How do I become a referee?
In order to become a referee, you must undertake a Basic Referee Course. These are run by the County Football Associations and involve some pre-course study, examinations, refereeing six initial matches and a Next-Step workshop. A Safeguarding Children Workshop and CRB check (for over 18s) are also mandatory elements of the course. To become a referee, please contact your local County FA for information on the dates, locations and costs of upcoming courses in your area.
The minimum age to become a referee is 14. There is no upper-age limit for refereeing at lower levels, granted that you are able to pass a fitness test.When are courses/seminars/exams/Child Protection Workshops next held?
To find out when and where these courses are next taking place in your area, get in touch with your local County FA (click here for contact details
) and view the links on The FA web pages for more details. Information on Basic Referee Courses is also often listed on the County FAs’ individual websites. You can use a search engine to find your local County FA’s website.
In every County FA we have a Referee Development Officer (RDO) – a person designated to organise and run Basic Referee training Courses. The RDO is also responsible for organising and planning support, guidance and help for all referees, particularly new referees. Their details can be found here
. What is RA-FA?
RA-FA is a direct link between The Football Association, the Referees’ Association and all those connected with refereeing. It exists to support, inform and develop match officials at every stage in their careers. On passing your Basic Referee Course, you have the opportunity to join RA-FA and take advantage of The FA Incentive Scheme (please see below for more information). What are the benefits of being part of RA-FA?
• Incentives to act as a match official, assessor, mentor, tutor, fitness leader and for introducing friends to refereeing
• New referees will receive a badge to wear on their referees’ kit.
Newly trained referees will receive this badge free of charge after officiating six matches of eleven-a-side football which is a required element of the Basic Course
• Regular in-service training at all stages of your career
• Organised physical training activities and advice on fitness and diet
• Up to date information on the laws of the game and advice on their application
• Open Learning Courses on The FA website
• A Record of Achievement in which to keep awarded certificates
• Continuous Service awards
• Copies of ‘Refereeing’ magazine free of chargeWhat is my RA-FA number?
Upon passing your Basic Referee Course, which includes filling in and returning to your County FA your 6-match or Record of Achievement form (please see below), you automatically becoming an associate member of RA-FA and are issued with a unique 5-digit number.
This is different to your FAN (formerly known as NPD) number. If you do not know your FAN number, please contact your County FA.What is the FA Incentive Scheme?
The scheme is a free initiative which aims to encourage newly qualified and existing referees to officiate on games and gain experience. The scheme works on a points system. On joining, you will receive a log book in which you record any games you officiate throughout the season and you will collect points for doing so. Points can also be collected for participating in various other activities such as mentoring, attending seminars, training and meetings and for acting as a tutor or assessor. These points can be redeemed for items of referees kit and equipment towards the end of each season.How do I join the RA-FA Incentive Scheme?
There are two of ways to join the scheme:
• Tick the box at the bottom of your 6-match Record of Achievement application form before sending it to your County FA if you are currently training to become a referee
• Request to join by emailing RA-FA@TheFA.com
if you are already qualifiedWhat games count to collect points for on the RA-FA Incentive Scheme?
When collecting points, please adhere to the following criteria for what games count:
• All games officiated must be officially sanctioned competitions and leagues and not friendlies.
• Only eleven-a-side (11v11) games will count.
• Football of all ages, genders and abilities are eligible for points collection.
• Games must be below Supply League level.
• You will collect equal points for acting as a Referee, Assistant Referee, Fourth Official or an Assessor.
Further information can be found in the back of your log book.When can I redeem my points?
It is important that you fill out your log book correctly and keep it in your possession until the time that log books can be sent in to First Media Solutions (the company who runs the scheme) for verification. This can be done from April of each season, but before 31 July. Any log books that are submitted after this date will not be accepted. Points cannot be carried over to the next year.
Even if you do not believe you have earned enough points to claim, please ensure you return your log book by 31 July each season. This ensures you will continue to receive log books for future season. Log books are only sent to those members who have returned their log book for the previous season.
Once you have your logbook completed and ready to send, take photocopies of your logbook, then if it should get lost in the post, you will still be able to make a claim. Make sure you put sufficient postage on and send to First Media Solutions Ltd, Tattershall Way, Fairfield Ind. Est., Louth, Lincs LN11 0YZ.
The redeeming of all points can now be done online. You can view the items available in the scheme by logging onto www.RA-FA.co.uk
using your surname and Match Official number. Once your log book has been verified, you will receive an email stating that your points are loaded onto the website ready to spend. Additional points can also be purchased here to spend on the site.I still have my completed log book from last season. Can I redeem my Incentive Scheme points now?
No. Unfortunately the deadline for logbooks to be sent in each year is 31 July and any books received after this date will not be processed.How do I know if my logbook was received?
You will receive an email to let you know when your log book has been verified and your points are ready to be redeemed online. It usually takes seven days for this to happen. If, after ten days you have not received an email, please contact us on RA-FA@firstmedia.co.uk
or 01507 610043.When will my order be sent out?
Once the order has been placed, please allow 21 days for it to be dispatched, a little longer if you have ordered embroidered items. All orders are sent out with Royal Mail 2nd class, so please allow 15 working days for it to be delivered. If you have not received it after this time please telephone 01507 610043 - please do not leave it until the end of the season.What if I have a problem with the goods I receive?
If you have any problems regarding your order or with the goods you receive please contact First Media on 01507 610043 or email RA-FA@firstmedia.co.uk
. 6 Match Forms / What happens once I have completed my first six games as a referee?
Once you have officiated six games as part of your Basic Referee Course, you should fill in the details of each match on the form ‘The FA Recruitment and Retention Initiative’ which can be found at the back of your ‘Welcome to Refereeing’ booklet in your course folder. It is vital that you complete this form and return it to your County FA. Until you have done so, you will not be fully qualified as a match official. If you have submitted this form, but not received a letter of congratulations within 3 months, please contact your County FA.
Once you have posted this form to your County FA, it will be processed by the FA and you will be sent a Record of Achievement folder, a certificate, and a Three Lions referee badge to be sewn onto kit.How can I get a new Incentive Scheme log book / black wallet?
Log books are issued at the start of every season. If you were registered on the scheme the previous season, there is no need to re-register, membership simply rolls over. If you mislay your log book or do not receive one, please contact RA-FA on 0844 980 0621 or email RA-FA@TheFA.com
Black log book wallets are issued only when you join the scheme for the first time, not every season. They are however available to purchase or redeem your Incentive Scheme points for.
Please do not send off your black log book cover when you return you white log book for claiming points. These are not replaced and you will have to purchase a new one at the end of the season via the online shop.How can I get a Three Lions referee badge for my kit?
The FA Three Lions referee badges to be sewn onto kits are only issued free of charge as part of your Record of Achievement Pack. This is issued when you have officiated more than six matches and have submitted a six-match form.
The badges can alternatively be purchased from The FA at a cost of £5.00 each. Payment can be accepted by cheque only. Cheques should be made payable to ‘the Football Association’ and posted with a short cover letter (stating your address) to RA-FA, Referees Department, The Football Association, PO Box 1966, London, SW1P 9EQ.Where can I purchase referees’ kit / equipment?
The Referees’ Association (RA) sell a range of kit and equipment via phone and online. Their website can be found at www.rashop.co.uk
and their phone number is 02476 601701.
A & H International is another company who stock a comprehensive collection of refereeing products. They are online at www.referee-equipment.co.uk
and are also contactable by telephone on 0800 980 2208.
Ray Lewis Sportswear is another approved supplier of referee kit. The website is www.raylewis.co.uk
and telephone number is 01372 451250.How do I join the Referees’ Association?
Being a member of the Referees Association has many benefits. The RA is dedicated to helping you develop as a referee through experience-sharing at local society meetings and in protecting you from injustice and unfair treatment. They have on offer an insurance policy, life cover and funeral expenses, a benevolence fund and can organise victim support and counseling. Other advantages include the discounted kit available via their shop as well as other commercial benefits such as hotel and insurance discounts. To join, at a cost generally less than one match fee, call the RA Head Office on 02476 601701, email email@example.com
or visit the website www.footballreferee.org
Please note that becoming a member of the Referees’ Association also enables you to join the RA-FA match officials’ association, which includes the highly popular Incentive Scheme.What are the Laws of the Game?
The laws enforced by match officials are outlined in FIFA’s publication ‘Laws of the Game’. A PDF version of book can be found online, via this link. For more information on the Laws of the Game, please visit FIFA’s website.
How do I run a Basic Referee Course at my school/sports facility?
Please note that only FA Licensed Tutors are qualified to run Basic Referee Courses. However, if you would like to host a Tutor-run Basic Referee Course at your school or other facility, please contact your County FA RDO (contact details can be found here).Where do I send enquiries about refereeing?
If you have a query regarding RA-FA, want to know your RA-FA number or wish to join incentive scheme, please contact RA-FA@theFA.com
or 0844 980 0621. For all other enquiries, please see below:
For queries including how to become a referee, promotion, Record of Achievement folders and County FA issues, please contact your Referee Development Officer (contact details can be found above).
For replacement incentive scheme log books and queries regarding the incentive scheme and online shop, please contact RA-FA@firstmedia.co.uk