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Welfare Officers' Newsletter - Winter 2018

Gill Shields

Welcome to the Northumberland FA CWO Winter newsletter.

Firstly, welcome to all the new Club Welfare Officers and their Assistants, who have volunteered to take up the role within their club.

Hopefully you are managing to navigate your way around the Whole Game System and Online Disclosures sites. Please let me know if you are having any issues.

CRC checks

As always we continually emphasise CRC’s and having a named qualified coach attached to a team is monitored. Many of you will have received emails from either me or my colleague Michael regarding qualifications that need renewal. Your support in monitoring and renewing your coaches’ checks has made the process much smoother; we need to keep this going as if you have a coach attached to a team who has a CRFC (DBS) which has expired, on the 22day that team will be suspended.

At this time of the year, checks are taking longer to process (due to the volume of checks being carried out across the country) and they may take a while to update from the GBG site onto the Whole Game System. This is often due to administrative delays and can take a couple of weeks to update, but it may be that the applicant certificate isn’t clear and they have been asked to send their certificate in for risk assessment. 
Please make sure you treat an application as not accepted until it is showing on WGS (just because it turns green on the GBG site does not been it is accepted, only that it has been posted out)

Remember every person who is registered with your club must have an accepted FA CRC and be attached to the relevant team within the club. One their CRC is accepted, please make sure you log into WGS and add them to the team so we know who is coaching for each team. If you can’t add them to the team it is usually because they are not yet accepted and should not be coaching.

Names and documents

Please can you ensure that when you are completing CRC checks, you make sure the name on the application matches the name on their passport/birth certificate; we have had several CRCs rejected by GBG because applications are being made in the name of Matt instead of Matthew or Fred instead of Frederick etc. The check needs to be on their full name as recorded at birth.

You must also see their ORIGINAL documents. It is not acceptable for them to email or text you scanned copies of the documents. You have to electronically sign the end of the application and tick to say you have seen their documents and these must be the originals.

Duplicate FAN records

We have had a lot of cases where you can’t find someone’s CRC on the system because it is attached to another FAN record or sometimes the CRC is attached to one record and the level 1 is attached to another. (Sometimes also there could be typos with name spelling.) If you come across a coach with 2 records, please let me know and I will delete the second record and merge the FANs. Can you also make sure their contact details are kept up to date.

FA Safeguarding visits

Michael Turner has sent you an email asking for your club’s training information. You need to respond to this email with full training and venue details for your teams as we may be coming to your club. The purpose of these visits is to speak to your club members and offer support from the County FA’s compliancy team. It is a national FA policy to carry out these visits and you need to ensure you respond with the requested information. 

We will be visiting many clubs over the coming months and will check that everybody involved in coaching is registered with the club and ensure managers/coaches/players and their parent/carers know what to do if they are worried about a child and who the CWO is.

Please return the form sent out to each club by Michael,  to before the end of November.

Failure to send this information to us by then may result in sanctions against the club and you may be asked to come into Northumberland FA to meet with us to discuss the reasons for your non-compliance.

CPD training for Welfare Officers

I would like to invite you to a free CPD event for Welfare Officers and Secretaries or another committee member appointed from your club. On Wednesday 5th December 6.30 – 9.30pm

Four Corners Suite
St. James' Park

Four Corners suite for the event, which is on level 2 at the stadium. Attendees will be signposted from the Glass Atrium.

We have linked with Newcastle United and the Football Foundation to obtain guest speakers from SAVE Association who will deliver a presentation. This organisation was founded following the historic abuse in football which came to light in December 2016. The leads of this organisation and the presenters are all ex professional footballers who were victims.

They have a story to tell, which is extremely powerful and whilst it will challenge us all, will bring to life to all attendees the messages we have been trying to get across for many years. I urge you and your club to attend or send a representative. Ideally CWO and Secretary/Chair.


'SAVE' is primarily a survivor led community founded and led by Ian Ackley, Derek Bell, Paul Stewart and David White who were all victims of childhood sexual abuse in a football setting.

We aim to effect positive change in safeguarding and victim engagement through football.

Our approach is a collaborative one, always to seek to work alongside authorities and organisations to achieve best results for children, vulnerable adults and survivors.

We believe that football, with its unrivalled income streams and popularity is in a unique position to be able to constantly strive to achieve an exemplary standard in the protection of vulnerable people and the care of survivors of abuse.

When such standards are met, it is our very strongly held belief that such protocols should naturally disseminate into other sports and all regulated activities. Football should use it's privileged position and power to share research, data and systems considered best practice to ensure that all children and vulnerable adults, in all regulated activity should be enjoying, learning and developing on a level playing field.

We represent our survivor members with integrity and confidentiality whether that be 'walking with them to the next place' in terms of therapy, the judicial system, personal development or indeed the civil justice system We will always ensure we maintain mutually respectful dialogue with the stakeholders at The FA, the PFA., the professional, amateur and grassroots game, the police, social services and the therapy community, always conducting discussions and negotiations with the best interests of our members in mind.

We believe a key element to recovery is inclusion in the solution or 'feeling part of the process'. Survivor members are encouraged to take advantage of our services or to take part at any level, whichever suits them at whatever time.

The football community is massive in terms of both participants and fans. We will always look to work alongside other such groups in both sport and other activities and in both child protection and survivor recovery to ensure that we can offer a suitable bespoke service to all associates.

Places are limited but if you would like to bring any of your club officers or coaches along, please do. I think it will be thought-provoking and valuable for all of us working with children.

This free session will last approx. 2 hours and booking can be made by emailing to confirm your place.

This will be an excellent event!!


Please remember many of the referees at youth fixtures are also children. Some are also newly qualified and will need support from managers and coaches. It is unacceptable for adult coaches and/or parents to shout at referees or comment on their performance.

This type of behaviour will only mean we lose young match officials and will result in disciplinary charges against those involved. They make mistakes but we want referees to learn and develop and enjoy their role so please remind your coaches that if they wish to comment on the performance of a match official, they must do it through the proper channels.

Therefor if you see any of our young referees who are struggling please can you support them and report into our Referee Development Officer Andrew Smith or me at  

Poor practice

Please remember to let us know if you become aware of poor practice incidents which raise a concern; we may not take any immediate disciplinary action but the incident will be recorded. Please remind your managers and coaches to report all incidents to us through you (or the Club Secretary) to ensure the club is made aware of ongoing issues and we can liaise with a single point of contact.

We are trying to address poor behaviour across youth football and therefore want to know where there are repeat offenders whose behaviour needs to be addressed.

The FA has produced new Respect material including Codes of Conduct which you can download here.

Safeguarding training reminder

It is FA Best Practice policy that you and all your coaches and assistants have FA Safeguarding training renewed every 3 years. As you are aware, it is free to update online once they have attended a face to face workshop and this should be monitored alongside CRC compliance.

• Attending a workshop:

For new coaches and those who have never attended a workshop (or who attended more than 10 years ago) 3 hour Safeguarding Children Workshops are available to book online through the Beds FA website. They can also attend a workshop in another County FA.
Cumberland FA courses can be booked online:

• Online re-certification:

Anybody who has attended a 3 hour face to face workshop and whose qualification is over 2 years old, can update this online and it is FREE. It takes around 2 hours but does not need to be completed in one go, you can come back to it. It will automatically update on the FA system when it is completed.

As always, I am here to support you and if there is anything you are unsure about or want to chat through a situation, please give me a call.