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West Devon Referees’ Association


A QUEST Bronze Standard Association

The National Referee Development Programme


The Football Association’s National Referee Development Programme is a scheme which has taken over 4 years to reach fruition, but will form a major part of the FA’s initiative to recruit, retain and develop referees involved in 11 a side football.


The programme which was formally launched in March 2011 is committed to training, retaining and developing enthusiastic, committed referees with support and coaching in a safe and constructive learning environment. This will allow confidence to flourish and individual aspirations to be achieved. The programme will have no age restrictions placed upon it, but will rather focus on the adage that, whatever your age and current experience in refereeing in grass roots football, the programme has something to offer. This will apply to new trainee referees looking forward to their first 6 games to those who possibly have reached level 5 or 4 and are looking to progress further.


This programme will support the Football Association in achieving their target of 8000 new active referees by 2012 and to build strong foundations for the future including a clear pathway from grass roots football to the semi-professional and professional game.


This will be achieved by each County Football Association under the leadership of their Referee Development Officer/s (RDOs) managing the programme. They will appoint other staff from their volunteer workforce to support them in achieving this, including an assistant – who may be the County Training Officer – and a team of Mentors and Coaches to support and develop referees through the programme. The scheme will rely on the County FA establishing or building upon relationships with leagues and clubs who will become their partners in providing referees with the appropriate environment for their games to be supported and developed.


Stage 4 of the programme as outlined in the attached flowchart is already successfully running with 8 Regional Coordinators looking after over 200 referees at levels 4 and 5 with the support of a Referee Coach from each County FA.


For more information please read the attached file on the programme and contact your local County Referee Development Officer contact details can be found here.



Roger Vaughan

National Referee Manager Recruitment, Retention & Development