Built To Last

Charter Standard

The FA Charter Standard Programme


Proud to support leagues and clubs 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 through supporting the development of clubs and leagues. It also recognises and rewards commitment, quality and achievement.

These are the clubs and leagues who demonstrate they offer well-run and sustainable football. Those who achieve The FA Charter Standard are proud to prioritise qualified coaching and safeguarding as well as the values of The FA’s Respect Programme as part of their game.


COVID-19 has impacted on The FA’s and County FA’s ability to offer face to face education. Interim requirements for The FA Charter Standard club accreditation criteria (coaching, first aid and safeguarding) are in place for the season 2020/21 .

Long term plans are being made to offer alternative, sustainable delivery models however it is necessary to make temporary changes for the 2020/21 season. These apply to new and existing FA Charter Standard accredited clubs.

We encourage all clubs to explore the opportunity to become FA Charter Standard accredited, qualifying the relevant individuals to make the on-pitch environment a safe place and putting in place the policies and documents off-pitch to make sure they are built to last. When the time comes there will be an expectation and commitment for all accredited clubs to maintain or raise the standards and requirements that make The FA’s kitemark accreditation programme PROUD to be the best.

To view the interim criteria for 2020/21 please download this document:



Club accreditation

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

• The FA Charter Standard Youth
• The FA Charter Standard Adult

Advanced levels are for clubs who offer more playing opportunities, look to grow participation, involve a variety of different people and offer different formats for male, female and disability players in their football environments:

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

Clubs who achieve The FA Charter Standard accreditation are challenged to maintain high standards and, where appropriate, to improve and progress to new levels. Clubs that work in partnership can be linked and recognised to achieve the development or community club levels of accreditation

League accreditation

There is only one level of accreditation that grassroots leagues can achieve:

• The FA Charter Standard League accreditation

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

Clubs and leagues work in partnership with County FAs to meet the criteria to achieve accreditation. 


If you’re interested in achieving The FA Charter Standard accreditation, or just want to find out more, let’s have a conversation. Please contact info@shropshirefa.com and a member of the team will be happy to help.

You can also visit our other relevant links to find out more about The FA Charter Standard programme.

*Any club affiliated to a County FA that play in the National League System and below, likewise for women’s clubs that play outside the Women’s Super League (BARCLAYS FA WSL) and Women’s Championship (FA WC), tier 3 and below, can apply. Clubs must have at least one team playing within an FA sanctioned league.

**Any league sanctioned to a County FA that are the National League System and below, likewise for women’s clubs that play outside the Women’s Super League (BARCLAYS FA WSL) and Women’s Championship (FA WC), tier 3 and below, can apply.




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 a County FA and have at least one team playing in an FA sanctioned league. 


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

Clubs work in partnership with Shropshire 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 Shropshire 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. 


Leagues should contact Shropshire FA to register an interest in achieving FA Charter Standard status. This is done by completing an FA Charter Standard League Registration form.

Shropshire FA will then organise a meeting or invite you to one of our league workshops where we can help audit and assess your league. As part of this meeting we will identify outstanding objectives against the criteria and help leagues work toward meeting these.


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

A club’s accreditation lasts for one season. An annual health check must be completed each year to review a club’s status. The FA Charter Standard accreditation may be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record or no longer meets the criteria.

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 resource and guidance
Tailored support from The FA and County FAs

The FA, Shropshire FA and associated partners offer a number of additional benefits to those above so speak to us today to find out more. 


The criteria are outlined within the application form. There are different criteria for both. It also has some relevant differences for the Youth and Adult game. Broadly the criteria are based around having the following in place:

Code of conduct and operational policies
Coaching qualifications (Youth only)
Links, Pathways & Development Plans

These criteria are designed to make clubs in the best place possible to play and enjoy football. 

Higher levels of accreditation are available to clubs who offer above the minimum criteria. Clubs who achieve Community or Development status are given access to greater levels of support, benefits and equipment.


The precise criteria to become an FA Charter Standard League is identified as part of your Shropshire FA meeting or forum. Broadly leagues are required to meet the following objectives: 

60% of registered teams are members of FA Charter Standard clubs
Demonstrate support for new teams to achieve FA Charter Standard status
Supporting and implementing The FA’s Respect campaign
Having a league referees’ officer
Demonstrate active link to another league to support player development and transitional pathways
After 3 years, have a minimum of 85% teams as members of FA Charter Standard clubs

Working together with Shropshire FA, we help make sure you are delivering the best offer possible for players to play in a safe, fun and inclusive environment and support for the people who help run your teams.

Get in Touch

Darren Beech
Football Development Manager

Phone: 01743 362769Option 2
(9am - 5pm Monday - Friday)


Related Articles

View All