The FA Charter Standard kitemark is awarded to football clubs who provide a high quality football experience. FA Charter Standard clubs are proven to be well run, sustainable, and importantly place child protection, quality coaching and safety paramount.
The FA Charter Standard kitemark was launched in 2001 and now reconises 4,500 clubs, with 460 advanced level Community Clubs and 120 leagues. The kitemark is a major focus of The FA’s £200 million FA National Game Strategy and has improved coaching, the number of girls’ football teams and safeguarding children procedures.
There are three levels of FA Charter Standard Awards for clubs to recognise the different standards. The entry level is an ‘FA Charter Standard Club’, the next level is an ‘FA Charter Standard Development Club’ and the most advanced ‘FA Charter Standard Community Club’.
Each advanced level requires additional criteria to be met. Once awarded, FA Charter Standard clubs and leagues are given an annual health check to ensure the standards of provision are maintained. Kitemark awards can be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record, fails to attend in-service FA Charter Standard events or is unable to continue to meet the criteria.
FA Charter Standard Clubs all feature a trained Welfare Officer, CRB-checked volunteers, Emergency Aid-trained volunteers linked to each team, Respect programme sign-up, a Level One coach for each youth team, appropriate club administration in place and a volunteer co-ordinator.
FA Charter Standard Development Clubs must in addition have at least five teams, have a club development plan, a Level 2 head coach who has also completed the specialist youth coaching module, and club officials must attend two in-service development events per year.
FA Community Clubs must have at least ten teams. Community Clubs must have male and female football provision, a Mini-Soccer team, an advanced development plan, and stage at least one workshop per season to improve behaviour. By July 2011 at least one coach needs to have completed the specialist youth coaching module 2 and one club official needs to have attended an FA mentoring course. The club must have a schools co-ordinator and volunteer co-ordinator in addition.
Parents looking for a club for their child would find comfort when choosing an FA Charter Standard Club that there will be a positive environment in which to play football. Click on the link to ‘Find a Club’ and tick the FA Charter Standard box to find kitemarked clubs in your area.