The FA announce temporary changes to DBS checks

Please see below new guidance issued by The FA regarding FA DBS checks. This guidance will help with affiliation issues for next season but please continue to monitor compliance for your Association through the portal. 

FA Guidance 

The FA is implementing temporary changes to DBS checks in football for the period that football is suspended due to coronavirus, up to and including the start of the 2020-2021 season. These changes are outlined below and will apply to all roles in football. 

This decision has been made in light of the current cessation of football activity, difficulties regarding online ID verification for the purposes of renewing a DBS check and demand on the DBS service due to the current health crisis. 

1. All volunteers carrying out regulated activity with U18s (in accordance with DBS guidance) require an Enhanced DBS with a check of the Children’s Barring List before they commence their role within football. This is current practice and will remain in place. However, we ask that new DBS checks are not submitted (from today onwards) whilst football activity remains suspended. For the avoidance of doubt, volunteers will not be permitted to carry out regulated activity with U18s until they have obtained a DBS check. The FA will provide a further update on processing new DBS checks in due course when there is further clarity on football activity will resume. 

2. All individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 1 October 2020 will not be required to renew their DBS checks until 1 year after the scheduled date of expiry. The FA currently requires DBS checks to be renewed every 3 years in accordance with industry standards and best practice. However, we have made an informed decision to extend that to 4 years, in these limited circumstances, on the basis of the current health crisis and associated difficulties in DBS check renewal and the fact that these individuals already hold a DBS check which has been accepted by The FA. 

a. The FA is currently proposing an end date of 1 October 2020, based on the fact that this season’s grassroots footballing activity has ended and the assumption that pre-season will commence with the start of the youth season starting September 2020. However, as circumstances develop, this date is potentially subject to change 

b. The FA’s proposals outlined above are applicable to all DBS checks completed through The FA. 

c. The FA’s Whole Game System will be updated to reflect these changes. 

Please note that the changes outlined above are temporary, and The FA reserves the right to review and amend the position, including to reflect changes in legislation and/or statutory guidance with respect to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and further clarity on when football activity will resume.

The above changes are made to support the footballing family in the immediate term and to support a return to football activity in the longer term whilst ensuring The FA’s commitment to safeguarding remains in place 

Safeguarding Training and Welfare Officer Workshops 

AOTTs (all those coaches/managers who are not practicing teachers) must renew The FA Safeguarding training every 3 years 

All County FA face to face workshops and courses have been postponed. 

This means if you have a coach or manager who needs to attend a face to face Safeguarding workshop, it is unlikely that they will be able to comply with this before affiliation but we will take this into account and issue a temporary compliance acceptance if necessary, to ensure it does not affect your affiliation. 

They will need to book onto a workshop at the earliest opportunity and let us know the booking details, 

The same applies to new Welfare Officers who will need to attend a Welfare Officer Workshop to be compliant. 

However where an AOTT needs to renew the Safeguarding Workshop (if they have previously attended a face to face workshop but it is over 3 years ago), they will be required to complete the online re-certification. This is a free course and can be accessed here:


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