- Clubs can sign up to the code at any point in time
- Once signed up, The FA will list all clubs in support of the code on our website and update this information regularly
- The FA will provide clubs with assets to use on their websites and supporting collateral to show that they are a signatory of the Code
- Clubs will sign up to the principles of the code and the ambition to meet the targets
- Clubs will agree to create an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plan
- Clubs do not need to create a separate EDI plan if they already have one, but should update or add the relevant Code targets, as necessary
- Clubs can use the 2020/21 season to evaluate their data and create their EDI plan - publishing it ahead of the 2021/22 season
- As part of the annual reporting, clubs will be able to provide commentary on their progress and provide situation-specific context, colour and information. This will be of particular importance if in any one year a club is unable to achieve any of the targets.
- Clubs plans must include targets for senior leadership, team operations and coaches for both ethnicity and diversity as outlined in the Code
- The targets in the Code are annual recruitment targets, however, clubs may want to also include end-state representation targets to align with their individual objectives
- For senior leadership and team operations, a target can be based on local demographics thus reflecting the fact that people may have less willingness to move cross-country for these types of roles
- Each club will publish their annual review by the end of June each year and the FA will collate information across signatories to also publish this on the Code website
- The annual reporting process will include collection of data on ethnicity and gender, to provide transparency on clubs’ progress against the Code’s targets. We recognise that the Code will evolve over time to incorporate broader protected characteristics to continue to reflect the diversity on the pitch, off the pitch
- The FA are not prescriptive about the format of each club’s EDI plan, giving clubs flexibility to showcase their journey over the course of the year
- If in any one year a club is unable to achieve any of the targets in the Code, then they will explain why as part of their annual reporting
The following principles have been developed by the Expert Groups and clubs will work together to create full guidance in year one which will include:
- Job descriptions will be written to encourage a wide pool of applicants
- Clubs will instruct diverse shortlists from recruitment agencies
- All appropriate jobs will be advertised centrally, for at least two weeks, so that all football jobs can be found in one place. (NB. This will be developed in year one)
- Interview panels should be diverse wherever feasible (support could be provided by The Premier League, English Football League and FA if requested)
- Shortlists for interview will include a minimum of one male and one female Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage candidate (if applicants meeting the job specifications apply)
- External recruitment will be advertised openly where appropriate
- Recruitment diversity data for applications, interviews, offers and hires will be collated and reviewed to support understanding of talent pools and reach of advertising
- Training and education programmes will be provided to drive best practice across recruitment procedures, including assessment processes
- The code applies to all positions in the football club with the exception of the Head Coach and their team, as we appreciate that this recruitment often has to happen quickly
- If the Head Coach is not recruited through an open process, the club will consider whether it can implement additional development opportunities for a Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage or female coach with a clear focus on boosting the job prospects for the participant(s)
- It is recognised that not all recruitment principles are relevant to internal hires
• We will provide you with a kite-mark and list you as a supporter on FA.com
• You may want to create your own page on your website (which we can link to) which:
- Shows your support for the code and diversity in general
- Displays the kitemark
- Provides comment or a first-person piece on why you believe in the principles of the code
- Shows examples of work you are already doing
- Provides information of any current EDI plans you have or states your commitment to review data and return with your own plan by the end of the season
- Our intention is to drive change in football, as a result we will work with the Premier League and English Football League to minimise duplication of initiatives and reporting, wherever possible
- The Code is designed to be somewhat flexible, as we appreciate that clubs are at different stages of their journey
- Clubs have some flexibility within the code, for example, we recommend senior leaders and coaches covers the top 25% of earners in that category - but we understand some clubs may want to include middle management thus expanding beyond the top 25% of earners
- Clubs have flexibility on the data they use when defining local demographics - Clubs may want to use local diversity data, city diversity data, national data or international data. We suggest using ONS statistics for UK information, as the starting point of reference.
- Clubs who have both men’s and women’s team may want to combine their senior leaders and look at the information holistically or they may wish to separate the two parts of the clubs out, as relevant
Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage: Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage as defined by the Office for National Statistics and updated from time to time, as ethnicity classifications evolve.
Senior leadership: Clubs have very different structures, so it is up to the clubs to decide their own approach. We recommend that senior leadership applies to the top 25% of earners. Clubs may want to include middle management in their targets.
Senior squad coaches: Clubs have very different structures. The aim of this pledge is to help make sure diverse coaches aren’t only accessing junior positions. Clubs will declare their own senior positions which may include first team, U23s, U21s and U18s, but we recommend applies to the top 25% of earners.
Local diversity: Diversity levels vary across the country and we recognise that for certain roles within an organisation, it is unlikely that individuals will move cross-country. National ethnic diversity as outlined in the 2011 census is 14%. Clubs may want to set themselves specific targets based on their own local diversity in their own EDI plans that reflect their community- for example, in areas with higher proportions of a specific minority group, clubs might want to set a higher target. If a club sets itself a target that reflects the local demographics which is less than the national average, it should explain why it won’t be using the national average. Targets should be reviewed following the results of the 2021 census.
Team Operations: Refers to full-time support staff such as physiotherapists, doctors, nutritionists, HR managers, legal counsel etc. to be defined by the individual club.
Achieve or explain: Clubs may not be able to meet the recruitment targets in the code or the local demographic-related targets due to staff turnover rates or the nature of the role and applicants applying. Clubs will need to provide the broader context and explain these limiting factors in their plan and end of year report. If targets are missed, then Clubs will also be expected to use the data collected from the process to improve their recruitment in subsequent years- e.g. by using agencies that encourage diverse applications.