SwimMark Club

Role of Officials

Without qualified officials, galas would not run and your swimmer would not be able to compete. Parents of swimmers need to offer their services to be trained as ASA (British Swimming) Officials. You are offering help to assist your swimmer and other swimmers in the club achieve their potential by being able to compete at all levels. As with any sport, volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation. The training is provided locally and once qualified, you get a poolside view of the action, free refreshments (often including lunch), maybe a seat, maybe even a t-shirt or water bottle but most of all a sense of wellbeing for giving something back to the sport, the club and your swimmer!



This is an introduction into the world of the swimming official. 
The minimum recommended age for candidates to undertake this training is 14 years, and all need to be registered members of a British Swimming affiliated club or a member of the Institute of Swimming (IoS). Training is undertaken online and in person at an event.

The course which can be accessed here covers what being a timekeeper is all about through an interactive e-learning which will take you between 60 and 90 minutes to complete, followed by a practical timekeeping session. This can be completed at an event.


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 will be required to undertake some formal theory instruction and gain practical experience working on the poolside with a mentor. 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.

Monday 27th January 2020 saw the launch of the new online theory modules for the training of the pool Judge 1 technical officials.  The move to an online format is designed to allow volunteers to start the training at their own pace and to fit with all the other lifestyle commitments which we know our volunteers have.

Training resources have been updated, and clear guidance is now included on suggested timescales for completing each competence, with a time limit of 11 months being introduced.

Upon completion of all Judge 1 training individuals will automatically be issued with their first licence, which will be valid for 4 years, which then enable them to apply to volunteer at all events up to and including National level.

The course can be accessed at www.swimming.org/ios/course/3143

Details of the course as it moves online can be found here.

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 16 years and candidates must have already qualified as Judge Level 1. The training follows a similar format to that of Judge level 1. When qualified, candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 2 on the British Swimming Database.


Judge Level 2S - Starter

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. Successful candidates will be attributed with the Starter qualification: Judge Level 2S.



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. 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.

If you are interested in becoming an Official please contact the Officials Coordinator.