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A full list of Q&A's to support in DBS applications, ID Verifications and the CWO process 2021/22

Please see the full guide below on everything you need to know about DBS Applications, ID Verification and becoming a Club Welfare Officer 



Q: What is a DBS?

A: A (DBS) is a Disclosure & Barring Service check. Volunteers in eligible roles within football are subject to an Enhanced DBS check and a check is also made against the Government’s national list of those people barred from working with children (the Children’s Barred List).


Q: Who needs a DBS check?

A: Everyone aged 16 years or over who undertakes any unsupervised roles with children in regulated football activity. These roles could be managing, training, coaching, supervising.  They include giving advice or guidance on well-being, caring for children or driving a vehicle solely for children on behalf of a club or organisation.

Anyone performing these roles MUST obtain a DBS check:

  • Football Coach working with Under 18 players (this includes coaches in open-age football with 16/17 year old players) – this includes ALL coaches, whether they have assistant in the title or not
  • Football Team Manager working with Under 18 players (this includes those working in open-age football with 16/17 year old players)
  • Club Welfare Officer
  • Under 18 Chaperone e.g. for tours with overnight stays for Under 18s
  • Regular Club Driver only for children (not private arrangement between parents)
  • First aider/medic working with Under 18s
  • Referees (youth football)


Q: Are DBS applications still paused due to COVID-19 restrictions?

A: The process was paused as a consequence of government lockdown restrictions but it is now back up and running. 


Q: Are DBS Checks extended due to COVID-19? 

A: The date of DBS checks that are due to expire between 1st October 2020 and 31st May 2021 will be extended by one calendar year on 1st February 2021.

This follows the action that was taken in April 2020 for checks that expired between 1st March 2020 and 31st September 2020 to be extended by one calendar year.

For the avoidance of doubt, only checks expiring between 1st October 2020 and 31st May 2021 are to be extended. DBS checks that were extended 1st March 2020 - 31st September 2020 are not to be extended further.

Once Government restrictions are lifted, clubs will need to ensure that all individuals involved with the club have a valid DBS Check. 


Q: How do I apply for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check?

If you are a volunteer with an affiliated club you should contact your Club Welfare Officer.


Q: How do I apply for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check with Hampshire FA if I am not linked to a Grassroots Football Club which is based in Hampshire?

A: If you are not linked to a football club, email safeguarding@hampshirefa.com and our team will guide you through the process.


Q: What information will I be required to provide?

A: The applicant will require a minimum of three forms of ID such as a valid Driving Licence, Birth certificate, Passport and recent utility bill, credit card or bank statement.  For details of acceptable forms of ID please see HERE

The applicant (new or renewal) goes through process of submitting the required information online and then submits the application for ID verification.  The applicant should bring the ID to a face to face meeting with a suitable ID verifier (Club Welfare Officer for those attached to affiliated clubs or with a County FA DBS verifier/League Welfare Officer for applications made via Hampshire FA). The verifier will submit details of the ID to progress the application.


Q: What is the payment process?

A: Payment is made online upon completion of the verification process by the applicant. Payment is made by debit or credit card or via PayPal as per the choice of the applicant.  The cost of the application for volunteers is £10. Once payment is made the application will then proceed through the various stages prior to completion and certificate issue. 


Q: How long does the process take to complete?

A: The process normally takes around 2 weeks, but this can vary depending on the number of applications being processed at any time.  Applications that are delayed beyond 60 days can be chased with the DBS service.

If your check does reveal some information, this does not automatically exclude you from working with vulnerable groups in football. Every disclosure is assessed individually, taking into account the person’s age at the time of any relevant incident; the time expired since the conviction, the way the court dealt with the crime and other salient information. 


Q: Can I actively volunteer whilst waiting for my DBS application to become accepted by the FA?

A: The Enhanced DBS check and check of the Children’s Barred List allows the FA to make informed decisions about the suitability of people who are seeking a voluntary role in football.  Anyone volunteering or working in an eligible role, directly working with children and young people – such as coaches/managers, referees, first aiders and welfare officers – MUST have an in-date, FA accepted DBS Check as part of responsible recruitment practice before they work or volunteer within football.

Please note that receipt of a DBS certificate does not mean that the check has been accepted by the FA this is only confirmed once the DBS check is shown as accepted on the Whole Game System.


Q: Do you need a DBS check when working with adults? (open age clubs) 

A: Yes, if an adult team has any players registered that are aged 16 or 17 then Managers, Coaches, Assistants and all volunteers who meet DBS eligibility will need to obtain an accepted FA DBS. 


Q: Is the Referee DBS process different?

A: Referees aged 16 or over should commence their DBS application online using the Hampshire FA Organisation Pin 102267, as per the guidance explained earlier in this document, and should contact Andy.moisey@hampshirefa.com to arrange for ID verification. 



Q: What is face-to-face ID verification?

A: Face to face verification is where a DBS applicant takes their ID to a meeting with an authorised DBS verifier in person.


Q: Who can verify documents? 

A: Club Welfare Officers are the main point of contact for any applicant linked to a grassroots youth football club. An individual who is not linked to a club can request to initiate a DBS check via Hampshire FA (via the process outlined above) and will then meet with a member of Hampshire FA staff or a League Welfare Officer to complete the ID verification process.

Club Welfare Officers cannot verify their own DBS application and should, therefore, complete an application via Hampshire FA.


Q: Can someone at my Club become an ID Verifier?

A: To become a Club verifier you can contact FAchecks@thefa.com or tel: 0115 969 4618 


Q: I am registered as a volunteer with a grassroots football club in Hampshire. I require a DBS check with The FA as I meet eligibility and have commenced my DBS application with my club. Who verifies my DBS application? 

A: If your Club has a fully qualified CWO or assistant CWO in place then the CWO/assistant CWO are your points of contact for your DBS verification. Club Welfare Officers who are fully qualified to carry out the CWO role/responsibilities in accordance with their training requirement must register as a DBS verifier by emailing FAchecks@thefa.com  FA Checks will then send the CWO guidance notes to register as a Club DBS verifier and provide the CWO with an Organisation Pin and Secret Word that is unique to the Club. Once the CWO has registered with FA Checks and validated their account, they will then be in a position to verify DBS documentation. 


Q: My club is a new club and our CWO is not yet qualified, how do we carry out DBS checks?

A: Until the CWO becomes qualified, those personal? Requiring a DBS check should make their application using the Hampshire FA organisation pin (as explained earlier).


Q: Can face-to-face ID document verification now be carried out?

A: Yes. Post-lockdown the Government guidance allows you to travel outside of your home, irrespective of distance, providing you return the same night or stay within your ‘support bubble’, follow Government guidelines on social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene.


Q: How else can I minimise risks whilst checking ID document verification during the Covid-19 pandemic?

A: To minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19 during face-to-face ID document verification, please ensure you adhere to Government guidelines:

• Check with the venue about the outdoor space at which you choose to meet, as it may have specific guidelines you are required to follow e.g. a one-way system.

• We recommend you wear disposable gloves. In addition, ensure you follow Government guidelines on practising good hand hygiene. Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using alcohol-based hand gel where handwashing facilities are unavailable, before and after handling physical documents, or touching other surfaces at the venue. • Ensure you practice good respiratory hygiene, including covering your mouth and nose with, your bent elbow or tissue if you cough or sneeze, ensuring you immediately dispose of any used tissues in plastic bags you have taken for disposable items and wash your hands.

• Do your best to avoid touching your face. The virus does not enter the body through the hands. Your hands could pick up the virus and then it could enter the body through touching the nose, mouth and eyes. Therefore, care should be taken not to touch the nose, mouth and eyes during or after handling documents until the hands have again been washed. 


Q: What if I or the person I am meeting for the ID document verification meeting feels unwell and/or is displaying any symptoms of possible Covid-19 infection?

A: Do not go ahead with the ID document verification meeting if either party is feeling unwell and/or is displaying possible Covid-19 symptoms, or is concerned they may have come into contact with someone who has the virus. Only re-arrange to complete the verification when any self-isolation period has ended, you feel well, or have been advised by an NHS practitioner that it is safe to do so. 


Q: Is it safe to handle all other people’s documentation, and if so, what’s the best way to do this?

A: Some research on how long Covid-19 lasts on surfaces does suggest that the risk of infecting others, or contracting Covid-19 through handling physical documents is low. In order to reduce the risk of transferring Covid-19 between parties, follow all the guidelines above. 


Q: Why does the verification have to be face-to-face? Why can’t a video call be allowed where both individuals can see each other, and documents can be shown online?

A: Consideration was given to making use of videos calls in line with DBS guidance. However, The FA, like some other national governing bodies of sport decided against this option, because: a) Having tested it, it was obvious that it would not be possible to ensure that every document shared in this way would be clear enough for identification purposes; and b) The DBS requires any organisation using this method, to subsequently ensure they have viewed all original hard copy documents, as soon as face to face verification was enabled. The FA decided this would place an additional burden on the voluntary workforce. 


Hampshire FA ID Verification Request 

If you require a DBS Verification to confirm your documents, please email Jackie.Binnington@HampshireFA.com (or, Andy.Moisey@HampshireFA.com if you are a referee). All details submitted will only be used to assist in ID Verification requests. 



If clubs with open-age teams do not have a Welfare Officer and have, or are likely to have, 16/17-year-old registered players, we strongly suggest that you appoint and train a Club Welfare Officer and adopt safeguarding policies and procedures to safeguard those young people who are under 18 – this may not currently be an affiliation requirement but it may become mandatory in future and taking action now will demonstrate your club’s commitment to safeguarding the welfare of young players across the game.


The Welfare Officer role:

Review current practices
Promote Safeguarding awareness and training
Ensure compliance with safer recruitment practices including initiating and verifying DBS checks for club volunteers


The type of person who makes a good Welfare Officer:

Always puts the young person’s welfare first
A good communicator
Common-sense approach
Willing to learn and seek advice
Is over the age of 18

To qualify in the role of Welfare Officer, the individual must have:

An FA accepted DBS check
Completed the FA’s online Safeguarding for Committee members course HERE  
Completed the FA’s online Safeguarding Children Workshop (due to be launched April 2021) HERE 
Completed the FA’s online Welfare Officer Workshop HERE 

For further information about the role of Club Welfare Officer see Section 5 HERE



Hampshire FA Safeguarding and Welfare Website