In September 2015, Football Federation Australia announced the appointment of Australia’s first three full-time professional referees. The move further cemented a career pathway from the grassroots to the elite level, with a long-term vision towards increasing the number of full-time professionals in both the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League.
Football Queensland has since invested $100,000 into a restructuring of referee development to boost the education, mentoring and development opportunities for match officials of all levels.
Referee education, like coaching, is split into two streams of accreditation: Community and Advanced. Pathways exist for Outdoor Referees, Futsal Referees, Assessors and Instructors. Each is divided into distinct levels of accreditation.
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COMMUNITY REFEREE PATHWAY
Community level courses are directed towards officials working within local amateur competitions. Beginning with the Laws of the Game, Community qualifications also consist of Level 4 and Level 3 courses. These qualifications prepare referees to officiate in junior, youth and lower divisions of adult football.
ADVANCED REFEREE PATHWAY
Advanced level courses are designed for officials working within regional, state and national competitions. Extending upon Level 4 and Level 3 qualifications, the Advance level is further comprised of Level 2 and Level 1 courses. Referees who complete these more intensive training programs will be eligible to officiate in matches ranging from junior football through to the top tier of state football and potentially the national level.
ASSESSORS & INSTRUCTORS
Referee Assessors and Instructors are crucial to the development of their peers, in addition to building on their own skills as match officials. Accreditation for both roles also adheres to the tiered Level system, with three Levels for Assessors and two Levels for Instructors. Assessors are qualified to assess and coach fellow match officials, while Instructors conduct courses and training programs.
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