Become a Referee

One of the most satisfying and rewarding aspects of the "Beautiful Game" is the role played by the referee in maintaining Fun, Fair Play and Sportsmanship. If you would like to play your part and become a referee, then read on!

Lancashire FA has an outstanding reputation in producing and developing match officials at all levels - from Mini Soccer to Small Sided Games, to Youth and Adult Football. Some of our officials operate nationally in the Premier League and Football League - and some are stalwarts and heroes out on local parks and playing fields. You can begin this journey from the age of 14 – and for many it extends their participation and enjoyment of the game we all love.

Whatever your motivation for considering "taking up the whistle" and helping us to improve the standards and enjoyment of grassroots football - we thank you - and ask you to book onto one of our forthcoming Basic Referee Courses


Aimed at anyone aged 14 or over who wishes to become an active referee, the course is 12 hours in duration, with written, theoretical and practical elements

Minimum Age: 14 years
Duration: 12 learning hours - plus 6 games
Prerequisites: None
Who is it for: Ideally suited to those wanting to become a referee involved in the 11-a-side game, both in Youth and Adult football
Aims & Objectives: This course will provide an introduction to the Laws of the Game as well as developing the practical skills required to be a football referee

The full qualification includes and/or requires the following:

  • Pre-course Study Pack
  • Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check
  • Safeguarding Children Training
  • Attendance at the basic training course
  • Completion of 6 11 a-side matches
  • Attendance at a follow-up training evening

Only after having successfully completed all of this will you become a qualified referee, and in the first instance be able to accept appointments on local adult and junior leagues.  It is the responsibility of the individual to arrange his or her own appointments with the Local Leagues - the County FA will provide the contacts but will not allocate fixtures.


A Basic Referee course is ran over five modules including the completion of six matches as a trainee referee, two of which should be observed by a referee coach.

The course may be predominantly theory or practically based dependant on venue, and can be run over a weekend or several sessions again depending on resources.

Module 1- Introduction

This module will introduce some key aspects in the following:

  • Laws of the Game 
  • The role of the Referee 
  • Consider the skills required to control a game of football

Module 2- Practical Element

Practical elements of the course will provide an introduction to:

  • Warming up and cooling down activities 
  • Positioning & movement at both set pieces & in open play 
  • Managing game situations 
  • Signals & communication techniques 
  • FA Safeguarding Children workshop (included in the course programme)

Module 3 – Examination

Both a multiple choice examination paper and a practical on-field assessment are used to establish theory & practical knowledge.

1. Written element - both theoretical & practical courses
2. Theory DVD - used in mainly theory based courses
3. Practical on field assessment for use on practical based courses.

Module 4 - Refereeing

  • Six games are used to establish both the knowledge, as well as the practicalities, of refereeing
  • Two of the games are observed by a referee mentor who offers immediate feedback and development points

Module 5 - The Next Steps

A three hour workshop designed to reflect on a trainee referees first experiences of refereeing and to offer development points


The costs of this course is: £135 for all participants

The course fee includes:

  • FA Referee Registration
  • Whistle and red & yellow cards
  • Enhanced FA CRB Disclosure (where required)
  • Safeguarding Children Training (where required)
  • Study Pack and Laws of Association Football
  • Membership of the RA-FA
  • Certificate of qualification upon completion of 6 games

Candidates aged 16 and over only should bring three forms of identity documents on Day One, so that The FA CRB check can be undertaken. The recommended forms of ID are a current & valid passport, original birth certificate and driving licence. Should a candidate not have all of these key documents then other forms of ID such as recent utility bills, exam certificates, bank statements etc can also be used.

Suitable and warm outdoor clothing with a change of clothing also recommended. Outdoor activity will take place regardless of the weather conditions.

Re-assessment: Candidates can be re-examined within 1 month after completing the initial examination.