The Qualification Structure

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The Referees’ Association offers a development framework which comprises both on field experience and classroom and home-based learning.

The Associate Officials Qualification and the Flag Officials Qualification

The Associate Officials qualification is a two-day course aimed primarily as an introductory qualification which provides people with the basics of officiating knowledge and acts as both a fantastic entry point to officiating and as a platform for further progression. The Flag Officials qualification is a one day course and is targeted for flag football, the non-contact version of American football, and is designed to provide a great introduction to the most accessible version of the game.

The rest of the qualification structure is based around a more comprehensive induction to officiating the sport and the progressive development of the official.

Whilst the Associate Officials qualification is a tremendous first step to officiating contact football, many prospective officials prefer to move into the first phase of a training and development programme which consists of both on field and classroom learning. Mentors and senior officials will lead a step-by-step induction to enable new recruits to officiate. The Referees’ Association allocate new officials to games where an experienced official will mentor them. The mentorship programme typically lasts for ten games.

Elite Officials Programme

Once the official is firmly established then there is the opportunity to progress to the Elite Officials Programme which enables participants to reach the upper echelons of officiating and provides the platform for consideration of appointment to international fixtures and tournaments.

Photo c/o L Plastow