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Promotion & CPD

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Progression pathway

Apply for the FA's Refereeing Progression Pathway

The Referee Progression Pathway will create more progression opportunities for more o­ cials across the grassroots game (Level 5-7 & Level Y). 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.



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 a Match Day Coach.

• Successful completion of a Laws of the Game exam.

• Attendance at face-to-face training (Level 6-5 only).


Expected Benefits

• Increased coverage – as quarterly promotions will be linked to the completion of appointments; referees will be incentivised to cover more games.

• Developmental culture – move from “fault-finding” to a collegiate model+ free online content.

• Increase number of promotion candidates - incentivise progression based on achievable and attainable routes with opportunities o ered at several stages during the season.

• Refresh the referee development workforce – attract more people into supporting other referees.

• Referees with potential – increasing the numbers in the pathway increases access to a development to increase standards.

• Progression alongside other roles within football – the model will allow o­fficials to progress at their own pace (e.g. academy players to progress alongside playing commitments) or attract those when finished playing.

• Club marks no longer required - this will remove a potential area of concern/ unfairness and significantly reduce an administrative burden for clubs, leagues and County FAs.


Level Clarification

To be considered for the Referee Progression Pathway, referees will need to opt in, but this can be at any point during a season. There will be no further changes to female pathway at 4W however referees will still need to apply in order to be considered for the 4W-3W promotion. Finally, every youth referee will start as Y1.

Please see the documents below related to the individual levels. If you would like to opt into the Progression Pathway, please email:


To find out more about Referee promotion & CPD, speak to a member of our Referee Department. 

By Phone: 01603 704050 (opt. 1, 1, 3)

By Email:

Referee CPD

Referee CPD

Norfolk FA are proud to be one of the very few counties that offer Referees a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Training is delivered to provide all registered match officials with the latest knowledge on:

  • Laws of the Game
  • Match Guidance
  • Technical Refereeing Advice

For Level 5, 6 & 7 Referees and Referee Developers, if you wish to be appointed to referee, observe, coach or mentor in adult football in Norfolk, it's a requirement that you attend a CPD event.

These requirements have improved the standard of the Refereeing workforce and helped Norfolk officials into a position where they are highly regarded throughout the country.