The new Player Welfare in Open-age Football eLearning module goes live on 29th August. This free, online course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete, and the course covers what player welfare is, why it’s important and how to support players.
The content focuses on some of the key issues that can impact player welfare including safeguarding, misconduct, physical and digital environments, medical concerns, equality, diversity and inclusion, mental health, domestic abuse, reporting concerns and signposting. Integral to this is the recognition that open-age football teams may have under-18 players. The course is linked to a new welfare tab on the England Football Learning website that will carry further support and signposting information, which will be built upon over time.
This new course is part of the ongoing commitment to safeguarding the grassroots game, and aligns with the introduction of the new safeguarding requirements for open age (adult) football. These requirements and the time by when clubs must be compliant are:
For the 2023/24 Season
- All clubs with open-age adult teams are required to have a named Club Welfare Officer at the point of affiliation from 2023/24 season onwards.
For the 2024/25 Season
- All eligible Club Welfare Officers (Adult Teams) are required to have an in date and accepted DBS check at the point of affiliation from the start of the 2024/25 season onwards.
- All Club Welfare Officers (Adult Teams) are required to have in-date Player Welfare Course qualification at the point of affiliation from the start of the 2024/25 season onwards.
- All open-age team officials of teams with under-18 players (coaches, managers, medics (including assistants)) are required to have an in date and accepted DBS from the start of the 2024/25 season.
- All open-age team officials of teams with under-18 players are required to have in date Player Welfare Course qualification from the start of the 2024/25 season.
The new course can be accessed via the England Football Learning website here