Our Safeguarding Policy

Pro Football Academy acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child and young person who has been entrusted to its care and it committed to working to provide a safe environment for all members. A child or young person is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any club football activity. We subscribe to the Football Association’s (The FA) Safeguarding Children – Policy and Procedures and endorse and adopt the Policy Statement contained in that document.

Key Principles

The key principles of the FA Safeguarding Children Policy are that:

  1. The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.
  2. All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, faith or belief.
  3. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately, working in partnership with other organisations, children and 
 young people and their parents/carers is essential.
  4. We acknowledge that every child or young person who plays or participates in football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected 
 from poor practice and abuse.
  5. Pro Football Academy recognises that this is the responsibility of every adult involved in our company.
  6. Pro Football Academy has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual, or emotional harm and 
 from neglect or bullying.
  7. It is noted and accepted that the Football Association’s Safeguarding Children Regulations (see the FA Handbook) applied to everyone in football whether in a paid or 
 voluntary capacity. This means whether you are a volunteer, match official, helper on Club Tours, football coach, club official or medical staff.

Responsible Recruitment

PFA endorse and adopt The FA’s responsible recruitment guidelines for recruiting volunteers/coaching staff and we will:

  1. Specify what the role is and what tasks it involves
  2. Request Identification documents
  3. As a minimum, meet and chat with applicant(s) and where possible interview
  4. Before appointing the interviewee, ask for and follow up at least 2 references
  5. Where eligible, require an FA accepted Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) with barring list check in line with current FA policy and regulations
  6. Ensure that any coaching staff have an in-date safeguarding certificate

All Pro Football Academy members working in eligible roles, with children and young people – such as managers and coaches are required to hold an in-date FA accepted Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) with Barring List check as part of responsible recruitment practice. If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness of an individual who is already involved or who has approached us to become part of Pro Football Academy, guidance will be sought from The Football Association. It is noted and accepted that The FA will consider the relevance and significance of the information obtained via the DBS Process and that all suitability decisions will be made in accordance with legislation and in the best interests of children and young people. It is accepted that The FA aims to prevent people with a history of relevant and significant offending from having contact with children or young people and the opportunity to influence policies or practice with children or young people. This is to prevent direct sexual or physical harm to children and to minimise the risk of ‘grooming ’within football. Pro Football Academy supports The FA’s Whistle Blowing Policy. Any adult or young person with concerns about an adult in a position of trust with football can ‘whistle blow ’by contacting The FA Safeguarding Team on 0800169 1863, by writing to The FA Case Manager at The Football Association, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London SW1P 9EQ, or by emailing [email protected] or alternatively by going direct to the Police, Children’s Social Care or the NSPCC. Pro Football Academy have appointed a Club Welfare Officer in line with The FA’s role profile and required completion of the Safeguarding Children and Welfare Officers Workshop. The post holders will be involved with Welfare Officer training provided by The FA and/or County FA. The Club Welfare Officer is the first point of contact for all club members regarding concerns about the welfare of any child or young person. The Club Welfare Officer will liaise directly with the County FA (CFA) Welfare Officer and will be familiar with the procedures for referring any concerns. They will also play a proactive role in increasing awareness of Respect, poor practice and abuse amongst club members. We acknowledge and endorse The FA’s identification of bullying as a category of abuse. Bullying of any kind is not acceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all players or parents/carers should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly. Incidents need to be reported to the Club Welfare Officer in cases of serious bullying the CFA Welfare Officer may be contacted. Respect codes of conduct for Players, Parents/ Spectators, Officials and Coaches have been implemented by Pro Football Academy. In order to validate these Respect codes of conduct the club has clear actions it will take regarding repeated of serious misconduct at club level and acknowledges the possibility of potential sanctions which may be implemented by the County FA in more serious circumstances