DBS Checks

DBS Checks For those Working with Children

DBS Checks in Football

The FA's Policy

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

We provide the framework and guidance for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in football and the leagues and clubs then have to implement this to ensure that those who are required to have checks done, do so.  

The majority of checks are processed electronically, ensuring that people can be confirmed to work with children and young people swiftly. Where the check highlights relevant information, this is investigated further and a risk assessment is carried out to establish whether or not they will be accepted to work with children and young people in football.

Activities that require a check (Eligibility)
* Eligibility is governed by legislation and government guidance. In brief this means, anyone aged 16 years or over who undertakes any unsupervised roles 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 well-being, caring for children or driving a vehicle solely for children on behalf of a club or organisation. In youth football all coaches and managers must hold a current, FA accepted check. This is part of the affiliation criteria for youth football. 

Anyone undertaking these activities in football MUST obtain a DBS Enhanced Criminal Record with Children’s Barred List Check.  Role specific guidance for clubs, coaches referees and FA licensed tutors is hosted below along with the CRC eligibility criteria guidance document.

You may have more than one role in football but you only need one 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 how to get a check 
Select the activity in which you have the most frequent contact with U18s from the table below and follow up with the relevant contact point:

Your role in football

Action to take

Grassroots U18 coach, manager, first aider or any other club based eligible role

Speak to your club welfare officer

Club Welfare Officer

Speak to your County FA Designated Welfare Officer

Referee, referee mentor, referee coach, referee assessor and referee tutor in U18 football

Contact your CFA referee development officer

Licensed coach applicant

Call 0845 210 8080 or email FAChecks@TheFA.com for advice

Working in a private soccer school or unaffiliated football

You may not be able to get an FA enhanced CRC – speak to your line manager or call 0485 210 8080 or email FAChecks@TheFA.com for advice

Unsure what you should be doing

Call 0845 210 8080 or email FAChecks@TheFA.com for advice

Click here
for a full list of County FA Staff Contacts. 


Tracking who has completed checks and training at club level

The FA's Whole Game System enables club welfare officers (CWOs), assistant CWOs and club secretaries to track and manage club members who are required to do a check and safeguarding children training.

To register your club to use the online disclosures CRC service or to make enquiries not covered by the guidance provided here, please click here or contact FAchecks@TheFA.com or call 0845 210 8080 and The FA Criminal Records Body will be happy to assist.


Criminal Records Check videos

The FA has created a series of videos to assist you and your club with the processing of criminal record checks.  Click on the videos for further guidance.