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.
Judge Level 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 may undertake some instruction and will be required to complete a course workbook, after which there will be a practical assessment. There is no formal theory examination. However, during the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer questions orally. Upon qualification candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 1 on the British Swimming Database and will be encouraged to become a Licensed Official.
Judge Level 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 15 years. Candidates may undertake some instruction and will be required to complete a course workbook, followed by a practical assessment. As with Level 1 there is no formal theory examination. However, during the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer oral questions. When qualified, candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 2 on the British Swimming Database.
Starter – Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and be a minimum age of 15 years. Training will consist of a prescribed number of practical experiences as a Starter before undertaking a formal practical assessment. Successful candidates will be attributed with the Starter qualification: Judge Level 2S
Referee – Candidates for this course are required to be qualified at Judge level 2S, and may register to start training aged 17 years but must be 18 years at 30 November in the year of the course. 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. Several months are allocated between registration and the formal examination to enable candidates to undertake all the practical experience required to complete the course as well as the theoretical instruction.
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.
Further information about being a swimming official is available from British Swimming