Become a Referee

Refereeing can be a very rewarding activity to take up and is an integral part of grassroots football. Not only can you keep fit and earn some money, but you can develop yourself as a character, and maybe even work your way up into the professional ranks following in the footsteps of Staffordshire based referee's such as Phil Dowd, Simon Bennett and Steve Martin.

Whatever your motivation for considering "taking up the whistle" and helping us to improve the standards and enjoyment of grassroots football in Staffordshire, we will ensure that you will be supported throughout your refereeing from local park pitches, up to Wembley Stadium.



Aimed at anyone aged 14 or over who wishes to become an active referee, the course is 16 hours in duration, with theoretical and practical elements

Minimum Age: 14 years
Duration: 16 learning hours - plus 5 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 6 units including the completion of five matches as a trainee referee.

A breakdown of the course can be found below:
Unit 1- Introduction
This unit will introduce some key aspects such as:

  • Laws of the Game
  • The role of the Referee

  • Consider the skills required to control a game of football

  • Activity booklet for completion before the end of Unit 1

Unit 2 - Practical Training
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)

Unit 3 – Misconduct Report Writing
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

Unit 4 - Practical Training
Practical elements of the course will provide further in-depth knowledge to:

  • Positioning & movement at both set pieces & in open play
  • Managing game situations

  • Signals & communication techniques

  • Practical evaluation to ensure competency before training games

Unit 5 - Refereeing 5 Training Times
At this point candidates are required to referee 5 training games of 9v9 and/or 11v11 football. Referees will be allocated to a local league, in which the Referee Appointment Officer will allocate fixtures. Referee availability will be required here.

Unit 6 - Examination and Call Back Evening
A short workshop and your exam will take place at this point. Designed to reflect on a trainee referees first experiences of refereeing and to offer development points. Certification will be distributed by FA Education following attendance and successful completion.



The costs of this course is: £125.00 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.



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

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