Becoming a Referee

FA Referee Course

From local football on a Sunday morning to the FA Cup Final, all football needs referees.  With over 1000 registered referees officiating across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, we provide the support and experience for you to help progress your skills as far as your potential.

Whether you aspire to officiate on the Premiership or are looking to referee the local U-9 Grassroots team, we can provide you with the support, training and resources to assist you in achieving your goal.

The FA Referees Course is a fantastic way to acquire the skills needed to start your refereeing career, whether you are refereeing at Wembley or a local grassroots game, every game is an important game!

Course requirements

Aged 14+

A passion and commitment to the game

A basic level of fitness

Completion of a ‘Get into Refereeing’ Workshop

‘Get into Refereeing’ Workshop- Unit 1

This introductory workshop will provide you, through refereeing experiences, different formats of the game and opportunities that are available as a potential new referee. Your course folder will be issued in preparation for the remainder of the course.

Course Details:

The Referee’s course is initially based over two full days and one evening session.   Following completion of refereeing a minimum of five games, candidates will be invited to a follow up classroom session which will include the Laws of the Game Examination.  

FA Referee Course Content

Practical Referee Training Day One- Unit 2:

The first day will involve learning how to referee outside on the field of play, and how to apply The Laws of The Game. Candidates are required to have a good working knowledge of the Laws through completion of their pre course study booklet that is to be handed to the tutor on the first practical day.

You will be provided with all the necessary equipment such as a whistle, red and yellow cards which will be yours to keep throughout your refereeing career! By the end of the day you will have the opportunity to referee part of a game among your group of candidates.

Fouls and Misconduct Training, Evening Session- Unit 3:

This interactive classroom based session will be based around ‘Recognising Challenges’ and the Misconduct procedure. Candidates will be provided details to the comprehensive support mechanisms we have in place to support referees throughout their first few games.

Practical Referee Training Day Two- Unit 4:

The final practical day includes your practical evaluation. The evaluation consists of you refereeing a short game, with staged scenarios, for you to demonstrate your learning and application of Law.

Provided your attain the minimum standard required when evaluated, you will be sanctioned to operate as an FA Level 9 (trainee) referee.

Refereeing – Unit 5:

Having successfully graduated from the first four units of the training course, you will now officiate in a minimum of 5 games of football. These games of football (9V9 or 11v11), will be completed through our Academies or Chartered Standard Leagues providing a safe learning environment. Some of the games you will be supported by a FA Referee Mentor.

During this period, in addition to gaining practical experience, you will need to learn and revise the Laws of the Game thoroughly before returning to complete the final unit of the course.

Laws of the Game Examination- Unit 6:

This classroom session forms the final part of your Referee Course. Upon successful completion of the FA Examination of the Laws of the Game (multiple choice examination), there is an opportunity to review and discuss your learning experiences from your games. You will be awarded your FA Referee Certificate of Qualification. The candidate will be promoted from a Level 9 trainee referee, to a FA Level 8 Referee (if aged 14 or 15) or FA Level 7 Referee (if/when aged 16  or over).

Unit 6 can only be attended when a minimum of 5 games as an FA Level 9 (Trainee ) Referee have been refereed. It is possible to attend an alternate date to complete Unit 6 however this must be completed within 4 months of the date of the first practical training session at the start of Unit 2.


FA Referee Course:  £145

To include: Safeguarding Course fee (£20) & CRC fee (£10)

Continual Personal Development:

Berks & Bucks County FA run in-service training for referees of all Levels to assist in their further development and progression as a referee.

Once a full season has been completed and a minimum of 20 open aged 11-a-side games have been refereed. The referee is able to apply for promotion to move up the refereeing ladder.

For more information on Refereeing in Berks & Bucks please contact our Referee Development Officer, Lisa Benn