Quality Assurance Programme, Match Reviews and Appointments
Quality Assurance Programme
While the RDP will no doubt continue to produce good referees – and the improved system should ensure that – we must also firmly establish a quality assurance system to produce even more referees at the highest levels. For instance, the more rigorous testing programme that we administer only produces between five and seven referees for the international panel. That means our training methods or the referees’ preparations are in need of an overhaul.
The Quality Assurance Process listed below will go a long way toward ensuring that the refereeing system we use in the country maintains the highest standard of integrity and performance. The system makes room not only for performance reviews but also for trend-spotting by compiling aggregate performance statistics to compare against past performance.
The review system is required to enable re-enactments of circumstances where referees are accused of poor performance. It is also a necessary link in the quality assurance chain. Currently, the match review process occurs regularly, with the responsible individuals meeting once per week.
All cases reviewed by the RRC are either forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee (DC) or dismissed. The DC then becomes responsible for applying sanctions.
We are currently looking at ways to improve the manner in which justice is dispensed. Typically, the RRC has not been able to formulate charges against referees in the proper language. Thereafter, the DC does not have a Violations Definition List and a Schedule of Penalties to measure the seriousness of the charges and to dispense with penalties in an equitable manner. Any decision to sanction or not to sanction is based purely on the circumstances of the moment and does not depend on a sentencing precedent record to dispense with punishment.
It was recommended that the RRC receive the help of the SAFA Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee (L&CAC) who are the resident experts within the Association regarding the framing of charges. The L&CAC would have a Violation Definition List that it can refer to for any matter referred to it from anywhere in the Association. The L&CAC is responsible for the establishment of the Association’s judicial system and is best able to frame charges against violators in the appropriate language and circumstances.
The referees appointment system is perhaps the most criticised of all refereeing-related functions in the Association. There were many criticisms of the appointments system that caused the entire referees programme to be placed under intense scrutiny. However, repeated investigations of referee appointments concluded that referees’ actions were for the most part correct.
At its first meeting in November 1997 the NRC appointed a Referees Selection Committee comprised wholly of members of the NRC and one administrator from Head Office. From its very inception, this committee was under attack for the manner in which it conducted its appointments. FIFA Circular No 493 of 1992 – which has not been amended – clearly states the need for National Associations to remain in complete control of refereeing matters in its jurisdiction