Criminal Record Checks

LET’S MAKE FOOTBALL SAFE – NOT SORRY. Oxfordshire FA is committed to ensuring that all children involved in the game are able to enjoy their football in a safe and fun environment. To ensure this happens we need to have the right people doing the right jobs and having the right qualifications which includes having a Criminal Records Check (CRC – formally known as CRB).

Recent legislation changes by the government has seen the introduction of the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 (PoFA) which in turn has seen a review of the CRC process through the introduction of the Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) and need for all people over the age of 18 (over 16 for referees) who have regular contact with children in a football environment to have a valid and in date FA CRC.  Only FA CRC’s are acceptable in football and they must not be more than 3 years old.

PoFA requires that The FA does not allow people banned from working with children to be involved in junior/youth football. The DBS check is how The FA identifies people who are banned and inappropriate to work within football. An FA CRC check will cover everything you do in affiliated youth football; no matter how many roles you may have or how many clubs you make work with in a voluntary role.

Who should have an FA CRC?

There are strict rules about who can be CRC checked and it is important that candidates for CRCs meet the criteria before they are entered in for an Enhanced CRC check. In order to have a check, your involvement needs to be frequent. This is usually described as once a week or more, four days or more in one month or overnight although occasionally people with lower levels of contact may still need one.

The following people helping in U18s football should have an FA CRC:

• Club Welfare Officers
• Team Managers
• Coaches
• First Aiders
• Referees
• Team Assistants
• Regular Club Drivers

Ordinarily, Club Chairmen, Treasurers and Secretaries do not require a check, if they are just or mainly administrative roles. However, if the people in these roles also help with coaching or at matches, or have regular contact with the children at their club then they will need an FA CRC.

You do not need to have a check to watch your child play, if you occasionally run the line or if you drive your own child and his/her friends to games if this is a private and personal arrangement with other parents or if your role is mainly administrative.

Who should I contact about completing an FA CRC?

First it is also important to note that people who do not need a check are not required to have one, and could be against the law.
If you do need an FA CRC because you fully fill the criteria in the previous paragraphs and have either  not previously had one or you have one that is more than 3 years old then or you are not sure and would like clarification then:

• If you are involved with a youth club, speak to your Club Welfare Officer
• If you are involved in a youth league, speak with your Youth League Welfare Officer
• If you are a Match official or not attached to a particular club or organisation contact the OFA County Welfare Officer

The actual check

There is now an online FA DBS system in place which is quicker, easier, cheaper, and more efficient as well as making the verifying stage more straightforward for Club Welfare Officers.  For more information on completing the online the FA CRC contact your Club Welfare Officer.

The online FA DBS will cost £10 with payment for the online system is through PayPal or credit card for volunteers only, which is a saving of £10.00 from the current paper form.  This is a significant saving from the paper format.  The check can be completed using a paper format but costs £20 for volunteers and takes significant longer to be verified.  There are different rates for those fulfilling paid roles within football and more details can be obtained from your Club Welfare Officer or the OFA County Welfare Officer.

As mentioned at the start the foregoing is a legal requirement for people involved in youth football so please make sure you as individual and other volunteers in your club comply with this legislation  and thank you for your continuing support of youth football.


Additional information can be found via the links below or by contacting the OFA County Welfare Officer on 01993 894404 or email

FA CRC Information