Introduction - Observer Forms

The Match Observer and Referee Coach reporting resources were recently updated, following a national review led by the RFU. The outcome is the introduction of three different observer forms, developed around a single core structure, for use at different levels of the game.

The new observer forms, provided below, are designed to uniform content across all levels of refereeing, in line with national and regional standards.

These forms are intended for use by both Match Observers and Referee Coaches.


Guidance Notes

The recent RFU review findings were that most assessments of referee performance below Level 5 are a combination of assessment, development advice and coaching in varying degrees. Therefore, the Match Officials Development Reports (Forms 1 & 2), that will be used in the vast majority of society observer activities are structured with this in mind.

Full RFU guidance notes for the revised observer forms can be downloaded here.

Targeted guidance and performance criteria notes for the individual form variations are also provided below. 

A unified data collection form has been created and can also be downloaded here.

Match Official Developers: Conversations to Words Presentation

Andrew Small (RFU Referee Development Officer) delivered a presentation at the 2018 LSRFUR Match Official Developers Conference that provides further guidance and examples of the updated documentation and best practices. The presentation can be downloaded here.


Match Official Development Report - Form 1

Key features

  • 3 good performance aspects

  • 3 work-on’s, including development strategie

  • Provides an overall performance summary

  • Little statistical detail required

  • Performance matrix based on refereeing principles: Safety, Enjoyment & Equity, Learning & Laws (see Guidance Notes)

  • Recommended for use at Levels 15 to 8+0


Match Official Development Report - Form 2

key features

  • Greater level of detail, with an emphasis on specific management and technical aspects of officiating

  • Increased requirements for statistical evidence

  • Flexibility in form design to allow observer to use part or whole of the form

  • This form should be used at Levels 8+1 to 6+1

  • Mandatory for all exchanges and recommended for re-grading evidence


Match Official Performance Review Report - Form 3

key features 

  • Significant increase in technical data to be reported

  • Provides greater oppountity for the referee to comment on the Performance Reviewer’s remarks

  • This form should be used at National League levels (5+) only


Referee Coaches Form

key features

  • Medium level of detail, with an emphasis on specific management and technical aspects of officiating

  • Increased requirements for statistical evidence

  • Flexibility in form design to allow observer to use part or whole of the form


Other Resources