Swimming Official’s Frequently Asked Questions

Swim England East Region has hosted a series of Swimming Official’s Online Forums at the beginning of June. The forums were organised to assist our officials in preparation for their return back to returning to officiating after a 15 month absence on poolside.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions has been developed. We will continue to update the below on an ongoing basis where necessary.

Following the reintroduction of a level of competition across the home nations, the British Swimming SOG has taken the following decision with regards to deadlines for candidates to complete Judge 1 training:

  • Anyone who completes their Judge 1 online theory training by the 31 August 2021 with have until 31 July 2022 to complete their practical training. 
  • Anyone who completes their Judge 1 online theory training from 1 September 2021 onwards will have 11 months to complete their practical training.
Please refer to the original email from Helen Akers for the full details. Please click here to view the email.

Following a query received after the message below, the British Swimming SOG has made the following additional decision:

  • Anyone who commenced their Judge 1 training under the old face to face/classroom system will have until 31 March 2022 to complete their practical training.

Points to note:

  • There is no longer a requirement for these candidates to undergo a final assessment, once considered competent they may be awarded the qualification
  • Passes under the “old” system should be processed as such, and NOT via the online upload system
  • Requests for extension of any of the published deadlines will be considered on an exceptional, case by case basis. Requests must be submitted by the candidate to [email protected] for consideration by the BSSOG

Helen Akers – 19-08-2021

BS Swimming Officials Coordinator


Yes, Swim England have announced that the following extensions to the period of validity for Officials Licences have been agreed, to assist those individuals who may have been unable to fulfil the renewal requirements due to the various Covid restrictions in place: 

Any licences that expired in 2020 and were not renewed have been extended until 31 December 2021

For example, if your licence expired on 31 October 2020 and you did not renew it, you now have until 31 December 2021

Any licences that are due to expire in 2021 and were not renewed before 30 April 2021 have been extended by 12 months
For example if your licence expired on 31 March 2021 and you did not renew it, you now have until 31 March 2022
Any licences that are due to expire in 2022 will extended by 12 months – this work is currently ongoing but should be completed shortly.



For more information please click on this link to open a pdf version of a PowerPoint presentation

No, new licence cards will not be issued but you can check your renewal dates at https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/club-member-check/ (subject to your data protection choices)

This applies to both pool and open water licences.

Your renewed BS officials licence will show your new licence expiring 4 years from the actual date of renewal. It will not be back dated to when your previous licence expired.

The Swim England Open Meet Licensing Criteria following the Covid-19 pandemic, adjustments have been made to the number of Technical Officials required for Licensed Meets and the level of qualification required for each role. 

The Swim England return to competition – training of officials  following the Covid-19 pandemic, adjustments have been made to the number of Technical Officials required for Licensed Meets and the level of qualification required for each role.

This will necessitate some adjustments for the training of officials, with the overriding principle being adherence to the Covid-19 restrictions in force in the relevant area at the time. 

Swim England have confirmed that the FINA Rules 2017-21 can now be delivered virtually online (instead of face2face delivery). The CPD’s are open to technical officials of Swim England East Region clubs.

There is options of various dates and times being offered by counties, enabling officials to enrol on a CPD that is convenient to them. 

To enrol on a FINA Rules Update CPD click here


It is recommended that all officials click this link to access and watch the following FINA swimming officiating videos before returning back to poolside.

The Institute of Swimming has “A Beginner’s Guide to Refereeing Swimming” CPD.

This online course incorporates varying activities and checks on learning, which enables you to recognise and identify the duties of a referee at a swimming meet with regard to:

  • The role of the referee
  • The role of the referee with specific reference to Health and Safety
  • Producing the race result (Manual and AOE)


The SE Open Meet Licensing Criteria – effective until 31 December 2021

Referee in training 

In order to act as a “Referee in training” for meet licensing purposes the individual must: 

Have enrolled on a Referee course commencing between 1 January 2018 and 1 January 2020 and completed at least one mentored and “signed off” referee’s poolside training session. 


Be a licensed and qualified J2(s) who has completed the Beginners Guide to refereeing and can evidence acting as the referee at least one previous Licensed Level 4 meet. 

In accordance with DBS guidance no officials will require a DBS check. This is because officials are generally not required in their role to talk to children and young people whilst they are officiating.

If a child approaches an official to ask a question or request assistance they should be directed to the appropriate coach, poolside helper or chaperone. If a referee needs to speak to a child this should always be done through or with the child’s coach. Therefore the opportunity for the official to have one to one or group contact is not present.

The Swim England Disclosure and Barring Service FAQs page