Updated header guidance

DBS Checks in line with Government Covid-19 guidelines

In line with the latest guidelines around Covid-19, face-to-face ID document verification can now take place as long as the verifier and those requiring their ID to be verified observe all Government guidelines.

Please remember that as an ID PIN verifier it is your choice whether you feel comfortable to carry out face-to-face ID checks at this time. You should not feel pressure to do so by anyone.

If clubs need to, they can identify an alternative ID verifier, who is happy to do this, by contacting FAchecks@TheFA.com and working with them to set up a new verifier.

New volunteers must not start working with children until their DBS Check is accepted by The FA.

ID Verification

Face-to-face ID document verification can now take place as long as the verifier and those requiring their ID to be verified observe all Government guidelines. This means:


  • Stay at least two metres (three steps) away from anyone you don’t live with when outside your home;
  • Wear disposable gloves to avoid direct handling of documents to be verified;
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds;
  • Use alcohol-based hand gel, if soap and water are not available;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze;
  • Take plastic bags for the removal of waste. Secure them by tying and placing in a second collection bag, any disposables e.g. tissues, gloves for safe disposal later;
  • Wash your hands as soon as you can and when you get home;
  • Remind the person/people attending of the documents they need to bring. This will reduce the need for a second contact;
  • Remind anyone coming for document verification not to attend if they feel unwell, have a temperature or cough or should be isolating as a person in their home is unwell.


  • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean;
  • Meet if either party is feeling unwell and/or is displaying possible Covid-19 symptoms.

Remember – do not attend any such session if you feel unwell, have a temperature, cough, loss of taste or smell or should be isolating as a person in your home is unwell.

If you have one or more than one person’s documents to verify, you must ensure that social distancing is maintained, and you gather with no more than five other people from outside your household. You may wish to prepare an appointment system.

ID verification for under-18s must be done with a parent/carer or other trusted adult present, who also follows the Government guidelines, as outlined above.

Venue considerations

In line with current Government guidelines, do not carry out the ID document verification in someone else’s home or invite anyone in to your home to do so. Wherever you arrange to meet, you must comply with the social-distancing requirements e.g. staying two metres away from others.

Currently there are very limited indoor venues available. However, over the coming weeks it is possible the Government will review its guidance on public spaces, and this may provide additional opportunities. In the meantime, please consider the options that would work safely for you and those individuals whose documents you are seeking to verify.

  • Could you utilise club car parking space safely?
  • Is there suitable outdoor space around the pitch(es)?
  • Is there an outdoor social area?
  • Can you set up ‘appointment slots’ to book specific time slots for individuals?
  • Can you mark out safe distancing to guide everyone?
  • Does the PIN verifier wish to have another official present, whilst maintain social distancing, to provide support?

Above all, you must be able to operate consistently within Government guidance regarding health, social distancing and hygiene. This guidance currently includes that all users can maintain a safe two-metre distance, that good hygiene practices are in place, that equipment is disinfected regularly, and that it is clear that anyone who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home.


Here are some FAQs to provide more detail to assist you with this process:

Q: Can face-to-face ID document verification now be carried out?
A: Yes. Post-lockdown the Government guidance allows you to travel outside of your home, irrespective of distance, providing you return the same night or stay within your ‘support bubble’, follow Government guidelines on social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene.

Q: Can I travel to complete the ID document verification?
A: Yes. In line with Government guidelines, you should avoid public transport if you can, and should cycle, walk, or drive wherever possible. The Government has made the wearing of a face covering mandatory on public transport from the 15 June 2020. If there is no alternative to using public transport, then you must wear a face covering.

Q: How else can I minimise risks whilst checking ID document verification during the Covid-19 pandemic?
A: To minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 during face-to-face ID document verification, please ensure you adhere to Government guidelines:

  • Check with the venue about the outdoor space at which you choose to meet, as it may have specific guidelines you are required to follow e.g. a one-way system.
  • If the venue at which you intend to carry out the ID document verification provides only limited space and makes maintaining social distancing difficult, you could consider:
    o Using screens or dividers between parties if the venue enables this; or
    o Communicating back-to-back or side-to-side (as opposed to face-to-face); or
    o Wearing face coverings; or
    o Asking applicants to place their documents on an identified surface, with the relevant information being directly visible before stepping back.
  • We recommend you wear disposable gloves. In addition, ensure you follow Government guidelines on practising good hand hygiene2. Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using alcohol-based hand gel where handwashing facilities are unavailable, before and after handling physical documents, or touching other surfaces at the venue.
  • Ensure you practice good respiratory hygiene, including covering your mouth and nose with, your bent elbow or tissue if you cough or sneeze, ensuring you immediately dispose of any used tissues in plastic bags you have taken for disposable items and wash your hands.
  • Do your best to avoid touching your face. The virus does not enter the body through the hands. Your hands could pick up the virus and then it could enter the body through touching the nose, mouth and eyes. Therefore, care should be taken not to touch the nose, mouth and eyes during or after handling documents until the hands have again been washed.

Q: What if I or the person I am meeting for the ID document verification meeting feels unwell and/or is displaying any symptoms of possible Covid-19 infection?
A: Do not go ahead with the ID document verification meeting if either party is feeling unwell and/or is displaying possible Covid-19 symptoms, or is concerned they may have come into contact with someone who has the virus. Only re-arrange to complete the verification when any self-isolation period has ended, you feel well, or have been advised by an NHS practitioner that it is safe to do so.

Q: Is it safe to handle all other people’s documentation, and if so, what’s the best way to do this?
A: Some research on how long Covid-19 lasts on surfaces does suggest that the risk of infecting others, or contracting Covid-19 through handling physical documents is low. In order to reduce the risk of transferring Covid-19 between parties, follow all the guidelines above.

Q: Why does the verification have to be face-to-face? Why can’t a video call be allowed where both individuals can see each other, and documents can be shown online?
A: Consideration was given to making use of videos calls in line with DBS guidance. However, The FA, like some other national governing bodies of sport decided against this option, because:

a) Having tested it, it was obvious that it would not be possible to ensure that every document shared in this way would be clear enough for identification purposes; and

b) The DBS requires any organisation using this method, to subsequently ensure they have viewed all original hard copy documents, as soon as face to face verification was enabled. The FA decided this would place an additional burden on the voluntary workforce.

Thank you for playing your vital part in helping our great game get going again. By observing Government guidance and the football-specific protocols, let’s work together to ensure the transition back to enjoying football is as smooth and safe as possible.