Following enhancements to The FA IT systems used by County FAs, Hertfordshire FA have undertaken a review of the affiliation process for clubs ahead of the 2023/24 season
As the current season draws to a close, preparation is well under way for how Clubs and Leagues will affiliate for 2023/24 season. Following IT system enhancements at The FA, affiliation will move from Whole Game System to Club Portal. Club Portal is part of The FA’s new Platform For Football, an advanced IT system that will help to simplify administration for volunteers at Leagues and Clubs. The new affiliation process is designed to help reduce the administrative burden that builds up at the start of the season.
Club Secretaries will be able to complete affiliation on a per team basis, rather than having to affiliate the whole of the club in one go. This means the process will not be delayed for example, by the need to confirm qualifications for a coach of one particular team. In addition, under this new system you will now be able to purchase both types of insurance cover that are necessary to affiliate (Public Liability and Personal Accident) from within Club Portal as part of your affiliation, making the process simpler and quicker for all.
This does mean that there will be some changes to the process you have become familiar with, and the FAQs in this article provide a high-level overview of how these changes will impact you when preparing for the new season.
Changes to Fees
Included in our review of affiliation was the fees clubs are charged. Under the new model the Club Fee that was applied to all clubs regardless of size has been removed, with the total now based simply on the number of teams a club has.
Inevitably this will mean that some clubs will pay more than they have been used to in the past, while some smaller clubs may see a reduction in their fees. We believe that this approach is more equitable as the cost is more closely related to the number of players involved in a club. As part of the process of setting the new fees, we have conducted extensive research to ensure ours remain reasonable and proportionate for the services provided to clubs by Hertfordshire FA, as well as in comparison to the fees charged by other local County FAs.
On average, the cost per player in affiliated football in Hertfordshire under this new structure will be around £1 a season. For this we provide administration that supports the smooth running of the game, discipline to maintain fair play, and safeguarding to protect everyone from harm. We also provide training and development opportunities for coaches and match officials to help ensure all can reach their full potential, as well as supporting clubs and leagues to access funding to improve facilities and expand their offering to everyone in the community.
We are aware that prices are rising across the economy and we are not immune to the impact of this in delivering our services. We have tried to minimise the cost to clubs over the years and this is the first time in the last decade that our affiliation fees have changed.
How much will it cost for my club to affiliate?
The table below displays how much each club will be required to pay per team to affiliate for 2023/24 season. There are no separate club fees to pay.
|Level of Competition
|Premier League, Football League, National League & FA WSL
|Step 2 - Step 6, FAWC & Tier 3 & 4 of WFP
|Non NLS Adult (Sat & Sun) & Tier 5 and below of WFP
|Non NLS Youth & Schools
The insurance will be paid separately and further details on these costs can be found below.
Why has the way you administer affiliation changed?
The changes have come about because of upgrade to The FA IT systems that County FAs use for affiliation and a desire to eliminate issues that have arisen in the process in the past. Previously a whole club’s affiliation could be delayed due to a coach from a single a team not having the required qualifications, which in turn meant no one could play until this was resolved.
The new process allows clubs to complete the affiliation for individual teams and gain the necessary insurance for them to play, while affiliation for other teams within the club that require additional support or haven’t met the relevant requirements can be put on hold until they do. This makes the way in which affiliation is managed simpler, fairer and less stressful for all.
How will clubs affiliate?
Affiliation will take place from within Club Portal rather than in WGS as it has in the past. This new advanced system has been designed to a better experience for grassroots volunteers, meaning that the administration involved in running a club is quicker and easier than before.
The majority of the affiliation and insurance process will be handled at the team, rather than club level. This means that as long as the club has the required officials in place with the relevant qualifications (e.g. Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Welfare Officer) they can affiliate specific teams.
How will teams affiliate?
Teams can be affiliated if the necessary administration is completed and all the safeguarding, football and first aid qualifications for the individuals involved are in place. If these are showing correctly in Club Portal, this process is automated and affiliation can be approved immediately.
Should any of the automated checks on these bring an error, we will need to investigate why they aren’t showing correctly on the system. Provided we are satisfied they are in place, the team will be affiliated manually and you may see a slight delay compared to the automated process.
What can our club do to prepare for this?
For now, the first thing is to ensure that everyone involved at your club has all of the necessary safeguarding, football and first aid qualifications completed, in date and showing correctly on the system. This will assist significantly with the speed of the affiliation process.
Please download our Safeguarding Requirements document for details of what qualifications you are required to have in order to operate in a specified role.
How can Insurance cover be purchased?
Under the new process Clubs and teams can purchase the required insurance as part of the affiliation procedure. The cost of insurance for Clubs and teams is detailed below. You will note that we have raised the minimum level of cover required this year to ensure that everyone playing in Hertfordshire is suitably protected when taking part in the game.
Public Liability Insurance – Countycover Plus - £64 per club
Adult Personal Accident – Intermediate - £38 per team
Youth Personal Accident – Superior Gold - £24 per team
While the above insurance can be purchased through the affiliation process it is managed and provided by Marsh (previously known as Bluefin).