The FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence

The FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence

FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) is an emerging and exciting refereeing structure that aims to provide an identified number of referees at a variety of levels with quality training, education and development opportunities delivered both centrally and across a number of regional locations.

FA CORE is for those referees who demonstrate that they have the clear potential and opportunity to progress in refereeing regardless of which part of the country they are from, their gender or their age.

Referees involved in FA CORE at all levels must always possess (among other aspects) the appropriate levels of:

  • Focus and Commitment
  • Enthusiasm to progress
  • Developing on-field performances
  • Off-field attitude
  • Professionalism
  • Fitness

Referees will benefit from a season long programme where The FA will provide them with a trained, motivated and accredited referee coach who will be the point of contact throughout their time on FA CORE at that specific tier of the structure.

There will be five tiers of the FA CORE programme which will provide training, education, development and coaching for Referees from level 7 to level 2b.


Craig Hicks 

Referee Development Officer

01372 373543 

The FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence
The FA CORE Pyramid

FA CORE will be delivered primarily through eight regions.

Overseeing each regional centre and their associated 'Referees and Coaching Workforce' will be an FA CORE centre leader. This person will be the link person to The FA's Head of Refereeing, Neale Barry, and National Referee Development Manager, Daniel Meeson.

While The FA will have overall responsibility for the performance coaches and referees within each of the regions, much of the work carried out should be supported, overseen and ‘quality’ checked by the centre leader on a regular basis.

Match day guidance

When it comes to Match Day, the referee has a number of duties and factors to consider other than the 90 minutes from kick off to full time. Here are some guidelines for areas of match day that the referee has control over.

Guidance for referees