Kick It Out provides advice and support to both Premier League and English Football League clubs in developing and enhancing their work to promote equality and celebrate the diversity of players, fans, staff and community participants.

The organisation employs two Professional Club Equality Officers in Clarisse Smith (Midlands Region) and Sarah Train (Southern Region), who assist clubs through the process of achieving either the Premier League’s Equality Standard or the English Football League’s (EFL) Code of Practice.

Further information about Kick It Out's support for equality policy at professional clubs is below, or you can contact Clarisse via email on [email protected] and Sarah via email on [email protected] 

Equality Standard

Since introducing Kick It Out’s Equality Standard in 2009, which replaced the former Racial Equality Standard, Kick It Out has worked closely with the football authorities to create a standardised approach across the professional game.

In July 2015, the Premier League made the Equality Standard a regulation, of which Kick It Out support clubs to achieve. This ensures all clubs are operating within current legislation, tackling under-representation and discrimination relating to protected characteristics, as defined by the Equality Act (2010) and adhering to football regulation as well as striving to embed equality throughout their operations.

The Premier League’s Standard is a regulation for all 20 clubs and is also available to EFL clubs who wish to develop their equality work based beyond mandatory elements of the EFL’s Code of Practice.

The standard is made up of three progressive levels; Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced, with a bi-annual health check process which occurs once all levels have been achieved. Kick It Out provides guidance and support to all areas of the club in terms of developing business and equality practices, helping clubs to prepare for independent assessment visits as part of the Premier League’s process.

Working closely with club equality leads and working groups, Kick It Out’s regional Equality Officers assist with understanding the mandatory requirements of the Standard, and support with development of policies and implementation of practices. The Officers also attend working group meetings to help shape the work clubs are developing as part of their equality action plan and wider commitment to promoting inclusion and equality across the club.

EFL Code of Practice

The EFL Code of Practice is a foundation level accreditation, which began in 2014 and is an EFL obligation, which all 72 clubs are required to complete.

Kick It Out provides ongoing advice and best practice guidance to clubs, relating to criteria detailed within 12 inclusive areas, covering aspects such as internal policies, education and training as well as community engagement and legal compliance.

Clubs call upon support visits to help develop each area of the business, along with training workshops for staff, specifically tailored for those working within the professional game.

Kick It Out provide free human resource support to ensure that clubs take a systematic and consistent approach to tackling the criteria, in order for the club to prepare for three assessment visits from the EFL.

Kick It Out’s designated Equality Officers are on hand to develop and steer working groups, ensure accountability at the highest level of the organisation, share templates and best practice from other clubs, assist in the development of an equality action plan and assist the equality leads to embed equitable policies and practices across
the business.