Charter Standard

Welcome to the fa charter standard

Proud to support the places where people want to play football

The FA is proud to make Charter Standard part grassroots football in England.

 The FA Charter Standard Programme is The FA’s accreditation scheme open to all grassroots clubs and leagues. It aims to raise standards in the grassroots game, supporting the development of clubs and leagues, recognising and rewarding commitment, quality and achievement.

Proud to support clubs get up to the standard

The FA Charter Standand accreditation is for clubs who can be proud to be places where people want to play. These are the clubs who demonstrate they offer well-run and sustainable football.  

Clubs who achieve Charter Standard status are proud to prioritise qualified coaching and safeguarding as well as the values of The FA’s Respect campaign as part of their game.

There are two different entry levels of FA Charter Standard club accreditation:

FA Charter Standard Youth

FA Charter Standard Adult

Advanced levels are for clubs who look to grow participation, involve a variety of different people and offer different formats in their football environments.

FA Charter Standard Development is aimed at clubs who are enhancing the quality and scope of their football offering

FA Charter Standard Community acknowledges the most advanced level of club development and football provision


Clubs which achieve The FA Charter Standard accreditation are challenged to maintain high standards and, where appropriate, to improve and progress to new levels.

The accreditation makes a positive difference to the way clubs are run and to people’s enjoyment of football. The FA aims to support all grassroots clubs to reach Charter Standard status through our network of County FA’s.

Clubs and leagues work in partnership with County FAs to meet the criteria needed to achieve the accreditation. From 2018 funding toward The FA Level 1 Coaching Football qualification is available for clubs.


What The FA Charter Standard means for clubs 

Clubs achieving The FA Charter Standard status can be proud to be the best place for people to play and enjoy football. They are able to demonstrate positive football environments where people can develop their skills, keep fit and enjoy playing as part of a friendly, inclusive community.


In return for becoming accredited FA Charter Standard clubs receive access to benefits that help to attract and retain players, volunteers and supporters. The level of support and resources available will depend on the level of accreditation a club achieves. Benefits clubs experience include:


-  Attract and retain players, supporters and volunteers

-  Funding for football equipment

-  Access to promotional resources and guidance

- Tailored support from The FA and County FAs


Proud to support grassroots leagues

The FA Charter Standard League is an accreditation that sets an operational benchmark for FA sanctioned leagues. Since 2009 this is awarded to leagues which can demonstrate their commitment to provide well organised football in safer, more inclusive environments. 

Make your club or league proud to be FA Charter Standard

If you’re interested in achieving The FA Charter Standard Accreditation, or just want to find out more, you should start by making contact with your County FA. They’ll be able to support you. 

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

Download charter standard club application


Download adult charter standard planner

Download charter standard football development plan

Get In Touch

By Phone: 01480 447485

(Office Hours 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday)

By Email: Daniel.Abou-Shaqra@huntsfa.com


Any club can apply for FA CS status, even a one-team club – provided the club is affiliated to Huntingdonshire FA.

The criteria are challenging, but attainable for every club. Once awarded, FA Charter Standard clubs are given an annual ‘health check’ to ensure the standards of provision are being maintained. For more information please visit www.TheFA.com/CharterStandard and download the Criteria document under useful resources ensuring you get support from your County FA to complete this process.

To apply, clubs must complete an application form and return it to Huntingdonshire FA with the requested supporting evidence, application forms can be found under useful resources at www.TheFA.com/CharterStandard. Feedback will be obtained from the leagues that your club plays in to ensure that your club displays the high levels expected of an FA Charter Standard Club.

The FA Charter Standard Working Party will provide feedback on each application, which will include an action plan and a recommendation. If your club meets the criteria, we will forward your application to The FA for awarding. If your club does not meet the criteria, we will provide you with an action plan and advice.

The accreditation lasts for one season and will be renewed each year as part of the club re-affiliation process. The accreditation awards can be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record or is unable to continue to meet the criteria.

Criteria for FA Charter Standard Criteria can be found in the latest FA Charter Standard Criteria document at www.TheFA.com/CharterStandard under useful resources.

At entry level criteria covers four areas and expects an annual commitment to the programme, which is checked via an Annual Health Check process each season. The four areas are

Administration & Operations
Constitution & Policies
Checks, Coaching & Qualifications
Links, Pathways & Development Plans

After achieving the entry level accreditation clubs may have the ambition to apply for a higher level of accreditation within the FA Charter Standard programme. With this comes an additional criterion highlighted within the criteria document. Please seek support from your CFA if you have such ambitions for your club as additional benefits are rewarded for reaching these levels of accreditation.

The benefits are many and varied. Some are tangible and some intangible, but no less valuable.

Tangible benefits:

Free tickets (upon application) for England youth and women’s internationals (tickets promoted via County FAs when fixtures are released)
Invitations to local In-Service & CPD events organised by your local CFA
Access to administrative support sessions organised by your local CFA
Support with funding applications via your CFA

New FA Charter Standard clubs also receive:
An official FA plaque and certificate
Resources to help promote the club
£100 worth of official FA Nike matchballs (FA Charter Standard Youth and Adult Clubs)
£150 worth of official FA Nike matchballs (FA Charter Standard Development Clubs)
£200 worth of official FA Nike matchballs (FA Charter Standard Community Clubs)
Opportunity to become Nike Partner Club (FA Charter Standard Development and Community Clubs)

Intangible benefits:
Overall, FA Charter Standard status is a clear demonstration to all parents, sponsors and the public, that a club (or league):

Is well-organised, safe and offers opportunities for all
Has FA-qualified coaches as standard
Adheres to FA Respect Policies and Codes of Conduct
Prioritises Child Welfare
Maintains appropriate levels of discipline
Has access to the County FA and FA regional workforces
Can use the coveted FA ‘Three Lions’ FA crest on its marketing and business materials

Annual Health Check 2018-19 Benefits
FA affiliated Charter Standard clubs receive a certificate and the following footballs if they are successfully awarded in submitting their 2017-18 Annual Health Check.
FA Charter Standard Community Clubs – 12 Nike Footballs
FA Charter Standard Development Clubs – 8 Footballs
FA Charter Standard Youth Clubs – 5 Footballs
FA Charter Standard Adult Clubs – 5 Footballs

Leagues interested in attaining the FA Charter Standard status should register their interest by completing the FA Charter Standard League registration form and sending it to us.

Once a league has registered, a member of Huntingdonshire FA staff will contact the league to confirm how to access the resources and incentives for the programme and to arrange a meeting or invite the league to a workshop with other leagues.

The second step is to audit and assess the league against the FA Charter Standard criteria, then work with us on an action plan to achieving the criteria. Once this criteria is achieved, we will approve FA Charter Standard status and organise the official plaque and other benefits. We will then work with the league on continuous development and the health check.

The base criteria for a league wanting to achieve The FA Charter Standard League award are:

Evidence of how the league plans to retain/grow the number of male, female and disability teams (mini-soccer, small sided and 11v11) as appropriate
At least 60% of teams in the league have Charter Standard Club status, working towards 100% within two seasons
The league has an equality policy and complaints procedure that adheres to The FA equality policy and complaints procedure template
The league has a safeguarding children policy and procedures that adheres to FA requirements (youth leagues only)
The Youth League Welfare Officer and Charter Standard League Co-ordinator sit on the league committee
The league has a web-based administration system for results, tables and fixtures. FULL-TIME is recommended for this purpose but it isn’t mandatory
The league has a development plan that identifies key development objectives and targets linked to the National Game Strategy key goals and enablers
As part of the benefits each Charter Standard League is eligible for two tickets to The FA Community Shield courtesy of McDonald's.
FA Charter Standard League primarily offers leagues a process to raise standards within leagues and a practical means to deliver initiatives in line with the needs of member clubs. The base criteria ensures that clubs within these leagues are consistent in delivering Respect, have a minimum Level 1 qualified coach with every team (Mini Soccer and youth football only), and have a qualified first aider. However for most leagues this is just the foundation on which they then build significant positive change and initiatives through the implementation of a league development plan.
The league development plan should be a clear set of actions that will make a practical difference to the operation of the league and the progress of the clubs/teams and players within it.

If you are looking to clarify your leagues purpose, raise standards in your league, use the huge influence of your league to affect change at grass roots level- then FA Charter Standard League is for you.

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