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Safeguarding and Welfare

All the information to help safeguard in football


Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility – including Nottinghamshire FA as the game’s governing body in the county.

Creating fun, safe football environments is central to safeguarding children. Most children and young people have a fantastic experience through football – but sadly, some don't. This might be down to over-competitive parents and coaches shouting and constantly criticising them from the sidelines – the kind of behaviour that the Respect programme is designed to address. Or it might be due to some other kind of abusive behaviour towards them. Safeguarding Children is everyone's responsibility and having welfare officers in all clubs and leagues with youth teams is crucial to The FA’s simple three part approach to safeguarding. This includes:

Getting the right people involved - seeking references and DBS checks. 

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

Promoting clear systems - to deal with any concerns - policy and procedures.

We now have a designated volunteer workforce of Welfare Officers who promote and oversee best practice in Safeguarding Children. All Clubs with youth sections and youth leagues are required by The FA to have an appointed Club or Youth League Welfare Officer. The Club or Youth League Welfare Officer is in place to improve practices at the Club and be the first point of contact for any concerns relating to children or vulnerable adults.

Please use the signposts below to find out more information about Safeguarding in Football.



Rachael Wilks

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Email: Rachael.Wilks@

Telephone: 07415 238880

Landline: 0115 9837400

Earl Celebrating

This is Earl, the all ears Elephant, our safeguarding mascot. Earl will be attending events throughout the season!

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If you cannot find the answers to what you are looking for or have an immediate concern you wish to report please contact Nottinghamshire FA Safeguarding immediately. 

Use the safeguarding referral form below or email

Safeguarding referral form




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Mental Health


If you are a member of the FA Licensed Coaches Club you can undertake a FA DBS through Nottinghamshire FA. Please contact us for information by emailing

For more information on the work of the football workforce since the historic allegations, please click here to download a document.

We would be happy to deliver a bespoke workshop to your club/league, please contact us for more information by sending an email to

FA Safeguarding Requirements


 Safeguarding Matrix Table

DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service check - £10 for FA DBS or £32.50 to transfer existing Non-FA DBS ** restrictions apply **
SCC – Safeguarding Children Course - £30 one off fee with Free recertification every two years
SCR – Safeguarding Children Recertification - Free for those previously completed Safeguarding Children Workshop
WOC – Welfare Officer Course – £25 no requirement to recertify
SCM – Safeguarding for Committee Members – Free with continued free recertification every five years
SA – Safeguarding Adults - Free
IFAIF – Introduction to First Aid In Football -– £30 with renewal required every three years
SCA – Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Free
CG – The FA Concussion Guidelines - Free
SFA – Safeguarding for All - Free
PM – The FA Playmaker – Free
SAPC – FA Safeguarding Awareness for parents / carers – Free ** Clubs should promote to ALL parents / carers **
BP – Best Practice

*REGULAR Parent / Helpers – should be added to Whole Game System

*Everyone aged 16 years or over who undertakes any unsupervised roles with children. 
These roles could be managing, training, coaching and supervising, they also include giving REGULAR advice or guidance on well-being, caring for children or driving a vehicle solely for children on behalf of a club or organisation; by children, we mean anyone under 18.

Anyone performing these roles MUST obtain an Enhanced DBS with Children’s Barred List. This Check is made against the Government’s national list of people barred from working with children (‘Children’s Barred List’). Then the checked person has to be approved to work in youth football.

For a full list of eligible role in football go to:

The cost of an enhanced FA CRC (DBS) check for a volunteer is £10.00

If a volunteer already holds a valid enhanced DBS certificate for ‘child workforce’ purposes, they may be able to port across to the FA their existing DBS which must be registered on the DBS update service. 

If your course is poor practice in relation to your club please contact your Club Welfare Officer. If you do not know who your Club Welfare Officer is, you have already spoken to them, or are concerned how a concern has been dealt with, please contact us by sending an email to

If you have witnessed something in football that concerns you that does not involve your football club then please email your concerns to


Following receipt of a poor practice or safeguarding referral, we will fully investigate and liaise with the relevant individuals and organisations, which may include Club/League Welfare Officers, Leagues, FA Case Management and statutory agencies including Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO’s) so that appropriate action can be taken.

If your concern is of a serious nature please contact The FA/NSPCC helpline on 0808 056 0566 or if it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the Police 999 or Children’s Social care in your area.


Nottingham MASH (Multi Agency Support Hub)  – 0300 500 8090

0900-1700 hrs

Nottingham MASH Out of Hours – 03000 456 4546.


If you are a victim of historical sexual abuse in football, please call 0800 023 2642

If our Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) Rachael Wilks is unavailable, then the issue will be dealt with by the next member of staff in the NCFA Safeguard Team, which is outlined in the 'Meet The Team' section of our website.

The online system shows the completion of the DBS process. Once that process is completed the FA makes its decision based on the content. There can be a few weeks delay between completion of the DBS process and it showing as accepted on Whole Game System. 

The DBS certificate is not a certificate of acceptance it is just part of the process. The only way to see if they are accepted is on member services. 

 The system recognises your email as the verifier so you will need to use a different email address to register as an applicant 

If the course took place more than 14 days ago please contact Nottinghamshire FA via who will look into the matter. Please provide details of full name, FAN and date of course. 

(Please leave 14 days between completing the course before contacting that it is not showing.)

Any individual who has previously attended a FA safeguarding workshop can renew online. The online course can be found by logging in to LMS with your FAN and password. The course can be found under the Active Learning and Required Learning tabs. 

If you are on the Whole Game System as the CWO, contact to register as the verifier. 

Please contact your local County FA (Nottinghamshire) at for guidance. 

If you are listed on the WGS as a Welfare Officer, have completed all mandatory qualifications and hold a valid FA DBS, you will be able to email who will send you the relevant details you need to set yourself up as a verifier.

Football takes the safety and welfare of children extremely seriously; shown by the fact the game has robust checks and processes in place. However, the allegations of child sexual abuse that have come to light since November 2016 have seen us increase our efforts to ensure every child and young person has a safe and fun experience playing or participating in the game.

To do this, we currently carry out safeguarding validation visits to ensure that Clubs are meeting their commitment to safeguarding.

Throughout each season, Clubs will be visited to ensure that everyone working with young people;

1. Is listed on the FA Whole Game System

2. Has a valid FA Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

3. Has an in date FA Safeguarding Certification.

Safeguarding validation visits are an opportunity for us to meet and engage with coaches and parents to make sure they are fully aware of safeguarding in football. During these visits, coaches, parents and officials are also asked some simple questions to ensure that everyone understands the clear reporting systems in place and the FA processes for safeguarding in football

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