Last updated: Wednesday 1st December 2021

Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility it is therefore essential that clubs have the correct processes and procedures in place to ensure children are able to take part in football in a safe, fun and enjoyable environment.


The FA have a simple three part approach to help everyone. These are:

  • Getting the right people involved - carrying out references and CRB checks

  • Creating a safe environment - codes of conduct, education and best practice

  • Promoting clear systems to deal with any concerns, policy and procedures


Getting the right people involved:

  • Is your Welfare Officer the last person to know when you have appointed a new Coach, Manager or Assistant Manager?

  • Does your Club have a policy where all new volunteers have to complete an application form and an FA CRB disclosure form BEFORE they become involved with the children?

  • Do all of your existing Managers, Coaches or Assistant Managers, and regular club referees have FA CRB Unit ‘Accepted’ CRB certificates?


Creating a safe environment:

  • Do you have a Manager, Coach or Assistant Manager who says they have been in the game for years and don’t need to attend Safeguarding Children Training or have a Coaching Qualification?

  • Do all of your Managers, Coaches and Assistant Managers have a minimum Level 1 Coaching Certificate and Safeguarding Children Workshop Certificate?

Promoting clear systems to deal with any concerns, policy and procedures:

  • Would your Coaches, Managers, Parents and Players have to search long and hard to find the Club Welfare Officer’s telephone number or The FA/NSPCC Helpline number?

  • Is your Club Welfare Officer’s telephone number and The FA/NSPCC Helpline number widely circulated and displayed so everyone has access to support and can discuss or report concerns quickly?


If you answered yes to any or all of the first questions posted above, your club needs to quickly review their position in relation to Safeguarding Children. If you answered yes to all of the second questions posted above, you are displaying best practice – well done.

It is now a mandatory requirement for all youth clubs and leagues to have a qualified Welfare Officer in place before Sussex FA will affiliate a youth club or league.


For more helpful information about Safeguarding Children including Welfare Officer requirements and CRB Checks, please contact the Sussex County FA Welfare Officer:


County Welfare Officer
T: 01903 768578

(9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)