Coin toss

The FA Referee Course

Course Overview

Minimum Age: 14

Course Duration: 11 hours face to face

Price: £135 (Includes VAT of approx. £22)

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

Start Date

Before You Book

Anyone interested in becoming a referee in Hertfordshire should start with the online Guide to the Laws of the Game modules, which serve as the first step on the path to becoming a match official.

After this has been completed on your own FAN account, you should undertake the relevant Safeguarding qualification, either the Safeguarding Children Course (if you are over 16) or Safeguarding For All (for 14 and 15 year olds).

Only then should you complete the Expression of Interest form for the face to face course. We will use this to confirm you have completed the requirements above and then send you a link to book your preferred date.

If you have not completed the prerequisites we will not be able to process your Expression of Interest form and you will not be able to book. Further information on the process of completing the necessary prerequisites can be found in the document below.


Important Information

We adhere to a strict cancellation policy and by enrolling onto our course you agree to have read and agree to be bound by our Policies & Procedures.

Referee Course FAQs
The minimum age to book onto and attend a referee course is 14. There is no maximum age.

We are no longer listing details of upcoming dates for this course on this page. When you have completed the online Guide to the Laws of the Game and the relevant Safeguarding course, please complete the Expression of Interest form. When we have checked you have the necessary prerequisites we will then contact you with details of any currently available dates or whenever new ones are added, with a link to be able to book on a first come first served basis. 

To book any course you will be required to enter your FA Number (FAN) and password. If you don't have one already you will need to create one before you can book.

If you have played or coached in football before it is likely you will already have a FAN. We can help you find this as it's best that all your information is held in the same record.

If you are looking to book a course for your child, you will need to do so using their own FAN to ensure the qualification is added to their account.

Hertfordshire FA uses experienced referees as mentors, who are available at one of our Mentoring Centres on Sunday mornings (when most suitable matches are available) for trainee referees.

We suggest you should go through a Referee Academy to help in your development and best prepare you to then join a League after you attain your qualification. Details of these will be given to you as part of your course.

• You must complete all the pre-course requirements in advance of attending the course, including the online content

• Attend all sessions included in the face to face training 

• Complete any work set by the course tutors

• Commit to refereeing a number of matches through one of our mentoring centres or sourcing your own matches at an appropriate level for a trainee referee

• Attend a final feedback workshop within 4 months of your course (close season not included)

• Once qualified, join a League/Leagues to develop yourself further as a referee (and not refereeing for just one team or club)

Get In Touch


01462 677622 (Weekdays: 9am-5pm)