Wycombe Wanderers have become one of a small number of EFL clubs to be granted self-certification for its health and safety operation, enabling the club to take greater responsibility for its management of events at Adams Park.
Effective from 1st December, the status of self-certification is the result of a two-year process led by club director David Cook, Trust director John Derben, stadium manager Gordon Reilly and safety officer Trevor Morgan, whose endeavours have been met with approval by the Safety Advisory Group (SAG).
The staging of matches and events at any stadium in the UK is subject to a safety certificate, granted by the Licensing Authority, which defines how the health and safety operation of the venue should be employed.
Self-certification enables clubs to define their own approach to health and safety, in a way that recognizes the specific issues that exist at the venue and satisfies the requirements of the local Licensing Authority.
Trevor Stroud, chairman of Wycombe Wanderers, said: “This is an outstanding achievement from the team at the club – comprising of full-time staff and volunteer directors – to satisfy the requirements of the SAG and take the club to a new level in terms of the management of the stadium.
“In simple terms, self-certification means the stadium team have far greater flexibility in determining the safety measures that need to be implemented on any particular event, which will lead to a more efficient and cost-effective operation.
“My thanks go to David, John, Gordon, Trevor and the SAG committee who have worked tirelessly throughout this process.”
The process towards achieving self-certification involved the redrafting the 23 fundamental documents that make up the club’s operations manual, which forms the basis of the safety certificate and covers topics including fire safety, contingency plans, stewarding, traffic management and crowd management plans.
Each document was submitted for review by the SAG, which is chaired by the Bucks County Council Resilience Officer and includes representatives from Wycombe District Council, Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, St John, Bucks Fire & Rescue and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), which is the UK Government’s expert body on safety at sports grounds.
Wycombe Wanderers now becomes the 27th football club in the top four divisions to have been granted self-certification, a status which is reviewed annually and requires ongoing work to ensure compliance as regulations, such as those relating to data protection, are changed in line with national policies.