Mini Soccer Referees Course


FA Refereeing Progression Pathway

Do you want to progress through the refereeing pyramid?

The newly modernised FA Referee Progression Pathway is an exciting way to progress within the grassroots game (Levels 5 - 7 & Youth Referees).

The priorities of this change will focus on:

• Giving referees greater control over their own progression.
• Providing a route for expedited progression for those able to provide more commitment
• Instilling a developmental philosophy into grassroots refereeing. 
Motivating and incentivising refereeing through structural change. 
Re-energising and diversifying the referee development workforce across the grassroots game. 
• Removing some of the key barriers to progress.


Promotions up to Level 5 to be processed on a quarterly basis (31 October, 31 December, 28 February, 30 April) once an individual has met all the minimum requirements for progression.


The new methodology will replace the annual promotion process based on formal assessments, with progression based on:

• Number of appointments
• Completion of free online referee development modules 
• Support and advice from Match Day Coaches, not Observers (formerly Assessors)
• Successful completion of a Laws of the Game exam 
• Attendance at face-to-face mandatory training (Level 6-5 only)

Please click here to download a document giving a full overview of the newly updated FA Progression Pathway.

Furthermore, please find detailed below specific information for each of the promotion levels providing exact information on what is required:

Youth Referees – Y1 & Y2  (PDF)

Level 7-6  (PDF)

Level 6-5 (PDF)

Level 5-4 (PDF)

4W – 3W (Female Referee Pathway)  (PDF)

Application for Promotion

You can apply for promotion by clicking the button below and clicking the Referee Promotion Form.


We are currently in the process of arranging fitness sessions and a 5-4 fitness test. This will be confirmed in due course.

We look forward to helping all promotion candidates through this process.

Get in Touch

Matthew Pointer

Referee Development Officer

0151 523 4488 (108)

refereeing levels

These are our trainee referees. As soon as you complete the FA Basic Referee Training 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!

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

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 Development Team to be considered for promotion anytime between 1 March and 1 June each year. 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 to county referee status and then on to senior county referee as a Level 5.

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.

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.

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 in either the Football League or Premier League.

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 referees will be chosen to represent England on the FIFA list.

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