Charter Standard

The FA Charter Standard Programme supported by McDonald’s

Charter Standard

Charter Standard          In-Service Calendar

A variety of free workshops have been organised throughout the season to support the development of volunteers, coaches and referees. 

CHarter standard Club & LEague MENus

Leagues and Clubs can now deliver bespoke educational workshops to their members via these tailored Norfolk FA Charter Standard Menus.

Charter Standard Manual


A guide to all things FA Charter Standard for Norfolk FA affiliated Clubs and Leagues...

raising the standard

Launched in 2001, The FA Charter Standard Programme supported by McDonald’s is The FA’s accreditation scheme for grassroots clubs and leagues.

Its goal is to raise standards in grassroots football, support the development of clubs and leagues, recognising and rewarding them for their commitment and achievements.

With this in mind, The FA Charter Standard accreditation is awarded to clubs and leagues rigorously adjudged to be well-run and sustainable – and which prioritise child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the Respect programme.

There are three levels of FA Charter Standard Awards for clubs:

  • FA Charter Standard Club for youth and adult clubs: the entry-level accreditation
  • FA Charter Standard Development Club: for clubs clearly enhancing the quality and scope of their football offering
  • FA Charter Standard Community Club: acknowledging the most advanced level of club development and football provision.

For clubs who have FA Charter Standard accreditation, the challenge is to progress to the next level or to maintain that level. For clubs without FA Charter Standard status, the scheme provides aspirational points on its development journey.

There is only one accreditation level for leagues: FA Charter Standard League.

The FA Charter Standard League is an accreditation that sets an operational benchmark for FA sanctioned leagues; it was launched in 2009 in partnership with McDonald’s.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

Get In Touch

If you have any queries regarding the FA Charter Standard Programme, please contact our Senior Football Development Officer, Stacey Annison.

By Phone: 01603 704050

By Email:

Charter Standard Adult Respect & Discipline

For more information on the sanctioning process that the FA have implemented for FA Charter Standard Clubs and to stay on top of your game and ensuring Respect and Discipline is a high priority, click below for information and support.

application process

Follow these steps below and you'll be a Charter Standard Club or League in no time!
  • Check the FA Charter Standard Criteria to select the appropriate award
  • Select the appropriate FA Charter Standard Award and follow the step by step guide
  • Work through the online folder, utilising the checklist to stay on track and collate all the documentation required for the application
  • Once you've completed the checklist and have all the required documents you can send it via email or post your application
  • Upon receiving the Charter Standard Application it will be reviewed and checked, feedback will be provided if required until the application is strong.
  • Once the Charter Standard Application is complete, it will be taken to the Norfolk FA Charter Standard Working Party to be approved, if successful the application will be sent to the FA for approval.
  • You’ve been successful and you now hold a FA Charter Standard Award! The FA will send you a FA Welcome Pack and a date will be arranged where the Norfolk FA Welcome Pack will be presented to the Club/League.

  • FA Charter Standard Adult Club Application
  • FA Charter Standard Club Application
  • FA Charter Standard Development Club Application
  • FA Charter Standard Community Club Application
  • FA Charter Standard League Application


Frequently asked Questions

Any club can apply for FA CS status, even a one-team club – provided the club is affiliated to Norfolk County FA.

The criteria are challenging, but attainable for every club. Once awarded, FA Charter Standard clubs are given an annual ‘health check’ to ensure the standards of provision are being maintained.

The base criteria for a league wanting to achieve The FA Charter Standard League award are:

  • 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
  • At least 60% of teams in the league have Charter Standard Club status, working towards 100% within two seasons
  • The league has an equality policy and complaints procedure that adheres to The FA equality policy and complaints procedure template
  • The league has a safeguarding children policy and procedures that adheres to FA requirements (youth leagues only)
  • The Youth League Welfare Officer and Charter Standard League Co-ordinator sit on the league committee
  • The league has a web-based administration system for results, tables and fixtures. FULL-TIME is recommended for this purpose but it isn’t mandatory
  • The league has a development plan that identifies key development objectives and targets linked to the National Game Strategy key goals and enablers
  • As part of the benefits each Charter Standard League is eligible for two tickets to The FA Community Shield courtesy of McDonald's.

FA Charter Standard League primarily offers leagues a process to raise standards within leagues and a practical means to deliver initiatives in line with the needs of member clubs. The base criteria ensures that clubs within these leagues are consistent in delivering Respect, have a minimum Level 1 qualified coach with every team (Mini Soccer and youth football only), and have a qualified first aider. However for most leagues this is just the foundation on which they then build significant positive change and initiatives through the implementation of a league development plan.

The league development plan should be a clear set of actions that will make a practical difference to the operation of the league and the progress of the clubs/teams and players within it.

If you are looking to clarify your leagues purpose, raise standards in your league, use the huge influence of your league to affect change at grass roots level- then FA Charter Standard League is for you.

To apply, clubs must complete an application form and return it to Norfolk County FA with the requested supporting evidence. Feedback will be obtained from the leagues that your club plays in to ensure that your club displays the high levels expected of an FA Charter Standard Club.

The FA Charter Standard Working Party will provide feedback on each application, which will include an action plan and a recommendation. If your club meets the criteria, we will forward your application to The FA for awarding. If your club does not meet the criteria, we will provide you with an action plan and advice.

The accreditation lasts for one season and will be renewed each year as part of the club re-affiliation process. The accreditation awards can be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record, fails to attend in-service FA Charter Standard events or is unable to continue to meet the criteria.

Criteria include:

  • Having an FA-trained Club Welfare Officer
  • An FA Level 1 coach for each youth team (U18 and below)
  • Criminal Record Checks (CRC) for all volunteers involved in youth football teams
  • FA Emergency Aid-trained volunteers linked to each team
  • Sign-up to and deliver The FA’s Respect programme
  • Appropriate administration governance in place – in relation to the club’s size
  • An FA Charter Standard Co-ordinator recruited for each club.

Additional Adult Club criteria:

  • To be formerly constituted
  • Require a set of recent Committee meeting minutes
  • Have at least one team playing in an FA-sanctioned league
  • Have a bank account in the club’s name
  • Provide a balance sheet and profit and loss account
  • Have a Club equality Policy
  • Link to a feeder club for players
  • A good disciplinary record
  • A first aider with every team.

Additional Development Club criteria:

  • A minimum of five teams covering at least four different age groups
  • A Football Development Plan for three to five years
  • At least one Level 2 coach coaching one of the teams
  • At least one coach who has attended the FA Youth Award Module 1, coaching one of the teams.

Additional Community Club criteria:

  • A minimum of ten teams covering mini-soccer, youth and adult football
  • Has a minimum of one male and female team
  • At least one coach who has attended the FA Youth Module 2 coaching one of the teams
  • One person who has attended the FA Mentoring Adults course.

Norfolk FA & The FA work with Charter Standard clubs to ensure that criteria is met every season.

Here is some examples of how we help clubs renew their Charter Standard status each season and maintain an assured level of quality.

  • Annual Health Checks for all FA Charter Standard Clubs – must be submitted by 31 December
  • Charter Standard Monitoring Visits during the season by Norfolk FA Board of Directors, Staff and Council members
  • Charter Standard Clubs require to attend a minimum of one In-Service event per season
  • The ability to cross-reference discipline records between County FA and Leagues
  • Leagues provide feedback on Charter Standard Applications and Health Checks
  • Leagues collect Fair Play marks throughout the season

Norfolk FA supports its family of Charter Standard Clubs in many ways. We pride ourselves in offering Clubs many avenues to further develop, from administration to coaching.

There are many benefits, which are both tangible and some intangible, but no less valuable.

Tangible benefits:

  • Access to the McDonald’s FA Charter Standard Kit Scheme to receive one free Nike team kit each season 2014-18 for under-7 to under-16 teams (see section 4 of this booklet)
  • Free tickets (upon application) for England youth and women’s internationals
  • Invitations to local in-service events
  • Access to administrative support sessions
  • Support with funding applications
  • Reduced Club Affiliation fees
  • Access to Level 1 coaching course bursary and subsidised Level 2 coaching courses
  • Discounted rates on pitch hire, events & initiatives at all FDC facilities in Norfolk
  • New FA Charter Standard clubs also receive:
  • An official FA plaque and certificate
  • Resources to help promote the club
  • £100 worth of official FA Nike matchballs (FA Charter Standard Youth and Adult Clubs)
  • £150 worth of official FA Nike matchballs (FA Charter Standard Development Clubs)
  • £200 worth of official FA Nike matchballs (FA Charter Standard Community Clubs)
  • Opportunity to become Nike Partner Club (FA Charter Standard Development and Community Clubs)

Intangible benefits:

Overall, FA Charter Standard status is a clear demonstration to all parents, sponsors and the public, that a club (or league):

  • Is well-organised, safe and offers opportunities for all
  • Has FA-qualified coaches as standard
  • Adheres to FA Respect Policies and Codes of Conduct
  • Prioritises Child Welfare
  • Maintains appropriate levels of discipline
  • Has access to the County FA and FA regional workforces, including the County FA Football Development, Football Administration and Marketing teams.
  • A comprehensive In-Service Calender – educational workshops available for all types of club official roles throughout the season
  • Free entry into the annual Norfolk County FA Festivals of Football – supporting teams, coaches and spectators transitioning through the formats of football; 5v5, 7v7 & 9v9
  • Access to the Norfolk FA ‘Join Our Club’ initiative – supporting clubs by providing a marketing resource and plan to recruit additional players
  • Can use the coveted FA ‘Three Lions’ FA crest on its marketing and business materials
  • A Charter Standard Menu - workshops available for clubs and leagues to organise to support the development of their club and volunteers.
  • County, Regional & National Charter Standard Awards available

Additional benefits (Charter Standard Community Clubs only):

  • Support in creating a comprehensive Club Development Plan
  • An annual review of the Club Development Plan
  • Access to the FA Coach Mentor programme – support for further club and coach development

Leagues interested in attaining the FA Charter Standard status should register their interest by completing the FA Charter Standard League registration form and sending it to us.

Once a league has registered, a member of Norfolk County FA staff will contact the league to confirm how to access the resources and incentives for the programme and to arrange a meeting or invite the league to a workshop with other leagues.

The second step is to audit and assess the league against the FA Charter Standard criteria, then work with us on an action plan to achieving the criteria. Once this criteria is achieved, we will approve FA Charter Standard status and organise the official plaque and other benefits. We will then work with the league on continuous development and the health check.

Related Articles

View All