SQA and Scottish FA announce new Professional Development Award


Refereeing launch

Pictured at the launch of the new Scottish FA Refereeing PDA were (l-r) John Fleming, Head of Referee Development at the Scottish FA; referee Calum Murray, Alastair MacGregor, Head of Science and Technology and referee Craig Thomson


Yesterday, SQA and the Scottish FA announced the launch of the new Refereeing Professional Development Award (PDA), in association with sponsors Specsavers.

The qualification, which has been developed in conjunction with the Scottish FA’s Referee Development Department, will enable candidates to develop the knowledge and skills required to start a career in refereeing and will be made available to schools and colleges in partnership with the Scottish FA from next year.

The Course will assess candidates’ fitness, their understanding of the controls and procedures used to referee a football match, and their ability to identify, interpret and demonstrate the practical skills required to implement the Laws of the Game. It will also enable candidates to produce match and discipline reports to a required standard.

John Fleming, Head of Referee Development at the Scottish FA, said: "This course has been the culmination of more than a year of productive discussions between the Scottish FA and the SQA. I am confident that it will enable us to attract and retain a new generation of referees, in keeping with our new Scotland United strategic plan.

“Our new education and recruitment managers, Craig Thomson and Steven McLean, will be pivotal to the success of the PDA. I would also like to thank our sponsors, Specsavers, for their additional financial support for this initiative and for their ongoing commitment to refereeing in this country.”

Gill Stewart, Director of Qualifications Development, said: “We’re delighted to announce this new qualification developed in partnership with the Scottish FA, which will guide the growth and development of the next generation of match officials.

“Our partnership grants holders of the new Scottish FA Refereeing Professional Development Award direct entry into the Scottish FA’s Referee Training Programme.  This gives the next generation of match officials a true taste of the skills and knowledge they’ll need to develop if they want to become a top referee.”

Susanne Akil, Regional Chairperson for Specsavers Scotland: “As the proud sponsors of Scottish FA referees, Specsavers is pleased to give its support to this new initiative with the SQA.

“Football plays such an important role in Scottish culture, so it is vital that he next generation of match officials receive the very best training from an early age.  On behalf of Scotland’s 58 Specsavers stores, I’d like to wish the new refereeing students the very best of luck.”


About the Scottish FA Refereeing Professional Development Award:


The Scottish FA Refereeing Professional Development Award will be delivered as two separate Units:

  • Scottish FA – Practical Refereeing
  • Scottish FA – Laws of the Game

Candidates will need to complete both Units in order to be awarded the qualification.

SQA will approve schools, colleges and training centres to deliver the qualification, once they have agreed a delivery plan with the Scottish FA.

For more information about the Professional Development Award, click here.