Safeguarding Requirements in Grassroots Football

With the 2023/24 season approaching fast, there are a number of new requirements that clubs need to consider that will impact club affiliation.

Safeguarding Requirements In Grassroots Football

With the 2023/24 season approaching fast, there are a number of new Safeguarding requirements which will have an impact on Club Affiliation. It is extremely important that Clubs begin to action these requirements now so that all elements are in place ready for the affiliation window opening. A summary of the upcoming changes can be found below:

Youth Football

Please be reminded of the required qualifications for Clubs with Youth teams, including the specific courses needed for Club and Team Officials.

Key Officials - (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Welfare Officer) are required to hold an in date Safeguarding for Committee Members Certificate (Safeguarding for Committee Members)

Youth Club Welfare Officer – In date accepted FA DBS Check, Welfare Officer Workshop, Safeguarding Children Course (Welfare Officer WorkshopSafeguarding Children CourseSafeguarding Recertification)

Youth Team Officials – In date accepted FA DBS, Safeguarding Children Course (Safeguarding Children CourseSafeguarding Recertification)

The key change for the 2023/24 season is that ALL Team Officials are required to complete their Safeguarding Children course.


Open-Aged Football

There are some important changes incoming with regards to safeguarding open-aged football, which will have implications for Club Affiliation.

Adult/Open Age Club Welfare Officer

For 2023/24 Club Affiliations ALL Clubs with Open Age/Adult teams are required to have a named Club Welfare Officer at the point of affiliation. Affiliations will not be approved if they are submitted without this role being filled by a named official. These officials as of now, do not require any additional safeguarding qualifications or DBS check.

This requirement is applied to ALL Open Age/Adult teams regardless of whether there are any players aged 16 or 17 years old included within the squad. For the season 2024/25 affiliations, all Open Age/Adult Clubs will be required to still have a Club Welfare Officer but in addition that individual will be required to hold a valid in date FA DBS and completion of the upcoming Player Welfare training course, which will be available shortly.

Adult/Open Age Club Team Officials

ALL Open Age/Adult team officials of teams with U18 players (coaches, managers, medics (including assistants)) as identified through the club portal/WGS record are required to have an in date and accepted DBS check. This will be a formal requirement for affiliation for the 2024/25 season alongside the forthcoming Payer Welfare Course, but is still an appropriate certification required from this point forward.


Know Your Rights -16 & 17 Year Olds in Open Aged Football

Clubs should regularly remind themselves, and share with their U18 players in open-aged football, The FA guidance surrounding ‘Know Your Rights’.

 This document can be found here along with all other FA safeguarding documents and policies.