u18 referee

New The FA Referee Course

The FA Referee Course is designed to equip new referees with the key skills and knowledge they will need to be able to referee grassroots football matches safely and effectively. 

It is for people aged 14 and over who want to referee mini soccer, 9 v 9 and/or 11 v 11 football.  

The course comprises online learning on the Laws of the Game and face-to-face training.

You must complete the online learning before attending the face-to-face training.

You will also need to complete online safeguarding training before attending the face-to-face training.

Important: We adhere to a strict cancellation policy and by enrolling onto our course you agree to have read and agree to be bound by our Terms and Conditions. Please email Support@OxfordshireFA.com for a copy.

Course Overview

Course Duration: Complete the online pre-requisites, then attend a 11 hours of face-to-face training, then complete five games.


Leading To: Registered Referee Status as a Level Trainee

Please click here to see dates and sign up for the FA Referees Course

Next Course: Wednesday 14 August 2024 and Sunday 18 August 2024.

Step 1

Before you can commence face-to-face training, you must complete the two course pre-requisites.

The pre-requisites MUST be completed on your own FAN, not a parent or guardians. If you need support in creating a FAN click here

First, you must complete the England Football Learning Safeguarding for All course, which is a FREE online 45-minute long course that provides a basic overview of how to safeguard children.


The second pre-requisite that MUST be completed before face-to-face training starts is the online learning.


The online learning has five sections (modules) and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. There are lots of videos to demonstrate how the Laws should be applied, activities to help reinforce the important points and, at the end of each module, there are some questions to test what you’ve learned.

Learn more about the online learning modules below.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about The FA Referees Course, or refereeing in Oxfordshire, please contact:

Nigel Saverton

Education, Safeguarding & Referee Support Manager

(T) 01993 778586 


This module covers the referee’s pre-match responsibilities and includes ensuring players’ kit is safe, how to carry out the coin toss and what a referee needs to take to a match with them.

This module contains short video clips (GIFs) which show every signal the referee and assistant referee might give during a match.
This module deals with foul challenges, violent conduct, handball, unsporting behaviour, DOGSO offences and advantage. It uses video clips from football at different levels to show how the referee should manage common scenarios.
This module also uses video clips, this time to demonstrate what is and isn’t offside and how the referee should manage offside offences. The clips, like those used in the ‘Getting it Right’ module, are voiced over to explain the decisions the referees make.

This module covers restarts and set-pieces, including goal kicks, corner kicks, throw-ins, free kicks and penalty kicks. It uses both video and illustrations to clarify what players must do at each restart and set-piece and explains what the referee should do if players don’t comply with the Law.

Step 2 

Face-to-Face Training

There is 11 hours of face-to-face training (normally one evening, followed by a full day), which mixes training room work with practical activity on a pitch. Key messages from the online learning are reinforced throughout.  The training room work includes:

  • Fun, interactive quizzes
  • How to establish rapport and build relationships with players and coaches
  • Recognising and dealing with foul challenges and handball
  • Managing offside
  • Dealing with inappropriate behaviour 
  • Managing players 

On the pitch, you will have the opportunity to turn your knowledge into skills through refereeing game based scenarios. You will practise:

  • Communicating decisions
  • Cautioning and sending off techniques
  • Managing the kick off, free kicks, penalty kicks, corner kicks and throw-ins 
  • Positioning in open play and at restarts
  • Being an assistant referee

Step 3 

Qualifying as a Referee

To qualify as a referee, you must also referee five games after you have attended the face-to-face training. You will then receive a certificate and an FA Referee badge.

You be supported through those five games by Oxfordshire FA.

As you continue your refereeing career, you will then be able to access further training opportunities, both online and face-to-face.

Want to start your refereeing journey?


After an application has been made, an Oxfordshire FA member of staff will make the necessary checks.

If the application meets the requirements, an invoice will be sent, and payment must be made within 14 days.

Confirmation of your place will then be accepted once payment has been received. Your place will be confirmed upon receipt of payment.

You will receive the final details of the course, including timings, a week before the first course date.