Policies and Procedures


02 min. reading time

Once the stadium operating structure is in place, the way the stadium will be operated should be formally documented in operating policies and procedures. These should cover all operating processes and need to be mandatory for all internal and external staff.

A policy is a formal statement of a principle that should be followed in the execution of tasks for the operation and management of the stadium. A policy describes the relevance of the principle (why?) and to whom it is applicable.

Procedures are the mandatory steps to follow during the execution of a specific task in order to comply with a policy. Procedures are also referred to as processes or work practices. Procedures inform the stadium staff how to carry out a policy.

Policies are set by senior management and require regular reviewing and updating in line with the stadium operating strategy. Procedures and plans are usually bespoke documents, drafted internally, which require approval by senior management and/or relevant stakeholders, such as emergency services and the local authority.

A range of policies and procedures is required for the operation and management of a stadium, including direct operational aspects such as TV & broadcasting, facility management, maintenance, cleaning, hospitality & catering, and health, safety & environment.

In addition, there will be more generic management policies and procedures with regard to aspects such as inclusivity, human resources management, training, commercial risk assessment, communications and procurement.

Restricted items form part of the searching and screening policy.

It is important that policies and procedures are:

• well documented;
• understandable to all involved; and
• approved by senior management.

One of the most important sets of policies and procedures is contained in the stadium operations plan, which sets out the spectator safety policy and all key safety management procedures in order to comply with this policy. This includes the spectator safety policy, the (safe) capacity calculations, risk assessments, the contingency, emergency, counter-terrorism, stewarding, medical, fire safety and traffic management plans, as well as specific policies such as for screening & searching and segregation (see also Sub-Sections 4.7.2 and 4.7.3).

The scope of these procedures will depend upon the size and the intended use of the stadium.

The SGSA’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (6th Edition) provides a comprehensive list of all procedures to be addressed. These procedures will need to be developed in a local context according to national laws. Most of these policies and procedures; such as the spectator safety policy, capacity calculations and fire safety plans, will apply to every stadium. Other plans and policies, such as those for segregation and counter-terrorism, might not be applicable to all.

The importance of developing and maintaining a comprehensive stadium operations plan and the subsequent set of procedures cannot be overemphasised. Not only will they provide a framework for the safe operation of the stadium, they are usually open to inspection and review by local authorities and will be used as a reference point in any investigation into incidents at the stadium. The plan and its procedures should be reviewed at least annually.