A Nationwide F.A. Charter Standard Development Club.

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  The FA Charter Standard for Clubs

Raising the Standard

Ask any top footballer who ranks as the most important influence on his career and almost all would make reference to a coach, past or present. Many would not be where they are today without the help, influence and guidance of one or more coaches.

Whether playing football at the highest professional level, or simply for fun, the importance of a good coach cannot be underestimated. The F.A., through its extensive training programme for coaches, has always had as a priority improving the technical quality of coaching which would, in turn, reap rewards on pitches up and down the country.

With techniquesthroughout the world becoming more and more sophisticated, The F.A Football Division has put coaching at the forefront of its long-term strategic plan by launching, in October 1997, The Football Association Coaches Association (FACA) whose overall purpose is "to affect positively the attitudes, ethics, knowledge and performance of football coaches".

"Our goal is a better educated, informed and knowledgeable pool of football coaches," says Howard Wilkinson, The F.A.Technical Director and driving force behind the initiative.

As both the umbrella organisation for football coaches and a forum for dialogue, FACA’s objectives are:

  • to establish and maintain high ethical standards in coaching
  • to satisfy the desire for in-service training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for those who have attended F.A. Courses
  • to communicate with, and develop communication amongst, coaches
  • to improve and enhance the role of the coach and the coaching process
  • to develop a register of qualified, disciplined and screened coaches

Raising the Standard in clubs

The F.A. Charter Standard Clubs programme, supported by England Team Sponsor Nationwide, was launched in February 2001 with the aim of setting standards of coaching, administration and child protection for clubs working with young people.

The programme is aimed at boys and girls under sixteen years old and will help children and parents find a club in their local area that meets F.A. standards.

The project is at the heart of The Football Association’s investment programme for grassroots football that will see £32 million spent this year to improve facilities and coaching across the country.

Forty clubs from Lancashire, North Riding, Nottinghamshire, Kent, London and Dorset worked with The F.A. in a pilot project over the last year.

F.A. Chief Executive Adam Crozier explained the importance of Charter Standard:

"The F.A. is committed to raising the standard of grassroots football in England to encourage more people to play, to develop their skills and to enjoy the game in the right environment.

"Clubs who become Charter Standard will be taking part in a genuine grassroots revolution. Every club should be aiming to meet the Charter Standard."

"I’m delighted that Nationwide are supporting this project because, like The F.A., they support the game at all levels."

The man leading the project at The F.A., National Game Director Steve Parkin added:

"Clubs will get all the help they need from The F.A. and their local County F.A. to meet the requirements. The aim is to raise standards across the country, not to exclude anyone."

Helping to launch the scheme were West Ham manager Harry Redknapp and his son – the Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp. Harry explained why he was backing the project:

"I knew where to send my kids to get a proper football education but most mums and dads aren’t so lucky.

"That’s why The F.A. Charter Standard for clubs is such a good idea. For the first time, parents will know the best clubs in their local area to coach their children."

England Women’s International footballer, Marieanne Spacey, was also at the launch and was delighted that Charter Standard will give equal priority to women’s football:

"This project will increase the opportunities for girls to play football and will help the development of women’s football as a sport in this country."

Nationwide’s Head of Sports Marketing, Peter Gandolfi, explained the reason why it is working with The F.A. to support Charter Standard:

> "F.A. Charter Standard puts the focus on the needs of local football, which is in tune with Nationwide’s own belief in the importance of the local community, as we have continually demonstrated."

By the end of 2001, The F.A. hopes that 750 English clubs will have signed-up and that 3,000 will be Charter Standard within three years.


The F.A., in conjunction with various bodies, has drawn up the following set of criteria for clubs wishing to reach Charter Standard:

· A written constitution

· Self-certified screening of managers, coaches and officials

· All managers to have minimum of F.A. Junior Team Managers Award

· Commitment to attend in-service training

· Acceptance and promotion of Codes of Conduct

· Commitment to provide Mini-Soccer opportunities for Under 10’s

· Commitment to promote schools liaison and equal opportunities for all


Clubs that are successful in achieving the Charter will get access to a range of benefits:

· Use of Charter Standard Crest

· Exclusive Regional Workshops

· Access to Child Protection Training

· Kit and Equipment Grants

· National and Regional Awards

· Subsidies for F.A. Junior Team Managers and other courses

· Certificates

· Starter Pack, including posters, Codes of Conduct, Certificates

· First Aid KitQuestions and Answers about Charter Standards Clubs.

Q Can any club apply?

A Yes, any club which operates teams at Under 16 level and below.Q Our Club only has 1 team; does that matter?A Even a club with only one team can apply to become a Charter Standard Club.Q Is there a charge?A No, the Charter Standard programme is free.Q Is it difficult to achieve?A Any award, worth having, does require an element of work. However, particularly for the Club award, the criteria has been set so it is attainable for every club.Q What are the benefits?A The "visible" benefits are listed in the brochure. But it’s the "hidden" benefits that should be of most importance to your club.Q So what are these hidden benefits?A By achieving a Charter Standard Award, you are demonstrating to all members, Parents and the public, that you are a well organized & safe club. The ‘hidden’ benefits are also an excellent way of promoting your club to potential members, parents, volunteers and sponsors.Q How do we apply and what happens to our application?A 1. Clubs must complete an application form and return it to the County Football Association with the requested supporting evidence.

2. Screening forms must be enclosed and sealed in the envelope provided and returned to The Football Association.

3. The Football Association will formally screen the self-certification forms submitted.

4. The application will be assessed by the County Football Association nominated officer with recommendations to the Charter Standard Working Party.

5. The Charter Standard Committee will complete a feedback form on each application, which will include an Action Plan and a recommendation.

6. If the club meets the criteria, the County Football Association will forward the Feed Back Sheet to The Football Association for awarding.

7. If the club does not meet the criteria, the County will inform the Club and provide an action plan and assistance sheets.

8. The Football Association will:

Write to the club awarding the Charter Standard, including a copy of the feedback form and action plan.

9. The Football Association and the County Football Association will keep a copy of the feedback form and action plan.Q How long does the award last?A 1. The Charter Standard is an award for three years.

2. Clubs must complete and return a "Renewal Form" every year that the Charter Standard is valid (within 30 days of receipt).

3. At the end of three years, the club can apply for renewal.Q Can the award be withdrawn by The FA?A Yes. After due consideration, and the club has had the opportunity to meet with the Charter Standard Working Party, the Charter Standard Working Party can request that a Club has it’s Charter Standard removed for the following reasons:-

a) Disciplinary Record

b) Failure to Attend In-Service Training

c) Failure to return annual form

A Club can re-apply when it can demonstrate that it has responded positively to the reason(s) for withdrawal.Q What are the Disciplinary reasons why a Club could lose, or not be awarded Charter Standard?A The Charter Standard Working Party will consider the following criteria when assessing new applications or the removal of Charter Standard.

1. Any Club found guilty of assault on a referee or assistant, by a player, official or spectator in the last three years will not be considered for the awards. Any subsequent offence would lead to the withdrawal of the award.

2. Any Club not found to be positively supporting The Football Association’s anti-racism campaign will lose or will not be awarded Charter Standard.

3. Any Club found guilty of spectator misconduct on two occasions by The Football Association will be invited to meet with the Charter Standard Committee who have the authority to issue a formal warning, which could lead to removal on further notice.

4. Any club found guilty of official misconduct on two occasions by The Football Association will be invited to meet with the Charter Standard Committee who have the authority to issue a formal warning, which could lead to removal on further notice.

5. Any club that reaches * disciplinary points (as described in County F.A. Memorandum), will be invited to meet with the Charter Standard Committee, who will have the authority to warn as to future conduct or request that The Football Association remove the Charter Standard Award.

6. If any one team reach * disciplinary points (as described in County F.A. Memorandum), will be invited to meet with the Charter Standard Committee, who will have the authority to warn as to future conduct, or request that The Football Association remove the Charter Standard from the whole club.

* At present each county sets its own points level, after which time clubs are in breach of County F.A. memorandum.