BS Officials Qualifications and Training

Welcome to the officials section of the website. Contained in these pages and links you will find all the information you need to learn about becoming a Technical Official on the poolside.

If you would like more information locally when the next timekeeper or judge course is being held, please contact Louise Mackie your County Officials Co-ordinator, her email address is

FINA Rules     

IPC Swimming Rules      

British Swimming Web page for officials training

ASA Criteria for the Training of Officials at Licensed Meets

General Officials Training Application Form

British Swimming Officials News

General resources for officials

BS Officials Qualifications and training

Timekeeper  This is an introduction into the world of the swimming official. It covers the practical aspects of what is required of a timekeeper by means of a short theory session followed by a practical assessment. The minimum recommended age for candidates to undertake this training is 14 years.

JudgeLevel 1 This is the first level of British qualification. It encompasses the role and duties of a Timekeeper, Chief Timekeeper and Inspector of Turns. The minimum age to start training is 15 years. Candidates will be required to undertake some formal theory instruction and gain practical experience working on the poolside with a mentor.

JudgeLevel 2 This is the second level of qualification. It encompasses the role and duties in relation to all aspects of judging and the theoretical role and duties of Starter. The minimum age to start training is 16 years and candidates must have already qualified as Judge Level 1. The training follows a similar format to that of Judge level 1 with formal instruction, mentored pool side training.

Judge Level 2S  Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and have completed a minimum of 20 hours post qualification experience as Judge Level 2. Training will consist of a prescribed number of practical experiences as a Starter before undertaking a formal practical assessment.

Referee  The minimum age for training is 19yrs providing the candidate is aged 20yrs as at 30th November in the year of the theory examination. In addition candidates must have proven poolside experience at Judge Level 1 and Judge Level 2 and must also have been qualified as Judge Level 2S for at least 1 year with a minimum of 10 hours post qualification experience in that role at the time of application. This course contains theoretical instruction and specified practical experiences. It is followed by a formal examination in November after which successful candidates take a final poolside practical assessment leading to qualification as a British Swimming Referee.

Importance of Insurance All clubs, promoters and competition organisers are reminded that, for insurance purposes, all those officiating on poolside at any competition must be registered members of a British Swimming affiliated club or a member of the Institute of Swimming.