Built to Last

FA Charter Standard

How to join the FA Charter Standard Programme

WELCOME TO THE FA CHARTER STANDARD

PROUD to support leagues and clubs where people want to play football

The FA is PROUD to make the Charter Standard part of grassroots football in England.

The FA Charter Standard Programme is The FA’s accreditation scheme open to all grassroots clubs* and leagues**. It aims to raise standards in the grassroots game through supporting the development of clubs and leagues. It also recognises and rewards commitment, quality and achievement.

These are the clubs and leagues who demonstrate they offer well-run and sustainable football. Those who achieve the FA Charter Standard are proud to prioritise qualified coaching and safeguarding as well as the values of The FA’s Respect Programme as part of their game.

Interim FA Charter Standard Club Accreditation Criteria 2020/21

Covid-19 has impacted on The FA’s and County FAs' ability to offer face-to-face education. Interim requirements for FA Charter Standard club accreditation criteria (coaching, first aid and safeguarding) are in place for the season 2020/21.

Long term plans are being made to offer alternative, sustainable delivery models. However, it is necessary to make temporary changes for the 2020/21 season. These apply to new and existing FA Charter Standard-accredited clubs.

We encourage all clubs to explore the opportunity to become FA Charter Standard accredited, qualifying the relevant individuals to make the on-pitch environment a safe place and putting in place the policies and documents off-pitch to make sure they are built to last. When the time comes, there will be an expectation and commitment for all accredited clubs to maintain or raise the standards and requirements which make The FA’s kite mark accreditation programme PROUD to be the best.

Lets Have a Conversation

To find out more about achieving or retaining FA Charter Standard status, have a chat with your local Football Development Officer.

Proud to Support Clubs and Leagues Get Up to the Standard

Club Accreditation

There are two different entry levels for FA Charter Standard club accreditation:

* FA Charter Standard Youth
* FA Charter Standard Adult


Advanced levels are for clubs who offer more playing opportunities, look to grow participation, involve a variety of different people and offer different formats for male, female and disability players in their football environments:

* FA Charter Standard Development is aimed at clubs who are enhancing the quality and scope of their football offering
* FA Charter Standard Community acknowledges the most advanced level of club development and football provision


Clubs who achieve FA Charter Standard accreditation are challenged to maintain high standards and, where appropriate, to improve and progress to new levels. Clubs who work in partnership can be linked and recognised to achieve the development or community club levels of accreditation.

League Accreditation

There is only one level of accreditation that grassroots leagues can achieve:

* FA Charter Standard League accreditation

The accreditation makes a positive difference to the way clubs and leagues are run and to people’s enjoyment of football. The FA aims to support all grassroots clubs and leagues to become FA Charter Standard-accredited through the network of County FAs.

Clubs and leagues work in partnership with County FAs to meet the criteria to achieve accreditation.

Make Your Club or League Proud to Achieve FA Charter Standard Accreditation

If you’re interested in achieving FA Charter Standard accreditation, or just want to find out more, let’s have a conversation. Please contact your local Football Development Officer.

You can also visit our other relevant links to find out more about the FA Charter Standard programme.

* Any club affiliated to a County FA who play in the National League System and below. Likewise for women’s clubs who play outside the Women’s Super League (Barclays FA WSL) and Women’s Championship (FA WC), tier 3 and below, can apply. Clubs must have at least one team playing within an FA-sanctioned league.

** Any league sanctioned to a County FA who are the National League System and below, likewise for women’s clubs that play outside the Women’s Super League (Barclays FA WSL) and Women’s Championship (FA WC), tier 3 and below, can apply.

Frequently asked questions

Any club affiliated to a County FA who plays in the National League System and below (likewise for women’s clubs who play outside the Women’s Super League (Barclays FA WSL) and Women’s Championship (FA WC), tier 3 and below), can apply. Clubs must have at least one team playing within an FA-sanctioned league.

Any league sanctioned to a County FA who are in the National League System and below (likewise for women’s clubs who play outside the Women’s Super League (Barclays FA WSL) and Women’s Championship (FA WC), tier 3 and below), can apply.

Clubs or leagues should contact their local County FA. Clubs and leagues can expect the support they need to understand what it takes for clubs and leagues to become accredited and assistance with relevant information, guidance and documentation.

It’s free. The FA and County FAs do not charge to become accredited. Clubs and leagues receive benefits and incentives to achieve, maintain and progress their accreditation.

Currently, clubs complete an Annual Health Check via The FA’s Whole Game System every season from September. However, for the 2020/21 season, the Annual Health Check is suspended. Leagues are asked to renew their accreditation every three years whilst reviewing their development plan with their local County FA’s Development Team.

Leagues and clubs achieving the FA Charter Standard accreditation can be 'PROUD' to be the best place for people to play and enjoy football within their football community. They demonstrate positive football environments where people experience their football in a safe, fun and inclusive environment.

Whether you are male, female or have a disability, individuals including players, officials, spectators, referees and volunteers feel part of a team thanks to league and club accreditation as they aim to provide football 'For All'.

For becoming he FA Charter Standard-accredited, leagues and clubs receive access to benefits which help to attract and retain players, volunteers and supporters. Both accredited leagues and clubs experience benefits, the level of which depends on the level of accreditation for clubs. These include:

* attracting and retaining players, supporters and volunteers by providing safe, fun and inclusive environments for all to experience and enjoy
* funding for football equipment
* access to promotional resources and guidance
* tailored support from The FA and County FAs


Additional benefits include support and resources to help accredited leagues and clubs achieve their ambitions including, (but not limited to):

* raising standards across the game
* creating positive matchday environments
* establishing player pathways for continued participation, placing the player at the centre of all they do
* understanding the role they play in their football community
* becoming sustainable and financially-efficient organisations

Minimum criteria apply for all clubs, with some additional criteria specific to clubs with youth teams and clubs with adult teams. On-pitch we look for the relevant individuals to hold certain qualifications to ensure they are educated, equipped and empowered to make the training and matchday environment a great one.

Off-pitch we ask clubs to have relevant policies and documents in-place to ensure they are structured correctly and built to last. FA templates of these policies and documents are available to adopt.

Higher levels of club accreditation are achievable for clubs who have the ambitions to provide more playing opportunities to more people. Clubs who achieve Development or Community Club accreditation are given access to greater levels of support, benefits and equipment.

There is only one level of accreditation leagues can apply for. The criteria focus on:

* having a three-year development plan in place
* a minimum percentage of your member clubs accredited, with ambitions to grow this percentage
* implementation of The FA’s Respect Campaign
* a focused Referee Officer
* an active link with other leagues to support players to find relevant places to continue playing their football

Follow this link to find out more about the rewards which are available for accredited leagues and clubs from the 2020/21 season.