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Welcome to the FA Charter Standard

Proud to support places where people want to play football



The FA Charter Standard Programme is The FA’s accreditation scheme open to all grassroots clubs and leagues. It aims to raise standards in the grassroots game, supporting the development of clubs and leagues, recognising and rewarding commitment, quality and achievement.

The FA, and London FA hope to continue the transformation of youth football to achieve 100% of youth teams having a qualified coach by 2021, to ensure that Youth players experience a safe, fun and inclusive environment, and receive coaching which encourages their development, learning and understanding of the game. Please direct your coaches to the new FA Playmaker course (link below) – a great introduction to coaching and also the Charter Standard accepted interim qualification until courses can safely resume. 

Make your club or league proud to achieve The FA Charter Standard - Work in partnership with London FA to meet the criteria needed to achieve accreditation.

Get in Touch

Charter Standard Enquiries

E: charterstandard@londonfa.com


New Entry-Level Course

ThE FA Playmaker

New youth team coaches can now complete the FA Playmaker course in order to meet the Charter Standard coaching criteria, until courses become available again.

FA Playmaker


Please click here to download legal guidance for Charter Standard clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been produced in partnership with Muckle LLP.

As a reminder, clubs who are FA Charter Standard, NLS clubs and grassroots leagues are eligible for 30 minutes free advice, per matter.

You can contact Muckle using the below details:

Call 0191 211 7799 or email us at CSLegalHelp@TheFA.com

Charter Standard - Own It

Charter Standard Accreditation Information

Charter Standard - Own It

Benefits & Incentives

Charter Standard - Own It

Resources & Guidance

Charter Standard - Own It

Annual Health Checks

Footballs in a pile.



Any club can apply for FA CS status, even a one-team club – provided the club is affiliated to London FA.

The criteria are challenging, but attainable for every club. Once awarded, FA Charter Standard clubs are given an annual ‘health check’ to ensure the standards of provision are being maintained.

The base criteria for a league wanting to achieve The FA Charter Standard League award are:

  • Evidence of how the league plans to retain/grow the number of male, female and disability teams (mini-soccer, small sided and 11v11) as appropriate
  • At least 60% of teams in the league have Charter Standard Club status, working towards 100% within two seasons
  • The league has an equality policy and complaints procedure that adheres to The FA equality policy and complaints procedure template
  • The league has a safeguarding children policy and procedures that adheres to FA requirements (youth leagues only)
  • The Youth League Welfare Officer and Charter Standard League Co-ordinator sit on the league committee
  • The league has a web-based administration system for results, tables and fixtures. FULL-TIME is recommended for this purpose but it isn’t mandatory
  • The league has a development plan that identifies key development objectives and targets linked to the National Game Strategy key goals and enablers
  • As part of the benefits each Charter Standard League is eligible for two tickets to The FA Community Shield courtesy of McDonald's.

FA Charter Standard League primarily offers leagues a process to raise standards within leagues and a practical means to deliver initiatives in line with the needs of member clubs. The base criteria ensures that clubs within these leagues are consistent in delivering Respect, have a minimum Level 1 qualified coach with every team (Mini Soccer and youth football only), and have a qualified first aider. However for most leagues this is just the foundation on which they then build significant positive change and initiatives through the implementation of a league development plan.

The league development plan should be a clear set of actions that will make a practical difference to the operation of the league and the progress of the clubs/teams and players within it.

If you are looking to clarify your leagues purpose, raise standards in your league, use the huge influence of your league to affect change at grass roots level- then FA Charter Standard League is for you.

For advice and further information on Charter Standard, please contact your assigned London FA Football Development Representative:

Laura Foster (laura.foster@londonfa.com) - Lambeth, Wandsworth, Bromley, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, City of London, Southwark

Aquila Burgess (aquila.burgess@londonfa.com) - Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Islington, Camden, Haringey

Amanda Lewis (amanda.lewis@londonfa.com) - Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Waltham Forest

To apply, clubs must complete an application form and return it to London FA with the requested supporting evidence. Feedback will be obtained from the leagues that your club plays in to ensure that your club displays the high levels expected of an FA Charter Standard Club.

The London FA Football Development team will provide feedback on each application, which will include an action plan and a recommendation. If your club meets the criteria, we will forward your application to The FA for awarding. If your club does not meet the criteria, we will provide you with an action plan and advice.

The accreditation lasts for one season and will be renewed each year as part of the club re-affiliation process. The accreditation awards can be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record, fails to attend in-service FA Charter Standard events or is unable to continue to meet the criteria.

Criteria include:

  • Having an FA-trained Club Welfare Officer
  • An FA Level 1 coach for each youth team (U18 and below)
  • Criminal Record Checks (CRC) for all volunteers involved in youth football teams
  • FA Emergency Aid-trained volunteers linked to each team
  • Sign-up to and deliver The FA’s Respect programme
  • Appropriate administration governance in place – in relation to the club’s size
  • An FA Charter Standard Coordinator recruited for each club.

Additional Adult Club criteria:

  • To be formerly constituted
  • Require a set of recent Committee meeting minutes
  • Have at least one team playing in an FA-sanctioned league
  • Have a bank account in the club’s name
  • Provide a balance sheet and profit and loss account
  • Have a Club equality Policy
  • Link to a feeder club for players
  • A good disciplinary record
  • A first aider with every team.

Additional Development Club criteria:

  • A minimum of five teams covering at least four different age groups
  • A Football Development Plan for three to five years
  • At least one Level 2 coach coaching one of the teams

Additional Community Club criteria:

  • A minimum of ten teams covering mini-soccer, youth and adult football
  • Has a minimum of one male and female team
  • Have at least two FA Level 2 qualified coaches within the club
  • One person who has attended the FA Mentoring Adults course.

Clubs which achieve FA Charter Standard status can be proud to be the best place for people to play and enjoy football. They are able to demonstrate they offer positive football environments where people can develop their skills, keep fit and enjoy playing as part of a friendly, inclusive community.

FA Charter Standard clubs receive access to benefits that will help to attract and retain players, volunteers and supporters. The level of support and resources you receive will depend on the level of accreditation a club achieves. Benefits clubs experience include:

  • Attract and retain players, supporters and volunteers
  •  Funding for football equipment
  • Access to promotional resources and guidance
  • Tailored support from The FA and London FA

Leagues interested in attaining the FA Charter Standard status should register their interest by completing the FA Charter Standard League registration form and sending it to us.

Once a league has registered, a member of London FA's Football Development team will contact the league to confirm how to access the resources and incentives for the programme and to arrange a meeting or invite the league to a workshop with other leagues.

The second step is to audit and assess the league against the FA Charter Standard criteria, then work with us on an action plan to achieving the criteria. Once this criteria is achieved, we will approve FA Charter Standard status and organise the official plaque and other benefits. We will then work with the league on continuous development and the health check.

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