FA Referee Courses

From local park football on a Sunday morning to the FA Cup Final, all football needs referees. With more than 400 registered referees officiating all across the County, we provide the support and experience for you to help progress your skills as far as you want to take them. Whether you aspire to officiate on the Premier League or to referee the local U9's team, we can provide you with the support, training and resources to assist you in achieving your goal.

The fresh and pioneering approach to the training of new referees continues through 2016/17 season, with it being primarily focused on the practical training and learning of the skills required to referee a 9v9 or 11v11 football match. 

The learning of the practical elements of refereeing re: their application and understanding are facilitated on the course by FA Referee Tutors, with the candidate taking a greater responsibility to learn the Laws of the Game through distance learning prior to, during and after the practical sessions of the course. This new and enhanced approach to training new football referees will, without doubt, better prepare the candidate for the role as a referee.


1)      Initial Taster Introduction Session:

This session will provide an overview of the full FA Referee Course and the opportunities for referees within the county. It will also provide more details on the FA Safeguarding and CRC check processes. Parents of younger referees are encouraged to attend this session in order to better understand the requirements of a referee.


2)      Practical Referee Training:

This is an all-day session so you will need to come prepared with food and drinks etc., plus come suitably dressed; a change of footwear is essential as are shin-guards.  It will involve learning how to referee outside on the field of play and also involve some classroom work.  You will be given the learning resources and all necessary equipment (whistle, red/yellow cards etc.) at this session but you will need to bring a pen and pad to take notes.  At the end of this day, you will have the opportunity to referee part of a game among your group of candidates.

3)      Fouls and Misconduct Training:

This is a 3 hour session which will include ‘Recognising Challenges’ and the Misconduct procedure.

4)      Practical Referee Training and Evaluation:

This is a second all-day session which will be mostly completed outside on the field of play.  The second part of the day includes a practical evaluation where you will have another opportunity to referee part of a game among the group.  The evaluation will include staged scenarios which will provide you with opportunity to consolidate your learning from the previous sessions and receive immediate feedback.        


5)      Experience & Mentored Unit:

Having successfully graduated from the first four units of the training course, you will now officiate in a minimum of 5 games of football (9v9 or 11v11) and will be mentored during a game by FA Referee Mentors.  A record of these games is compiled as evidence of your development.  During this period, in addition to gaining practical experience, you will have time to learn and revise the Laws of the Game thoroughly before returning to complete the final unit of the course.

6)      FA Examination & Call Back Unit:

This is a 2 hour session and the final part of the course.  It involves the successful completion of the FA Examination of the Laws of the Game (a multiple choice examination of approx. 30 minutes duration), and an opportunity to review and discuss your learning experiences from your games thus far as a trainee referee.  You will be rewarded with an FA Referee Certificate of Qualification along with an FA Referee badge when successful completion of the course is attained (usually within 4 weeks of completion of the course).

The following ‘Frequently Asked Questions & Essential Information’ is a brief guide to how this will be delivered and how it affects you, the referee candidate.

Are there any age limits re: the course?

Anyone aged 14 or over can become a referee.  There is no upper age limit but candidates need to be able to fully participate in practical sessions.  Until you reach the age of 16, you will only be able to referee games involving children at least 1 year younger than yourself.

How do I book onto a course?

To book onto one of our FA Referee Courses first choose which course is most suitable for you. All current available courses are listed below. The click on the booking link, if you have an FA FAN number then complete the registration process, if you do not have a FAN number then please click on the “Don’t have a FAN number?” link in order to obtain one - then proceed as normal to complete the booking process.

How much does this FA Referee Course cost?

The FA Referee Course fee is £130.00. The fee is the same for all ages (14yrs+). 

What will I receive?

  • The services of FA Referee Tutors
  • A copy of the latest Laws of the Game
  • An interactive DVD on the Laws of the Game
  • A pre-course study programme 
  • FA Safeguarding Children training
  • FA 'Respect' training
  • FA registration fee for one season
  • A referee whistle
  • A set of red/yellow cards & holder
  • A list of League contacts (for information only)
  • Initial five 11v11 or 9v9 games
  • A certificate of qualification following the successful passing of a final examination on the Laws of the Game
  • FA Referee badge
  • The services of FA Referee Mentors for ongoing support throughout development period

We strongly recommend that parents of all candidates attend the initial taster session to gain a full understanding of the commitment required to complete the course.


Will I need to undertake FA Safeguarding Children Training?

All referees have to undertake FA Safeguarding Children training before they will be able to register with The FA as a referee. This will need to be completed prior to attending the first full day of the course as it is a prerequisite of attending. Certification will last for 3 years with the cost of this being included in the course fee. This will be discussed further at the initial taster introduction evening. Referees 14 & 15 years of age will need to complete a short online training module, referees 16yrs and older will be given the available dates of full Safeguarding workshops at the initial taster introduction evening.

Will I need to undertake FA CRC (formerly CRB) check?

All referees aged 16 years or over who wish to officiate in youth football must undertake an FA CRC enhanced check.  This is a simple on-line process which will be fully explained to you during the course. Certification last for 3 years (there is a small additional charge for this process - £10.00). More details will be provided during the initial taster introduction evening.

What level of referee will I be at the end of the course?

Successful completion of all six units of The FA Referee Course sees the candidate move from FA Level 9 (trainee) to FA Level 8 referee (if aged 14 or 15) or FA Level 7 referee (if/when aged 16 or over).

Where will I referee my first FIVE games?

Appointment of these first five games is crucial to the course and for your self-development as a referee. These will be communicated to you during the course itself.

Do I have to re-register to referee each season?

Yes you will need to re-register with North Riding County FA each season. This is an on-line process and currently costs £20 (about one match fee).  

What support will I receive from North Riding County FA?

North Riding County FA provide a strong support network for newly qualified referees.  In addition to being mentored early-on, you will be invited to attend development sessions with relevant advice available.  You can also contact the Referee Development Team at any time should you have any issues or questions.  

How do I move up the refereeing ladder?

North Riding County FA is keen to see and help its referees develop and progress to achieve their full potential and as such, have a structured promotion pathway for referees.  The basic requirement is that you must have refereed a minimum of 20 games prior to seeking to be promoted.  

Please find detailed below the forthcoming FA Referee Courses currently scheduled. Please click on the below links to register and book a place. 



Acklam Green Centre, Stainsby Road, Middlesbrough, TS5 4JS

Wednesday, 17 January 2018:  Module 1 Introduction: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Wednesday, 24 January 2018:  FA CRC / Safeguarding: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Sunday, 28 January 2018:  Day 1: 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday, 31 January 2018: Application & Awareness Workshop - 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Sunday, 04 February 2018:  Day 2: 9.30am - 5.00pm

To book please use the link below.

Poppleton Football Club, Millfield Lane, York, YO26 6LY

Wednesday, 07 February 2018:  Module 1 Introduction: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Wednesday, 14 February 2018:  FA CRC / Safeguarding: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Sunday, 18 February 2018:  Day 1: 9.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday, 21 February 2018: Application & Awareness Workshop - 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Sunday, 25 February 2018:  Day 2: 9.30am - 5.00pm

To book please use the link below.


For more details on the referee course please contact Ross Joyce on 01642 717774 or at Ross.Joyce@northridingfa.com

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