OFC places high importance on developing world class match officials and in 2008 referee development received a huge boost thanks to a brand new FIFA-funded Refereeing Assistance Programme (RAP). Under the umbrella of the FIFA Development Office, the programme has two objectives. Firstly, it aims to prepare referees for international competitions, particularly the FIFA World Cup. Secondly, it aims to develop referees in each of the Member Associations (MAs) through scouting and education.
The RAP team has established a structure that aims to improve the quality and quantity of referee education. Practically, this has resulted in several new courses being held in various Oceania countries which target the wide spectrum of match officials – from elite to community referees, from futsal to beach soccer referees. The courses, organised for men and women, feature the latest teaching resources and up-to-date equipment. OFC's Technical Department works closely with the RAP team to organise the education programme.
Proof that the initiatives are working can be seen in the increased level of representation for Oceania at international tournaments. Two men's trios and one women's trio from OFC officiated at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup respectively.