Front of referee kit

The FA Referees Course


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.

Course Overview

Minimum Age:

Course Duration: 11 Guided Learning Hours

Price: £130

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


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.


All learners on all Referees Course must have completed the Course Pre-Requisites.

Online Learning -

FA Safeguarding For All -

If the learner is over the age of 16 they will also need a DBS Check guidance for this can be obtained by contacting Shaun Taylor or Lewis Mason via

You MUST complete the two course pre-requisites on the Learner’s FAN number. Once these are complete, please email to receive a booking link for one of the courses below:

We have received a lot of interest in the FA Referee Course over recent months and have been working hard to schedule as many courses as we can, whilst continuing to support and retain our current referees. 

We are pleased to confirm 13 new courses which will take place over the coming months. If you have previously submitted an Expression of Interest form and have been successful in gaining a place on one of these upcoming courses, you will have been contacted via email.

Important Information

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

2023-24 COURSES

Day 1: Thursday 13th July 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Saturday 15th July 2023 9am-5pm

Edisford Sports Complex, Ribble Valley

Day 1: Thursday 20th July 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Saturday 22nd July 2023 9am-5pm

Bolton Arena

Day 1: Wednesday 26th July 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Friday 28th July 2023 9am-5pm

Lancashire FA

Day 1: Wednesday 2nd August 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Sunday 6th August 2023 9am-5pm

Lancashire FA

Day 1: Wednesday 9th August 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Friday 11th August 2023 9am-5pm

Myerscough College

Day 1: Wednesday 16th August 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Friday 18th August 2023 9am-5pm

Poolfoot Farm, Sports Complex

Day 1: Wednesday 23rd August 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Sunday 27th August 2023 9am-5pm

Lancashire FA

Adults 21+ Priority

Day 1: Wednesday 30th August 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Friday 1st September 2023 9am-5pm

Fishermore High School

Day 1: Thursday 7th September 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Saturday 9th September 2023 9am-5pm

Leisure United, Wigan

Day 1: Wednesday 13th September 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Sunday 17th September 2023 9am-5pm

Lancaster University

Day 1: Thursday 21st September 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Sunday 24th September 2023 9am-5pm 

Lancashire FA

Female Priority

Day 1: Thursday 12th October 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Sunday 15th October 2023 9am-5pm

Poolfoot Farm, Sports Complex

Day 1: Wednesday 25th October 2023 6pm-9pm

Day 2: Sunday 29th October 2023 9am-5pm

Lancashire FA