Referee Development

Referee Development

The Referee Academy is in place to aid the development of elite young and/or promising inexperienced referees. Consisting of three tiers - Young Potential, Academy & Development Group - it acts as a pathway from level 8 through to level 4 and aligns with The FA’s National Referee Development programme.

The Young Potential Group is for all young referees in the county that have the desire, determination and ability to progress in refereeing. The Academy Group is for level 7 & 6 referees that are in the promotion scheme and have been identified as having high potential. The Development Group focuses on leading referees at level 4 or those with high potential at levels 5 & 6 and seeking promotion to level 4.

Expectations of those within the academy:
• Attendance at all Meetings
• Exceptional administration
• Liaise with coaches on a frequent basis
• Forward all assessments to their coach for review
• Maintain regular contact with Beds FA and the Academy Coordinator
• Show progression within their referee career
• Show great potential and ambition to progress onto the Regional Development Group

All referees within the academy are assigned a coach to further their development and provide feedback on a frequent basis.

Anyone wishing to join the academy should email

Mentors are primarily in place to support new referees as they begin officiating.

This guidance revolves around assisting trainee referees through their first 6 matches towards becoming fully qualified rather than providing technical advice. Mentors can be of any level of experience, even those that have recently qualified themselves!

Anyone wishing to provide support to new referees or receive guidance from a Mentor should contact Referee Liaison Officer, Mike Desborough, by emailing

The promotion scheme is in place to support referees looking to advance through the different levels of the game and is open to anyone aged over 16, officiating in open-age football with the desire to progress. With the promotion season running annually from 1st March – 28th February any referee wishing to apply must do so in writing to the Referee Development Officer by this date.

Bedfordshire is home to a countywide Referees’ Association that welcomes referees of all ages and levels of experience to develop their skills in a productive and friendly environment. Bimonthly meetings offer members the opportunity meet fellow officials, gain advice and support as well as receiving enhanced insurance cover.

For further details on benefits of joining the RA and how to start your membership please contact Charlie Ross (Secretary) on either: / 07950 596466. 

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