Coin toss

The FA Referee Course

Course Overview

Minimum Age: 14

Price: £130

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

Unfortunately there are no available dates.

Important Information

We adhere to a strict cancellation policy and by enrolling on our course you agree to have read and agree to be bound by our Terms and Conditions.

Register Your Interest

Due to high demand, we are currently operating a waiting list to attend the FA Basic Referees Course. 

If you would like to attend a Referees course, please use the link in the 'Available Dates' section of this page or get in touch, via the contact details.

REgister your interest?


Can't find a course that suits you or they are not currently any available dates? You can register your interest and be kept up to date by email with the latest releases of new courses throughout the season.   


Register Your Interest Here


Frequently asked questions about becoming a Referee

To access the online Laws of the game you will need to create or retrieve a FA Number, if you already have a FA number then you can use the link below to access the online modules.

To create or retrieve your FA number click here

If you are under the age of 18, you might find the information at the refereeing help centre useful when logging in, as your parents/guardians will need to create your FA number and link to their account.

In order to successfully book onto a course, you will be required to complete The FA Laws of the Game Modules.

Prior to any face to face training the appropriate FA Safeguarding training & FA DBS will be required.

All referees are required to complete The FA safeguarding training;

All Individuals regardless of age are eligible to take the FA Safeguarding For All module which is free, however if you want to take the FA Safeguarding Children Course £30 you can do so which is an enhanced version of the module.

Referees who are 14/15 years old need to; 

a) Complete free 1-hour Safeguarding For All (valid for two years).

Referees in the view who are 16+ can;

a) Complete the new Online Safeguarding Children Course (valid for two years with continual free recertification).

b) If they have a previous Safeguarding Workshop qualification, complete the free online recertification (valid for two years with continual free recertification).

Once you have completed your FA Safeguarding Training please email your certificate to

Referees aged 16 and above, who wish to officiate youth football will require an FA DBS.

How do I get started?

Visit the online disclosures website;

Select REGISTER from the login screen and enter the information requested

Once you have completed the online application please register for verification here

Once your documents have been verified, and the DBS paid for (£10) your disclosure will be dispatched to your address, and automatically show on your FAN.

These are the steps individuals need to take in order to become an FA qualified referee;
1. Register for a FA Number or retrieve a previous one (in the learner’s name);
2. Expression of interest completed;
3. FA Referee Course Online Modules completed (using the learner's FA number);
4. FA Safeguarding Education course completed (using the learner's FA number);
5. Email your FA Safeguarding certificate to;
6. FA DBS if aged 16 or above should you wish to referee adult football;
7. Following completion of the course, referee a minimum of 5 games;
8. Complete the final unit (online).

1. Liaise with leagues, clubs and schools/academies to ensure there is a need for referees in your given area;

2. Communicate with learners who have completed The FA Laws of the Game Module;

3. Provide notification of learners who have completed, or adults working towards their safeguarding/DBS, with course dates and opportunities;
Please note: When you register on the expression of interest form, this will ask for your preferred location. We will ensure that a minimum of one referee course is provided in the following areas: Aylesbury, Abingdon, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Slough, Reading per season. Please also note, due to demand we cannot confirm that space will be available at the most suitable venue to you but other opportunities will be provided as an alternative.)

4. Support all learners through The FA Referee Course;

5. Award the FA Referee Course Qualification.