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The FA

The FA

Head of Referee Development


posting Date

role Type



Feb 1, 2024


Working in partnership with the Head of Referee Operations, you will be responsible for the day to day function and performance of the FA Refereeing department. This includes the joint strategic ownership of the FA Refereeing Strategy 2023 – 2026, ensuring delivery against key aims and targets set within as well as leading on all technical and development matters for FA Refereeing.

The role is home based but requires frequent national travel.

The Football Operations department

Football operations handle the day-to-day running and administration of the professional game – from making it easy for players to register, to regulating the game through licencing leagues and developing referees. They also help deliver world-class competitions like the Emirates Men's Emirates FA Cup and Adobe Women's Adobe FA Cup.

What will you be doing?

Day to day management of the FA Refereeing Development team.
Deliver the FA Refereeing Strategy 2023 – 2026 focusing on referee experience, diversity and inclusion, and referee development.
Strategic lead on all aspects of training, education, development, and support for referees at step 2 – 6 of the National League system (circa 2500 match officials).
FA IFAB representative – providing technical insight on potential law changes and accompanying CEO to IFAB meetings.
Provide management, direction, and strategic lead for the FA CORE programme (circa 600 referees and 70 coaches).
Maintain positive relationships with the football stakeholder community – Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL), Football league, Premier League, Women's Super League, Women's Championship, National League System, Players Football Association, League Manager's Association, UEFA, FIFA and County FA network.
Supporting and collaborating with refereeing diversity and inclusion partners on a range of topics which supports referees from historically underrepresented groups.
Provide technical and developmental feedback to clubs and leagues on referee performance related issues.
Provide tangible support to the network of County FA Referee officers in order to enhance the ongoing recruitment, retention and development of referees in England.
Strategic ownership of the development of our ‘volunteer' support workforce – coaches, mentors, and observers.
Strategic ownership of the women's development pathway – identifying referees emerging with the potential to move into the professional game.
Maintain positive and collaborative relations with the PGMOL in order to work in partnership for the ongoing improvement of refereeing standards in England.
Executes additional tasks as required in order to meet FA Group changing priorities.
Comply with all company policies and procedures to ensure the highest standards of health, safety and wellbeing can be maintained.
As part of The FA's commitment to ensuring a safe environment for everyone in football, every employee will be required to complete a DBS check. The level of the check required will be based on the activity of the specific job role and in line with legislation and government guidance.

What are we looking for?

Essential for the role:

Strong leadership, management, and communication skills and experience.
Experienced referee educator with a proven track record in referee development.
Highly skilled facilitator of referee education and development content. Ability to plan, prepare, build and deliver referee development programmes/workshops.
Comprehensive knowledge of Refereeing pyramid and promotional pathways and opportunities.
Comprehensive knowledge of FA CORE structure – regions, leaders, referees, and programme.
Knowledge of the barriers to inclusion for women, ethnic minorities, and disabled people in refereeing.
Comprehensive knowledge of the Elite Referee Development Plan (ERDP) and how the FA works to support it.
Capable of influencing a diverse set of stakeholders including volunteers.
Strong relationship management with knowledge of key referee and football stakeholder community.
Comprehensive knowledge of National league system and supply pool structure at step 3–6.
Detailed understanding of grassroots football.
Detailed understanding of how CFAs and Leagues recruit and administer referees.

Beneficial to have:

Experience as a referee/assistant referee at the top of the professional game (PL desirable/EFL minimum).
Understanding and experience of the international referee landscape and or environment.
Effective working relations with PGMOL.
Sound understanding of core function and relations with UEFA/FIFA.

What's in it for you?

We are committed to ensuring everyone can flourish in their roles, to achieve this we have unique office spaces under the arch of the iconic Wembley National Stadium, which is the home of English Football. We are also delighted to offer a world-class, Elite Performance Centre, St. George's Park in Staffordshire which is an exceptional setting to develop and inspire high-performing England teams and leaders.

We pride ourselves in offering a competitive salary as well as great opportunities to develop and grow in your role. But that is not all; we also have a range of exciting benefits, some of which can be found below:

Access to event day tickets at Wembley Stadium, alongside a host of regular internal events throughout the season encouraging you to connect and learn with your colleagues and look after your mental health and wellbeing.
Free, nutritious lunches, at Wembley Stadium and St. George's Park.
Free private medical cover.
A contributory pension scheme.
An additional Thank You days leave, volunteering days as well as 25 days annual leave.
A hybrid working model offering flexibility on where you work.

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