Last updated:
13/09/16 22:23

Grading Policy

Gloucester & District Rugby Referees’ Society Grading Policy
(August 2016)

1. Introduction
1 The Society values all of it’s referees, whatever their grade and is
grateful for the contribution they make to the game. This policy will
guide the grading of all referee members of the G&D Rugby Union
Referees’ Society. It should be understood that the process will be as
objective and evidence based as possible, however, grading referees is
an art, not a science, involving judgement being exercised by those
involved in the process. The Society will aim to be as open and
transparent as it is able.
2 The purpose of grading referees is to ensure that they are allocated
to games that are within their ability to referee and where appropriate,
will stretch and develop their abilities. The policy describes the criteria
that are taken into consideration and by whom and when grading
decisions are made.
3 The policy takes into account appropriate guidance from the RFU
(e.g. referees may be allocated to a game normally not more than two
levels above their grade), the South West Group and the
Gloucestershire Federation of Rugby Referees’ Societies.
2. Criteria for Grading.
1 The Society grades it’s member referees from ‘Probationer’ up to
level 5. The national system, adopted by all societies in England and
guided by the RFU, grades referees from level 15 to level 1, the latter
representing the top, where referees on the Elite group of the National
Panel of Referees are located, refereeing Premiership and possibly,
International rugby.
2 All games under the auspices of the RFU are allocated a level,
usually determined by that team’s league. The following table shows
the respective league levels in the Gloucester & District area.
Table 1. Examples of Leagues
League Level League Level
National League 3
BUCS Premier
South A.
5 Gloucester 1.
Gloucester Reserve
-North 1.
BUCS Western 2A.
RFUW Championship
Midlands 2.
South West One 6 Gloucester 2 10
Western Counties.
South 1.
7 Gloucester 3 11

Gloucester Premier

Gloucester Reserve Premier

BUCS Western 1A

8 Worcester Hereford Merit 3 12

School games are allocated level 90, whilst university and college
games are allocated on the basis of their League levels between levels
5 and 12). Senior and Junior Colts levels 8 and 9 respectively, whilst
Mini Junior games are allocated level 90.
3 The G&D criteria for grading are shown in Table 2. In addition, referees
with ambition to progress through the Referee pathway to levels above
those controlled by the Society, initially need to be nominated to the
Gloucestershire Federation of Rugby Union Referees’. The full
‘pathway’ is available on the website. The criteria to be nominated are
shown at Appendix 1. It should be noted that the higher the level of
refereeing, the more competitive things become.
Table 2. Grading Criteria
Level Normally referees will be graded according to the
following criteria:-
c to all
1. being a fully paid up member;
2. the demonstration, via Match Observer reports, including
Exchange reports, of an ability in technical skills, game
management and fitness to referee at the requisite levels,
consistent with the safety of the players (normally scoring
MD or G);
3. compliance with normal G&D requirements on all
referees, e.g. use of Whistler reports, maintenance of
current availability on WTR;
4. referee Aspirations, as expressed annually via that form
at the commencement of that season, will be taken into
5.demonstrations of fitness levels, via the YoYo test.
6. referees are encouraged to consider the demands of
games at their current grade in respect of how comfortable
they are at that level. The committee will take heed of any
referee asking to be allocated a grade downwards. This
demonstrates great self-awareness and commitment to the game.
Probationer to 12
a. successful application for membership;
b. completion of the RFU level 2 course, ‘Refereeing the
fifteen-a -side game’.
Exceptionally, where after a period of support, a referee
fails to demonstrate any progress in regard to Generic
criterion 2 he/she may be asked to resign from the Society.
11-10 a. see generic criteria;
b. achievement of County badge to progress beyond grade
9-8 a. demonstration of commitment to own development, via,
e.g. acquisition of RFU Continual Match Official
Development (CMOD) modules, regular attendance at G&D
monthly meetings (unless there are extenuating
circumstances), regular dialogue with coach or mentor
(where appointed);
b. those at level 8 who aspire to Federation nomination
should demonstrate an appropriate level of fitness.
7-6 a. demonstration of commitment to own development, via,
e.g. acquisition of RFU CMOD modules, regular attendance
at G&D monthly meetings, regular dialogue with coach or
mentor (where appointed);
b. voluntary attainment of a minimum of level 14 on YoYo
test (wef Jan 2017), Part1, and required level 16 for those
with ambition to achieve Federation development squad

NB. At the discretion of the Grading Committee, referees transferring
from other societies will have their current grade respected, where it is
confirmed by the other Society. The ‘County badge’ requirement is also
at the discretion of the Appointments and Grading Committee.
3. The process of Grading.
1 The Society shall establish a Committee, known as the Appointments
and Grading Committee (AGC). Besides it’s appointments function, it
a. consider the appropriate grading of every referee member,
according to the requirements of the RFU, the South West Group,
the Gloucestershire Federation and of this policy;
b. make recommendations to the Society Committee on gradings and
on the effectiveness this policy;
c. make recommendations concerning Gloucestershire Federation
2 The AGC shall comprise the Vice Chairman of the Society, as it’s
chairman, the Appointments Secretary, the Society Match Observer
Development Officer, the Referee Development Officer, the Members’
Representative and, for each meeting, a member of the Society, maybe
invited to that meeting to observe, with the Members’ Representative,
that the policy is applied. He/she will be asked for his/her view on this
and may report it to the membership. Any member who is an active
referee will withdraw from the meeting during discussion of his/her
3 The AGC will normally meet in May/June, for grading for the first half
of the following season and in Dec/Jan for the second half. In addition,
re-gradings may be made at any time of the season, if performance
4. Applicability of this policy.
1 The policy shall apply to all referee members of the Society, but will
be phased in, in the following manner:-
a. all currently held grades will be respected, for a period of one
season (2016/17), except for up grades, so that the grade related
criteria in Table 2 will not be required.
b. the policy will apply to any current referee who is promoted with
effect from September 2016 and to all new members joining from
September 2016.
Chairman, AGC
August 2016
Appendix 1: Referee Pathway from Society to Federation Development
Referees will be nominated by their Society and will normally meet the
following criteria:-
Will have demonstrated a clear ability to referee at level 7 and potential to
perform at Group level.
Will have demonstrated ownership of their development by completing a
Personal Development Plan (PDP)
Will have a portfolio of appropriate Match Observers Reports.
Will be able to pass the appropriate fitness test, i.e., YoYo at Level 16.