The FA is implementing further temporary changes to DBS check renewals in football due to Covid-19, the government-imposed lockdowns 2 (5 Nov - 2 Dec 2020) & 3 (4 Jan - ongoing) and subsequent restrictions on people being able to meet in-person. These changes take into consideration the current likely ongoing impacts throughout the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
The temporary changes are outlined below, apply to DBS renewal checks for all roles in grassroots football. These changes continue to implement our safer working practices in grassroots football and support an effective return to grassroots football when government guidance allows, which will in turn we trust benefit the physical and mental health and wellbeing of youth and adult players.
1. All volunteers carrying out regulated activity with U18s (in accordance with DBS guidance) require an Enhanced DBS with a check of the Children’s Barring List before they commence their role within football. This is requirement remains in place. However, we ask that new grassroots club DBS checks are not submitted where grassroots football activity remains suspended. For more information on Covid-19 Football guidance click here. For the avoidance of doubt, volunteers will not be permitted to carry out regulated activity with U18s until they have obtained a DBS check. The FA will provide a further update on processing new DBS checks in due course when there is further clarity on when football activity will resume.
2. Individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1 October 2020 and 31 May 2021 will not be required to renew their DBS checks until 1 year after the scheduled date of expiry. The FA currently requires DBS checks to be renewed every 3 years in accordance with industry standards and best practice. However, we have made an informed decision to extend this to 4 years, in these limited circumstances, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the associated difficulties this therefore creates for carrying out the in-person requirements to check ID verification documents. It should be noted that all the individuals this extension relates to, already hold a DBS check which has been previously accepted by The FA.
Implementing the changes
i. The FAs proposed end date for extending checks is 31 May 2021, to ensure that if football does resume this season, the focus for clubs will be on ensuring they any new coaches/managers and referee have a DBS in place in the first instance and that those who have DBS expiring outside of this extension period are prioritised for DBS renewal which is a requirement for club affiliation and referee registration. The 31 May 2021 date may be subject to change.
ii. The FA’s proposals outlined above are applicable to all DBS checks completed through The FA. However, CFAs, Leagues and Clubs can choose to request that staff renew their DBS checks at an earlier date, in accordance with their current policies.
iii. The Whole Game System and CRM will be updated to reflect these changes so that County FAs, Leagues, Clubs and Referees can view them and County FAs will continue to monitor compliance with DBS check requirements.
These temporary changes continue to implement safer working practice in grassroots football and support an effective return to grassroots football when government guidance allows, which will in turn benefit the physical and mental health and wellbeing of youth and adult players.
Please note that these changes are temporary, and The FA reserves the right to review and amend the position, including to reflect changes in legislation and/or statutory guidance with respect to Covid-19 and further clarity on when football activity will resume.