Having a clear governance structure, health and safety plans and a robust risk management plan will help ensure that you have a framework to plan your event effectively and will enable you to run a great event.
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When you start to identify the controls and mitigations you need to implement for your risks, you will find that many of them apply to more than one risk. For example, some plans will help regardless of the type of issue that arises. Robust risk and health and safety planning should be core to your event planning at all times and they should form the basis of any security planning. As a good practice, security planning should not exist alone and must rely on a more comprehensive risk planning in order to be effective.
Appropriate and effective governance frameworks should be a priority for delivering events of all scales. Governance models may be more complex for larger events but, at a minimum, there should be clear distinction between governance and operations, with clear reporting lines. Proper governance structures and process will result in more effective decision-making, risk management and outcomes.
Risk management is an integral part of event planning, regardless of threat levels, but is even more important at times of high alert. A good risk management plan will focus on your event goals and safety — not just compliance. Effective risk management minimises potential costs and liabilities and leads to safer, more enjoyable events.
Every event – no matter the size – should have a risk management plan to effectively manage risks that might impact on an event. The plan should outline all of the steps, policies and procedures that you are taking to control and mitigate risks.
Health and Safety
As an event organiser, you have an obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure that you are managing the health and safety of your paid staff working at the event, your contractors, volunteers, your attendees and those in the vicinity of your event. While this is a legal obligation, it should not be considered burdensome, but rather a helpful guide to inform you on how to run a safe event.
Health and safety planning can include vital pieces of work, such as crowd management plans, which will give your team advice on how to manage large crowds throughout your event. This plan can also guide what to do in case of an incident, with specific direction on what to do for different types of incidents (i.e. natural disaster or an active shooter) and will ensure that you and your team have clear plans in the case of any emergency.
It is important to note that this should make up part of your regular planning – not just during high terror alerts.
The primary responsibility for event security and safety lies with the event organiser/owner. There is no single security blueprint for events as an event’s size, status, location, type and participants may impact the potential threat level. No one knows your event better than you.
When planning, you should consider what your event needs in terms of security by assessing the real threats to your event within the current threat environment. From there, you may decide that you need external support like an independent security review, security guards, or if you will need to conduct bag checks or have security accreditation.
For more information about security planning, we recommend reviewing the information provided on the Protective Security Requirements website(external link). They have a large amount of information and resources for security planning that, while aimed at security for government agencies, can also be applied to events of all sizes.