What does a Primary Authority Agreement mean?
The Events Industry Forum (EIF), to which TESA is a founding member, is currently in discussions with the Office of Product Safety & Standards (part of BEIS) about bringing the Purple Guide within the Primary Authority scheme. This means that EIF would take on a Statutory Primary Authority Role to represent the outdoor events industry and the statutory elements of the Purple Guide would become Assured Advice.
What is a Primary Authority
In setting up the scheme, EIF will partner with a single local authority which will take on the role as the Primary Authority, in other words the leading authority for interpreting legislation for outdoor events. In this role the local authority will formally agree the guidance with EIF and will work closely with EIF to deal with any issues that might arise, acting as arbiter where necessary.
What is Assured Advice?
Essentially, the Assured Advice means that issues directly affecting outdoor events can be dealt with consistently across the UK so that everyone is treated the same. Indeed, once the Assured Advice is adopted, ALL local enforcement officers (including environmental health and trading standards) must accept the procedures set out in that guidance. This means that, provided organisers follow the guidance, any authority challenging them must do so via the Primary Authority.
What is Assured Guidance?
On issues that affect the outdoor event industry as a whole, the Association will work with Government agencies and its Primary Authority to produce and agree guidance for the industry which, once approved, becomes Assured Advice. Under the Assured Advice scheme this guidance must be respected by enforcement officers across the country and all members* following that guidance are protected from being challenged on it. Furthermore, if members* have any problems in relation to the advice, they can refer them to EIF via their Association who will take them up on their behalf.
The scheme has the full backing of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
What does Member* mean?
A condition of the Primary Authority scheme is that businesses must be members of the trade body involved. As EIF is not a membership organisation – only trade bodies and similar representative organisations can join – to be covered by the scheme event businesses must be a member of one of the EIF member organisations that have signed up to the scheme.
How does this help you?
One of the most difficult things for businesses is the inconsistency that can sometimes occur in the way different enforcement officers interpret regulations, particularly where similar events take place across different authority areas. Through the Assured Advice scheme that interpretation is made by the EIF in consultation with its Primary Authority and local enforcement officers must respect that interpretation.
By following the EIF Assured Advice members are protected and, if they are ever challenged on it by a local authority, they simply refer the matter to their Association which will take it up on their behalf via EIF, saving them time and worry.
No Need to Sign up
All members of an EIF member Association that is signed up to the scheme are automatically covered by the scheme unless they opt out of it and there is no cost involved in this cover.
The only time there may be a cost is if EIF is asked to take up a specific issue on behalf of a member business that is not covered by Assured Advice but members will always be told in advance if this is likely to happen.