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FA Charter Standard

Proud to support places where people 

want to play football


Welcome to The FA Charter Standard 

Proud to support places where people want to play football

The FA is proud to make Charter Standard part of grassroots football in England. 

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.

Proud to support clubs get up to the standard
The FA Charter Standard accreditation is for clubs who can be proud to be places where people want to play. These are the clubs who demonstrate they offer well-run and sustainable football.  

Clubs who achieve Charter Standard status are proud to prioritise qualified coaching and safeguarding as well as the values of The FA’s Respect campaign as part of their game.

There are two different entry levels of FA Charter Standard club accreditation:

1. FA Charter Standard Youth 
2. FA Charter Standard Adult

Advanced levels are for clubs who look to grow participation, involve a variety of different people and offer different formats in their football environments.

FA Charter Standard Development is aimed at clubs who are enhancing the quality and scope of their football offering
FA Charter Standard Community acknowledges the most advanced level of club development and football provision

Clubs which achieve The FA Charter Standard accreditation are challenged to maintain high standards and, where appropriate, to improve and progress to new levels. 

The accreditation makes a positive difference to the way clubs are run and to people’s enjoyment of football. The FA aims to support all grassroots clubs to reach Charter Standard status through our network of County FA’s.

Clubs and leagues work in partnership with County FAs to meet the criteria needed to achieve the accreditation. From 2018 funding toward The FA Level 1 Coaching Football qualification is available for clubs. 

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

In return for becoming accredited FA Charter Standard clubs receive access to benefits that help to attract and retain players, volunteers and supporters. The level of support and resources available 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 County FA's

Proud to support grassroots leagues

The FA Charter Standard League is an accreditation that sets an operational benchmark for FA sanctioned leagues. Since 2009 this is awarded to leagues which can demonstrate their commitment to provide well organised football in safer, more inclusive environments. 

Make your club or league proud to be FA Charter Standard 
If you’re interested in achieving The FA Charter Standard Accreditation, or just want to find out more, you should start by making contact with your County FA. They’ll be able to support you.  


Get In Touch

For all Charter Standard enquiries please contact:

Natalie Wood (Football Development Officer Charter Standard Clubs & Disability)

By Phone: 01202 688273
(8.30am - 4.30pm Monday - Friday)

By Email:



Any club can get the support they need to apply for FA Charter Standard accreditation. FA Charter Standard accreditation demonstrates how clubs, leagues, volunteers, parents and players play their part in providing fun, safe and inclusive football opportunities for all.

 As a minimum clubs must be affiliated to Dorset FA and have at least one team playing in an FA sanctioned league. 

It’s free! The FA and County FAs do not charge to become accredited. Clubs also receive benefits and incentives to achieve, maintain and progress their FA Charter Standard status.

Clubs should contact Dorset FA to apply for FA Charter Standard status. 

Clubs work in partnership with Dorset FA to demonstrate and work toward meeting the accreditation criteria. Help and support is available from our team of experienced staff.

We will then work together to complete an FA Charter Standard application form and Dorset FA will review your application and supporting evidence with a number of experienced individuals within the game. If a club meets the criteria they are awarded a relevant level of accreditation. Support is available to help clubs meet the standard.

At entry level criteria covers four areas and expects an annual commitment to the programme, which is checked via an Annual Health Check process each season. The four areas are


  • Administration & Operations
  • Constitution & Policies
  • Checks, Coaching & Qualifications
  • Links, Pathways & Development Plans


After achieving the entry level accreditation clubs may have the ambition to apply for a higher level of accreditation within the FA Charter Standard programme. With this comes an additional criterion highlighted within the criteria document. Please seek support from your CFA if you have such ambitions for your club as additional benefits are rewarded for reaching these levels of accreditation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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