The FA Basic Referee Course (Theory & Practical)



The FA Referees’ Course provides an introduction to officiating 11v11 and 9v9 football. The course will introduce learners to The Laws of Association Football and their application, delivered through theory and practical elements and focussing on the knowledge, skills and attributes required to operate safely and effectively in grass roots football.

Course Structure

Unit 1:   Pre-course learning (2 hours)

Unit 2:   On-course theory and practical (7 hours)

Unit 3:   On-course theory and practical (3 hours)

Unit 4:   On-course theory and practical (7 hours)

Unit 5:   Referee five matches

Unit 6:   On-course final assessment (2 hours)

Course Content

Through a mixture of theory and practical activity, learners will cover:

  1. Effective communication
  2. Positioning and movement
  3. Penalty kick and free kick management
  4. Managing re-starts
  5. Advantage
  6. Managing players
  7. Recognising and dealing with foul challenges
  8. Cautioning and sending-off procedure
  9. Offside
  10. Dealing with substitutions
  11. Dealing with injuries

Minimum Age

Learners must be 14 or over on the course start date.

Safeguarding Requirements

Before refereeing their five matches (unit 5), leaners must have complied with the FA’s safeguarding requirements.


Upon successful completion of units 1-6, learners will be classified as either a Level Y referee (if aged 14 or 15) or a Level 7 referee (if aged 16 or over).  The FA refereeing qualification is awarded only when all 6 units have been successfully completed.

This course involves practical activity and is physically demanding. Therefore we recommend learners enrolling onto the course, have a good level of fitness.

Learners must have prior knowledge of the Laws of the Game.  These can be accessed through the following link Laws of the Game

Please be aware a pre-course activity pack must be completed before Day 1 of the course – this is sent out via email.

Learners are required to attend all dates and times associated to the course listed below.  

Failure to attend all dates will result in non-qualification.

Nicholas Breakspear Sports Centre, Colney Heath Lane, St Albans, AL4 0TT
The FA Referee CourseSaturday 7thMarchTheory & Practical11am - 5pm
Saturday 14thMarchTheory & Practical11am - 5pm
Saturday 21stMarchTheory & Practical11am - 5pm

Included in the course fees are:

•    The first seasons referee registration

•    FA Safeguarding certification

•    FA Course resources

•    Referee course equipment pack – whistle, lanyard, notebook and pencil (with red and yellow cards) and set of Assistant Referee flags. All these items are required both during and after the course by the candidates.

The Course fee does not include:

•    Referee kit or boots

•    FA CRC check (required by referees aged 16+ officiating in Youth Football)

Hertfordshire FA adheres to a strict cancellation policy and by enrolling onto our course you agree to have read and agree to be bound by our Terms and Conditions.  These can be viewed via our website Learner Info

Please be advised all of our courses are delivered using the English language.  To complete the course learners will be required to have a sound understanding of English; both oral and written.

If you are unable to understand or speak the English language you will be required to provide a translator for the duration of the course.  If you are bringing a translator you will be required to let Hertfordshire FA know in advance of the course start date.

Please note to access this online application, you will need a FAN (FA Number).

If have ever been involved in football or taken an FA Qualification, it is highly likely you already have a FAN. If you do not know your FAN or password, or need to create a FAN, please use our FAN FINDER tool by clicking to register/retrieve your details.

Please be aware that if you already have a FAN, and create another FAN, this could cause delays in being confirmed on the course and any qualifications being awarded.

If the FAN Finder says you haven't got a FAN, and you think you have, then please click here for a full guide on how to locate it.

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