Referee Pathway


If the answer to this question is yes you can register your interest by clicking this link and the England Handball Referee Association will be in touch.  

The image below shows the pathway to becoming a handball referee. To register on one of our courses click here

Recognition of prior learning

If you have refereed before, or hold a foreign refereeing qualification you can apply for recognition of prior learning by sending the request form at this link, along with copies of any certificates to  coachadmin@englandhandball.com 

The England Handball coaching department will confirm the validity of the RPL application and issue an England Handball RPL equivalent certificate/document.

How are referees allocated to matches?

Alongside the refereeing levels, there is a licensing system in place for referees active in national competitions (mainly Premier Handball League, National Handball League, Regional Handball League, Under-19 competition, Cup competitions) This system distributes the referees into the league categories. How this works is shown in the image below.

 The criteria used to determine the distribution to each category is based on a combination of four factors:  

  • Annual Rules Test 
  • Annual Fitness Test
  • Referee level and performance through observations and feedback
  • Commitment (availability to referee, attendance of CPD opportunities, attendance of England Handball Referees Association events)  

It is important to note that the system is dynamic and categories (Levels) aren’t fixed. Referees can be promoted/demoted, based on the previously established criteria.


Nomination Process

The following principles are applied during nominations:

  • Level: PHL/NHL/U19 levels are used to primarily guide the nomination
  • Distance: Travel distance as well as travel time is taken into account with the goal of avoiding excessive travel distances and times. ·        
  • Past games: The same referee should not referee back-to-back games, or too many games during the season for the same team.  

Please note due to number of referees and availability, exceptions might apply.



The table officials’ course is an online course that is hosted on the England Handball e-learning platform. 

  • Who is it for? People who run, or are  interested in running, the table at handball matches 
  • Course duration: 20-30 minutes
  • Cost: £7.50pp for the open course or a bundle package can be purchased by clubs (if you are interested in this option please contact us on: coachingadmin@englandhandball.com 

To purchase the open course, visit the ‘Book on a course’ tab on the website and the course can be purchased on this page. Once the course has been purchased England Handball will send login details to the learner, this may take up to 48 hours (longer at the weekends).


This is an exciting new format for our Level-1 Referee course, and we can’t wait to get you onboard your journey to becoming a referee.

  • Who is it for?  Aspiring Referees. This course is suitable for teachers, parents and anyone over the age of 16 who is interested in becoming a Handball referee.  
  • Course duration: The first part of the course is online, followed by a three-hour practical session.  Post completion of the Online and Practical session, you will need to referee three games in your environment with a superior referee signing this off. Once completed certification will take place.
  • Course costs: £50   
  • Pre-requisites: Learners must be 16 years old or over   
  • Course outcome: At the end of the course you will be able to referee Junior, School and club-based activity or competitions.     

If you have any questions regarding the course, format or qualification please contact our Coaching and Workforce Department at coachingadmin@englandhandball.com     To book on the course please click here   

New: level 2 refereing award

This is our new Refereeing Level 2 Award! Designed with our up and coming refeeres in mind, this course allows referees who have achieved a Level 1 to continue their development with expert support and guidance. 

New course format

  1. Complete the e-learning modules of the course prior to the practical session
  2. Evidence of refereeing 3 observed/assessed matches post the practical day.

The first section of the course is e-learning, this needs to be completed prior to attending the assessment, on court learning. 

*Important Notice* The dates for assessment will be sent out to your email upon completion of the e-learning. 

*Please note that your login details for the e-learning platform will be sent to your email a maximum of an hour post booking. If you have not received your login after one hour please check your email spam folder, as sometimes the emails from this separate system go into spam.

Terms and Conditions

All course terms and conditions are attached to the event, please ensure you read these here https://englandhandball.azolve.com/terms.pdf

What is needed for the E-Learning Session: 

  • Notepad and pen
  • Headphones or a quiet room as there is a voice over 

What to bring with you for the practical assessment:

  • Notepad and pen
  • Wear appropriate sports clothing, including indoor sports footwear as there will be some physical activity 
  • Any relevant personal medication (please make the tutor aware)
  • Whistle and referee cards


Finally an E-certificate will be sent directly to the individual through the system once all elements of the course have been completed. 


We would like to take this opportunity to wish you good luck with the course and trust that you will find it both informative and enjoyable.

In the meantime if you have any queries please contact the coaching department on 07570673214 or please email coachingadmin@englandhandball.com


Booking form

To book onto the Open Level 2 Award in Refereeing, please click here

 If there is no open course advertised contact the Coaching Administrator to register your interest at coachingadmin@englandhandball.com.