FA Referee Course

The FA Referee Course

The latest information on Surrey FA referee courses

Following a thorough review of all of the courses we had planned for the 2020/21 season, we've been closely assessing the impact that lockdown and the COVID-19 crisis is having on all our learners. Having carefully considered the implications of running courses we have decided not to start delivery of any new face-to-face referee courses between now and December.

During this period our focus will be on supporting learners to complete courses already started before lockdown.  

If you had previously booked a course which had not started we will be in contact with you directly to confirm the next steps and organise refunds for you.

Looking forward, The FA have been working on a brand new FA Referee course which will be made available soon. Bookings for this course are not open yet as we await further details, but you can express your interest via our referee course form below to be the first to hear about the new course when it is available.

We apologise for the inconvenience our decision regarding course delivery may have, but as I am sure you will appreciate our priority is to ensure safe delivery during these very challenging times and allow us to best support the new course when it is made available.

We hope to see you on a course very soon.

Express your Interest


The first crucial step to 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 womens 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.








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.

Get In Touch

Brent Pettit
Referee Development Officer

By Phone

01372 387 094

By Email


  • 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 coupled 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.


Those wishing to book on the course must be 14 at the time of attending the course.

Once booked and having attended blocks 1-4, candidates must complete a DBS check (if aged 16 or over) and attend the FA Safeguarding Children’s Workshop prior to completion of block 5.


The FA Referees Course provides participants with an insight to the laws of the game and their practical application on the field of play. It also looks at the skills required to be a referee.

Candidates should feel comfortable to referee a game of football at the completion of the course, with 75% of the course being in a practical environment.

Referee, Decision
Referee course FAQS
The current cost of the course is £150.00.

If you are aged 16 and over and intend to referee youth football, there is also a £10.00 charge for an FA Criminal Record Check.

It's worth remembering, as a qualified referee you will be entitled to match fees - so your financial outlay early on can quickly be made back through refereeing games.
Anyone aged 14 or over can become a referee. There is no upper age limit but candidates need to be able to fully participate in practical sessions.

Until you reach the age of 16, you will only be able to referee games involving children at least 1 year younger than yourself.

All referees aged 16 years or over who wish to officiate in youth football must undertake an FA DBS check.

This is a simple online process which will be fully explained to you during the course.

Certification lasts for 3 years (there is a small additional charge for this process).

In addition to the services of FA Referee Tutors, the following is included in the price:

  • A copy of the latest Laws of the Game booklet
  • A pre-course study programme (Unit 1)
  • All course materials
  • FA Safeguarding Children training
  • FA 'Respect' training
  • FA registration fee for one season
  • A referee whistle
  • A set of red/yellow cards & holder (9v9/11v11 course only)
  • Match record cards (9v9/11v11 course only)
  • Assistant Referee Flags (9v9/11v11 only)
  • County FA will confirm your 5 games prior to or at the successful completion of Unit 4
  • A list of League contacts (for information only)
  • A certificate of qualification (following an initial six 11v11 or 9v9 games, and the successful passing of a final examination on the Laws of the Game)
  • FA Referee badge
  • The services of FA Referee Mentors

All referees need to undertake the FA safeguarding children training if they intend to officiate games with children (under 18) and cannot register as a referee until they do so.

The cost of the safeguarding training is included within the referee course fee with dates and times provided when you enrol.

Safeguarding certificates last for 3 years at which point referees will need to renew their qualification. This renewal is free and can be done online.

Get In Touch

Referee Development Team

By Phone

01372 373543

By Email