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Deputy Safety Officer role by Clive Doyle

A league football match is set up and managed by the Safety Officer and the Stadium Manager. However the game itself is normally managed by the Safety Officer who remains for the duration of the event in the control room. The stewarding resources are managed by the Chief Steward with a supporting team of supervisors.

Today I wanted to discuss the role of an unsung hero that of the Deputy Safety Officer. This person would have or be studying for an NVQ 4 covering spectator safety events. It is a qualification that transfers to any event whether at a purpose built venue and is as valuable sporting or entertainment events.

The deputy safety officer is often an essential figure as a stand in for the Safety Officer and therefore should not only be seeking or have acquired a paper qualification but must also be able to demonstrate competence through knowledge and ability. Knowledge is not just legal requirements covering security but also safety. Ability includes people skills being able to establish the requirements of staffing, deployment and briefing. The Deputy Safety Officer must be able to demonstrate the skills necessary to manage a safe event.

During an event which the Safety Officer is present then the Deputy has an important role of representing the Safety Officer within the stadium during the event. The Deputy is not deployed to manage the resources as that is the role of the Chief Steward as they are out in the stands to problem solve on behalf of the Safety Officer and or provide a high ranking representation to other parties whether police, fire ambulance or with the stadium management. If there are issues as to whether certain people should gain entry or remain in the stadium then the Deputy will judge the situation and decide whether indeed the stewards were correct in their decision making. The Deputy can also represent the Safety Officer with other stadium matters such as issues of ticketing, hospitality or commercial matters.

A Deputy Safety Officer is a very important person in a Safety Operation and also it is excellent preparation for the role of Safety Officer. Many Safety Officers originally were stewards who worked their way up through the stewarding supervisory roles and became Deputy Safety Officers. A Deputy must be experienced and qualified or seeking to be qualified at level 4. Those with ambition to be Safety Officer must throw their hat in the ring by getting qualified.

If you are performing the role of something akin to Deputy Safety Officer or senior Steward then competence must be demonstrated and that can only be done by paper proof of your knowledge. Security and Stewarding companies also have many really good staff that manage big and small events all over the country but some have no relevant paper qualifications so I would urge those in this situation to protect themselves and their companies by getting a paper qualification. Need to know more then give us a ring or email us and we will assist you to achieve your ambition.