ESFA Affiliation Policy

This policy applies to those Associations who run representative teams only. If you do not have District or County teams, you do not need to appoint a Welfare Officer.

In order to run a representative team, ALL managers and coaching staff MUST have an FA Criminal Record Check (DBS) every 3 years and be named and accepted on the ESFA Association portal. Details of how to apply for an FA DBS are on the page Applying for an FA Enhanced DBS Check.

Adults Other than Teachers, (known as AOTTs) who are not actively practicing teachers with annual safeguarding training through their school, must attend the FA Safeguarding Children Workshop and this must be updated every 3 years.

If you do not have District or County teams, you do not need to have an FA DBS check or appoint a Welfare Officer.

In order to affiliate representative teams to ESFA, all District and County Associations MUST have a named Welfare Officer who has complied with the following FA Welfare Officer requirements;

  • An Enhanced FA DBS disclosure (these are not portable from school or other organisations unless registered with the Update Service. Please contact us if you are registered so we can explain how to port the check to The FA)
  • Completed the FA’s Safeguarding Children Online Course
  • Attended the FA’s Welfare Officer Online Course

FA DBS disclosures can be obtained by downloading and following the instructions in the FA DBS (CRC) ESFA Applicant Guidance or through your local County FA offices, by appointment.

  • The Safeguarding Children Course can be completed online through this link:

You will need to complete this course before the Welfare Officer Course.

It needs to be kept up to date and must be re-certified online every 2 years.

  • The Welfare Officer Course is tutor-led and must be pre-booked. Courses are available throughout the month and new courses are added regularly:

This course does not need to be renewed.

Please remember, Associations, will not be able to fully affiliate until a qualified Welfare Officer is in place.