The FA Referees Department has a team of dedicated professionals engaged in the administration, development, recruitment and education of all referees based all around the country.
The team has two main areas of responsibility, the National Game which covers what is generally known as local or grassroots football, and the Professional Game, from the Football Conference to Supply Leagues (Football and Premier League referees are managed by Professional Game Match Officials Ltd).
In each case there is a head of department; Neale Barry is the Head of Senior Referee Development and Ian Blanchard is the Senior National Game Referee Manager.
Meet The FA Refereeing Department
National Game Dept
Ian Blanchard – Senior National Game Referee Manager
Dean Mohareb – National Referee Development Manager – Workforce
Roger Vaughan – National Referee Manager – Recruitment, Retention & Development
Holly Papps – National Game Referee Administrator
Farai Hallam - National Game Referee Apprentice
Professional Game Dept
Neale Barry – Head of Senior Referee Development
Peter Elsworth – Senior Referee Administration Manager
Chris Wildey – Contributory League Administration Officer
Dave Cook – Contributory League Appointments Officer – South
Chris Kay – Contributory League Appointments Officer – North
Luke Duffell – Referee Administrator
Inga Jemison – Referee Administrator
Adam Kenton – Referee Administrator
Referee Development Officers
Every County Football Association employs at least a full-time or part-time Referee Development Officer, funded or part funded by The Football Association. RDOs are responsible for the training, education and development of registered referees. In addition, RDOs have ownership of delivering the Refereeing Section of the National Game Strategy in which The FA’s vision is to appoint a registered and able referee for every game of affiliated 11v11 football.
RDOs provide development reports and attend quarterly meetings with The National Referee Development Manager – Workforce, in addition to liaising with a range of FA staff in regard to various nomination, appointment and development opportunities for match officials. In addition to developing referees, RDOs are also responsible for supporting the referee workforce and offering development opportunities for tutors, assessors and other volunteers.
There are currently nearly 1000 Licensed Referee Tutors who are responsible for delivering Referee Training and Education to new and existing referees and the referee workforce. Tutors have to have a credible refereeing background, undergo regular appraisals, complete continuous professional development (CPD) training and deliver actively in order to retain their licence to practice.
The role of a Referee Mentor is to offer support, guidance and encouragement to newly qualified officials completing their initial first season. Mentors are usually referees or former referees but there is not a requirement to be a referee in order to mentor.
NRDP Referee Coaches
Referee Coaches have a credible refereeing background and operate in Referee Academies, Schools of Excellence or Development Groups, working closely with referees developing their refereeing skills and providing regular reports to the RDO.
The FA employ 12 part-time Regional Referee Coaches, all with substantial experience as former top level referees and assistant referees, with the aim of raising the standard of refereeing at Level 3 and 2b, as well as identifying and developing those referees showing the potential to progress to higher levels.
Each coach is allocated a group of 2b and L3 referees with whom they will discuss an individual development plan, including targets for performance, fitness and administration. The coaches will watch each referee in their group at least 3 times each season and have regular contact – particularly before and after key matches. Coaches assist referees within the group if they encounter problems with fitness, health, administration, availability or any other issue where the referee may benefit from advice/intervention/assistance.
Level 3 Mentors
From season 2012-13, all 1st year and 2nd year Level 3 referees will be allocated an FA Level 3 Mentor, to offer support and advice through their transition and development as a Level 3 match official. Rather than attending games, Level 3 Mentors act as a point of contact by phone or email and work with their referees to identify strengths, development opportunities and goals, and offer advice and ideas for improvement. Mentors also review assessments and self assessments with their referees for trends on each game.