SPA LIVE EVENTS PASSPORT – Summer Festival Season in Full Swing


Accidents in the live events industry should be at an all time low this summer with more than 2,000 contractors currently holding a ‘safety passport’ from Safety Passport Alliance (SPA).The ‘Live Events Safety Passport’ is the first qualification of its kind in the industry, a one-day health, safety and environment course for anyone involved in the production of such events as festivals, concerts, theatre, television, sports and exhibitions.

Ray Gibbs, managing director of SPA, said: “With the season for outdoor events upon us, most event organisers will need contractors to visit the site on a regular basis to carry out installation, maintenance and repair work. Unfortunately, these contractors can pose an unknown risk as it’s not always possible to check that they have been trained properly to an acceptable level of health & safety.

“This is where SPA comes in. Contract workers and company employees who complete our live events training course can prove their knowledge of basic health & safety by showing their passport, which is similar to a driving licence, complete with a tamper-proof photograph to reduce fraud,” he said.

SPA’s training programme will ensure that all contractors have a thorough grounding in general health & safety, covering topics such as accidents, organising for safety, key health & safety requirements, risk assessment and potential hazards such as fire and electricity.

Many key players in the industry send their people on the SPA courses, such as Deep Blue, White Light and G Force, while Stagesafe, The Event Safety Shop and Showstars are also SPA training providers.

Among the tutors on the SPA programme are those from within the industry itself. For example, Stuart Milne, director of operations at Showstars, which provides manpower for both indoor and outdoor events.

Mr Milne said the programme has been designed for all those working within the industry – riggers, lighting & sound crews, carpenters, electricians, stage hands etc.

“We have hundreds of full-time and part-time recruits join us every year and we insist on their attending the SPA health & safety passport scheme,” he said.

“There didn’t used to be such training courses available and so we ran our own, but when the Production Services Association (the trade association for the live events production industry) came to us with this new course they had designed with SPA we signed up to it immediately,” said Mr Milne, whose company erected screens and barriers in Hyde Park for the Royal Wedding and has contracts for the Olympics, whose organisers are insisting on safety passports.

“In fact, our staff are so well trained that one of our crew bosses is also a course tutor,” said Mr Milne.

SPA, which works alongside British industry to create specially tailored health & safety training programmes, has helped reduce serious and fatal accidents in certain industries by as much as 75 per cent.

Details of the training courses can be obtained from Safety Pass Alliance (SPA), Unit 3, The Court, Holywell Business Park, Northfield Road, Southam, Warwickshire CV47 0FS Tel: (01926) 817450 or by visiting

Ends May 2011