FA Education provides a comprehensive approach to developing coaches from grassroots to elite level.  


Anyone over 16 can become a coach.


The first step for new coaches is to take The FA Level 1 in Coaching Footballwhich provides you with an introduction to coaching the game and working with players from under seven to open age.


From there you can progress to The FA Level 2 and Level 3 (UEFA B). Beyond that, The FA Level 4 (UEFA A) and The FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) are suitable for elite level coaches.


All coaches working with U18s must also hold the following:


  • In date FA Safeguarding qualification – you will initially do The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop. This is a 3 hour course which is delivered face to face as part of the Level 1 course. It is valid for 3 years and must then be renewed. The renewal is done online by taking the Online Safeguarding Children Re-Certification module which is found here


  • In date FA First Aid qualification – this is done as a 3 hour face to face course as part of your Level 1. This lasts 3 years and must be renewed in a face to face course.


  • In date Disclosure and Barring Service check – this is carried out by Northumberland FA and usually paid for by your club. It must be renewed every 3 years.


When your qualifications lapse, you will not be allowed to coach until they have been renewed. Northumberland FA and your club receive online notification that these elements are about to go out of date, giving you plenty of time to renew them.



Being an FA licensed coach means you’ll also be immediately connected to a community linked by a culture of lifelong learning and development. As well as regular CPD events there are lots of resources online including


The Boot Room  

The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club  


Level 1 and 2 coaches are encouraged to continue to develop their practice. Coaches at Level 3 and above must register at least 5 hours of CPD on a course recognised by The FA.

No. If you know that you’re not going to be available then you MUST arrange for the training or match to be overseen by someone who holds a valid Level 1 Coaching qualification, including in date Safeguarding, First Aid and DBS. This is for reasons of safety, insurance, quality training and protection of children.


The only exception to this is in the case of genuine emergencies. But even if this case, the person standing in for the coach MUST hold a valid DBS.

Not by himself. Every team must have a qualified Level 1 coach (with in date DBS, First Aid and Safeguarding) overseeing all matches and training sessions.


If you have a new team where the manager is currently taking their Level 1, you will need to appoint a qualified coach to oversee all sessions until the regular manager becomes qualified.


Many clubs do this by having a list of coaches from established teams who will mentor a new coach until they complete their qualification. But the coach in training cannot be in sole charge of players until they are qualified.


Anyone who is assisting with coaching a team MUST HAVE a valid DBS (including coaches going through their Level 1, even if they are being supervised by a fully qualified coach.



Yes, but you MUST have a valid DBS. A qualified coach must be available at all times to supervise you.


Want to know what happens at a discipline hearing?

We've got a visual guide which may help. You can also download it and print it out here.

Social media is a useful way to keep in contact for clubs and teams - but it can be misused and as a result, children can be put at risk.

Sharing personal information about young players on open forums such as Facebook pages, Twitter or via webinars leaves them open to grooming.

Please take a moment to read the social media guidelines here. They can also be printed off as a poster or forwarded to your teams, coaches and parents.

In particular, please ensure:

  • All social media groups are private and can't be viewed publicly

  • Never put personal information about children on social media sites, even if it's a private group. Details such as birthdays, favourite players and where they go to school can unfortunately be used for grooming.
  • Take care if you are using tools such as Zoom and Skype for webinars - children should only take part in the presence of their parents and you should not share screen shots of these webinars on your social media pages

It is everyone's responsibility to safeguard children and this is something that we take very seriously in football. Please check all your club and team social media sites and ensure they meet these guidelines.

The FA has made temporary changes to DBS checks due to the current suspension of football.

These are outlined here, and you can also download this poster


The FA is implementing temporary changes to DBS checks in football for the period that football is suspended due to coronavirus, up to and including the start of the 2020-2021 season. These changes are outlined below and will apply to all roles in football.

This decision has been made in light of the current cessation of football activity, difficulties regarding online ID verification for the purposes of renewing a DBS check and demand on the DBS service due to the current health crisis.

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 current practice and will remain in place. However, we ask that new DBS checks are not submitted (from today onwards) whilst football activity remains suspended.

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 football activity will resume.

2. All individuals whose DBS checks are due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 1 October 2020 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 that to 4 years, in these limited circumstances, on the basis of the current health crisis and associated difficulties in DBS check renewal and the fact that these individuals already hold a DBS check which has been accepted by The FA.

a. The FA is currently proposing an end date of 1 October 2020, based on the fact that this season’s grassroots footballing activity has ended and the assumption that pre-season will commence with the start of the youth season starting September 2020. However, as circumstances develop, this date is potentially subject to change.

b. The FA’s proposals outlined above are applicable to all DBS checks completed through The FA.

c. The FA’s Whole Game System will be updated to reflect these changes.

Please note that the changes outlined above 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 the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and further clarity on when football activity will resume.

The above changes are made to support the footballing family in the immediate term and to support a return to football activity in the longer term whilst ensuring The FA’s commitment to safeguarding remains in place.