Kent 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, assisting with their transition to becoming Level 4 Match Officials.

The aim of the Kent FA Referees Academy is to assist in the development, training and coaching of referees who have the potential to progress into the National System, obtain Level 4 and beyond. It is designed to deliver specific and relevant training to young, ambitious, dedicated and talented referees, coinciding and supporting Stage 3 of the FA National Referee Development Programme.

A coach will work with the referees on a one to one basis, providing practical advice and tips to develop their skills at breaks in the game. By giving each referee a small point to think about at the end of each period allows them to gradually build their skills through to the end of the game. The following week, referees receive a written summary of the points discussed.

Who can be part of the Academy?

The Academy is designed for any referee, who is ideally aged between 16 and 24, at Level 7 down to Level 5, who are keen, enthusiastic, dedicated and show the desire to progress to Level 4 and beyond. Members of the Academy will be expected to attend a range of events throughout the year, which will enable them improve not only their fitness levels, but include specific technical sessions and key note guest speakers.

What are the benefits of the Academy?

  • Referees will have the opportunity to work closely with the Academy coaches, and will be provided with a coach for every game they officiate on at the Academy.
  • Officiating Academy matches for Gillingham FC, ranging between Under 9’s to U’15’s, also including the Under 18s and Under 16s.
  • Appointments to selected County Cup fixtures, as well as the opportunity to officiate in the Ryman Youth League.
  • Branded Nike bench wear for Academy meetings and match days.
  • Technical classroom based training sessions, conducted throughout the season, which aim to enhance both knowledge and skill.
  • Work with, and learn from more experienced Match Officials.
  • Opportunity to develop towards achieving Level 4.
  • Opportunity to attend the FA Young Referee Conference.
  • Opportunity to Officiate at International and National Tournaments.
  • Opportunity to fulfil your potential.


  • Ideally aged between 16 to 24, Level 7 to Level 5.
  • Are capable of managing administration effectively.
  • Are keen, enthusiastic, dedicated and show the desire to progress to Level 4 and beyond.

Time Commitment:

  • Attend all Referee Academy Meetings and training events.
  • Attend matches as appointed by the Academy Director.
  • Complete self-assessments after every game.

If you would like to become an Academy Referee, please contact Nick Dunn (Referee Development Officer) via email or on 07878465550