Play Safe - putting safeguarding at the forefront of our national game

September 25, 2023
The FA are asking EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE – clubs and leagues at every level of the game, (and individuals) – to take part in the Play Safe Pledge.

At PlayerData, we are dedicated to supporting a culture of safety and protection in football, especially at the grassroots level. That's why we are encouraging our PlayerData Community to actively support the Play Safe campaign this weekend, Saturday 30th Sep and Sunday 1st Oct 2023.

The FA are asking EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE – clubs and leagues at every level of the game, (and individuals) – to take part in the Play Safe Pledge. This event is designed to raise awareness and reinforce the practice of safeguarding within your football club or organisation.

Play Safe is officially supported by the NSPCC, the Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League, and Barclays Women’s Championship. Moreover, it receives unwavering support from every tier of the football community across England. The primary focus during this campaign is on parents and carers and their pivotal role in safeguarding, with the key messages being:

Understanding Your Role

Are you aware of the vital safeguarding role you play in football?

Free Safeguarding Course

We urge all parents and carers to take a short and free safeguarding course, specifically designed for you. You can access it here.

Player Welfare Course

If you are involved with open-age football, we would advise completing the new Player Welfare Course.

Importantly, FASSSAG – The FA’s Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group – strongly encourages everyone to take the new course. They have contributed to its content and believe it can make a real difference in ensuring football is even safer for our young players. FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham, a parent and youth football coach himself, applauds FASSSAG's support, emphasising that safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. He encourages all parents and carers involved in football to take the course.

Michelle North, Service Head of the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), stresses the importance of safeguarding in sport. She commends The FA's efforts and encourages parents to explore the new online course, reassuring them that child safety is paramount and if anyone has concerns about the safety of a child, they can call the NSPCC FA-designated helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Sue Ravenlaw, FA Head of Safeguarding, emphasises that Play Safe unites the entire football community in its mission to keep children safe. She highlights the need for collaboration among adults, parents, and carers to create a safe and positive environment for young players.

For those involved in football, whether as coaches, board members, or parents, there are some key considerations


  1. Ensure your DBS Check is up to date.
  2. Stay current with The FA’s 'Safeguarding Children' course and the Player Welfare Course.
  3. Regularly check in with your players and create a safe space for them to voice concerns.
  4. Follow safe practices in communication with under-18s, both on social media and during coaching sessions.

Board or Committee Members:

  1. Complete The FA’s 'Safeguarding for Committee Members' course.
  2. Implement a formal welcome process for new players and their parents/carers.
  3. Keep all club safeguarding policies and procedures up to date.
  4. Ensure club welfare officers' contact details are readily available.
  5. Make safeguarding a recurring item on meeting agendas and in day-to-day club practices.
  6. Promote openness and adherence to codes of conduct and acceptable behaviours within the club.


  1. Familiarise yourself with your child's club welfare officer.
  2. Save their contact information and that of the NSPCC in your phone.
  3. Stay informed about your child's club's safeguarding policies and procedures.
  4. Take The FA’s free online 'Safeguarding Awareness for Parents/Carers' course.
  5. Regularly communicate with your child to understand their experiences and concerns.

Club or League Welfare Officers:

  1. Know your County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  2. Keep their contact information handy.
  3. Review your club or league's safeguarding policies and procedures regularly.
  4. Encourage parents and carers to complete the free FA 'Safeguarding Awareness for Parents/Carers' course.
  5. For additional information on The FA's safeguarding framework and helpful guidance, please click here.

Remember, if you have concerns about a child, reporting them is vital. Doing nothing is not an option. Stay calm and reassure the child that they are not to blame.

Here are five ways to report a concern:

  1. Contact your club or league designated safeguarding officer.
  2. Reach out to your County FA designated safeguarding officer.
  3. Email The FA safeguarding team at
  4. In urgent situations where you cannot contact club, league, or County FA designated safeguarding officers, contact the NSPCC Helpline at 0808 800 5000 or
  5. In emergencies involving immediate risk to a child, contact the Police or children's social care in your area.

At PlayerData we are committed to playing our part in making football safer for everyone involved. We hope that you will support Play Safe and participate in ensuring that safeguarding remains at the forefront of our national game. Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility and together we can make a difference. EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, EVERYTIME is encouraged to WATCH, LISTEN, TALK and ACT if they have any safeguarding concerns.

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