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
|EE Playmaker by England Football (includes SFA)|| Anyone interested in taking a first step in a more active role in grassroots football
|Safeguarding Children|| Anyone working in Youth Football: Welfare Officers, Coaches, Managers, First Aiders, Referees – must be age 16 years+
|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
|Guide to Safeguarding Adults
||Anyone working with adults in open-age football, including disability pathways||NHS Level 1||Free|
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.
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.