National Referee Development Programme

The Football Association's vision is to be the world leader in providing all referees with support and development, in order to maximise their potential and enjoyment in officiating within 11v11 football. In working towards achieving this, the FA has introduced the National Referee Development Programme (NRDP) scheme as a major initiative to recruit, retain and develop referees involved in 11-a-side football.

It is an initiative which is committed to training, retaining and developing enthusiastic, committed referees with support and coaching in a safe and constructive learning environment.  The design of the programme is to ensure that all referees are supported in completing their initial 6 games and are retained through the early stages of their refereeing career. Beyond this stage, once they have finished their basic training, those demonstrating further potential and commitment after their first season are given every opportunity to fulfil their potential and develop onto the later stages of the programme.

A further aim of the programme is to assist The FA in achieving their target of 8,000 new active referees by 2012 and to build strong foundations for the future, including a clear pathway from grassroots football to the semi-professional and professional game.

Within the County FAs, the programme will be developed under the leadership and management of their Referee Development Officer/s (RDOs).  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.

Further documents available for downloaded below will provide further information regarding the National Development Referee Programme and the Process.  Alternatively, individuals can contact the AFA Regional Development Officer for further details and advice.

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