All levels of football will benefit from the checks being carried out by The FA Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Unit on people with access to children in football.
The Football Association and its CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) Unit are working towards making checks on all people involved with children in football.
Tony Pickerin, The FA’s Head of Child Protection, says that there is a significant increase in clubs, leagues and County FAs wanting to complete CRB checks – which are now available – but he stresses the importance of following the correct procedure.
"It has come to our attention that a number of companies offering CRB checks are claiming to be endorsed by either The FA. That is not the case, and all checks in football should be made through the proper channels,” he emphasises.
“Initially, one person at a club should be nominated as the point of contact for The FA CRB Unit, and they will be known as the Child Protection Designated Person. The identity of that person will then be verified in line with CRB regulations. Once that person has been checked – and there are no concerns – other individuals with access to children at the club may also be checked.”
“When certificates come back from the CRB they will be carefully checked for any signs of offending that could put children at risk. The FA will be fair and only look for offences that are significant and relevant. If the certificates indicate a cause for concern, The FA will make further investigations and may consider disciplinary action,” Mr Pickerin points out.
He adds that The FA will be careful to protect confidentiality and all certificates will be kept under lock and key. The FA will keep only relevant information on file and all certificates will be destroyed once a decision has been made about them.
“Some people in football have already organised checks for their clubs and The FA has given a lot of consideration to the ‘portability’ of these checks. If a person has had an enhanced check for the position they currently hold in football, the FA CRB Unit will look at that certificate, and if there is no significant or relevant offending, the person will simply be contacted at the correct time for their renewal check.”
“If the existing certificate shows relevant or significant offending, The FA CRB Unit may suggest the check is done again in order to check for more recent offending or additional information. Additional information is that which is passed to the registered body and does not appear on the certificate – such as ongoing investigations into internet child pornography,” Mr Pickerin says.
“If, however, the FA CRB unit has not completed the whole checking process itself, The FA cannot take legal responsibility for the outcomes of the checks or the decisions taken about them. This is because there may have been errors in the identity checking or additional information that has not been passed on appropriately or dealt with properly.”
“I must point out that The FA CRB Unit cannot accept onto its data base checks completed for other roles or jobs. This is because The FA cannot access additional information about existing certificates that are over three months old.
"It is known that there are people currently in England offering to work with children and showing their apparently clear certificate to prospective employers. While their copy of the certificate is clear, there is additional information in the hands of the body that made the check that indicates they pose a serious risk to children.
"On no account should clubs accept certificates they have not sought themselves and ideally new volunteers should be checked when they apply to help with children."
Contacting the FA CRB Unit
To contact the FA CRB Unit please telephone 0800 085 0506 or email Goal@TheFA.com