Coin toss

The FA Referee Course

Course Overview

Minimum Age: 14

Price: £100

Leading To: Registered Referee Status (either level 8 Youth Referee or Level 7 Junior County Referee)

View available dates


The FA Referee Course is designed to equip new referees with the key skills and knowledge they will need to be able to referee grassroots football matches safely and effectively.  It is for people aged 14 and over who want to referee mini soccer, 9 v 9 and/or 11 v 11 football.  

The course comprises online learning on the Laws of the Game and face to face training. You must complete the online learning before attending the face to face training. You will also need to complete online safeguarding training before attending the face to face training.

Course Content 

Online Learning

The online learning has five sections (modules) and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. There are lots of videos to demonstrate how the Laws should be applied, activities to help reinforce the important points and, at the end of each module, there are some questions to test what you’ve learned.  

The online learning can be accessed at 

If you are under the age of 16, you might find the information at the refereeing help centre useful when logging in.

This module covers the referee’s pre-match responsibilities and includes ensuring players’ kit is safe, how to carry out the coin toss and what a referee needs to take to a match with them.

This module contains short video clips (GIFs) which show every signal the referee and assistant referee might give during a match.

This module deals with foul challenges, violent conduct, handball, unsporting behaviour, DOGSO offences and advantage. It uses video clips from football at different levels to show how the referee should manage common scenarios.

This module also uses video clips, this time to demonstrate what is and isn’t offside and how the referee should manage offside offences. The clips, like those used in the ‘Getting it Right’ module, are voiced over to explain the decisions the referees make.

This module covers restarts and set-pieces, including goal kicks, corner kicks, throw-ins, free kicks and penalty kicks. It uses both video and illustrations to clarify what players must do at each restart and set-piece and explains what the referee should do if players don’t comply with the Law.

Face to Face Training

There is 11 hours of face to face training (normally one evening, followed by a full day), which mixes training room work with practical activity on a pitch. Key messages from the online learning are reinforced throughout.  The training room work includes:

Fun, interactive quizzes
How to establish rapport and build relationships with players and coaches
Recognising and dealing with foul challenges and handball
Managing offside
Dealing with inappropriate behaviour 
Managing players 

On the pitch, you will have the opportunity to turn your knowledge into skills through refereeing game based scenarios. You will practise:

Communicating decisions
Cautioning and sending off techniques
Managing the kick off, free kicks, penalty kicks, corner kicks and throw-ins 
Positioning in open play and at restarts
Being an assistant referee

Qualifying as a Referee

To qualify as a referee, you must also referee five games after you have attended the face to face training. You will then receive a certificate and an FA Referee badge.

You be supported through those five games by your County Football Association (CFA). As you continue your refereeing career, you will then be able to access further training opportunities, both online and face to face.

Available Dates

Start Date
Ollie Williams
Herefordshire Football Association
HFA / SSAFA County Ground Training Room & AGP
Widemarsh Common
Ollie Williams

Important Information

We adhere 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.

Please make sure to read the full Referee Training Guide prior to booking.

HFA is currently recruiting Referees for Saturday afternoon (adult football) and Sunday morning/afternoon (youth & adult football). If you will not be available to officiate on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday during the season, please book onto a later course.

Your booking will be cancelled if you do not adhere to the above and there will be administration charge of £10.

No Dates Available?

If you're interested in taking up refereeing but can't see an upcoming course, don't worry! We will be organising a course soon, just email to register your interest and we will send you updates on future courses when they are announced.

The FA Basic Referee Course


In addition to the 3 day course and services of the FA Referee Tutor the following is included in the price:

  • Laws of the Game Book and DVD
  • Refereeing Folder containing advice on refereeing, fitness and misconduct
  • Safeguarding and Respect Training
  • Whistle, match book with red and yellow cards, pencil match record pad
  • Access to a Referee Mentor during your first season
  • Registration to the Herefordshire FA
  • Enhanced CRC
  • Certificate and FA Referees Badge following your first 5 games
  • Associate membership of the Herefordshire Referee's Association


Referees will receive a match fee of approximately £15-25 which varies dependent on the competition and age group of the match. Referees can also receive expenses for mileage in some competitions. Therefore after completing your first 5 training matches you will have earned around £100 and already made back the cost of your course. 

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 online process which will be fully explained to you during the course. Certification last for 3 years.

The course includes a mixture of practical and theory work. You will receive the following training:

  • Introduction to Refereeing 
  • Practical Referee Training
  • Fouls and Misconduct Training
  • Practical Referee Training and Evaluation
  • Experience and Mentored unit
  • FA Examination & Call Back unit


Herefordshire 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 County FA Referee Development Team at any time should you have any issues or questions.

Once qualified you will start out as either an FA Level 8 Referee (If Under 16) or an FA Level 7 Referee (if aged 16+). 

Herefordshire 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. Applications to Herefordshire FA for promotion are made during February of each year. For further details contact your Referee Development Officer at the County FA offices.