From education to employment

Sector Skills Council in Drive for New Standards in Spectator Safety

In a bid to improve the experience that spectators have of attending a sporting event, SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Sport and Recreation, Health and Fitness, Playwork, The Outdoors and the Caravan industries have announced an updated qualification for the area.

With the football stadia attendance figures showing signs of having peaked, ensuring a safe and secure experience for potential spectators outside the traditional supporters” groups ““ such as increasing numbers of families attending ““ is a key area for professional sports bodies. SkillsActive’s updated qualifications at Levels 3 and 4 in National Occupational Standards (NOS) for spectator safety are now available for use.

NOS and SkillsActive

The NOS in spectator safety has its roots in perhaps the greatest sporting stadium tragedies in recent history; the Bradford City ground fire, and the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday F.C.’s Hillsborough ground. They were a part of a wide range of measures that aimed to raise the safety and security levels at venues for sporting events. It was expected that this would also bring about a reduction in the cost of policing the venues.

Thus far, the measures have demonstrated considerable success. They are being used to underpin different qualifications at various levels, including higher education courses and foundation degrees. The standards are being used as a benchmark of professional practice for general spectator events and offer individuals and organisations realistic and achievable targets for training.

Welcoming Developments

The improvements in the NOS have been welcomed by many involved in the sector. Chief Executive of the Football Licensing Authority John de Quidt said; “We welcome the approval of these updated standards and the opportunity for us to work closely with SkillsActive and industry colleagues on this major step forward in training to underpin crowd safety.”

Stuart Copus, product manager for spectator safety at City & Guilds, said: “Quality is of paramount importance where public safety is concerned and that this is best assessed through demonstrating competence in the workplace. City & Guilds strongly believes that the NVQ in spectator safety is the benchmark in quality, and will ensure safer spectator environments for all for many years to come. We will continue to offer the new level 2 NVQ in spectator safety, based upon these new updated standards.”

Jethro Marsh

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