under 16 essex

Safeguarding in Open Age Football

Safeguarding requirements

We are continually working towards making football in our county a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Please read it the information below, which provides you with all you need to know to safeguard those in football. 

Get in Touch

Visit our HELPDESK to find answers to our frequently answered questions, including safeguarding contact details.

If your query cannot be answered, please submit a ticket.

You can also visit the FA Grassroots Technology Forum for help with FA IT systems.

Every open age adult club is required to ensure the safeguarding of any under 18s (16 and 17 year olds) involved with them. In addition, where there are adult disability teams or teams with adults at risk, they are required to promote safeguarding throughout the club. 

If you are a club with only disability teams, please download the affiliation requirements here. Please note if a club covers different playing pathways then below requirements will supersede this.

All Club Welfare Officer’s will need to undertake the Player Welfare Course as part of the season 24/25 affiliation process. Where 16 and 17 year olds will be playing in the team, the coaches/managers (including assistants) and first aiders will require an FA DBS (formally known as a CRC) check. Please see the chart below for clarification on what roles require officials to complete training and/or a DBS check.

Open age football safeguarding requirements 24-25

If you require support with completing DBS checks, please click here.


Every player has the right to be safe in football and treated with dignity and respect.

Whilst it is noted that young people aged 16 and 17 can legally consent to having sexual relationships, this is not the case with a football coach or any other who advise, supervise, or train children or young people. 

Anyone working with under 18s is automatically in a ‘Position of Trust’ and therefore needs to keep clear and proper boundaries with 16 and 17 year olds players. They can still be vulnerable to manipulation, exploitation, and abuse by adults who are in positions of trust around them, therefore, having a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year old is an abuse of power even if the relationship could be seen as consensual, and will be referred to the appropriate football regulatory authorities and statutory agencies alike. Download the FAs statement on position of trust here.

The Amateur FA have a wealth of best practice documents, guides and resources collectively explaining how to create a supportive, safe and fun environment to safeguard all within the game. Given the prevalence of social media use/misuse today, please refer to specific guidance on this subject.

safeguarding & well-being resources

We are here to help and are committed to creating safe and enjoyable football for all, and to support all our clubs and leagues to ensure these requirements are met.

Further details can be obtained from our Designated Safeguarding Officer, who can be contacted on safeguarding@amateur-fa.com or 07904649876.