Become an Official

Everyone working on poolside at all events organised by Swim England East Region are volunteers.  Officials for all of our sports are essential to well-run, high quality competitions for our athletes.

Volunteers make a huge contribution to aquatics in the Region. Everything that happens in our sport happens because of volunteers at some point.

We encourage athletes, parents and fans to get involved with our sport, not just as spectators but as volunteers with clubs, helping us run events with your technical expertise or by training to become an official.

Volunteering is a rewarding experience, benefiting everyone involved. It builds upon life skills, work skills, confidence and has a positive impact on both the sport and the volunteer.

Swim England has announced changes to Swimming Judge Level 1 training from January 2020, please read this document before you apply for a Judge Level 1 course.

Swimming Technical Officials training including Para Swimming Officials CPD

Swimming technical officials (STOs) are a central part of every swimming event and play an important role in ensuring the events run smoothly, safely and within the sport’s regulations.

Officials do not need to be experienced swimmers or have a competitive background. Everything that you need to know to work as an official is provided in the training programme. Training is standardised across the UK.

There are five levels of technical officials with each one a progression. For the latest information please visit the British Swimming Officials webpage.


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, and all need to be registered members of a British Swimming affiliated club or member of the Institute of Swimming (IoS).

Further details on how to enrol on a face to face timekeeper course please contact your local County Coordinator shown below.

Timekeeper – Group Delivery (face to face/virtual) Updated July 21

The course costs £5.00 per person for up to a maximum of 15 candidates, with a minimum charge of £25 per course.

Timekeeper Online Process (IOS)  £5 per person New Course

  1. Book course at or
  2. Upon completion download a copy of the certificate and then load it onto your profile at using the option Swimming Timekeeper Theory

Judge 1 Online Course (Inspector of Turns)

Monday 27th January 2020 saw the launch of the new online theory modules for the training of the pool Judge 1 technical officials.  This brings to a close a considerable amount of work in partnership with Swim England and the Institute of Swimming to ensure we are delivering a quality product to our volunteers.

Whilst the content of the training remains largely unchanged, 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.

Once their theory training is complete and registered, candidates will be provided with local contacts to guide them through their practical assessments. 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 Judge One course (for non qualified timekeepers) can be accessed at

The Judge One course for officials already qualified as timekeeper can be accessed at  Swimming Technical Officials – Judge 1 Theory for qualified Time Keepers

(If you have been provided with a voucher to access a closed course for your Region/County please ensure that you register using the link provided with the voucher and not the one above, which is for the national course.)

For details of changes to the course as it moves online please read our summary document here.

Judge 2 (Stroke)

This is the second level of qualification. It encompasses the roles and duties of Judges of Stroke, FINA Laws of Stroke, the role and duties of Finish Judges. Practical experiences in relation to the judging of stroke and Finish 

The minimum age to start training is 16 years and candidates must have already qualified as Judge Level 1, with 15 hours post qualification experience as Judge 1 . The training follows a similar format to that of Judge level 1 with formal instruction and mentored pool side training. 

When qualified, candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 2 on the British Swimming Database.

Judge 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.

Refereeing Swimming – A Beginners Guide (online)


Refereeing Swimming – A Beginners Guide, has been designed to provide support and guidance for officials who may be requested to perform the duty of a Referee for small or local run competitions. 


It is important to note that completion of this module will not qualify you as a referee.

By completing this module, you will achieve the following learning outcomes –
Recognise and identify the duties of a referee at a swimming competition with regard to:
1.       The role of the referee
2.       The role of the referee with specific reference to Health and Safety
3.       Producing the race result (Manual and AOE)

The CPD is recognised by the IoS, you can book via the following link:     IoS Online Beginners Guide to Referring CPD.



The minimum age for training is 19 years providing the candidate is aged 20 years as at 30 November in the year of the theory examination.

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 have been 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.

Application forms must be submitted by 31 December of the previous year to allow sufficient time for completion of training in preparation for the November examination.

Officials training is delivered through sub regions and counties, please contact your county co-ordinator for more information on local courses before applying.

The new pre-requisites and application process for Referee training are available here: British Swimming Referee Training Process. Please ensure that you have familiarised yourself with them before applying for training.

David Metcalf is the Regional Swimming Officials’ Manager, David coordinates all applications for Timekeeper (TK) and Judge courses within the region. Once the applications have been processed with Swim England, the candidate’s details are forwarded onto the County Officials’ Coordinator to arrange a local course and contact the trainee. British Swimming course training and payment information