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.

CO3/19 Acklam Green Centre – Stainsby Road, Acklam, Middlesbrough, Cleveland TS5 4JS


Wednesday, 11th September, 2019: Module 1 Introduction Workshop: 6.00pm - 9.00pm 


Wednesday, 18th September, 2019: FA CRC Workshop & Safeguarding Children: 5.30pm - 9.00pm 


Sunday, 29th September, 2019: FA Referee Course Practical Day: 9.00am - 5.00pm 


Wednesday, 11th December, 2019: Unit 6 Review Workshop: 6.00pm - 9.00pm 


5 Game Module: 12 weeks to complete - Details will be given during the course

Please note candidates must attend all sessions as detailed above to pass the course.


How much does the full FA Referee Course cost?

The full cost of the course for all ages is £130. Those who are aged 16 and over will also need to complete an FA CRC (Criminal Records Check) which is included in the cost. Please note that the Safeguarding Children Workshop is included in this price. For those who are aged 14/15 they will receive an online link to complete this training.

What will I get for my money?

In addition to the services of FA Referee Tutors, the following is included in the price:

A copy of the latest Laws of the Game booklet

Access to the NRCFA E-Learning Referee Education Platform

FA Safeguarding Children 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)

A certificate of qualification… following an initial five 11v11 or 9v9 games and 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 via the local Referees Association


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 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 introduction evening with available options fully explained.

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. Please note that your first check is included in the cost of the workshop. Additional checks currently incur a cost of £10.

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 Youth 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).

Contact Ross Joyce - support@northridingfa.com

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.

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