Young Children Playing Football

Safeguarding at Hertfordshire FA

Keeping football safe in our area

We are constantly working to ensure that everyone can enjoy the game

Working to ensure the safety of young people and vulnerable adults involved in the game of football is a fundamental aspect of our role as the governing body for the game in Hertfordshire and this work led by our Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Gemma Chaffey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having previously worked in safeguarding focused positions in local government over the last 15 years.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer reports directly to our Chief Executive and works to ensure Safeguarding standards are met and maintained across football in Hertfordshire, promoting The FA’s policies and procedures and supporting the volunteer workforce throughout the county to deliver best practice.

The role is central to our handling of any safeguarding issues, acting as the first point of contact for those within the game, from parents and carers through to league and club Welfare Officers. They also work closely with agencies such as the Police, Children’s Social Care and the NSPCC in reporting concerns and dealing with cases.

For support and advice on Safeguarding matters please contact Gemma by emailing or by calling 07538 990836.

Get in Touch

If you have a question about safeguarding in football or want to report a concern, please contact Gemma Chaffey, our Designated Safeguarding Officer. 

For queries relating to getting a DBS check completed, please refer to this guidance first.

By Phone:

01462 650215 / 07538 990836

By Email:

Designated Safeguarding Officer
I look forward to working with the fantastic volunteers across the county in delivering a positive environment for everyone to enjoy the game. If you have a question regarding safeguarding or would like to report a concern, please do not hesitate to get in touch
- Gemma Chaffey, Designated Safeguarding Officer

Working with Local Clubs

Safeguarding Compliance Visits

The safety and welfare of participants is paramount to us, so we are constantly working to ensure that everyone has a positive experience playing the game.

As part of our efforts to keep football safe and enjoyable for all, we carry out Safeguarding Compliance Visits to ensure that clubs are meeting their commitment to protect children, young people and adults at risk, by ensuring those who come into regular contact with any of these groups are appropriately qualified for the role they are carrying out.

Each season a sample of clubs across the county will be selected for one of these checks to help ensure that all coaches:

1. Are listed on Club Portal against the relevant team
2. Have a valid FA DBS check, less than 3 years old
3. Have an in date FA Safeguarding qualification

Safeguarding Compliance Visits are also an opportunity for us to meet and engage with coaches, officials and parents to ensure that all are fully aware of the safeguarding processes in football and know what they should do if they have a concern.

As part of this process we will look for evidence that clubs have all appropriate Safeguarding processes and policies in place, that these are documented and that those involved understand what they are and where to find them.

Learn More about Safeguarding in Football

"Safeguarding is not just about ensuring coaches have the necessary qualifications and DBS checks. While these are important preventative measures, they only form part of the strategy to protect young people involved in the game.

Ensuring that everyone understands the safeguarding processes that are in place is also vital, so that they know where to get help should an issue arise. These visits allow us to engage with clubs across both of these areas"

We know that the vast majority of football clubs share our commitment to putting safeguarding at the heart of everything that they do and are keen to show how they are creating a safe environment for young people to be able to enjoy the game."

Gemma Chaffey,
Designated Safeguarding Officer - Hertfordshire FA

Poor Practice Guidance

What Is Poor Practice?

Defined as low level concerns that don’t meet the threshold for a Safeguarding issue, these are behaviours that fall below the standards required by clubs and should be dealt with by them, without requiring the involvement of the County FA.

The document below gives details of what constitutes poor practice for clubs to manage and what is a Safeguarding concern that should be referred to us.

Download Guidance

Prevent Extremism in Hertfordshire

Positive Partnerships

We are proud to work together with local agencies to use the power of football to promote positive change in society, such as putting on sessions with Hertfordshire County Council to raise awareness across the game about the risk of radicalisation to young people. Learn more about how football can play a part in preventing extremism and terrorism.

Prevent Extremism Partnership