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KIPAX Sports PhotographyKIPAX Action Photography

Tony (KIPAX) Greenwood, I am a Full time Freelance Sports Photographer based in Lancashire England.
I am licensed by various Sports leagues and organisations.
I carry a UK Press card, am fully Insured and have a current CRB.

CRB for Sports Photography
(Or how the FA will not CRB Photographers)
Contents known to be correct as of Nov 2009

Current CRB
From November 2009 I have a CRB with Blackburn Rovers ladies FC who have commisioned me to be there official photographer for all home games and choice away games. Blackburn Rovers being in the Premiership do not use the same system as the FA.

My applications through other teams that are affiliated wiht the FA have not got as far as the processing stage due to FA rules stating they will not CRB photographers.. Full explanation below..

My CRB Application
I recently applied for a CRB check through a local junior football team that is affiliated to the FA. I filled out the forms and they where sent by the club welfare officer to the FA CRB unit in Nottingham. Within 48 hrs the club welfare officer recieved a phone call from FA-CRB stating that a club photographer does not fall into the criteria required for a CRB check so the application would not be processed. Reason given was that I have no contact with the "vulnerable" or "at risk" (ie children in this case) therefore I do not apply.

Application Refusal Queried
Because I know how often I am asked for a CRB and having to tell them I can't be processed will look dodgy at best, I decided to query this by email to the CRB unit at the FA. I described how I agree with the decision but this puts me in an awkard position as a womens and childrens etc sports photographer. I asked if they could confirm in writing or point me to a source of information I could use when asked for a CRB.

FA CRB Response


The FA is aware of this confusion.

CRB is defined by very specific eligibility criteria and it is not lawful to check someone who is not eligible even if they agree! In simple terms the eligibility criteria in football is for the individual to be "caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children". Whilst this in itself could be open to interpretation however most club photographers take pictures during the game and "official" team photos. There is no legal eligibility to CRB check someone for taking photos or being in possession of images. Roles such as coach, manager, club welfare officer etc are easily defined but even some club roles such as treasurer or committee members where this is purely an administrative role are not eligible for CRB. gives guidelines to clubs on the use of photographs and websites etc however this does not specifically state that the person taking photos does not need to be CRB checked, neither does it say that they do!

External Link to website > PhotographyGuidelines.pdf

Even if you were CRB checked I wonder how the clubs would validate that information. You showing your copy of the CRB is not enough as sometimes information is released to the organisation that is not detailed on the applicant copy and unless they carry out an ID check you could be showing anyone's CRB Disclosure.

I realise the above does not necessarily answer your query but hopefully goes some way to explaining the complexity of CRB. I am happy to discuss this further to explain how clubs should be validating CRB, where appropriate.

There is some new legislation coming into force from July 2010 that may help going forward but nothing is currently available.