Front of referee kit

Oxfordshire FA Recruiting Referee Mentors

Could you mentor a grassroots referee within the county?

Oxfordshire FA is committed to the recruitment, development, and retention of new referees to support the game we all love. We are also keen to support those returning from lockdown and may feel wary of returning with the whistle

We are continuing to develop a mentoring programme for new referees, and others who may need someone to talk to in confidence. Mentoring is a powerful tool and surveys show that if a referee is mentored during their few games, they are far more likely to stay in the game and so therefore this is a vital part of a new referee’s development.

To ensure our new referees have an enjoyable experience, both on and off the field of play, and build on their future in the game we are looking for applications to join the OFA Referee Mentoring scheme as a Mentor 

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring helps support the learning process, hopefully builds confidence, self-reflection and quite simply means a one-to-one relationship mentoring is not teaching, coaching, or assessing.

What are we trying to do?

We are looking to mentor as many of new referees in their first five games as is possible, to support their development through mentors attending some games and occasionally remotely mentoring (e.g. phone call before and/or after a game).

What skills do I need?

Whilst a refereeing background would be useful it is not essential but a desire to support individuals, listen to them, encourage them to answer their issues by asking what they will do next time, never blaming them for problems, etc. A good understanding of football and the role of the referee is essential. 

What are we asking of you?

Only the odd hour or two during a month or even a season, there is no minimum amount of time you need to commit to, but obviously the more you can offer the more beneficial it will be for those individuals early in their careers. You will need to have an in-date FA DBS and Safeguarding Children Qualification (these would need to be in date before commencing mentoring if they are not currently)

What are we asking you to do?

We are not looking for an in-depth review of their performance, more words of encouragement with maybe one development point which will be delivered through a post-match verbal debrief and completing a very simple online form

What will we give you in return?

We will offer training (currently delivered virtually), with special emphasis on safeguarding given a high percentage of new referees are under 18, and there is a financial remuneration for each game you attend in person. You will be responsible for any employment and tax issues that may apply to you.

Will I need to travel far?

Whilst there may be some very short distance travel, we will do our best to allocate mentees near to where you live. The financial remuneration offered includes any travel and communications that may be required.

How do I become a referee mentor?

Please download an application pack at the link below, complete and return to  

download an application pack

Please also click here to download and complete our Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. This should be submitted alongside your application pack.

We will then carryout interviews with successful applicants and those successful will then start mentoring immediately on receipt of two references and subject to availability. Due to the expected high volume of applications we cannot respond to each one hence so, if you do not hear from us, then your application has not been successful.

Oxfordshire FA promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from across our community irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity. If you don’t obtain an FA DBS, then for safeguarding reasons we will not be able to engage you. Safeguarding training is available online and you will be supplied details on how to access it.

If you have any associated questions, please email

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