NFA Safeguarding


Safer Recruitment

The intentions of most people who work with children in football are good. However, as part of football’s commitment to provide safe and enjoyable environments, sound recruitment and selection procedures are essential.

When clubs or leagues recruit new members, all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.

The FA's Policy on DBS Checks

As part of our safeguarding children strategy, The FA requires those working in eligible* roles with children and young people to pass a DBS check. This is in line with legislation and government guidance and is standard practice. 

* Eligibility is governed by legislation and government guidance. In brief this means a DBS Check is required for anyone aged 16 years or over who undertakes any potentially unsupervised roles working directly with children and young people under the age of 18. 

These activities include managing, training, coaching and supervising as well as giving advice or guidance on wellbeing, caring for children or driving a vehicle solely for children on behalf of a club or organisation. All coaches and managers working directly with under-18 players must hold a current, FA-accepted DBS Check. 

Anyone undertaking these activities in football MUST obtain a DBS Enhanced Criminal Record with Children’s Barred List Check.  See the relevant Guidance Notes at the foot of this page for role-specific guidance for clubs, coaches’ referees and FA licensed tutors. These Guidance Notes include one on the DBS eligibility criteria for a DBS Check.

You may have more than one role in football but you only need one DBS Check to cover all your roles in affiliated grassroots football.  Please note that this may be different if seeking work with professional clubs.

Guidance on getting a check 

Select the activity in which you have the most frequent contact with under-18s from the table below and follow up with the relevant contact point:

Your Role in football Action to take 

Grassroots coach, manager, first-aider or any other club-based eligible role

(i.e. anyone who has a role with under-18s)

Speak to your club welfare officer (CWO)
 Club Welfare Officer

Speak to your CFA Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)

Rachael Wilks - 07415 238880

 Referee, referee mentor, referee coach, referee assessor and referee tutor in under-18 football

Contact your CFA Referee Development Officer (RDO)

Melissa Burgin- 07944 840002

 Unsure what you should be doing?

Call 0845 210 8080 or 

Email for advice 

Applying for electronic checks is straightforward. For verifiers' guidance-


Paper-based DBS application form options are available, where online applications cannot be made. 

Tracking who has completed checks and training at club level

The FA's Whole Game Systemenables Club Welfare Officers (CWOs), assistant CWOs and club secretaries to track and manage club members who are required to do a check and complete safeguarding children training.

To register your club to use the online disclosures DBS Check  service or to make enquiries not covered by the guidance provided here, please email or call 0845 210 8080 and The FA Disclosure Barring Service Unit will be happy to assist.

DBS Check videos

The FA has created a series of videos to assist you and your club with the processing of DBS Checks. Click on the videos below for further guidance.