The FA Charter Standard kitemark was launched in 2001 and now has 4,500 clubs, with 460 advanced level Community Clubs and 120 leagues. The kitemark is a major focus of The FA’s £200 million FA National Game Strategy and has improved coaching, the number of girls’ football teams and safeguarding children.
There are three levels of FA Charter Standard Awards for clubs to recognise the different standards. The entry level is an ‘FA Charter Standard Club’, the next level is an ‘FA Charter Standard Development Club’ and the most advanced ‘FA Charter Standard Community Club’. Each advanced level requires additional criteria to be met.
Any club can apply for FA Charter Standard status, even a one-team club. The criteria is challenging, but is attainable for every club. Once awarded, FA Charter Standard clubs and leagues are given an annual health check to ensure the standards of provision are maintained.
Criteria for achieving the entry level award include having a trained Welfare Officer, CRC checks for all volunteers, Emergency Aid-trained volunteers linked to each team, Respect programme sign-up, a Level One coach for each youth team, appropriate club administration in place and a volunteer co-ordinator.
- Access to the McDonald’s FA Charter Standard Kit Scheme to receive one free Nike team kit each season 2014-18 for under-7 to under-16 teams
- Free tickets (upon application) for England youth and women’s internationals
- Invitations to local in-service events
- Access to administrative support sessions
- Support with funding applications
New FA Charter Standard clubs also receive:
- An official FA plaque and certificate
- Resources to help promote the club
- £100 of official FA Nike match-balls (FA Charter Standard Youth and Adult Clubs)
- £150 of official FA Nike match-balls (FA Charter Standard Development Clubs) £
- £200 of official FA Nike match-balls (FA Charter Standard Community Clubs)
- Opportunity to become Nike Partner Club (FA Charter Standard Development and Community Clubs)
Overall, FA Charter Standard status is a clear demonstration to all parents, sponsors and the public, that a club (or league):
- Is well-organised, safe and offers opportunities for all
- Has FA-qualified coaches as standard
- Adheres to FA Respect Policies and Codes of Conduct
- Prioritises Child Welfare
- Maintains appropriate levels of discipline
- Has access to the County FA and FA regional workforces
- Can use the coveted FA ‘Three Lions’ FA crest on its marketing and business materials
To apply, clubs must complete an application form and return it to your County FA with the requested supporting evidence. The application will be assessed by Cambridgeshire FA's nominated officer. Feedback will be obtained from the leagues that your club plays in to ensure that your club displays the high levels expected of an FA Charter Standard Club.
The FA Charter Standard Committee will provide feedback on each application, which will include an action plan and a recommendation. If your club meets the criteria, Cambridgeshire FA will forward your application to The FA for awarding. If your club does not meet the criteria, Cambridgeshire FA will provide an action plan and advice.
The kitemark lasts for one season and will be renewed each year as part of the club re-affiliation process. Kitemark awards can be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record, fails to attend in-service FA Charter Standard events or is unable to continue to meet the criteria.
For a list of workshops to support clubs and volunteers email Chris.Abbott@Cambridgeshirefa.com