Find out what all the levels mean and how you can climb from grassroots up to the international scene in nine easy steps.

Level 9
These are our trainee referees. As soon as you complete the basic referee course you begin your career as an FA match official - with the emphasis on completing your first six 11v11 or 9v9 fixtures. Once you complete these six games, and return your completed record of achievement you will gain your first promotion!

Levels 7 & 8
Once you complete and return your six-game form, you will receive promotion to either level 7 or 8 depending on your age. Under-16s will qualify as youth referees while those aged 16 and above become junior referees.

Levels 5 & 6
Promotion to levels 6 and 5 takes more than just completing your first six games. You first of all need to apply to the Referees department to be considered for promotion anytime between 1st March and 1st June each year.  And after successful completion of the seminar you will then be assessed for promotion on live games during the following playing season. You will then be invited to attend one of our County Referee promotion seminars (usually held in June). For those who wish to climb the promotion ladder, this will be the first time that you get assessed. If you meet the required standard across the season, you will be promoted county referee status and then on to senior county referee as a level 5.

Level 4
Level 4 match officials are those who are selected to officiate as a referee on a supply league e.g.the Premier Divisions of the following four leagues:-  Cheshire Football League, Liverpool County FA Premier League, Manchester League and the West Cheshire football League. These four leagues operate in a pool system known as the North West Combined Counties Referees Pool. In addition Level 4 officials will serve as assistant referees on the Contributory Leagues e.g. the Northern Premier football league and the North West Counties Football league.

Level 3
Referees selected to officiate as a referee on the national list of contributory leagues e.g the Northern Premier and  North-West Counties Football Leagues. In addition, Level 3 officials will serve as assistant referees on either the Panel leagues, the Football League or even the Premier League.

Level 2
These are referees selected by The FA to serve on the panel list e.g. Football Conference Premier Division, Football League Reserve and Premier League Reserve Leagues.
In addition, Level 2 referees will serve as assistant referees on either the Football League or Premier League.

Level 1
Referees selected by The FA to operate on the Referees panel of the national list (Premier and Football Leagues). From here, a handful of level 1 referee’s will be chosen to represent England on the FIFA list.

Want more information?

To find out how you can climb the promotion ladder  email or alternatively ring the County FA Referees Department on 0151 523 4488.

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