Charter 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: to become an FA Charter Standard League.



The benefits of becoming an FA Charter Standard Club are many and varied. Some are 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Can use the coveted FA 'Three Lions' FA crest on its marketing and business materials


Become Charter Standard

If your club is interested in applying to become Charter Standard or would like more information, please contact Cheshire FA Head of Growth and Participation Paul Kelsall at or at 01606 871166.


Club Structures

To view and download a Guide to Club Structures for National League System and other Football Clubs please click HERE.