The FA National Referee Strategy

The FA National Referee Strategy (NRS) sets out the organisational blueprint of the key principles, frameworks and structures for referee recruitment, retention and development.

The NRS demonstrates The FA’s commitment to maximising the opportunities for inclusion, participation and development at all levels of the refereeing pyramid across the range of roles in refereeing. 


A link to the digital version of the NRS which can be found by clicking here


1.      The FA National Referee Strategy

This document sets out the principles, frameworks and structures for the recruitment, retention and development of referees in eight key strands:

  • The DNA of English refereeing
  • The Structure of English refereeing
  • National Referee Curriculum (NRC)
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Participation and Coverage
  • Development Pathways and
  • Opportunities
  • Governance and Administration
  • Raising the profile of English refereeing

2.      The DNA of English Refereeing

This is one of the eight strands of The NRS.  It is important that at all levels of English refereeing, all those involved as match officials, coaches, observers, tutors and mentors are united by a set of core values: 

  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Fitness
  • Evaluation
  • Reliability
  • Education
  • Excellence


These seven values are integral to the work and attitudes of all, and provide the DNA of English refereeing. 

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