Football referees and membership of the Referees’ Association

The Referees’ Association

The Referees’ Association is an organised group of individuals which are involved with refereeing. It is run by referees for the benefit of referees.

The Referees’ Association is organised into 306 local societies in three different countries in the United Kingdom for the benefit of referees at all levels of the game.

Do referees get paid at all levels of the game?

A referee who oversees a football match at any level of the game within England and Wales will receive some form of remuneration for their services. This effectively means that all referees are professional. The feeling amongst referees as this is the case they should have some form of body in place to look after their needs and to work in conjunction with the authorities in charge of football in the United Kingdom.

Is membership of the Referees’ Association compulsory for all referees?

Membership of the Referees’ Association is not compulsory for all referees across the three countries involved with the Association. The only compulsory requirements for referees to oversee matches in England is that they have undertaken appropriate Football Association courses and are at the specific level which enables them to referee specific football matches.

Are there any benefits in being a member of the Referees’ Association?

The following benefits are enjoyed by members of the Referees’ Association: 

  • Insurance
  • Benevolent fund
  • Local societies
  • County Association
  • National Association


The Referees’ Association operates a low cost Personal Accident Insurance scheme for all of its members. This scheme provides cover for referees whilst travelling directly to and from a game and during a game, whilst on recognised referees’ society business and also for the theft of refereeing equipment.

The insurance policy, however, only covers UK resident members of the association whilst refereeing in the UK.

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For more information on:

  • Benevolent Fund
  • Local Societies
  • County Associations
  • National Associations