Centre of Referee Excellence 2023-24

NRCFA CORE Programme 2023-24 - Application Process

Following a full review of our current North Riding County FA Centre of Referee Excellence (CORE) programme and to coincide with the exciting FA Referees Department progression pathway, North Riding County FA CORE will once again operate with a  programme for season 2023/24 to ensure that we are offering referee development and support that is modern, relevant and meets the needs of our progressive and ambitious match officials.

We completely understand that this programme will not be suitable for everybody, and the Referee Leadership team discussed in detail how we could continue to support our referees at all levels, with us remaining fully committed to offering and providing CPD and opportunities for our non NRCFA CORE members throughout 2023/24, with further information to follow in due course on how we can achieve this objective. 

Your leadership team appreciate that whilst developing and supporting match officials who wish to progress is an essential part of what we are striving to achieve, equally important to us is ensuring all match officials feel motivated, encouraged, and supported by us to continue to deliver a service that is the lifeblood of grassroots football. 

During season 2022/23, we had record number of applicants and subsequent promotions via the FA Refereeing Progression Pathway, demonstrating that opportunities are available for all our match officials to receive CPD and matchday support should they wish. Further information can be found here regarding this programme, as well as the application link.


For season 2023/24, North Riding County FA will once again operate with a CORE Group once again, a programme to assist in the development, coaching and education of referees who have the ambition and potential to progress into the semi-professional game and beyond. 

The programme is designed to deliver specific and relevant training to ambitious, dedicated and talented referees who have the desired attitude and behaviour to succeed. 

The NRCFA CORE programme for 2023/24 will consist of a number of training camps with a mixture of face to face (venue attendance) and online (via Teams) CPD designed on improving not only the fitness levels of the referees, but also include specific referee development technical sessions, with additional support around sports psychology, sports nutrition, strength & conditioning, developing leadership, communication skills and mental resilience. A huge part of all training camps will be developing and demonstrating excellence in Laws of the Game knowledge and application on match-days. 

Face to face Training Camps are likely to take place on a midweek evening (more than likely Monday’s) between 18:00 - 21:00 and online sessions between 19:00 – 20:30 – Full information will be provided once the makeup of the groups is confirmed. 

In addition to Training Camps, members of the programme will also have the opportunity to officiate at Middlesbrough FC and York City FC Academies in a games programme, as well as other match appointments in FA and County FA competitions.  Match Day Coaching and a point of contact will be offered as part of our CORE programme. 

Centre of Referee Excellence 2023-24Members will have the opportunity to attend exchange programmes and possibly an International Tournament in June / July 2024, to fully support their development and education. We have high expectations of members who wish to apply to be a part of the group with North Riding County FA significantly investing in this programme for the forthcoming season. 

These expectations are to be met by all of the NRCFA CORE candidates who wish to be a part of this programme and will be monitored throughout the season. The expectations include: 

- Commitment to attend all sessions and actively participate 
- Prepared to travel around the County FA for Training Camps and development opportunities 
- Exceptional administration in a timely manner  
- Show continual progression within refereeing career whilst being a part of NRCFA CORE  
- Regular contact with the Referees Department and positive engagement at Training Camps  
- Commitment to purchasing NRCFA Nike branded leisure kit to be worn at Training Camps 

With all of the above in mind, please find below the criteria and application process for 2023/24: 

- MUST be a 2023/24 NRCFA Promotion Progression Scheme Applicant (Level 7, 6, 5, Youth Referee or 4W /3W candidate) and applied by Midnight on 31 July 2023
- Or 16, 17 or 18 Years of age and committed to transitioning into adult football and applying for promotion within the next 12 month 
- Completed Referee Registration for 2023/24 before applying  
- Can commit to attend and participate in Training Camps on a regular basis as detailed above, both face to face and online 
- Prepared to travel around the County FA for Training Camps and match appointments as part of the NRCFA CORE programme 
- Fully committed to progressing into the semi-professional game and beyond 
- Level 5-4 applicants MUST successfully pass FA Level 4 Nomination fitness test by 30 October 2023
- Purchase the NRCFA Nike branded leisure kit

If you believe you can meet the NRCFA CORE 2023/24 criteria and would like to apply for this exciting programme, please ensure you complete the below application form ASAP, but no later than Midnight on Monday 31 July 2023.


It is our intention to review applications and confirm the NRCFA CORE 2023/24 group of referees by mid-August 2023, with the programme expected to commence by early September 2023

Given the number of applications that we expect to receive, we may not be able to accept every applicant. We fully expect opportunities to become available as the season develops and will regularly review and monitor those candidates who are a part of the programme.

In the meantime, if you require any further information, or would like to discuss this further, please contact Conor Ledgeway, our Referee Development Officer for an informal chat – conor.ledgeway@northridingfa.com 

This is a hugely exciting opportunity and we wish those of you who are interested the very best of luck with your application.