Safeguarding

Safeguarding training and education by England Football Learning

Safeguarding training and education

The FA seeks to build a safe, fun, and inclusive environment for all children and young people, and for adults who may at times be at greater risk of harm, whatever their role, for example players, coaches, and referees.

To help guide those working with children, young people and adults who may at times be at greater risk of harm, The FA provides various safeguarding children courses. Sometimes these are required as part of a qualification (e.g., for coaches and referees), and sometimes for a role, (e.g., grassroots Club Welfare Officers and Chairs). There are courses suitable for everyone, whatever their role in football. We have a Safeguarding Adults course, for those working across the game with adult players, who may at times be at greater risk of harm.

We’ve had over one million attendances on our courses – that’s a lot of people who are more safeguarding-aware and helping make football safe, fun, and inclusive.
All the England Football Learning courses listed below have the needs of children and young people, or adults who may be at times be at greater risk of harm, at their core and engage learners through interactive content. Critically, all the courses include consistent messaging to drive the cultural and behavioural changes we want to see across the game.

A quick guide:

Course Name  Who's it for? Level  Cost
Safeguarding For All (SFA)  Volunteers, 14–15-year-old leaders, Referees in open-age football, Parents/Carers
 Introductory
 Free
EE Playmaker by England Football (includes SFA)  Anyone interested in taking a first step in a more active role in grassroots football
 Introductory  Free
Safeguarding Children  Anyone working in Youth Football: Welfare Officers, Coaches, Managers, First Aiders, Referees – must be age 16 years+
 Basic  £30
Welfare Officers  +Grassroots club welfare officers – must be age 18 years+  Specialist  £25
Safeguarding for Committee Members
 Grassroots club and youth league committee members– must be age 18 years+  Specialist  Free
Safeguarding Awareness for Parents/Carers   Parents/Carers of under-18s in football. 
NB: Premier League and English Football League (EFL) intend to develop a bespoke course for the professional game
 Specialist  Free
Guide to Safeguarding Adults
 Anyone working with adults in open-age football, including disability pathways  NHS Level 1  Free

 
 
Course outlines:

Safeguarding For All: This online course provides a basic overview of how to safeguard children, looking specifically at best practice, poor practice, and abuse topics. If you’re under 18, it’ll also explain how to safeguard yourself. This course is the perfect place to start if you have not done a safeguarding qualification before. The course can be accessed here.

Safeguarding Children Course:
This online training module can be completed at a time and place that suits you and takes approximately two-hours. It replaces the Safeguarding Children Workshop and covers topics such as safer working practice in working with young people and recognising poor practice and low-level concerns, to understanding how to report concerns quickly and effectively. Read more about The FA’s Respect Principles here

Upon completion of the course, you’ll receive a Safeguarding Children qualification and certificate that will appear on your FAN account and will be valid for two years. You can return to the course to refresh your knowledge at any time.

The FA recommends that everyone working with under-18s refreshes and updates their safeguarding education regularly. Please note qualified coaches and referees working in under-18s’ teams are required to do this and can do so by re-doing the Safeguarding Children Course or undertaking the Safeguarding Children Re-certification course: Our online Safeguarding Children Recertification is available for free for anyone who has previously completed The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop and your qualification is due to expire in the next six months, or it has already expired. The course will take you around one hour to complete and will be valid for two years.

Welfare Officer Course: This two-hour virtual classroom course is mandatory for anyone taking on the role of Welfare Officer for their grassroots club or league. Building on the Safeguarding Children Course, it focuses on the specifics of the role, what is required, and the key tools needed to carry out the role. It also explains where to go for professional support and guidance, and how to access more information if needed.

Learners should expect an interactive session and will be encouraged to participate through a chat function as well as via microphone, where relevant.
Please note anyone attending this course is expected to have an accepted FA DBS Check fewer than three years old. Before appointment the Club Welfare Officer must also complete the ‘Safeguarding for Committee Members’ course.

Safeguarding for Committee Members:
This free online course will support you, as a grassroots football committee member, to identify your individual and collective responsibility in safeguarding, so as a team you create an environment where the wellbeing of children and young people (under-18s) is central to all that you do. 

The course explores the key safeguarding building blocks in clubs such as:

Effective committees.
Safer recruitment.
Building safe environments.
Recognising and reporting concerns.
Whistleblowing.

Secretaries, Chairpersons, Club Welfare Officers and Treasurers must complete this course to enable clubs with under-18 teams to affiliate. The Safeguarding for Committee Members course can be accessed here.

Safeguarding Awareness for Parents & Carers: This course is designed to help you to make an informed choice about the football setting you enrol your child in. It explains what safeguarding is, your role in safeguarding children in football, what grooming is, and it encourages discussion with your child(ren) about their football experience to check that they are enjoying their football and experience their club or football setting positively. It also covers how to identify and report any concerns about poor practice or abuse.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll receive a safeguarding certificate that will appear on your FAN account. You can return to the course to refresh your knowledge at any time.

Guide to Safeguarding Adults: This course explores the meaning of ‘safeguarding adults’ and ‘adults at risk’. It is for anyone across the game, who is working with adults who may at times be at greater risk of harm and looks at:

The context of abuse – and the signs and indicators.
How to report any concerns.
How to use safeguards to reduce risk of harm.

Update as at November 2020

Online courses: Please note all FA safeguarding online courses are free, available 24/7 and can be taken on most internet enabled devices. They can all be found here.

Learners simply need their FA-registered email address and associated password to access a course. FA Numbers (FANs) are automatically updated when the course is completed – please allow 72 hours for this to happen.

Safeguarding For All: This new course is an introduction to safeguarding and is suitable for anyone over the age of 14.

While the Safeguarding Children Workshop is paused due to Covid-19, this course should be taken by referees, coaches and anyone else working with children who has not yet completed the Safeguarding Children Workshop. Parents and carers and anyone else volunteering or working in football are also encouraged to take this.

The course can be accessed here.

Please note: There is also a course entitled ‘The FA Playmaker, supported by BT’. This is an introduction to working in football and is for anyone who wants to help on a football activity/project or in a club (e.g. assistant coaches). This course includes the topic ‘Safeguarding for All’. If a person completes this as part of The FA Playmaker course, they do not need to complete Safeguarding for All as well.

Safeguarding Children Workshop: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Safeguarding Children Workshop is paused and is being re-written as an online course. This will be launched in spring 2021. County FA websites and the website you are reading will be updated when the course is launched.

Online Safeguarding Children Re-certification course: The FA recommends that everyone working with under-18s renews their safeguarding education every three years. Qualified coaches working in under-18s’ teams in FA Charter Standard clubs are required to do this. Referees must update their training to register for the 2021/22 season.

Re-certification must be done by completing this course and is available to anyone who has an existing Safeguarding Children Workshop (SCW) qualification or re-certification that is more than two-and-a-half years old.

Welfare Officer Workshop: This course is a requirement for everyone volunteering to be a Club Welfare Officer. The course explores the skills, attributes, roles and responsibilities of the welfare officer and the toolkit available to support the role. It focuses on the importance of safe recruitment, building blocks that help make a safer club, addressing concerns, as well as building the welfare officer’s confidence regarding how and when to seek help and advice.

This course is now being delivered as a virtual classroom.

Before enrolling on this course, learners must have completed the Safeguarding Children Workshop or the safeguarding element of the Level 1 for coaches. For the period November to spring 2021, any new Club Welfare Officer who does not have one of these qualifications must take the re-certification online course as an interim measure. To gain access to this please email education@TheFA.com to explain you are taking up this role; make sure to include your name and FAN and use the subject line ‘Welfare Officer safeguarding access’.

Please note anyone attending this course is expected to have an accepted FA DBS Check fewer than three years old. Before appointment the Club Welfare Officer must also complete the ‘Safeguarding for Committee members’ course.

Safeguarding for Committee Members: This free online course is written for Secretaries, Chairpersons, Treasurers and Club Welfare Officers in clubs with under-18 teams.

The course explores the key safeguarding building blocks in clubs such as:

  • Effective committees;
  • Safer recruitment;
  • Building safe environments;
  • Recognising and reporting concerns;
  • Whistle-blowing

The course also stresses how important the committee is in supporting the Club Welfare Officer to embed safeguarding.

Secretaries, Chairpersons, Club Welfare Officers and Treasurers must complete this course to enable clubs with under-18 teams to affiliate.

As with the other online courses, Safeguarding for Committee Members can be accessed here.

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