Referee Academy


The Kent Referee Academy is aimed at providing young referees with the provision to develop and enhance their skills in becoming competent officials; ultimately assisting with their transition to open-aged football. Long term, the Referee Academy aims to support those aspirational match officials who want to attain Level 4. It is designed to deliver specific and relevant training to young, ambitious, dedicated and talented referees.

A coach will work with the referees on a one-to-one basis on match-day, providing practical advice and tips to develop their skills. Giving each referee an aspect of the game to think about allows them to gradually build their skills through to the end of the game.

If you are interested in applying for the Academy, then please email the Referee Academy Director, Jamie Eacott,


Get In Touch

Nick Dunn Referee Development Officer

By Phone: 01622 791850
(9am - 5pm Monday - Friday)

By Email:


Some of the sessions may be interactive, therefore a smart phone or tablet would be of benefit to you.

We understand that last-minute plans can effect appointments. However, the closed dates for the current month will have been submitted two weeks before the appointments are released, and so we can only appoint on what we have been given.

If there is no way you can fulfil the fixture then please contact Jamie Eacott (07387167598) by way of phone call or text if there is no response, with a reason as to why you are no longer able to officiate on the fixture.

Due to illness or injury

Again, we are understanding of this. The last thing the Academy/clubs want is to have injured officials on games. If the injury is too severe to partake in the fixture, then again contact Jamie Eacott (07387167598) by way of phone call or text if there is no response.

Whilst we support some cases, we will also be making a note on who does pull off fixtures as this could affect your place within the Academy.

Whilst a fitness test is only required for referees progressing to Level 4 (6-4, 5-4), this is a great opportunity to test your fitness and also meet senior referees who have been in your shoes and are also looking to progress further.

The registration fee covers all of the kit which you will receive on the first session. The Kent FA subsidise the rest of the costs of the kit. Both the Kent FA and the Kent Referee Academy do not make a profit through running the group.

The Kent Referee Academy’s focus is development. Therefore, should you fail a Laws of the Game test at the first session you will be given the opportunity in the next session to achieve a higher mark. Remember, one of the key ways to get appointed to ‘better’ fixtures is to know the Laws of the Game well. As part of the Kent Referee Academy, you represent the next generation of match officials within the county, so we expect that you know the laws of the Game well enough.

Yes. We will try and ensure you see the same coach each fixture, however this may not always be possible due to coaches work/personal commitments. The coach at the fixture will fill out a feedback form which you will receive after the game. This will also be used if a different coach comes to see you on future game.

Yes. The fee tariff will be sent out in the confirmation of your appointments.

Of course; if you feel that this is not for you or you have too many personal commitments then you can withdraw at any time. Please ensure you email the Academy Director, outlining your withdrawal; you would be expected to fulfil your remaining appointments for that month.


Over previous years, clubs and leagues have commented on the lack of communication skills some officials have had. From this season, this is a preferred way of communicating with clubs and academy members. All fixture appointments will be sent through your Academy emails. This will then be displayed on your own calendar that is linked with the email system. The aim of this is to support you in organising appointments and meetings. You may wish to use this for the leagues you officiate outside of the Academy.

No, but it is highly expected that once you are 16 you will make the transition into open-aged football and then onto the promotion scheme.

You should visit the Kent Referee Academy website here and use the Closed Dates System. This system has been created for Referee Academy members, allowing you to notify us with any dates you are unable to officiate on. You must inform us of your ‘closed dates’, which is when you are not available to officiate a match.

Yes - you do need to attend Academy sessions to improve yourself as a referee; to learn from the coaches and improve your knowledge of the Laws of the Game as a match official. Regularly attending and applying your full attention to each session to your best ability will only benefit yourself. This is the reason why you have applied.

You will receive an email invitation to the Academy sessions, which will allow you to confirm whether you will be able to attend or not. The Kent Referee Academy expects a high level of commitment to sessions and fixtures. Therefore, if you are unable to make two consecutive sessions, without valid reason, your position in the Academy will be reconsidered.

The Kent Referee Academy expects a high level of commitment on and off the field. Therefore, appointments are based upon your ability, attitude to sessions, receptiveness to learn and develop, your Laws of the Game results and availability. As long as you are showing the willingness to improve and progress, opportunities will arise.

Isthmian Football League, Under 18 division – appointments made throughout Kent.
Kent Youth Football League – appointments made throughout Kent.
Gillingham FC Academy fixtures – appointments made at Beechings Cross (Gillingham) and the University of Kent (Canterbury).

We appreciate that most Academy members are unable to drive, therefore we will support with transport where possible via joint travel with your peers or Academy coaches.