Invitation to Tender – Development of Guidance to Support Behaviour Change Signage and Hazard Communication

The Project Challenge 

Understanding and influencing visitor behaviours is a key element in ensuring safety.  The VSG recognises that traditional approaches often start on the site and are based around signage, with the drivers weighted toward liability reduction. Whilst this approach may be productive in liability reduction, what is questionable is the true effect on visitor behaviours; for example, anecdotal and case study evidence shows little to no effect of signage on behaviours (such as rip currents as a hidden water safety hazard), whilst in some settings the intervention becomes a focus for vandalism and undesirable behaviours.  

The VSG wishes to better understand the conceptual framework, evidenceand good practice whilst seeking to develop a ‘how to’ approach in order to more effective influence visitor behaviours. Members are interested in improving the effectiveness of hazard communication and positively influencing visitors to respond to safety messaging in ways which conditions them toward safety and reduces inappropriate high-risk behaviour. In line with VSG Guiding Principles, the guidance produced should be placed within the context that members should not rely solely on signage; acknowledging that there are other effective ways to influence visitor behaviours and manage risk. 

The purpose of the ITT which can be downloaded below is to invite proposals from suppliers for delivery of behaviour change guidance to assist landowners and land managers in the development, deployment, and management of safety messaging, primarily in the form of signage and other hazard information communication systems.  

The Proposed Method 

We envisage the following programme of work to meet these aims and objectives, although potential suppliers are invited to propose alternatives.   

Stage 1 

  • Design a survey and host a workshop to draw out information on situations and hazards where safety messages are currently used by member organisations and for members to share key concerns, lessons learnt, and issues identified. Key organisations will be asked in advance of the workshop to provide relevant examples. The VSG Secretariat and Board will support in conducting the survey and identifying suitable organisations for the workshop.  
  • Review and take forward (into stage 2 outputs) learning from a library of academic resources the VSG hold including several relevant literature reviews, as part of a rapid evidence review.  
  • Identify applicable international standards for safety signage and include specific examples of best practice from around the world.  

Stage 2 

  • Establish best practice evaluation and message principles for effective communication throughout the various stages of the visitor journey. At every point, these interventions would be targeted to promote positive engagement of health and safety, advisory and other messaging by diverse user groups.  
  • Provide a simple framework to help VSG members to understand visitor behaviours and motivational beliefs before starting messaging. 
  • Create a short, user friendly and practical guide detailing recommendations on the effective application and management of signage once it is deployed. The audience for this guide would be staff actively involved in day-to-day site management.  

Stage 3 

  • Provide a detailed report to the VSG Management Board. 
  • Work with the VSG Management Board and website content editor to draft advice to form additional content suitable for use in VSG publications. 

Further information on timescales and deliverables are provided in the ITT document below.

Click here to download the ITT

 Potential suppliers may raise queries, in the first instance, to the VSG Secretariat ( on the tender documentation or seek clarifications if needed. The closing date for receipt of any queries is midday on Thursday 11th March 2021.

 Proposals must be submitted no later than midday on Monday 15th March 2021.