referees together

Get Into Refereeing

Reasons To Referee

Ever wondered if you could take up the whistle?

Are you a qualified referee looking for information on development opportunities?

Our website is dedicated to providing you with useful information on refereeing in Kent. Please feel free to navigate your way around the refereeing section of our website, but should you require any further help, support or guidance then please do not hesitate to contact our Referee Development Officer 

Get In Touch

Referee Department

By Phone: 01622 792140
(9am - 5pm Monday - Friday)

By Email:


1. Attend a ‘Get into Refereeing’ Workshop

The Get into Refereeing Workshop is the first step to becoming a Refereeing and is a prerequisite for future courses. This workshop will give you a brief understanding of your potential new role within the game, and you will actually get the opportunity to make some decisions based on clips too!

Upcoming dates:

  • 31/7 @ Dartford Football Club
  • 6/8 @ Kent FA
  • 7/8 @ Canterbury Christ Church University 
  • Other dates TBC

Book your place

To enrol, you must enter your own FAN number, or create one if you do not have one. If you are booking on behalf of somebody else, please ensure you enter the details of the candidate who wishes to enrol onto the course, and not your own!

2. Book onto a course

Once you have completed the ‘Get into Refereeing’ workshop, you will then be provided with a list of courses. You will be able to enrol on a course through some special links, provided only to those who have completed Step 1!

3. Pre-Course Preparation

Referee holding a match ballPrior 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:

• Obtain an FA DBS check (if over 16); details of this will be provided in the course joining instructions email you will receive. 

• Complete FA Safeguarding Children Workshop (16 or over) or FA Safeguarding For All (under 16)

• Complete the online Laws of The Game Module

• Look into buying appropriate kit; we have a fantastic link with our partners at Discount Football Kits, and offer a £30 voucher when purchasing the latest Nike refereeing kit. Again, further details of this offer will be shared with you in the joining instructions email!

• If U18 ensure that a parent / guardian has created a FAN and you have been linked together using

4. Contact a League
Building a relationship with the league(s) 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.

5. Attend Course

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

6. Mentoring 

Whistle, red, yellow cardThrough working with your league and our dedicated team of Referee Mentor Leads (RMLs), we will try and arrange a match where you will be supported by a referee mentor and give you feedback on your performance. This process is not an assessment and is solely for your development purposes, giving you practical hints, tips and advice to making your life as easy as possible! This is also an opportunity to ask any questions which you have of the mentor in person.

7. Training Games

In order to become fully qualified trainee referees must complete five training games which once complete are sent to the County FA. These games can be in any format, either League or friendly fixtures! We will seek feedback from your league and promote you to a fully qualified ‘Youth’ Referee if Under 16 or Level 7 if 16 or over.

8. Final Unit

You will be invited to a final Unit webinar, where we will explore information which has been provided and seek to offer advice and guidance around any questions or challenges faced. We will also have an experienced high-profile referee from Kent, 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 further development opportunities.


The FA's Respect programme provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs, coaches, players and parents from grassroots to elite football - to help ensure a safe, positive environment in which to play the game.