New research aims to improve the serious incident reporting process

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The FA and Kick It Out today launched new research to better understand people’s experiences of reporting incidents of discrimination and physical abuse in grassroots football.

The two organizations are teaming up to seek feedback on reporting and disciplinary processes from those who have experienced or witnessed acts of discriminatory abuse, aggression or physical contact in grassroots football. The goal is to learn about perceived barriers to reporting incidents, in order to improve the reporting process and ensure that participants are more willing to come forward in the future.

Both organizations regularly conduct research into the entire game with feedback from previous participants in this area, which has led to the formation of Serious Incident Hearing Panels and centralized reporting channels. However, as current issues continue to evolve, it is recognized that this area needs further improvement, and the results will be used to improve the reporting experience for all.

The research includes a confidential survey, which can be viewed here.

It will take about 15 minutes, and it is crucial to gather all personal experiences so that tangible changes can be made to improve the base game for participants and spectators. Key points covered by the survey will include:

The number of serious incidents directly experienced or observed – and how this compares to reporting rates
Perceived barriers to reporting
Probability of reporting in the future and how
Perceptions and confidence in the reporting process
Desired process improvements

Dal Darroch, our Head of Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Programs, said“One of the FA’s main strategic goals is to provide discrimination-free gaming, and conducting research of this nature will help us understand how we can improve the serious incident reporting process. We want all incidents of discrimination or physical abuse should be reported so that they can be dealt with appropriately and effectively.We understand that there are various barriers to reporting for some people and it is crucial for us to know what they might be. It is important that the feedback and opinions of those who participate in the game are at the heart of our decision-making, so that we can make changes that will help build confidence in the reporting process.”

Tajean Hutton, Grassroots Manager at Kick It Out, said: “We receive a number of reports of discriminatory abuse in grassroots football every year, so we want to better understand how we can play our part in improving the reporting process at this level of the game. This research will provide insights which we will use to inform our grassroots reporting work alongside the FA and make the right changes, which will ultimately help the people we want to support and hopefully improve their in-game experience for the better.”

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