Summary of RFU courses which include refereeing for season 20/21

  • July 15, 2020

Manchester & District Referees’ Society Ltd

Summary of RFU courses which include refereeing for season 20/21.

We are currently at Stage B of the ‘Return to Road Map: Community Game’’.

Face to Face coaching and refereeing courses will probably only come in at Stage E or F.

Kids First.

There is a new set of ‘Kids First Courses’ which reflects the usual position where these age groups (up to U13) are coached and refereed by the same people.

New Courses:

  1. Kids First Tag Rugby (replaces U7 and U8 courses).
  2. Kids First Contact Rugby (which replaces Kids First Rugby Ready, Kids First Refereeing and Kids First U9s and will be delivered as a 1 day course).
  3. Kids First U10-U13. (one course for each age group).

England Rugby strongly encourages coaches and referees working with children to complete the Kids First Rugby course if they have not already completed the Rugby Ready course.

At U12 to U 14, the roles of coach and referee often diverge so the courses have also been split off to be covered by the ERRA (England Rugby Refereeing Award) and the ERCA (England Rugby Coaching Award).

Beyond ERRA there will be the ERAMOA (England Rugby Advanced Match Official Award) which will come into effect for 20-21 season and is ‘aimed at referees with potential to progress to higher levels of refereeing’.

Finally there will be the ERPGMOT (England Rugby Performance Game Match Official Team) for top level referees.

Some courses have previously been inaccessible due their Face to Face content, timing and cost and so have been adapted to improve their accessibility.

Kids First Tag Rugby and Kids First Contact Rugby will be face to face courses.  These may require distancing and other protective measures as required at the time of delivery.

Kids First Rugby U10 – U13 will be completed through free, on-demand, certificated webinars accessible at any time.

ERRA (England Rugby Refereeing Award) contains both face to face and webinar elements.

CMODs (Continuous Match Official Development) in Game Values, Match Preparation and Communication and Management will be free, on demand, certificated webinars available to access at any time.

Player Welfare Courses:

‘Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union’,’ Safety First’ and ‘In Touch’ (Safeguarding) remain face to face courses.  There are additional safety considerations in the delivery of first aid courses and it is planned to begin these as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

It is anticipated that e-learning courses in ‘Headsafe, ‘Introduction to Safeguarding’ and ‘Tackle Safety’ will commence in July.

Kids First U10-U13 will commence in August.

CMOD Game Values will commence in September.

CMOD Match Preparation will commence in October

CMOD Communication and Management will commence in November.

The CMOD courses can be completed and the certificate downloaded to your personal profile on GMS.

The RFU priority is to reintroduce player welfare courses first (Headcase, Introduction to Safeguarding and Tackle Safety) in July.  The RFU encourages everyone concerned with coaching or refereeing to complete these courses. They are all free courses and are mandatory pre-requisites for anyone wishing to undertake any RFU refereeing courses.

When it is safe to do so, the first face to face courses run will be the Kids First Tag Rugby and Contact Rugby.

RFU Award Course Structure.

The RFU strategy for delivering refereeing courses (and coaching courses) is to spread them out across the season.

Each course will start with an introductory webinar, Day 1 will focus on the safety elements involved in refereeing, particularly in the tackle and the scrum.  Following this, there will be a dedicated on-demand webinar each month on a different topic from the course with tasks set for the candidate to complete with their group of players.  There will be a further face to face day at the end of the course.  Each referee can approach these elements in their own time.  Should lockdown conditions continue, the face to face sessions at the start and end of each course will be delayed to the end of the season.

Bookings for courses for will start in Sept/Oct for the 20-21 season.

The ERAMOA (England Rugby Advanced Match Official Award)will have a revised format and begin at the start of the 20-21 season.

Monthly updates to the course programme will follow in August and September.

Government guidance may impact on the delivery of these programmes.


Society T&D courses will also be dependent on Government advice on contact but, in the meantime, we will continue with training elements based on the Maintaining Focus units and seek to dovetail with the RFU CMOD programmes for those wishing to complete certificated units.

Thanks to those who have responded to the MF units.  Phil Cole has co-ordinated an updated format for consideration of the exercises so, even if you have already completed a unit, do a refresher to test the process.

Looking ahead, there may also be units on experimental law variations and other issues to work on.

We will be trying to stay focussed, work on developing issues and keep fit both physically and mentally.

AJM 13July2020