six weeks of receipt.

What if my application fails?

Please contact us 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 Magistrates court.
  • An applicant who is refused a special safety certificate may also appeal to the Magistrates 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 us 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 Magistrates court. They may also appeal to the county court against an order of the Magistrate's 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 of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, further information about making a complaint can be found on the Information for consumers page.

Other redress

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

General enquiries

Trade Associations

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