Taking Safeguarding Online

Safeguarding and Welfare

English football takes safeguarding extremely seriously. The ongoing work to make the game as safe and enjoyable as possible is led by The FA, the game’s governing body in this country. This work is delivered through County FAs such as ourselves in conjunction with leagues and clubs.

A clear safeguarding strategy has been put in place by English football to protect people involved in the national game. It is complete with policies, procedures and regulations. Every club in the country must adhere to the policies which apply to them. If not, they face sanctions, including suspension from playing. Within this section of our website, you'll find all the necessary information and policies on safeguarding and welfare, social media guidance, local initiatives and details on upcoming courses and workshops to ensure you stay on top of your club or leagues safeguarding responsibilities.


Get In Touch


Opening times to contact our Safeguarding Team:

0800-1600 (Monday -Friday)

Shantell Woodward
Contact Number: 01256 853012

Steve Johnson
Contact Number: 02392 573025 

If your problem is urgent and you cannot contact your club or the  RNFA Designated Safeguarding Officer (Shantell Woodward - 01256 853012), you should contact any of the following:

  • For emergencies - Call the Police: 999



Shantell Woodward

Designated Safeguarding Officer
Steve Johnson Senior Safeguard Lead

Steve Johnson

Senior Safeguarding Lead

The FA has recognised the need for greater consistency in safeguarding across the game and this includes new measures to protect 16 and 17 year old players in open age football.  We know that there are around 40,000 registered 16 and 17 year old players in grassroots football in England.  Playing in open age football is a fantastic opportunity for young players to progress and be challenged both technically and physically, however club officials, managers and players must also recognise that these young players are still legally children.

Every affiliated football club that involves under 18s must ensure appropriate safeguards are in place. Everyone working with under 18s, whether in youth or open age football, is subject to the FA’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.

What should clubs do?

1. Identify which teams have or are likely to have 16/17 year old players
2. Identify the coach/manager for each team (including any assistant coaches/managers) and ensure that they are listed on the Whole Game System
3. Ensure coaches complete an FA DBS check
4. Adopt and adhere to the FA’s Safeguarding Children Policy
5. Provide 16/17 year old players with safeguarding information, including the FA’s Know Your Rights document
6. Encourage club officials to complete the free FA online Safeguarding for All and Safeguarding Adults training

What can leagues do to ensure that Safeguarding is promoted and embedded across the game?

Leagues are encouraged to appoint a League Safeguarding Advocate (LSA) whose role it is to:

1. Proactively promote safeguarding with all registered clubs
2. Promote the FA’s Safeguarding information available on TheFA.com 
3. Ensure safeguarding is a standard item at Committee Meetings/AGM
4. Monitor data reports showing teams that register players aged 16/17 years old
5. Support clubs to identify local DBS verifiers
6. Remind clubs of the actions that they should take (as listed above)

For further advice or support, please do not hesitate to contact the Safeguarding Team – info@navyfa.com 

RNFA SAfeguarding

Open Age Football Clubs Safeguarding Responsibilities 

 To access downloads please click on the link  Open Age Football SG - 2023


Online Safeguarding Renewal 

If you need to renew your Safeguarding Certificate and have previously completed a course with us you will be able to renew your Safeguarding online for FREE. To access the course, please click on the link below.

Online Safeguarding Renewal
Support for survivors



Reporting Concerns

The FA referral Form - How to report your concerns

Guidance and support for reporting abuse

FA Cardiac Arrest Course

FA Cardiac Arrest Module

Corner Flag

Other Key Safeguarding Organisations

Social Media

Social Media Guidance


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