A Guide for Clubs with 16 / 17-Year-old Players

Safeguarding - A Guide for Clubs with 16-17-Year-old Players

Open-Age (adult) Football Safeguards

A Guide for Clubs with 16 / 17-Year-old Players 

Open-Age (adult) Football Safeguards

Every affiliated football club that involves under-18s must ensure appropriate safeguards are in place. This guide aims to support clubs with open-age adult teams who have 16/17-year-old players or are likely to sign / register any 16/17-year-old players. 

Everyone working with under-18s, whether in youth or open-age adult football, is subject to The FA’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and the underpinning legislative guidance. 

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), is an agency delivering the government’s requirements for vetting checks for those working with under-18s and they have declared that if a team has or is likely to have one or more 16/17-year-old in an adult football team, and if the time that the coaches and managers work with these children meets the period condition (see Note 2), then this is deemed as ‘regulated activity’. This requires the eligible coaches and managers working with these under-18s to undertake the requisite DBS Check. 

The FA and County FAs are continuing to support clubs to understand and ensure they are embracing their responsibilities in this respect. This guidance note outlines the key issues and actions required by clubs. 

The Club management committee has a collective responsibility to manage these safeguards and take the following actions:

1) Identify which teams have or are likely to have 16/17-year-old players.

If they are registered with your team then safeguards must be in place, even if they have not played yet.

2) Identify the coach/manager for each team (including any assistant coaches/managers).

Someone must be identified in this role; they do not have to have any coaching qualifications to be named as the coach/team manager.

List them on The FA’s Whole Game System/Customer Management system alongside the registered team. This can be done by the club secretary, assistant secretary or if you have youth teams by the club welfare officer (Youth Teams).

If the coach/manager changes you must update this information.

3) Support coaches to complete an FA DBS Check.

Read The FA DBS Check FAQs

4) Adopt and adhere to The FA Safeguarding Children Policy.

Read and use The FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy Club Template

5) Provide 16/17-year-old players with safeguarding information.

Distribute The FA’s guidance ‘Know your rights’ to all 16/17-year- old players, host this information on your club website, and consider making it part of a ‘welcome pack’ for new players.

For further guidance and information The FA’s safeguarding page has 12 sections and offers a variety of downloads all of which can be accessed via the ‘Complete Downloads Directory.'

FA Safeguarding Complete Directory

The FA Safeguarding complete directory