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How to become a referee

How to become a referee

For those that have ambitions to officiate at the highest level, there's a structure in place to provide you with a platform to develop and give you support along the way. Navigate through the interactive image to understand more about the requirements of each level of referee.

To start your journey and become a qualified referee you need to complete our online course which is available free to all England Squash members.

If you want to attend England Squash events, you'll need to undertake a DBS check and complete an online Safeguarding course to be invited to apply for events to referee at. The more England Squash events you apply and attend the more likely you are to progress through the pathway. At all our events you will work with more experienced referees and may have the chance to be assessed to progress through the pathway.

All of this has been made available to referees through investment into the Mission 2022 project, a dedicated scheme committed to developing new and existing referees for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Mission 2022 is a home nations collaboration between England, Wales and Scotland which aims to develop and support new and existing referees.

Mission 2022

The stages to become a referee

If you wish to become a referee you’ll need to undertake each of the following items. Once all are completed you’ll be a Level 1 Referee and able to be invited to attend England Squash events.

Online Course

England Squash members are entitled to undertake a free online referee course. This course will provide you with the basic knowledge and resources to help with in becoming a referee. There is a test to undertake at the end of the course.

You can access the course by clicking here, please note you'll need to log in to your account.

DBS Check

A Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check is mandatory for all referees who wish to attend England Squash events. As a volunteer the DBS check is free but you will need to pay an administration fee of around £15.Check out our DBS FAQs for more info. Please email once you have your certificate so we can administer it to your referee profile.

Safeguarding Course (Online)

The Safeguarding and Protecting Children course is mandatory for all people working in an environment where children are present, and is a mandatory requirement for those wishing to referee at events.

As a volunteer in our sport you must have an up-to-date online Safeguarding and Protecting Children certificate. This can be undertaken via the NSPCC website and costs approx. £25.

Certificates must be renewed every three years. Please email once you have your certificate so we can administer it to your referee profile.

Further Information

Tournament Referees

A Tournament Referee (TR) is appointed for all major tournaments (Platinum & Gold). They will be responsible for briefings, allocation of matches, liaising with the Events Desk and managing any issues raised by players, parents or coaches. They are also responsible for the welfare of every referee and will organise rest breaks. At smaller events and venues, the TR role is often performed by a Lead Referee. TR's are usually experienced Level 3 or higher referees who have attended numerous events.


By their nature referees are social and enjoy discussing events and supporting each other through the pathway and as such a large emphasis of the development of referees is placed upon mentoring from their peers. To support the development of referees we encourage regionalised and localised group, peer to peer and individual mentoring. As referees develop and attend events we naturally encourage those local to them to provide this support There is also an opportunity during the assessment debrief at all levels for this to be discussed and the 'matching service' initiated. More formal mentoring opportunities take place through the Mission 2022 scheme, for identified talented referees and through some County Associations.

Assessors & Assessments

All referees are assessed and mentored by experienced referees, assessors and mentors as part of their development. This helps to identify talented referees and aids progression through the different levels of the pathway. There is a specific route for assessment and criteria set out to help referees understand how and when they should be ready to progress to the next grade.

Formal assessment opportunities are only provided at events and undertaken by trained assessors (usually Level 3 and higher referees). This is why it is important that if you wish to progress you ensure that your DBS check and safeguarding certificates are in place so that you can attend England Squash events where assessors are present.

Under 16s

People under 16 are able to complete the online course and workshop but will be appointed as a junior referee. They can progress through the full pathway from age 16 and over (requiring the DBS check and Safeguarding certificate to be undertaken from age 18).