In accordance with its commitment to developing and raising standards within junior football in Wales, the Football Association of Wales (“FAW”), in conjunction with the FAW Trust, has introduced and maintains a scheme of Club Accreditation. The following regulations govern the implementation of, authority over and requirements to comply with the Club Accreditation Scheme.
1.1 Nature of the Club Accreditation Scheme
1.1.1 The Club Accreditation Scheme will be operated and maintained on behalf of the Football Association of Wales by the FAW Trust.
1.1.2 The Club Accreditation Scheme will comprise of five defined levels being STANDARD, BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD and PLATINUM. The criteria for these levels will be set by the FAW in consultation with the FAW Trust.
1.1.3 The STANDARD criteria will be the minimum acceptable level for junior football clubs in Wales. Failure to achieve and maintain the STANDARD criteria will result in Disciplinary action against the club concerned which will result in the immediate cessation of all junior related football activities and inhibit entry into the junior league for non-compliant teams within the club.
1.1.4 All other criteria will provide clear development guidance to clubs.
1.1.5 All criteria set at STANDARD level must be obtained by 60% or more of a club’s junior teams before a junior club will be awarded this level of accreditation. If certain teams are identified as not meeting minimum accreditation levels, they will be identified as non-compliant teams which will result in the immediate cessation of junior related football activities and inhibit entry into the junior league for non-compliant teams within the club.
1.1.6 All criteria set at BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD and PLATINUM must be obtained by all club’s junior teams before a junior club will be awarded these levels of accreditation.
1.1.7 The FAW, in conjunction with the FAW Trust, shall retain overall authority over the operation of this scheme and the awarding of levels.
1.1.8 The FAW, in conjunction with the FAW Trust, reserves the right to amend a club’s accreditation level based on behaviour contrary to the spirit of FAW rules and regulations or improper conduct.
1.1.9 Clubs that attain the criteria will receive accredited status for one season.
1.2 Responsibilities of a Club
1.2.1 All new and existing clubs must attain, as a minimum, the STANDARD AWARD criteria before participating in junior football.
1.2.2 It is the responsibility of every junior club to maintain the criteria of accreditation awarded to the club via their club accreditation application and maintain an accurate record of their COMET club account as a database of individuals who have access to children and young people.
1.2.3 Utilise FAW resources including FAW kitbag and club development resources.
1.2.4 Once a club has achieved the relevant criteria, the club will be entitled to display the FAW Club Accreditation mark/logo appropriate to the level achieved for the season awarded.
1.2.5 It is the responsibility of every junior club to ensure at least one individual holds the role of “Accreditation Officer” in Comet to support the application process.
1.3 Operation of the Club Accreditation Scheme
1.3.1 FAW to issue access to club accreditation applications for all junior clubs via Club Licence section on the COMET system from 1 August 2022.
1.3.2 All junior clubs must submit a completed club accreditation application via the Club Licence section of their COMET account prior to 30 September 2022.
1.3.3 FAW, in conjunction with FAW Trust, will audit all club accreditation applications submitted via COMET to determine from the information available, whether the club has met the criteria to achieve, as a minimum STANDARD AWARD.
1.3.4 FAW, in conjunction with FAW Trust, will provide a breakdown per league of each club accreditation application received and their subsequent accreditation level with each league accreditation officer and league secretary. FAW will also share a breakdown per Area Association of each club accreditation application received and their subsequent accreditation level.
1.3.5 In the event of a club not submitting a completed club accreditation application prior to 30 September 2022, they will be prohibited from participating in all football related activity until an application is submitted/workbook is received.
1.3.6 In the event of a club being prohibited from participating in all football related activity, a club may appeal the decision in writing to the FAW Trust. Any notice of appeal must be lodged with the FAW Trust by the club in line with FAW rules.
Clubs registered on the scheme MUST complete the following quality standards in order to affiliate to a Junior League:-
2.1 Constitution and Affiliation
2.1.1 Operate within a constitution comprising of the following nominated officers: Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Club Accreditation Officer. One person cannot hold more than two of these positions within a club or across 2 clubs.
2.1.2 Affiliate to the appropriate FAW Area Association.
2.1.3 Attend meetings as designated by the respective local junior league. In the event of the club secretary being unable to attend, one of the three other nominated officers may attend in his/her absence.
2.1.4 Place the safety, welfare and enjoyment of players at the centre of the club philosophy and constitution.
2.2 Safeguarding and Player Welfare
2.2.1 Appoint a nominated Safeguarding Officer to liaise with the local League Safeguarding Officer.
2.2.2 Ensure the nominated Safeguarding Officer attends a FAW Safeguarding Award, holds an equivalent qualification (UK Sports Coaching Safeguarding Award or NSPCC Time to Listen Award) or has a professional occupation (Social Worker, Police Force or teacher) with Safeguarding or Child Protection responsibilities, holds a valid FAW DBS check and COMET ID.
2.2.3 Ensure the Safeguarding Officer’s details are clearly displayed and communicated on club digital platforms, clubhouse and welcome pack.
2.2.4 Ensure that the club and all persons adhere to the FAW Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Practices, Codes of Conduct, all Welfare regulations and instructions issued by the FAW.
2.2.5 Ensure all persons who have access to children and young people participate in the FAW national DBS programme and obtain a valid DBS Certificate and subsequent FAW number. All persons who hold solely administrative positions (including but not limited to Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer or equivalent positions) and as such do not have active roles with children and young people will require approval through the COMET Football Management system.
2.2.6 Ensure all persons with access to children and young people have their COMET ID available at all appropriate times.
2.2.7 Adhere to FAW volunteer recruitment and deployment guidelines.
2.3 Club Workforce and Development
2.3.1 Ensure they adhere to the following ratios at the correct age groups.
Qualified coach: Players ratio
DBS certified adult: Players ratio
Qualified first aiders: Players ratio
U6 – U8
Minimum 1 per training or playing venue
U9 – U12
Minimum 1 per training or playing venue
U13 – U16
Minimum 1 per training or playing venue
2.3.2 A club may appoint volunteers to the role of ‘team helper’ with any team. Subject to completion of a FAW DBS check these individuals can supervise young people to ensure the correct player to adult ratio is maintained.
2.3.3 Ensure each age group squad has at least ONE qualified coach, minimum FAW Football Leaders Award.
2.3.4 Ensure each club has at least ONE First Aid qualified person at each training or playing venues. Only FAW First Aid Awards will be accepted from January 2020 for individuals whose current qualification expires 31 December 2019 or are undertaking the qualification for the first time. Individuals whose qualifications expire in 2020, 2021 or 2022 will need to complete and FAW First Aid Award upon expiry of their current qualification. Those undertaking the following medical roles – doctor, nurse or paramedic as a professional occupation or who hold a valid a 3-day (or more) First Aid at Work qualification will be determined as an appropriately qualified first aid provider without completing an FAW 1st Aid qualification.
2.3.5 Ensure there is an adult(s) in attendance who possesses a FAW DBS, FAW Football Leaders Award and FAW First Aid Award for all age group squad’s matches and training sessions.
2.3.6 Ensure all coaches are protected through either club or individual indemnity insurance if coaches aren’t registered on the COMET system.
2.3.7 Ensure all coaches and First Aid trained persons provide the club with their FAW numbers and Coach education expiry dates for purposes of FAW Club Accreditation.
2.4 Equipment and Facilities
2.4.1 Use appropriate and safe facilities for training and matches.
2.4.2 Ensure all portable goalposts are used in accordance with the GOALPOST SAFETY guidelines issued by the FAW (www.faw.cymru) and are stored away safely and securely when not in use.
2.4.3 Ensure risk assessment and goalpost safety form is completed and stored appropriately by clubs. In addition, an annual review of the risk assessment should be undertaken with appropriate amendments made where required.
2.5 Club provision and development
2.5.1 Ensure all clubs adhere to FAW Small-Sided Football Regulations.
2.5.2 Adopt an equal playing opportunities policy for all registered players, regardless of gender or ability.
2.5.3 For U6 – U12 age groups, all players should have a minimum of 50% playing time when participating in matches.
2.5.4 Run a minimum of ONE U6-U11 OR U12-U16 age group team.