Organising an event

Selecting and training stewards

Your risk assessment and event site plan will help you to establish the number of stewards, marshals, staff and helpers needed to manage everyone attending your event.

You will need them in key areas, e.g. 

  • entrances and exits
  • gangways
  • barriers
  • stage areas
  • parking
  • dealing with emergencies.

When appointing them you must ensure they are:

  • Fit and able to carry out their duties. The role may require long spells of standing and walking.
  • Readily identifiable, e.g. fluorescent jacket, vest, ID badge, blazer, and torches for night-time.
  • Fully briefed and trained in their duties. This may include:
    • being directed by the head stewards and organisers.
    • staffing entrances, exits and other strategic points.
    • staffing car parks and directing traffic (not public roads).
    • staying at their post until they get permission to leave.
    • only using walkie-talkies for work, e.g. enquiries, concerns or emergencies.
    • advising and directing participants and stall holders on set-up and closure of the event.
    • being calm and courteous to everyone, giving information and direction including first aid, toilets, water, welfare and facilities.
    • spotting potential hazards (e.g. people standing on furniture, invading restricted areas, rowdy behaviour etc) and reacting appropriately.
    • supporting the event organisers and emergency services in an emergency, e.g. first-aid, fire, bomb threat, and afterwards providing relevant information for the decision log.
    • abstaining from alcohol and drugs
    • concentrating on their designated duties rather than the entertainments.


Paid stewards are contracted to follow instructions. Only use volunteers in key areas if you are confident they will carry out their duties.

Relief stewards will be needed to ensure that all get regular breaks, i.e. at least 20 minutes per 6 hour period, or at least 30 minutes per 4.5 hour period for those under 18.