Charter Standard

Charter Standard

The FA Charter Standard Programme supported by McDonald’s 

Progress the level of your club

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

T: 01606 871 166 


Cheshire FA Charter Standard Clubs

Adult Clubs

1874 Northwich FC
AFC Macclesfield
AFC Stockport
Altrincham Hale
Axis United FC
Barnton FC
Cammell Laird 1907 FC
Capenhurst Villa
Chester City Ladies
Club AZ
Congleton Town
Congleton VR
Dukinfield Athletic AFC
FC Torkington
Govan Athletic
Hazel Grove
Hoole Rangers FC
Linotype - Cheadle H.N.
Lostock Gralam
Lymm AFC
Macclesfield Town FC
Mersey Royal
Moore United FC
Newton (Wirral)
Northenden Victoria
Northwich Vixens
Old Altrinchamians
Poulton Royal
Poynton Legion
Rudheath Social FC
Sandbach Curshaws FC
Staly Lions
Stockport Town
Stoconians AFC
Tarporley Vics
The Albion FC
Upton AA
Wallasey Athletic
Warrington Wolverines FC
Whitegate United
Winnington Avenue Y.C.
Winsford United
Wirral SB FC

Community Clubs

AFC Alsager
Altrincham FC
Appleton AFC
Broadheath Central FC
Cheadle & Gatley Junior
Congleton Rovers FC
Dukinfield Youth JFC
Egerton Football Club
Ellesmere Port Town JFC
Frodsham Juniors
High Lane
Inter Cheadle FC
Lymm Rovers Junior
Nantwich Town FC
Neston Nomads
Newton Athletic Youth
Northwich Victoria Juniors FC
Poynton Junior
Richmond Rovers
Sale United
Sandbach United
Timperley Villa Youth
Upton Juniors FC (CHESTER)
Vale Juniors Congleton
Vauxhall Motors FC
West Kirby United FC
Witton Albion Juniors

Dev. Clubs

Ashville Youth
Cuddington & Sandiway JFC
Davenham Junior Football Club
Great Moor County JFC
Oxton Ladies
Princes Villa JFC
Sala Soccer Schools
Saughall Colts JFC
Stalybridge Celtic Junior

Youth Clubs

AC Hoylake
Adswood United
AFC Middlewich Athletic
AFC Waverton
Alderley United FC
Alex Soccer Centre
Alsager Town FC
Arrowe Park Blades
Ashton On Mersey JFC
Beechwood JFC
Benchill Celtic JFC
Birkenhead Youth Club
Blacon Youth Club
Bollington United
BPR Leiria JFC
Bramhall North 75
Brooklands Dragons JFC
Brookvale United JFC
Cheshire Blades
Chester & District Girls FC
Chester FC
Chester Nomads
Crewe Alexandra Ladies FC
Crewe Arrows
Crewe Cavaliers
Dukinfield Tigers JFC
FC Sporting Sale
Glenavon JFC
Goostrey Junior Football Club
Grappenhall Sports (Juniors)
Greenleas Juniors
Groves F.C.
Hale United FC
Halton Lions JFC
Halton Rbl Juniors
Heath Rangers FC
Higher Bebington JFC
Holmes Chapel Hurricanes
JFC Greasby
Lymm Piranhas JFC
Macclesfield Boys Junior FC
Macclesfield Town Ladies
Malpas & District Junior FC
Manor Club JFC (Wallasey JFL)
Marple Athletic JFC
Mersey Valley
Middlewich Town Youth
Moss Rose Juniors
Mountfield Rovers
Nantwich Pumas JFC
NAR Sports FC
New Ferry Rangers
North East Wirral Atletico
Offerton Park
Park Royal
Park Royal Macclesfield
Partington Rovers FC
Romiley Panthers JFC
Rudheath Youth
Runcorn Linnets
Runcorn Town
Ruskin Park Rovers
Sale Communities JFC
Shore Villa
Signol Athletic JFC
Spurley Hey
Stockport County Ladies
Stockport Dynamoes Juniors
Stockport Georgians
Tarvin Athletic FC
Timperley FC
Tranmere Rovers Disability
Tranmere Rovers Ladies (Cheshire)
Tytherington Juniors
Unicorn Athletic JFC
Vicars Cross Dynamos
Victoria Colts
Wallasey Wanderers FC
Warrington Town FC
Weaverham Cy
West Kirby
Weston Point Juniors
Willaston White Star
Wilmslow Sports Community FC
Wilmslow Town
Windmill Hill Dragons
Winsford Colts FC
Winsford Diamonds
Winsford Over 3
Wistaston Athletic FC
Woodhouse Park Junior
Woodley Albion JFC

Want to know more about the programme?


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

The benefits 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 (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
  • 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

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 Cheshire 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.

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