under 16 essex

New Safeguarding Requirements in Open Age Football

Find out more about the upcoming requirements and how to ensure your club is ready.


There are some important changes incoming with regards to safeguarding in open-aged football, which will have implications for Club Affiliation.

Adult/Open Age Club Welfare Officer

For season 2023/24, clubs with Open Age/Adult teams are required to have a named Club Welfare Officer at the point of affiliation. Affiliations will not be approved if they are submitted without this role being filled by a named official. These officials do not require any additional safeguarding qualifications or DBS check for the 23/24 season but as good practice, these named individuals should take the free Safeguarding Adults online course and Safeguarding for Committee Members online course.

This requirement is applied to ALL Open Age/Adult teams regardless of whether there are any players aged 16 or 17 years old included within the squad. For the season 2024/25, all Open Age/Adult Clubs will be required to still have a Club Welfare Officer, and in addition that individual will be required to hold a valid in date FA DBS and complete the upcoming Player Welfare training course, which will be available shortly.

Adult/Open Age Club Team Officials

ALL Open Age/Adult team officials of teams with U18 players (coaches, managers, medics (including assistants)) as identified through the club portal/WGS record are required to have an in date and accepted DBS check. This will be a formal requirement for affiliation for the 2024/25 season alongside the forthcoming Payer Welfare Course, but is still an appropriate certification required from this point forward.

We recognise this will be a change in practice for some clubs and our Designated Safeguarding Officer, Dyahanne Sappleton is here to support and assist clubs in this process. Please contact her on Dyahanne.sappleton@amateur-fa.com if you require an assistance.

16 & 17 Year Olds in Open Aged Football: Know Your Rights 

Clubs should regularly remind themselves, and share with their U18 players in open-aged football, The FA guidance surrounding ‘Know Your Rights’. Download it here.