Criminal record checks for those working with children

Criminal Record Checks (CRC) 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

  • Grassroots U18s coach, manager, first aider or any other club based eligible role

Speak to your club welfare officer


  • Club welfare officer, youth league welfare officer

Speak to your CFA 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 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 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


  • Working in a Premier League club

Contact the designated safeguarding officer at your Club


  • Working in an English Football League Club

Contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer at your Club, or contact 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


  • Unsure what you should be doing

Call 0845 210 8080 or email for advice


Click here for a full list of County FA contacts

Applying for electronic checks is straightforward. For applicant guidance click here and verifiers guidance click here.

Current costs for checks

You are Administration fee paper application method Administration fee online application method Government charge Total
A Volunteer  £20  £10  Nil  £20 or £10 depending on application method
Not a Volunteer  £20  £10  £44  £64 or £54 depending on application method

Paper-based CRC application forms option are available, where online applications cannot be made.

Tracking who has completed checks and training at club level
The FA online Safeguarding Service (click here) enables club welfare officers (CWOs) and assistant CWOs 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 or call 0845 210 8080 and The FA Criminal Records Body will be happy to assist.