Referees perform a vital role in the game, and with the growth in the popularity of football, particularly for women and children, the demand for match officials is increasing. We need more referees to become part of the unique and essential team that supports our wonderful game.

Some 30,000 people enjoy the role of managing and controlling a game of football as well as being part of a unique family, the family of refereeing.

The FA's Referee's Department, through Regional Referee Managers, provide support, advice as well as a full education and training programme for all referees.  Our training and education programmes are recognised as some of the best in the world.

Anyone is encouraged to take up the whistle and opportunities to achieve in refereeing are available to all irrespective of race, gender, disability, creed or religion.

Although they cannot officiate in open age football until they reach the age of 16, referees can qualify from the age of 14.  To this end, both The FA nationally and ourselves offer training courses throughout the year, beginning with the Basic Referees Course.  This is delivered over different formats to fit different needs, with some courses actually including refereeing under supervision so trainees know how it feels to be in the middle of a game right from the start.

Once qualified, all new referees join our support network, which provides help to all members of our referee team, developing and improving skills to allow everyone to fulfill and reach their full potential.

Promotion through the refereeing ranks is decided through assessment, attendance at further training, successful tests on the Laws of the Game and a satisfactory average mark achieved in a set number of games.

There are 2 vocational qualifications for referees.  Level 1 is aimed at new referees, where the basic course forms part of a modular package of training.  Level 2 is designed for experienced referees.  Both include self evaluation and the completion of a portfolio.

The FA is constantly seeking to improve refereeing standards and has developed a succession plan from grassroots to the professional game.  This involves identifying referees with potential, offering additional education and enhanced support mechanisms. 

A number of other schemes such as academies, schools of excellence, the Young Referees Conference and the new scholarship programme are designed to improve referees' performances, so if you can meet the challenges of being a referee, then come and join us.

For details on becoming a referee, CLICK HERE

For further information contact the office on 01539 730946 or e-mail  

The FA

Referee Courses

Welcome to Refereeing

Regulations for the Registration and Control of Refeees