Become a Referee

One of the most satisfying and rewarding aspects of the "Beautiful Game" is the role played by the referee in maintaining Fun, Fair Play and Sportsmanship. If you would like to play your part and become a referee, then read on!

Staffordshire FA has an outstanding reputation in producing and developing match officials at all levels - from Mini Soccer to Small Sided Games, to Youth and Adult Football. Some of our officials operate nationally in the Premier League and Football League - and some are stalwarts and heroes out on local parks and playing fields. You can begin this journey from the age of 14 – and for many it extends their participation and enjoyment of the game we all love.

Whatever your motivation for considering "taking up the whistle" and helping us to improve the standards and enjoyment of grassroots football - we thank you - and ask you to book onto one of our forthcoming Basic Referee Courses.



Aimed at anyone aged 14 or over who wishes to become an active referee, the course is 12 hours in duration, with written, theoretical and practical elements

Minimum Age: 14 years
Duration: 12 learning hours - plus 6 games
Prerequisites: None
Who is it for: Ideally suited to those wanting to become a referee involved in the 11-a-side game, both in Youth and Adult football
Aims & Objectives: This course will provide an introduction to the Laws of the Game as well as developing the practical skills required to be a football referee

The full qualification includes and/or requires the following:

  • Pre-course Study Pack
  • Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check

  • Safeguarding Children Training

  • Attendance at the basic training course

  • Completion of 5 9v9 or 11v11 matches

  • Attendance at a follow-up training evening

Only after having successfully completed all of this will you become a qualified referee, and in the first instance be able to accept appointments on local adult and junior leagues. It is the responsibility of the individual to arrange his or her own appointments with the Local Leagues - the County FA will provide the contacts but will not allocate fixtures.



A Referee Course is ran over five modules including the completion of five matches as a trainee referee.

The course may be predominantly theory or practically based dependant on venue, and can be run over a weekend or several sessions again depending on resources.

Module 1- Introduction
This module will introduce some key aspects in the following:

  • Laws of the Game
  • The role of the Referee

  • Consider the skills required to control a game of football

Module 2- Practical Element
Practical elements of the course will provide an introduction to:

  • Warming up and cooling down activities
  • Positioning & movement at both set pieces & in open play

  • Managing game situations

  • Signals & communication techniques

  • FA Safeguarding Children workshop (included in the course programme)

Module 3 – Examination
Both a multiple choice examination paper and a practical on-field assessment are used to establish theory & practical knowledge.

  • Written element - both theoretical & practical courses

Module 4 - Refereeing
Six games are used to establish both the knowledge, as well as the practicalities, of refereeing.

Module 5 - The Next Steps
A three hour workshop designed to reflect on a trainee referees first experiences of refereeing and to offer development points.



The costs of this course is: £110.00 for all participants.

The course fee includes:

  • FA Referee Registration
  • Whistle and red & yellow cards

  • Safeguarding Children Training (where required)

  • Study Pack and Laws of Association Football

  • Certificate of qualification upon completion of 5 games

Suitable and warm outdoor clothing with a change of clothing also recommended. Outdoor activity will take place regardless of the weather conditions.


Re-assessment: Candidates can be re-examined within 1 month after completing the initial examination.


Small Sided Football and Futsal

We offer courses in the Small Sided (generally 6-a-side and played at commercial centres such as Goals, Powerleague and Leisure Leagues) and Futsal (The FIFA approved version of the 5-a-side game, played by many top players such as Messi and Ronaldo as youngsters).

Generally the small sided referees course is run via one of the commercial providers, with the County providing the training and certification. Therefore we suggest you make contact with your local FA-affiliated small sided provider if you are interested in refereeing this format of the game.

Futsal referee training courses are often run regionally and to demand. Therefore to register your interest in training as a Futsal only referee please make contact with our Referee Development Officer via


Further information:

For any further information in relation to Referee Courses please contact Referee Development Officer, Matthew Jones on any of the following:
(T): 01785 256994
(M): 07969 295102