Event Planning & Operations Group
Depending on the size and complexity of the event, the Public Safety team may get in touch so that your event can be discussed by the Event Planning and Operations Group (EPOG). Note that you may approach Public Safety to set up an EPOG if you think it appropriate, even ahead of making any applications to the Council.
EPOG is a multi-agency advisory team made up of all relevant Council departments and the emergency services in conjunction with venue owners / managers and event organisers.
The main aims of this group are, the same as Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) which you may be familiar with in other local authority areas, in brief;
- To ensure a co-coordinated approach to event and crowd safety;
- Provide all participating agencies with consistent information throughout the planning process;
- Aid communication between organisations;
- Check that appropriate measures are in place to deal with safety related risks;
- Make organisers aware of matters associated with the local community including public relations;
- Help to outline Roles and Responsibilities with respect to those agencies involved in the planning and organisation of the event.
Meetings normally take place in the City Chambers or Waverley Court, and are attended by representatives of the following agencies (the agencies invited are tailored to your event);
- Event organisers
- Police Scotland
- Scottish Ambulance Service
- Scottish Fire & Rescue Service
- Council departments/teams, such as Network Road Events, Licensing, Licensing Enforcement, Noise Team, etc.
- Other external agencies, such as Historic Environment Scotland, Essential Edinburgh or other venue owners
The meetings are organised, chaired and minuted by the Council’s Public Safety team.
Invites to EPOG meetings are normally emailed out with an agenda and any other relevant documentation available, ensuring all invitees have an opportunity to speak during the meeting. The meeting normally starts with an “organisers update” where we would expect the event organiser to provide an overview of the event, including dates/times, venue, number of people expected and event content. The number of EPOG meetings held varies for each event, and is dependent on the size and complexity of the event.
After the event, it is normal procedure for debrief comments to be collected from those who took part in the EPOG process. On occasion debrief meetings are also held to discuss the event. Debriefs are an important part of the planning process to ensure that events are improved for the future.
What does EPOG normally ask for from event organisers?
Event Management Plan
It is recommended that event organisers of small or large events prepare an event management plan to clearly set out all details considered in the planning of the event.
Some chapter headings which should normally be included would be;
- Management Structure + Contact Details
- Site/Venue Layout
- Event Programme / Timeline, incl. build and break.
- Stewarding/Security, e.g. crowd management plan showing where stewards will be deployed and their duties, etc.
- Medical Arrangements, e.g. assessment of risk, number of first aiders, patient transport arrangements, etc.
- Communications, e.g. PA system, radios, PR and social media
- Transport Plan, e.g. how do you intend getting people to and from your event
- Vehicle Management Plan, e.g. timed deliveries, speed limit, etc.
- Waste Management Plan, e.g. bins provided, litter picking
- Temporary Demountable Structures, e.g. details on any temporary structures you will have on site, e.g. stages, gazebos, etc.
- Emergency/Contingency/Counter Terrorism Arrangements, e.g. wind management plan, evacuation plan, cancellation plan
- Event Risk Assessment + Event Fire Risk Assessment
In preparation of your plan, you may also wish to refer to some the guidance and template documents listed below. The Public Safety team can also provide advice to you on all of the above. Email Public Safety or call 0131 529 4559.
- The Event Safety Guide (Purple Guide)
- Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide)
- HSE guidance on running events safely
- 5 Steps to Risk Assessment
- Managing Crowds Safely
- Organising Fireworks Displays
- Fire Safety: Open Air Events & Venues
- Fire Safety: Small & Medium Places of Assembly
- Fire Safety: Large Places of Assembly
Event organisers should ensure that their events are insured appropriately, please contact an insurance provider for advice. Only Council-led events are covered by the Council's own Public Liability Insurance.
The Council has developed a guide to provide assistance and advice on insurance and risk management for community group events.