New research aims to improve reporting process for serious incidents

Tuesday 26 Jul 2022

The FA and Kick It Out have today launched new research to better understand people’s experiences of reporting incidents of discriminatory and physical abuse across grassroots football.

The two organisations are partnering to gain feedback on reporting and disciplinary processes from those who have experienced or witnessed acts of discriminatory abuse, assault or physical contact across the grassroots game. The aim is to learn what the perceived barriers to reporting incidents may be, so that the reporting process can be improved and to ensure participants are more willing to come forward in future.

Both organisations regularly conduct research across the game with previous participant feedback in this area leading to the composition of hearing panels for serious incidents and centralised reporting channels. However, as current issues continue to evolve, there is acknowledgement that this area needs further improvement, and the findings will be used to better the reporting experience for all.

The research includes a confidential survey, which can be found here.

It will take around 15 minutes to complete, with it being crucial to gather full personal experiences so tangible changes can be made to improve the grassroots game for participants and spectators. Key points covered within the survey will include:

The number of serious incidents directly experienced or witnessed – and how this compares to reporting rates
Perceived barriers to reporting
Likelihood to report in the future and how
Perceptions of and confidence in the reporting process
Desired improvements to the process

Dal Darroch, our Head of Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Programmes, said: "One of The FA’s key strategic goals is to deliver a game free from discrimination, and conducting research of this nature will help us to understand how we can improve the process for reporting serious incidents. We want all incidents of discriminatory or physical abuse to be reported so they can be dealt with appropriately and effectively. We understand that there are various barriers to reporting for some people and it’s crucial for us to learn what they might be. It’s important that the feedback and views of those that participate in the game is at the heart of our decision-making, so that we can make changes that will help build trust and confidence in the reporting process."

Tajean Hutton, Grassroots Manager at Kick It Out, said: "We receive a number of reports every year concerning discriminatory abuse in grassroots football, so we want to better understand how we can play our part in improving the reporting process at this level of the game. This research will provide crucial insight which we will use to inform our grassroots reporting work alongside The FA and make the right changes, which will ultimately help the people we want to support and hopefully improve their experience in the game for the better."

By FA Staff