efereeing is a fun, exciting, non-contact way to be involved with Rugby League. Not only do you get to see all the action from the best position on the field, but it’s a great way to keep fit, and meet new and interesting people.

In order to referee Rugby League, officials gain accreditation through a course that provides referees with theory and practical skills required to officiate in matches.  The National Referees’ Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) has been implemented to ensure that Rugby League referees, throughout the country have consistent and thorough training as they progress through their careers.

The minimum age requirement is 13 years.  The are five levels of accreditation.

Level 1- (May officiate at games for 6-17 years old players only)

Having passed the initial accreditation to become a Referee-in-Training, undertaken referee assignments and passed a practical assessment, the referee is accredited to officiate at all matches with players from 6 to 17 years of age.  The referees’ minimum age at this level is 13 years old. Referees under the age of 18 years will only be appointed to games played by players at least two years younger than the referee.



Level 2 – Open Rugby League and representative fixtures 

Having attained more refereeing experience, satisfactory on-field assessments, further rules revision, completion of workbooks and continuing education the Level Two referee is accredited to referee at all junior and senior matches. Minimum age of the referee is 18 years.

Level Two Accreditation is now a combination of online and classroom modules with the final assessment being conducted by the Association Coaching Match Officials (CMOs), accredited with the NRL.

Level 3- Advanced Refereeing

Progress through this Level requires the attainment of Advanced Standing Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) and the completion of further educational modules, aimed at extending the official’s empathy and rapport with the game, its participants and refereeing. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is utilised. Completion of a set of Units appropriate to the education and training of an official at this advanced level is required.

Level 4- NRL First grade

Level 4 accredits  a referee to have officiated at NRL 1st Grade matches, and City v Country matches.

Level 5 – International Test Panel, NSW vs Queensland State of Origin Match.

Level 5 referees officiate at Test matches and State of Origin.


More About Level 1 Accreditation

The Level 1 Referee course will teach you the fundamentals of the Referee’s involvement in the game.  The cost of the course is set by the NRL at $25.

It has been designed to cater for referees officiating players aged 6-19 Years. The course consists of 3 components:

– 10 Online Modules

– 5 Face-to-face Modules

– Practical Assessment

Upon completion of all 3 components, referees will be officially accredited as a Level 1 Referee. The Accreditation is valid for a period of 4 years.

Candidates will develop a basic knowledge and understanding of:

  • The Role of The Referee
  • Laws of the Game(s)
  • Signal & Whistles
  • Role of the Touch Judge
  • Fitness for Officiating
  • Pre-Match, Match & Post Match Consideration
  • Practical Refereeing Theory
  • Management & Communication
  • Attitudes- Personal Qualities
  • Safety & Maintaining a proper environment

Registering for a Course

If you are interested in registering contact the Executive Officer on recruitment@canberrareferees.com.au or phone 0410 626 415.

How to Register for the Level 1 Online Course

  • logon to www.playnrl.com
  • Select Get Involved/Referee/Become a Referee
  • Scroll down to Become a Referee
  • Select the Level 1 RefereeCourse in the Australian Capital Territory
  • Select Register. You will be presented with three options.
  • If you have registered before as a player, coach, FAO or League Safe, select Request Username & Password.  Otherwise select Register for the First Time.
  • Enter your personal details and pay via credit card.