Grassroots Football

Keeping Football Safe in Durham County

The Durham FA offers a range of safeguarding services and training to help create a safe and enjoyable football experience for everyone. We ensure safeguarding requirements are met as a requirement of club affiliation and we support clubs to maintain these standards. This includes making unannounced safeguarding visits to clubs.

Durham County FA Safeguarding Children Policy

Durham County FA Anti-Bullying Policy

Here are details of the current safeguarding support services we offer:

Forthcoming safeguarding courses and workshops

FA Safeguarding Children Workshop
The FA recognises that every child who plays football should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse of any kind.
The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop is a three-hour workshop designed to share correct practice and offer the opportunity to implement policies and procedures that will benefit every member of a Club.

book a course

FA Welfare Officer Workshop (WOW)

FA Welfare Officer Training is a mandatory course for all Welfare Officer’s. Eligibility criteria to attend a WOW require applicants to have completed a Safeguarding Children course and have a valid FA CRC disclosure.

Each youth league and club must have at least one fully certificated Welfare Officer in place as this is a mandatory requirement of the affiliation process within youth football. Many leagues and clubs have more than one welfare officer in post to share the role and responsibility – as a rule of thumb it is common to see one Welfare Officer to every four teams within a club.

book a course


Obtaining a Criminal Record Check (CRC)

The FA 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   Total
 A Volunteer  £20  £10 £0 £20 or £10 depending on application method
 Not A Volunteer  £20 £10 £44  £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/


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.

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

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 (Option 3)  or Richard.Hughes@DurhamFA.com

How we handle reported concerns

Concerns within your club

If you are concerned about your child or another child in your club, you would normally contact your Club Welfare Officer (CWO) in the first instance. You should be given the contact details of the CWO at the start of the season. If you do not know who your CWO is, speak to a coach in your club and ask for their details. The CWO will normally deal with cases of poor practice and behaviour within your club.

Durham FA Designated Safeguarding Officer

For concerns of a serious nature or for advice and guidance contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer Richard Hughes on 0191 3872929 (Option 3) or email Richard.Hughes@DurhamFA.com

Get in touch

Richard Hughes 

Richard Hughes
Designated Safeguarding Officer

T: 0191 3872929 (Option 3)

E: Richard.Hughes@DurhamFA.com

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