HFA Junior Cup Winners Ludlow vs Ledbury

Safeguarding U18 in Open Age Football

The Herefordshire Football Association's main priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all when participating in football.

As part of our continued commitment to safeguarding U18s, we must ensure that all leagues and clubs are aware of their responsibilities to protect 16/17-year-olds playing in open-aged adult football.


In 2019, The FA contacted all affiliated leagues and clubs to provide support and guidance outlining safeguarding responsibilities for young people involved in open-aged adult teams.


Clubs have a responsibility to ensure that the relevant safeguards are in place across every aspect of the club.


Everyone working with U18s, whether in youth or open-age adult football, is subject to The FA's Safeguarding Policy and Procedures and underpinning legislative guidance


The FA requires those working in eligible roles with children and young people to pass a criminal records check, in line with legislation and government guidance, which is standard practice. 

Eligibility of who requires a check is governed by legislation and government guidance; anyone aged 16 years or over who undertakes any unsupervised roles with children and young people under the age of 18 must obtain a DBS check. You can find more information by clicking here.


You may have more than one role in football but you only need one check to cover all your roles in affiliated grassroots football. Please note that this may be different if seeking work with professional clubs.

What do we need you to do?

If 16/17-year-old players are registered with your team, then you must start thinking about putting the appropriate safeguards in place, even if the players haven't played yet.

Someone must be identified as a team official; they do not have to have any coaching qualifications to be named as the coach/team manager. List them on The FA's Whole Game System, this can be done by the Club Secretary or if you have any youth teams, by the Club Welfare Officer (Youth Teams). If a team official changes, you must update this information

If your club has a Youth section, please find out who the Club Welfare Officer is as they may be able to support team officials through the process.

Read The FA DBS Check – FAQs - click here

Read and use The FA's Safeguarding Children Policy Club Template - click here

Distribute the FA's guidance “Know your rights” to all 16/17-year-old players, host this information on your club website and consider making it part of a ‘welcome pack’ for new players aged 16/17 years old. Click here to download The FA 'Know your rights' guidance; and also visit www.thefa.com.

You can access this vis the The Bootroom

You can access this via The Bootroom

For more help and advice, you can contact Herefordshire FA's Designated Safeguarding Officer – Safeguarding@HerefordshireFA.com

The FA's safeguarding information has 12 sections and offers a variety of downloads all of which can be accessed here

Further FA safeguarding information can be accessed via the 'Complete Downloads Directory'.

Thank you for all of the work you do to support your club and football in Herefordshire.