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The British American football Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of American football across Great Britain, with hundreds of clubs and thousands of players.

As part of its commitment to ensuring that all people are able to thrive the sport of American football in a safe environment. BAFA has developed a series of policies and information documents for its members and interested parties.

These policies are currently under review and further announcements will be made.

DBS/PVG Certificates

BAFA requires any individual engaged in a Regulated Activity to undertake a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) (or Protecting Vulnerable Groups, PVG) enhanced check in order to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Applications for individuals engaging in their roles as volunteers are free of charge via BAFA. We will also shortly be preparing a user-friendly guidance note to explain what the DBS process is.


It is vital that all coaches and welfare officers who have contact with children and vulnerable adults have the knowledge and skills they need. At the current time, all welfare/safeguarding officers should attend accredited training through Sports Coach UK workshops or Child Protection in Sports workshops. For clubs in Scotland, training is via Children 1st.

Safeguarding and welfare concerns/complaints

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of not just the governing body, but people at all levels. Having a designated welfare/safeguarding officer in all clubs (covering, where appropriate, young persons and/or vulnerable adults) is a requirement under the BAFA policies and procedures which are available as a download below.

To report safeguarding and welfare concerns, please email

We will be reviewing the policy and processes, and develop new factsheets and guidance on the safeguarding concern/compliant process to make sure it is user friendly to all.

Starting the DBS Process – England & Wales

Members in England and Wales should submit DBS check requests via their own club. To be able to do this, clubs must have their welfare officer set up as a BAFA approved DBS verifier first by submitting their personal details. Please note, this means sharing your data with our third-party provider GBG Disclosures who will be in touch directly and will add each individual club welfare officer on to the system. BAFA covers the costs for all DBS checks.

Starting the PVG process – Scotland

Members in Scotland should submit PVG checks or other disclosure requests via their own club. To get free PVG checks for volunteers, clubs must become a qualifying voluntary organisation. BAFA recommends clubs in Scotland enrol their organisation with Volunteer Scotland ‘s Disclosure Services and nominate their welfare officer as their club lead. Volunteer Scotland are funded by the Scottish Government to give free disclosure services to voluntary organisations.