» Accreditation: supporting safe sport
Sport England, the non-departmental public body under the UK Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport, requires that organisations designing or constructing multi-use recreational sports surfaces have UKAS-accredited certification to ISO 9001 to ensure the quality of work.
In addition, Sport England requires that periodic re-testing of playing surfaces should be carried out to ensure the facility is still performing to the required standards by an accredited testing laboratory. The Football Association also supports regular testing and recently introduced a 3G register for pitches used for FA affiliated matches. Only pitches that have been successfully tested by accredited test laboratories can be listed on the register.
This ensures that site operators can demonstrate compliance with relevant standards to ensure the facility is ‘fit for purpose’ and to show that they are complying with their legal obligations and the requirements of their insurers. An article published in the Facilities Management Journal, states that many operators are leaving themselves open to litigation and personal injury claim payouts by not following Sports England and FA guidance through poorly maintained all weather pitches.
Further information is available on the Sport England website.