Disclosure and Barring Service

On 1 December 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to form the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).The CRB and ISA therefore no longer exist. This authorty provides a service to check the suitability of adults to work closely with children. The law requires that The FA does all it possibly can to prevent people who may be barred from working with children, from becoming involved in football with U18s.

What is a CRC?
A CRC is a check fromerly known as a CRB check. The Enhanced Criminal Record Check is a printed record containing information from the Police National Computer, local Police intelligence and a check of Government lists of those people barred from working with children. The FA uses the information to help decide if a person with a role with U18’s is suitable to help in children's football.It is a check that helps The FA to make informed recruitment decisions about the suitability of people with criminal records who are seeking to have a role with U18s football.

Who needs a CRC?
Those who are working or volunteering directly with children and young people in football need to have an FA Enhanced Criminal Record Check. This includes those who are teaching, training, instructing, supervising, giving advice or guidance on wellbeing or caring for children or driving a vehicle solely for children on behalf of a club or football organisation. In order to have a check, your involvement needs to be frequent. This is usually described as once a week or more, four days or more in one month or overnight although occasionally people with lower levels of contact may still need one.

Does my role in football require an Enhanced CRC?
There are strict rules about who can be DBS checked and it is important that candidates meet the criteria before they are entered. The following people helping in U18s football should have an FA Enhanced Disclosure:

- Club Welfare Officers
- Team Managers
- Coaches
- First Aiders
- Referees
- Team Assistants
- Regular Club Drivers.

Ordinarily, Club Chairmen, Treasurers and Secretaries do not require a check, if they are just or mainly administrative roles. However, if the people in these roles also help with coaching or at matches, then they will need an FA Enhanced Criminal Record Check in their role as a coach, team assistant, etc.

You do not need to have a check to watch your child play, if you occasionally run the line or if you drive your own child and his/her friends to games if this is a private and personal arrangement with other parents, or if your role is mainly administrative.Ordinarily, Club Chairmen, Treasurers and Secretaries do not require a check, if they are just or mainly administrative roles. However, if the people in these roles also help with coaching or at matches, then they will need an FA Enhanced Disclosure.

I have had a Criminal Record Check for my work, sport or voluntary role. Do I need another one?
Yes. The FA has taken advice and there are serious risks in carrying Disclosures from one job to another. The Coalition Government has said they want to make Disclosures ‘portable’ and The FA fully supports this. The DBS Update Service is due to be available from Spring 2013. Once the full details are known The FA will seek to introduce it, however, existing Criminal Records checks will not be included in the new service. To make a criminal records check 'portable' you will be required to make a new application and subscribe to the new service via www.gov.uk.

What if there is something on The FA Enhanced Criminal Record Check?
The FA is very fair and it does have a duty to make sure the information released does not affect the safety of children. Every Disclosure is assessed individually taking into account the person’s age at the time of the incident; the time expired since the conviction, the way the court dealt with the crime and other relevant information.

Old offences are not viewed as seriously as recent offences. Minor and financial crimes are usually not as relevant. Juvenile offending is generally less concerning than adult offending. Recent assaults, violence with prison sentences, sexual crimes and drug supply are considered as a higher risk. The FA will sometimes contact you about convictions or information on your Criminal Record Certificate and ask you to provide two character references. This is to reassure The FA you are now suitable to be involved in children’s football and that your convictions, or other information are not relevant to the welfare of U18s in football. If you are asked for this information it is very important you provide it quickly. The FA may suspend people who do not reply to these requests for information. The final decision will be made by a Panel of people who are fair and careful in their decision making.

Occasionally The FA may make a decision that a person should be suspended whilst these enquiries are carried out. If this happens you will be given clear information about what you may and may not do in football and how to progress your situation.
When the enquiry process is complete and The FA is satisfied, the Disclosure will be treated as if it were clear of convictions. This means The FA Online Safeguarding Service will be updated to show you as ‘Accepted’ in football and your Disclosure will be shredded in accordance with the law. You will receive a letter telling you when this happens.

To speak to someone in confidence about your history or to ask more about this process please call The FA Criminal Record Check Unit enquiry line on 0845 210 8080 or e-mail FAChecks@TheFA.com with your query.

Can a CRC be done online?
Qualified Club Welfare Officers are encouraged to use the FA's Online Application Process. This facility is cheaper, quicker and prevents the errors that often cause delays in processing. An additional benefit of online application is that the adiministration fee is £10 per check, as opposed to £15.30 for paper application. Club Welfare Officers will need to ensure they register fo this facility via fachecks@thefa.com or telephoning 0845 210 8080.

How long does it take to get an FA Enhanced Criminal Record Check?
Paper applications take on average 6-8 weeks. The online application method means 80% are completed within 10 days.

For further information on DBS checks please contact FAChecks@TheFA.com (Tel: 0845 210 8080) or (for RNFA specific queries) Steve Johnson at steve.johnson@navyfa.com  (Tel: 02392 723974).

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