Ground Grading & Improvements

Ground Grading

Standardised Facility Requirements


FA National League System and Women's Pyramid

The FA National League System (NLS) and Women’s Pyramid provide a structure for the senior levels of the male and female game respectively in England.

The NLS operates directly below the English Football League (EFL), from National League through to Step 7. Similarly, the Women’s Pyramid begins immediately below the Women’s Super League 2 and ends at County League level.

The FA work closely with both structures to implement a standardised set of facility requirements (or ground grades) to ensure club facilities are of a sufficient standard to cater for the playing and safety needs of the game at that level. Any club wishing to enter either structure, or progress within it, must meet the ground grading at the desired level before they are able to proceed.

Need funding to support meeting your ground grading requirement?

The Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) provides financial support for football clubs towards their ground improvement projects.

Funded by the Premier League, and with an annual budget of £6 million, the FSIF awards capital grants to clubs from the Football League down to the lower levels of the FA National League System to improve safety at their stadia and to enable them to satisfy The FA’s ground grading requirements.

Click here for FA ground grading guidance notes relative to each specific level of the game.

Find Out More

For more information on the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, and what is available, simply visit their website.

The Men’s NLS Pyramid, including steps, grades and links to requirements can be found here.

The Women’s Pyramid, including steps and grades, can be found here.