Online Ref Course

The Affiliate Referees Course is now online.

It is IRFU Policy that all matches from U13 upwards are refereed by:

• Branch Referees or
• IRFU Affiliate Referees

IRFU affiliate referees are defined as adult persons (Aged 18 to 59) who are qualified to referee matches involving a club or school to which they are affiliated, where no Branch referee has been appointed.

They usually referee age grade matches and provide an important function in servicing the game at this level in their club or school.

If you have any club members who may be interested in taking this course, please direct them to the link below:

The course costs €15, and the qualification is valid for two years from the date of completion.

IRFU Affiliate Referee Policy 

It is IRFU policy that all rugby matches played under the Laws of the Game (incl. U19 Variations) are  refereed by: 

• Members of the Branch Referee Associations/Society or 

• I.R.F.U. Affiliate Referees (appointed by their club / school). 


Over 18 years of age, and under the age of 60. 

• Hold a current affiliate referee qualification. 

• Appointed by a school or club, to which they are affiliated, to referee a match, or training session,  in which that school or club is participating, home or away. 

• Appointed by a school or club, to which they are affiliated, to referee at a ‘blitz’ or similar tournament  in which that school or club is participating. 

*Exception – Branch Development staff, who hold an affiliate referee qualification may, in the course of their duties, referee  matches outside of their own club or school. 


• Are a refereeing resource within their club/school only. Responsibility for their appointment rests  with their club/school. 

• Are not available for appointment to matches by the Branch Referee Associations / Society. • May also apply, if they wish, for full membership of their Provincial Referee Associations/Society. 


I.R.F.U Affiliate Referees qualify by: 

• Registering on the I.R.F.U e-learning platform, Gainline. 

• Completing the Laws of the Game and Concussion Management for General Public modules on the  World Rugby Passport portal. 

• Completing the I.R.F.U. Affiliate Referee course through Gainline.  

• Qualification is valid for 2 years from the date of course completion. 


• IRFU third party liability insurance. 

• Accreditation certificate with re–‐validation (expiry) season. 

• Registered on IRFU/Provincial database as an Affiliate Referee. 

• Regular updates from the I.R.F.U. on changes to the Laws of the Game. 


• Improve refereeing standards. 

• Address safety issues. 

• Formalise the status of these referees.


Affiliate Referees must: 

• Keep up to date on all Law Changes & Rulings (these are updated regularly on both and on World Rugby Website). 

• Ensure their re–‐accreditation once qualification expires. 

• Maintain appropriate fitness levels to allow them to safely officiate their assigned matches. 


The rationale for the following policy is to meet the essential duty of care owed to, and to endeavour to  ensure the health and safety of all participants, both match officials and players. 

It is the IRFU’s policy that referees do not officiate past their 60th birthday.

• This policy extends to Affiliate Referees. 

• It is recognized that there may be occasional exceptions where an affiliate referee demonstrates a  continued high level of fitness and ability levels. Therefore if a club/school is satisfied to appoint an affiliate referee to officiate after his/her 60th birthday, the affiliate referee must supply, to the  club/school, a medical certificate indicating medical fitness to referee. This would be an annual requirement. In no case, however, should an affiliate referee be appointed past his/her 65th birthday.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in sign up today.

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