Football Leadership Diversity Code

Football Leadership Diversity Code FAQs

Read the FA's FAQs about the Football Leadership Diversity Code below


How can we sign up to the code?

• Clubs can sign up to the Code at any point in time
• The Football Leadership Diversity Code will be accessible to relevant clubs via Platform For Football [PFF]
• To apply for accreditation, clubs will need to ‘adopt’ and then download the Code via the PFF platform
• The PFF team will track adoption and we will provide updates on progress intermittently
• We will provide clubs with assets to use on their websites and supporting collateral to show that they are a signatory of the Code

What does signing up mean?

• The Football Leadership Diversity Code will help clubs to better represent our modern and diverse society across the National League System, women’s pyramid and grassroots football by seeking to tackle inequality and improve representation of historically underrepresented groups across senior leadership positions, wider team operations and coaching roles
• At the heart of the Code is a focus on shifting club culture so it is as inclusive as possible and provides the opportunities for those from all backgrounds to play a proactive role in leading and running football in their local communities
• Signatory clubs will commit to being leaders in football diversity, ensuring they promote and deliver the highest standards across their club
• Clubs will have the opportunity to learn more about their local demographics if they wish to set local diversity targets for recruitment of leaders, staff and coaches (see Section G)

Code Commitments

Signatory clubs pledge to adhere to five commitments:

1. Club leadership: We commit that our club’s leadership should reflect the diversity of our local community.

• Ensuring that our leadership reflects the local population in terms of gender, ethnicity and disability
• Ensuring equality of opportunity for all
• Carrying out selection based on merit, whilst seeking to source volunteers from a diverse pool of talent
• Monitoring other protected characteristics, cultural and social backgrounds within our leadership


2. Coaching and selection: We commit to ensuring diversity within our volunteer coaching workforce.

• Supporting individuals from all historically underrepresented groups and across age groups to become the next generation of coaches
• Selecting coaches openly and encouraging people from a diverse range of backgrounds to coach within the club
• Monitoring the diversity of our coaches and working towards them reflecting our player base


3. Culture: We commit to continuing to strive for the most inclusive club culture.

• Having a ‘Club Equality Policy’ which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion, adopted by all club members / players / officials as a condition of membership annually
• Ensuring all club officials attend The FA’s equality, diversity and inclusion online offerings, refreshing this at appropriate intervals
• Signposting all members to The FA’s equality, diversity and inclusion online training each season
• Ensuring that young people are involved meaningfully in our club (through a youth committee or other suitable mechanism) if our club provides a youth offering or youth teams
• Monitoring our cultural progress through an annual club culture survey with a template provided by The FA


4. Reporting discrimination: We commit to encouraging the reporting of discrimination.

• Distributing information on how to report discrimination to all club members, every season
• Reporting all incidences of discrimination immediately to our local County FA, Kick It Out or The FA

5. Raising awareness: We commit to raising awareness on the topic of equality, diversity and inclusion.

• Using The FA’s Diversity Code resources to promote our support and raise awareness with others
• Making efforts to engage with local media and other local bodies to publicise our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
• Supporting The FA and other anti-discrimination body campaigns

Measuring Success

• We are not prescriptive about the format of each club’s plans, giving clubs flexibility to showcase their journey over the course of the year
• We will continuously monitor progress via the County FA network and will provide updates on its website as and when appropriate
• We will provide guidance on monitoring club diversity, as well as a template for both a Club Equality Policy and an annual internal club culture survey

How will the FA support clubs on this journey?

We will provide:

• Templates of recruitment resources for clubs to use
• Guidance on monitoring club diversity
• A template for a Club Equality Policy (available on PFF)
• Online diversity training for club officials
• A template for an annual internal club culture survey
• Reporting resources and videos to clubs via online mechanisms
• Digital Diversity Code promotional resources for clubs
• Mechanisms to help monitor all the above measures, which aligns to the current League and Club accreditation process

The above supporting mechanisms in place to support clubs with the Football Leadership Diversity Code may change over time to drive adoption of the code.

Code rewards and sanctions

• The Code is voluntary, meaning there will be no sanctions for not committing to it; however, it is now a minimum requirement for annual England Football accreditation status
• You may want to create your own page on your website (which we can link to) which:

o Shows your support for the code and diversity in general
o Displays related assets
o Provides comment or a first-person piece on why you believe in the Code
o Shows examples of work you are already doing
o Provides information of any current EDI plans you have or states your commitment to review data and return with your own plan

Flexibility of the code

• The Code is designed to be somewhat flexible, as we appreciate that clubs are at different stages of their journey
• The Code is not based on numerical targets, although clubs wishing to understand their local regions in more detail can approach their local County FA to receive local demographic data. Targets can then be set on a localised basis. NLS clubs should approach their leagues for this information
• We also recognise the unique challenges that clubs across the National League System, Women’s pyramid and grassroots football face, with many staff being volunteers

Training and Education

We will provide online training and education sessions to drive best practice for signatory clubs on:

• Equality, diversity and inclusion
• Recruitment
• Coaching diversity
• Reporting discrimination
• Youth football

Working with other initiatives

• Our intention is to drive change in football collectively, and as a result we will work with other stakeholders to minimise duplication of initiatives and reporting where possible

Protected characteristics

Protected characteristics refer to all areas covered under the Equality Act 2010. These are:

• Gender
• Ethnicity
• Disability
• Age
• Faith
• Sexual orientation
• Marriage or civil partnership
• Maternity/Paternity
• Gender reassignment

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