HOW TO BECOME A FOOTBALL REFEREE
Football provides huge opportunities for children and adults, of all ages, to develop their technical, social, and physical skills but matches aren’t possible without referees. Whilst football matches at younger age groups are typically refereed by (occasionally) willing parents as you progress through the age groups the need for skilled and qualified referees becomes increasingly important.
Benefits of becoming a referee
Refereeing can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and it’s a great way to stay involved in the sport whilst also having the opportunity to earn money once you are qualified. But being a referee is more than just enforcing the rules. It requires quick thinking, communication skills, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. It’s a challenging but rewarding role that can help you develop a wide range of skills and experiences, from leadership and decision-making to conflict resolution and communication.
Berkhamsted Raiders is on a mission to develop the next generation of referees and give opportunities to our youth players, and those in the wider community, to qualify to become a referee. We are proud to have supported a significant number of our members to become referees over the last couple of years.
In order to earn money, as an FA-registered referee, you need to undertake an official FA referee course that involves a face-to-face course over a day and a half at either a County FA run course or one organised specifically by Berkhamsted Raiders. The minimum age to take part in referee training is 14 years old.
Once you have completed the course you then need to referee a number of qualifying games as part of your training. There are a number of steps in order to be ready to take part in the in-person course and more information is provided below. The details will vary depending on whether you are under or over 16 years old.
1. Register your interest in becoming a referee with Raiders
The first step in becoming a referee is to let us know that you are keen to enrol your child, or yourself, so we can log your interest and follow up. If you are interested in becoming a referee then register your details here and we will be in touch on the next steps and course availability.
2. Ensure FA account is set up correctly
All referee training (online and offline) must be logged under the FA account of the person qualifying to be a referee. If you are a playing member of Berkhamsted Raiders you will already have a FA account set up that is linked to your parent/guardian FA account. This will hold your FAN (unique FA Number) which is what you need to access your account.
If you are not currently a member of Berkhamsted Raiders and do not have a FA account, with a unique FAN number, then you can set one up here.
In order to do the online learning modules you need to have your own email address set up on your FA account. If you have recently turned 14 years old then the parent/guardian will need to add a unique email address of the person intending to do the referee course on your personal FA account. More details can be found here.
A number of issues have been reported with gaining access to the child FA account once an email address has been added. This is caused by technical issues with the FA website. If you experience problems you need to email the FA support team with child name, FAN number and email address to the following FA email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – And ask them to reset your account.
If you continue to have issues with accessing the child FA account then please email email@example.com to help resolve it.
3. Online Referee Learning Modules
In order to be eligible to take part in the in-person referee training you need to complete the Introduction to Refereeing and Safeguarding For All online learning modules. Details are below:
- Introduction to Referee Online Module (2 hours) – https://www.thefa.com/the-fa-referee-training-course.
- Safeguarding For All (aged 14-15yrs) – (45mins) https://learn.englandfootball.com/courses/safeguarding-for-all
- Safeguarding (aged 16+) – (2 hours, £30) https://learn.englandfootball.com/courses/safeguarding-children-course
When completing the above courses make sure that you also complete any post-course surveys to ensure that the course is shown as completed on your learning record.
4. County FA Expression of Interest Form
In order to be eligible for the in-person Referee Course you need to register with your County FA (Herts FA for Berkhamsted Raiders) to be placed on a suitable course.
This form can be accessed here
5. In-person FA Referee Course
The official FA Referee course is delivered by the relevant County FA, in our case typically Herts FA. They organise a limited number of courses throughout the season, however they are often over-subscribed and fill up quickly.
The course costs £135 and takes place over one evening followed by a full day with a mix of classroom learning and practical exercises and sessions. Each course has a minimum twelve people. More information can be found on the Herts FA website here.
Once you have completed the in-person training you then need to referee five qualifying matches in order to become a fully qualified referee for the club and the local leagues. This qualifying process is typically supported with a referee mentor that guides new referees on their first few games.
Register for a Berkhamsted Raiders Referee Course
Berkhamsted Raiders has been co-ordinating our own bespoke Referee courses, in association with Herts FA. If you are interested in becoming a referee then once you have registered using the link at the top of the page we will add you to our list for future courses and support you through the process of qualifying.