FA Criminal Records Checks

The Football Association established Enhanced Criminal Records Checks (CRCs) as a step towards safeguarding children in football. The Criminal Records Bureau merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority on 1st December 2012 to form the umbrella organisation known as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and provides a joined up service to combine both criminal records checks (now known as CRC’s) and barring functions. Certain individuals because of their background will be and are barred from taking part in any activity involving children under the age of 18 years and/or vulnerable groups.

The DBS oversees all of the safeguarding and vetting requirements that affect individuals in sport and recreation organisations who have contact with children and vulnerable adults.

Criminal record applications are processed for the FA by the FA Criminal Records Unit at https://gbg.onlinedisclosures.co.uk/

All individuals who are working directly with children and young people in football MUST have an FA Enhanced CRC relating to Regulated Activity. This means that if you care for, train, supervise or have sole care of children and young people under the age of 18 years in football, as part of your normal Club, League or County duties or you are a Referee Officiating football at U18’s and/or younger, you MUST have a FA Enhanced CRC.

Any person, who requires a FA CRC, but does not possess a valid CRC i.e. a CRC no older than 3 years, CANNOT fulfil any formal role at a club or league.

Online CRC’s are quicker, cheaper and simpler to process compared to paper applications.

The cost of an Enhanced FA CRC  with or without a barred list check is as follows is:

You are

Administration fee paper application method

Administration fee online application method

Government charge


A Volunteer




£20 or £10 depending on application method

Not a Volunteer




£64 or £54 depending on application method

Choosing to process your applications using the online CRC system as opposed to paper form applications saves £10 per check.

Online User Guides to the updated online CRC system – now called ‘Online Disclosures’  – for both Applicants and Verifiers are available from the following link https://gbg.onlinedisclosures.co.uk/

Improved features of the system are:

  • Smartphone and tablet compatible
  • Screen designs to be more user-friendly
  • Ability to send activation emails

If you require any  support or guidance in using the online application process or in completing a paper application form you can contact the FA Criminal Records Unit  - now called Online Disclosures - at FAChecks@thefa.com or call 0845 210 8080. They will be happy to assist.

The Online Disclosures Unit began operating under this title in September 2014.

For specific information regarding CRC’s relating to clubs, coaches, FA Licensed Tutors, Referees, FAQ’s, e-guide to the CRC system, and general guidance, go to www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/safeguarding/criminal-records-checks#COfif5wsZZDGJbu7.99

Should your League or Club not have a Welfare Officer in place for any reason who can complete criminal record applications please contact Richard Hughes at Durham County FA who can advise - 0191 3872929 or Richard.Hughes@DurhamFA.com

Criminal Record Checks
Safeguarding and Welfare in Football
FA Respect