A successful pilot referee coaches' coaching award course held in Gloucestershire has prompted the Rugby Football Union to set the scheme in motion across the country.
The RFU's referee department have recently trialed some new products and initiatives to assist with the development of referees at society level and one of these is a Coaching Award for Referee Coaches.
Consequently, Gloucestershire female referee coach Debbie Innes has become the first person to complete and pass the RFU Society Coach award which involves 11 hours of study learning modules on elements of Coaching, Sports Science and Understanding of the Game.
David Rose, the RFU Regional Referee Development officer for the Midlands who has developed the award, said: "The benefit of this award is to help develop referees within the Referee Societies' across the county, to improve the quality of the feedback referees receive and to aid the retention of referees by showing we value what they are doing through positive communication. Debbie has displayed a high degree of understanding of both refereeing and more importantly coaching and as a result fully deserves her award.
"The pilot scheme in Gloucestershire was very successful and as a result we are now running the Referee Coach Award scheme nationally"
If you want more information about courses for Match Officials go the RFU website on