FA courses

The FA Referees Course


The first crucial step in developing as a referee.

The FA Referees Course is designed for anyone aged 14 and up who wants to join the tens of thousands of referees who operate week in week out on local parks, throughout the English football pyramid, up to those who officiate The FA Cup Final and on the International stage. As a referee you play an integral role in ensuring all participants enjoy their match day experience, helping create a competitive, fair, safe and enjoyable playing environment.

Whether you want to referee in youth and adult leagues, men's or women's football or have aspirations of one day walking the ball out at Wembley Stadium, The FA Referees Course is the starting point for your refereeing career. Refereeing is not only rewarding in a football environment, but the social and life skills that come from becoming a referee extend far beyond your initial expectations.

  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Fitness
  • Evaluation
  • Reliability
  • Education
  • Excellence

These seven core values underpin all aspects of English refereeing and are all required from the start of your refereeing journey.

Once you have qualified as a referee, there is extensive support available through both your County FA and The FA, helping you to be the best you can be and fulfill your potential as a referee.

Price: £150.00 

Minimum Age: 14

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

Pre-requisites: Before starting Block 5, a Safeguarding Children Workshop and Criminal Records Check (if applicable) must be completed.


You must ensure you have completed the following two pre-requisites before applying for the course. You will not be offered a place without these being completed:

FA Laws of the Game

Safeguarding for All 


There are no courses now until 2024. This page will be updated in February 2024 with new course dates.

We are sorry if you were not able to obtain a place on a course for 2023; however, we will be running further courses in 2024.

A new application will be required should you wish to be considered for a place on a Referee Course in 2024. These will be shared when the courses are finalised and published. Unfortunately, due to the demand for places, we will not be holding a waiting list.

Please note that course places will be offered to the most suitable candidates.

CPD Events

CPD Event 1 w/c 13th  & 20th Nov 2023.  
CPD Event 2 w/c 22nd & 29th Jan 2024. 
CPD Event 3 w/c 18th  & 25th March 2024

It is imperative pre-course modules are completed as part of the application. Those U16 please see instructions below. 

fan numbers

In preparation for undertaking a referee course at a future point please undertake the module described above under your own personal FAN Number. This will speed up the subsequent application process significantly. If you are unsure of your FAN number, please get in touch via referees@cheshirefa.com

You can create one here if you are sure you do not have one of your own already.

If the course is for a child U16 - they will need to be linked to a parent, instructions are below:-


Under no circumstances should a person undertake FA Learning modules using the FAN Number of another person/relative.

Ref Course Thumbnail
FA Referee Course
Take a closer look at what our FA Referee Course involves, including a chat with our Referee Development Officer and some action shots from the course.
Course Breakdown

  • Overview of course expectations and commitments
  • Basic outline of the Laws of the Game to provide an initial understanding
  • Introduction to the DNA of English Refereeing and the process of completing the course

A mixture of practical and theoretical referee training, focusing on the key skills and techniques required to be a referee. This is then couple with the practical application of law and the different scenarios that can be faced in a game. Some of the topics covered are; Signals & Communication, Fouls & Misconduct and Positioning & Movement.

Upon completion of Unit 4, a practical Evaluation of Performance and Assessment of Knowledge is completed to ensure you are ready for Unit 5.

Officiating five 11v11 or 9v9 games, where you are offered a referee mentor to support you on your first few games, with a self evaluation of each game.

Call back session where there is the opportunity to share experiences on the five games refereed, what has worked well and what you might do differently in the future. A final Laws of the Game Examination and information on what happens now and what opportunities are available i.e. Promotion, Academies, Development Groups, In-Service Training etc.

The Course Fee Includes

  • FA Referee Registration
  • Whistle and red & yellow cards
  • Membership of the RA-FA
  • Certificate of qualification upon completion of 5 games
  • Attendance at four Continual Learning Events at local development group
  • Mentor allocation working towards post-Referee Course qualification
  • Promotion opportunities immediately upon qualification - even as 14-year-old


T: 01606 30 2003
9:00am - 5:00pm Monday - Friday

E: RefereeCourses@CheshireFA.com