This article aims to address the following when making the necessary adjustments to government and FA implemented guidance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. The ratio of coaches working with children
2. Face-to-face Identity (ID) Document Verification for DBS checks
3. Guidance for Clubs in Whole Game System Portal in light of changes connected with the Covid-19 pandemic
4. Safeguarding Education
5. Insurance covering football activity during Covid-19
1. The ratio of coaches working with children:
Guidance issued on 1 June following discussion with DCMS, enabled coaches to work with groups of 5 children, with the coach as the 6th person, if the coach had an in-date FA DBS check and there was another adult (this could have been a parent/carer or another coach), in sight of the activity.
This approach sought to facilitate a gradual start to some football activity in a proportionate way, with an observing adult in sight of the activity, whilst socially distanced and observing. Whilst this was supported by the DCMS, it has become apparent that this position has caused some confusion in respect of ensuring the correct ratio of coaches to children is always adhered to, and that this might lead to challenges for clubs and coaches locally. For this reason, you will see a change to the information now in the public domain.
Therefore, the guidance issued on 12 June, clarifies:
Coaches must work on a ratio of one coach to groups of no more than five children in each group (1:5) and there must be a minimum of two FA-DBS-checked adults present at any one time.
- if there is only one group, there must be two FA DBS checked adults / coaches, therefore the ratio is 2:4 coaches to children; or
- if there are two or more groups of 5 children, coaches can work on the ratio of 1:5 coaches to children.
2. Face-to-face Identity (ID) Document Verification for DBS checks:
Please see below the new guidance which enables face-to-face ID verification for DBS checks by appointed FA PIN Verifiers – ‘Guidance on carrying out face-to-face Identity (ID) Document Verification for DBS checks in line with Government Covid-19 guidelines’
It’s important to recognise that some PIN verifiers may not feel comfortable to carry out ID verifications at this time. This might be because individuals are in one of the groups that are more vulnerable to Covid-19, as identified by Government data e.g. 70+, BAME, those with specific underlying medical conditions.
3. Guidance for Clubs in Whole Game System Portal in light of changes connected with the Covid-19 pandemic:
Q - Can I add a Welfare Officer in the Portal Affiliation form without a current FA DBS check?
A – Yes to allow you to start the process, but you will receive warnings and you will not be able to able to submit the affiliation form. With face-to-face DBS verification now reinstated, you are reminded that all Welfare Officers must have a current FA DBS check.
Q – Can I add a Welfare Officer in the Portal Affiliation form without a SGW or WOW?
A – Yes, you will receive warnings, but this is allowed, and the affiliation form can be submitted.
Q – Can I add a Youth Team Manager or Coach in the Portal Affiliation form without an FA DBS?
A – No, with face-to-face FA DBS checks reinstated, all Youth Team Managers and Coaches must have a current FA DBS.
Q – Can I add a new Welfare Officer in the Portal Club Officials page without an FA DBS, SGW or WOW?
A – No, this is not allowed. If you need to have a new Welfare Officer who does not have any of these, you will need to contact your County FA who can support getting the FA DBS check and can record the need for an action plan for the Safeguarding and Welfare Officer Workshops.
Q – Can I add a new Youth Team Manager or Coach in the Portal Team Officials page without an FA DBS?
A – No, this is not allowed. With face-to-face DBS verification now reinstated, all Youth Team Managers and Coaches must have a current FA DBS.
4. Safeguarding Education:
The FA recognises that County FA's are keen to understand how safeguarding education can be delivered safely and in a timely way and the options for SCW and WOW remain under consideration with FA Learning. This includes the possibility of virtual classroom sessions as an interim position as soon as we can provide further details we will do.
The FA are seeking to understand the CWO experience and intends to send the survey out to CWOs on Wednesday 24th. June and we expect it remain open until Sunday 12th July (closing at midnight).
5. Insurance Covering Football Activity during Covid-19:
Please see below the useful infographic, which has been created by Bluefin Sport, The FA’s providers for National Game Insurance Scheme, answering questions regarding football activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.