Referee holding ball

FA Referee 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 7v7, 9v9, 11v11 football. The cost of the course is £120. 

Before attending the face to face training all learners must complete online learning on the Laws of the Game, online safeguarding training and expression of interest. If you are aged 16 or over, you will need to obtain an FA DBS. 

Important information: If your child is under the age of 18, they must have a parent/guardian linked FAN (FA Number) before they will be able to access the steps below.


Please ensure that the online learning is completed on the child fan account and not the parent/guardian fan.

Please follow the steps below to gain access to a course; 

Step 1: Complete Online Laws of the Game 

Step 2: Complete Safeguarding For All

Step 3: Obtain FA DBS (IF AGED 16 AND OVER)

Please only submit your interest form once the above steps are completed - (learners aged 14 & 15 do not require an FA DBS)

Step 4: register your interest

Once all of the above are completed, and there are courses available, West Riding County FA will send you a course booking link. 

Please refer to the FAQs at the bottom of this page in the first instance if you incur any issues. 

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 includes information about FA Numbers (FAN) for under 16s. 

course modules

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 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.

What you will receive on the course

Ref kit

After you have completed your 5 matches and submitted your Match Submission Form, you will then receive your badge.


Should a candidate need to cancel their place on a course for any reason, the following criteria will apply:

• 7 days or more notice given - Full refund 

• 0-7 days' notice - No refund 

Consideration will be given to candidates who, for health reasons are unable to attend and require a transfer to another course. A letter from a doctor or medical professional may be requested.  
available dates

Venue: Tingley Athletic, The Crescent, Casson Avenue, East Ardsley, WF3 2EG


Thursday 4th July 2024 - Introduction to Refereeing - 18:00-21:00

Sunday 7th July 2024 - Practical Course - 09:00-17:00

Thursday 15th August 2024 - Call Back Sign Off Event - 18:00-21:00


Venue: Collingham & Linton Sports, Harewood Road, Collingham, LS22 5BL


Thursday 5th September 2024 - Introduction to Refereeing - 18:00-21:00

Sunday 8th September 2024 - Practical Course - 09:00-17:00

Thursday 14th November 2024 - Call Back Sign Off Event - 18:00-21:00

Venue: Rastrick Juniors, Clubhouse, RJFC, Carr Green Ln, Rastrick, Brighouse HD6 3LT 


Tuesday 6th August 2024 - Introduction to Refereeing - 18:00-21:00

Saturday 10th August 2024 - Practical Course - 09:00-17:00

Tuesday 24th August 2024 - Call Back Sign Off Event - 18:00-21:00


Follow the step process at the top of this page.


Learners are provided an online form to submit following their course.

Typically within 7-10 working days. All prerequisites must be showing as completed on learner FAN.


Log on to WGS and check that a unique email address is attached (every FAN needs to have its own email account)

Course pre-requisites, 11 hours of face to face training, officiating 5 matches.

7v7, 9v9, 11v11

FA Safeguarding For All, Laws of The Game and FA DBS. All of the links to these can be found at the top of this page.