Safeguarding Commitment

The affiliation process for 2017/2018 will include a Safeguarding Commitment Statement and every Association with representative teams, through their Association Secretary, will need to read and accept it on behalf of their Association committee. This will be the last stage of the affiliation process.

The safeguarding commitment will require confirmation of the following:

Association Secretaries must be fully aware of what is required and they will make this commitment on behalf of the committee prior to affiliation

Safeguarding training options

Practising teachers:

Managers and coaches for your representative teams who are currently employed as a teacher/employee of the education services in a school and who complete regular safeguarding children training through their employer do not need to attend the FA’s Safeguarding Workshops. All other coaching staff (including retired teachers/employees of the education services), MUST attend an FA Safeguarding Children workshop.

Attending a workshop:

For AOTTs and managers and coaches who have never attended an FA Safeguarding Children workshop (or who attended more than 10 years ago), this 3 hour face to face workshop is available to book online through your local County FA website. Due to the high volume of coaches and managers who need to attend in grassroots football, courses get booked up very quickly so please keep checking their website. Everybody can access this workshop and attend a workshop in any County FA.

Online re-certification:

Anybody who has attended the FA’s 3 hour face-to-face workshop and whose qualification is over 2 years old, can now update this online and it is FREE. It takes around 2 hours but does not need to be completed in one go, you can come back to it. It will be updated on the ESFA portal when it has been completed. It can be accessed through the ESFA website: (Pdf - Safeguarding RE-Certification-Guidance)

Committee members:

The FA will shortly release a free online bespoke safeguarding course for management committee members who do not have regular contact with children but who are the decision makers for committees in Associations with representative teams. It will not replace the Safeguarding Workshop but is designed to ensure committee members understand the ESFA reporting processes and what to do if they are worried about a child. It is not currently mandatory for ESFA affiliation 2017/18 but may be mandatory for season 2018/2019.  It can be accessed via this link:

ESFA Portal Records

It is essential that your records on the ESFA portal are correct. If you haven’t accessed it or are having problems, let us know and we can help you. You will need to monitor your team manager information and ensure the records are kept accurately.

Everybody who is working with your Association representative teams MUST be on this database and nobody must be coaching unless they are ESFA compliant. All assistants and other coaches must also be listed on the database and have an accepted FA DBS.

Please remember to keep this information up to date and make sure there is at least one named coach for every team on the database.

ESFA Suspensions

As you are aware, in September 2016 ESFA set a deadline for compliance of rep team managers and coaches to be accepted for FA DBS and you needed to ensure that all managers and coaches working with rep teams were listed on our portal and had an FA accepted CRC before this date. Associations with non-compliant coaches or teams without a named manager were suspended. Most of these have since complied and have updated their information but some were unable to compete in competitions this season.

Next year’s affiliations will soon begin and our system is changed slightly in that you will not be able to affiliate your Association unless you name a manager/coach for each representative team who is fully compliant. There will be no deadline extensions so please ensure everybody who needs to have an FA DBS has one in progress. If you can evidence that a CRC application has been verified/paid for and submitted before the affiliation deadlines, they will be accepted and Associations will not be suspended as long as the coaches have submitted and paid for their FA DBS.

Criminal Record Checks

All those coaching or managing or helping regularly with a representative team must have an accepted FA DBS (Criminal Record Check). It is important that this is renewed every 3 years and as Association Secretary/ Welfare Officer, you should be managing this process (via the portal) to ensure they don’t go out of date. You should be pro-actively contacting your coaches to let them know in advance when their DBS needs to be renewed. Changes to the portal will allow Association Secretaries access to the dates of staff DBS  - and emails will be automatically be sent to remind both the member of staff and Association secretary that a DBS needs to be renewed.

Please remember most committee roles will not require a check as they are not in regulated activity with children and it is against the law to check people who are in roles which do not need them. The law only require those in coaching and managing roles to complete a check, together with the Association Welfare Officer. Speak to us if you are not sure.

Renewal of Expired Accepted FA DBS - Where the application for a renewed FA DBS has been submitted and this is a known coach with no known concerns the coach can continue coaching as usual whilst the DBS process is being undertaken. As with all coaching activity within youth football, coaches should not be operating alone and whilst the renewal process is being completed they should ensure that they are coaching under direct supervision of another FA DBS compliant coach, manager or association official.

First time FA DBS applicants – where the person applying for an FA DBS has not previously held an accepted FA DBS or where there has been significant period since their last accepted FA DBS has elapsed (more than 6 months), they should not be working on an unsupervised basis until they hold an in-date FA accepted DBS and this shown within the ESFA Portal as accepted. The coach must be under direct supervision at all times with no unsupervised access to children. The Coach/Manager or official supervising the coach must be FA DBS compliant.

New coaches - if they are in the initial stage of getting involved with the Association and are fully supervised then they do not need to be named on our database immediately. Anyone named against a team must be eligible and should be FA DBS accepted. FA Enhanced DBS checks – see

Welfare Officers

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that every Association running representative teams must have a named FA qualified Welfare Officer in order to affiliate these teams with ESFA. If you do not run representative teams, you do not need a Welfare Officer and FA DBS checks are not required for any of your staff.  Full details of Welfare officer requirements can be found on our website

Currently a Welfare Officer does not need to complete FA course recertification but he/she must have an accepted FA CRC every 3 years.

Reporting Concerns

In line with FA policy, ESFA has a process for reporting concerns within Association rep teams. All your players and their parents need to know who the Association Welfare Officer is and know how to contact them if they wish to raise a concern. Incidents of poor practice should be managed by the committee and the Welfare Officer locally but we are here to advise and support you if you need to discuss any issues. Anything which you feel is more serious or you have safeguarding concerns, you must report to us (our contact details are at the end of this newsletter) and we will manage the issues in line with the ESFA Safeguarding Children Policy.

Welfare concerns involving school v school matches remain the responsibility of each individual school, although discipline will be managed in line with competition rules.

ESFA’s Whistleblowing Policy

We would like to remind you that English Schools’ Football Association supports The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy.

Any adult or young person with concerns about a colleague can ‘whistle blow’ by contacting:

Finally, thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter; we hope you have found it useful. There are some very important messages and we will provide updates throughout the season. Please remember the ESFA website has a great deal of information and guidance for you to download and use with your Association. Safeguarding is a priority for ESFA and we want to ensure all our Associations are fully compliant with FA policies. A copy of the ESFA Safeguarding Children Policy, along with other ESFA policies are hosted on our website.

Sarah DaCosta 07960 500723

Martin Duffield 07852 276416