FA Charter Standard League Criteria

The Charter Standard League Programme assesses the ability of league to provide high quality, safe and enjoyable football experience again a standard set of criteria. It also encourages leagues to continuously develop through on-going support from County FA staff and the review of an on going league development plan as part of an annual health check process. The Charter Standard League Programme is open to all FA sanctioned leagues.

The FA Charter Standard League Programme delivers on the vision of The FA Charter Standard Brand.

Vision: Offering everybody in grassroots football a high quality, safe, enjoyable experience, that is nationally recognised.

The Programme helps to:

  • Target investment
  • Deliver an improved service and support structure to leagues
  • Improve communication with leagues
  • Ensure succession planning within leagues
  • Rationalise existing league structures
  • Help implement the principles of Long Term Player Development
  • Grow football for underrepresented groups
  • Improve efficiency and sustainability of leagues
  • Deliver on the Respect Programme

The Charter Standard League criteria is divided into 6 development areas, reflecting the approach of the National Game Strategy:

  • Growth and Retention
  • Raising Standards and Addressing Behaviour 
  • Better Players
  • Running the Game
  • Workforce Development
  • All Goals and Enablers

1. Growth and Retention

a. 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.

2. Raising Standards and Addressing Behaviour

a. At least 60% of teams in the league have Charter Standard Club status. All other teams must have Enhanced FA CRB checks for all welfare officers, coaches and managers working with children in youth football or with vulnerable adults. The league will have two years to ensure that all participating clubs have Charter Standard Club status. Any new clubs entering the league after Charter Standard League Status is granted will have 12 months to attain Charter Standard Club status.

b. The league actively promotes the Respect Programme through implementation of:

  • The Respect codes of conduct
  •  Designated spectator areas for games (optional for adult leagues) 
  • Captains taking more responsibility for the behaviour of their players
  • Referee managing the game

c. The league has an equality policy and complaints procedure that adheres to The FA equality policy and complaints procedure template.

d. The league has a safeguarding children policy and procedures that adheres to FA requirements (youth leagues only).

e. The league has a named Youth League Welfare Officer who has an Enhanced FA CRB check and has been on the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officer Workshops (youth leagues only).

3. Better Players

a. The league is committed to reviewing existing and developing appropriate competition and training programmes for youth players in line with the principles of Long Term Player Development by evidence of :

  • A commitment to encouraging greater use of small sided football formats (3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 7v7 , 9v9 etc)
  • Promoting a culture of learning where there is an emphasis on player development over results by:
  • From the 2009/10 season, no division to exceed 12 teams [Unless permission granted in exceptional circumstances].
  • No league tables at u7,u8 age groups.
  • Encouraging the provision of flexible format festivals.
  • A coach education programme to include: Level 1, One Day Introduction to Age Appropriate module, FA Youth Module 1 (this can be linked to the CFA Coaching Programme) (Note: Adult leagues only required to deliver FA Coaching Adults) Plus two technical in service days per season of which one must be aimed at coaches working with under 11s. (Note: Adult leagues not required to deliver under 11 in-service).

4. Running the Game

a. The league is sanctioned by The FA or CFA, as appropriate

b. The league is signed up to The FA Standard Code of Rules

c. The league has a Charter Standard League agenda item at league meetings

d. The Youth League Welfare Officer and Charter Standard League Co-ordinator sit on the league committee

e. The league has a web based administration system for results and fixtures. Full Time is recommended for this purpose but it isn’t mandatory.

5. Workforce Development

a. The league has a named volunteer Charter Standard League Co-ordinator

b. The league provides a minimum of three continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities per season for league volunteers and member clubs ideally on days when there are no fixtures (flexible programmes to include mentoring for club and league secretaries).

6. All Goals and Enablers

a. The league has a development plan that identifies key development objectives and targets linked to the National Game Strategy key goals and enablers.

b. The league has an agreed support package with the CFA

Benefits to Leagues

 By signing up to working towards Charter Standard League status, leagues will be demonstrating that they are willing to work towards a minimum operating standard and to raising standards and addressing poor behaviour within the league and member clubs by encouraging teams to gain Charter Standard Club status as part of the Charter Standard League criteria. Leagues will also be demonstrating, by reviewing what they do well, what they want to do better and by identifying how they can improve, that they are committed to developing better players and to investing in the workforce.

The benefits of achieving Charter Standard League status, are that leagues will have a clear development plan in place, together with an agreed support package with their County FA. Charter Standard Leagues will also be demonstrating that they are committed to the Respect programme and will have procedures in place to improve standards and address poor behaviour in the game, a key priority for all those involved in Football. Leagues will also gain recognition that they are committed to a quality experience for all and that they are a well run league.

Gaining Charter Standard League Status

An on-line registration and assessment process is being developed to support The FA Charter Standard League Programme. Once leagues have registered their interest in working towards Charter Standard League status, they will be supported to an agreed level by County FA staff, who will be able to sign off criteria as they are met by the league.

Once the league can demonstrate that it meets all the criteria through an evidence portfolio, the County FA will sign off the league and Charter Standard League status will be awarded. Leagues will then be expected to undertake an annual health check as part of the process, a key element of which will be the review and update of a league development plan.

For more information please contact Chris Funnell on 08449 67 07 08 (Option 2) or email chris.funnell@lincolnshirefa.com

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