Become a Referee

Refereeing 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) ensures that Rugby League referees 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)

The Level 1 Referee course is the entry level for anyone 13 years and above, consisting of 3 components:

1) 10 Online modules (The Referee, laws of the Game, Signal & Whistles, Role of the Touch judge, Fitness for officiating, Pre-Match, Match & Post Match Considerations, Practical Refereeing Theory, Management & Communication, Attitudes – Personal Qualities, Safety- Maintaining a proper environment).

2) Face to face modules: Overview of the above modules, with heavy focus on Laws of the game.

3) Practical Assessment: 3 on-field assessments to be completed throughout the season.

​Upon completion of the Online and Face-to-Face component of the course, the candidate will qualify as a ‘Referee in Training’ which enables them to referee the relevant age groups for a period of 18 months. During this time the candidate is required to undergo a practical assessment. If the candidate is deemed competent in 3 on-field assessments, they will be officially accredited as a Level 1 Referee. 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.


How to Register for the Level 1 Online Course

  • logon to
  • 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.