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Becoming a referee - step by step process

Pre-Course Preparation

Prior to the course there are steps to take to ensure that you can referee straight after the course, if these are not completed and not communicated then you may get turned away from the course:



Book Onto A Course

The FA Basic Refereeing Course

Please note, while booking The FA Basic Referee Course, the course must be booked on using the referee’s FAN number - not the parent's. 

If you need help creating a fan for U18s, please view this guidance article.


Contact a League

Building a relationship with the league you’ll be refereeing for is very important. 
The Referee Secretary will provide you with fixtures and support you through your refereeing journey. They are also usually experienced referees themselves who can offer support and guidance.

We want you to be able to go and get refereeing experience as soon as you have finished the course. Please look at our leagues and work out which is best for you, contact them and see if there are any opportunities to officiate within their league. Make sure that your availability times match up with when their games take place, and they are able to offer you games within a reasonable travelling distance to you.

If the league or area which you are from does not fall in line with our leagues, this doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to offer you a place on the course. However, our priority is to ensure that our leagues have sufficient referees to referee at a weekend, which is why we ask for this information.

If you haven’t made contact with a league and they have said there is availability, then it is unlikely that you will get onto a course.

Click here to view Derbyshire FA leagues.

Attend Your Course

Enjoy the course, ask questions of our experience and knowledgeable and mix with other trainee referees.


This is primarily for U18s in youth leagues, but is available to all. 

Our Referee Development Officer (RDO) Reece Davies is currently working on a mentor programme to support new referees off the course.

More information on this to follow.

Training Games

In order to become fully qualified trainee referees must complete five training games which once complete are sent to the County FA using this form. We will seek feedback from your league and promote you to being a fully qualified ‘Youth’ Referee if Under 16 or Level 7 if 16 or over.

The five training games must be games which include the use of the offside law, and therefore be 9v9 (U11&U12+) or 11v11 football (U13+). Mini Soccer (5v5 or 7v7) do not qualify as training games.

Completion of Course

You will be invited to a call-back webinar, where we will explore information which has been provided on the training game form and seek to offer advice and guidance around any questions or challenges faced. We will also look to have a guest speaker who will be an experienced high profile referee from Derbyshire, who can share their experience and journey and answer any questions which you may have. We will also share information around the Promotions Scheme, Referee Associations and Development Opportunities.

Initial Training

The FA Basic Referee Course

If after the introduction evening you still want to become a referee, the next step is to attend the Basic Referees Course. 

To view more information about the course please click below.

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