Some of Team Clevedon's' volunteers on Day 3 of Somerset ASA County Championships 2020
Photo Some of Team Clevedon's' volunteers from Day 3 of Somerset ASA County Championships 2020

Somerset ASA Officials are now co-ordinated by Chris Metcalfe who has taken over from Carolyn Cox. 

We wish to thank our officials who supported our 2020 County Championships which were held over 19/25/26 Jan & 1/2/8/9 Feb 2020 at Millfield. 

Although we have 200 qualified officials in Somerset, there is constant turnover and fewer than 100 are active at County level so we do need a constant supply of new officials to maintain our numbers and ensure that competitions can take place. Please encourage adults in your club to become officials.

Courses and Launch Of Online J1 Training 

Please see important Swim England update on 17 July 2020 regarding swimming officials training courses after pools get reopening date. This follows the announcement on 31 Mar 2020 with regard to the extension of the deadline to complete the Judge 1 training course.

View earlier news item for SW briefing documents on the launch of Online J1 Training on 27 Jan 2020 and arrangements for those following the old course*.

Anyone who would like to start their training as an official should contact their club volunteer manager / officials co-ordinator in the first instance. Please can club volunteer managers / official co-ordinators let Chris Metcalfe know the name, email and Swim England number of those who would like to sign up to the training. The course is £20 up front, which includes the first license on qualification. Swim England South West will cover the cost of this. 

* Please note that volunteers training to become Swimming Technical Officials are to be given an extension to complete their J1 course due to the coronavirus pandemic to avoid the need to start again with the online course. View details.

We publicised a J2 Course run on 3 July 2019 (7pm to 9pm) at Clevedon Conservative Club.

We always need support to deliver courses for our Young Volunteers. Mentors who have valid safeguarding qualifications are asked to get in touch.

Before anyone can commence training as an official they must be a member of a club or, if that is not appropriate, the Institute of Swimming. 

Remember the minimum age at which the Judge Level 1 course can be started is 15, so it need not be solely the preserve of adults. Indeed, a number of our young volunteers take the J1 course.

Chris Metcalfe and Officials Co-ordinators in other south west counties all hold waiting lists and will arrange courses at regular intervals throughout the year to meet the requests received.  This might either be for groups of people from different clubs or (when numbers are large enough) for a single club. To ensure viable numbers, especially in the smaller Counties, the Coordinators might invite all the clubs in their county to recruit others to attend a course on pre arranged dates several times a year. The Coordinators arrange for approved course tutors to lead every course. To complete every qualification requires theory and, most importantly, mentored poolside practice before final poolside assessments. 

If you have any questions about training opportunities for officials or you want to request training as an individual or club you please get in touch with our county coordinator Chris Metcalfe.
You can also ask any general questions of your Regional Officials Training and Development Coordinator, Jill Beard, by email (beardfamilyuk@icloud.com).

The Officials Exam Framework changed to allow for more practical and assessment based awards. A licensing system was introduced, and has been a requirement since 2012 for all officials at our County Swimming Championships.

The CPD module "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.

Referee Beginner's Guide

Please note that completion of this module will not qualify you as a referee but 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)

View the CPD module here.

View the pre-requisites and application process for Referees and Starters who wish to be considered to join the British Swimming Officials’ Development Programme in 2020. Please ensure that you have familiarised yourself with them before applying for training. Applications close Midnight on 3 November 2019.

View Training Notes for those undertaking study towards the British Swimming Referee qualification.

Five candidates from Somerset took their referee exam in 2017/18. Congratulations to Chris Metcalfe, Mike Riggall and Nicky Vause who achieved the very challenging 80+% pass mark required and also passed their final referee practical assessments in 2018. Please note the future costs of referee training (eg entry fees, travel and resource costs) will be met by Swim England South West. 

Can you help?

Swim England South West need Licensed Officials to support their events, in particular the Regional swimming competitions.

Each year, the Secretary SW Region Officials Committee publishes details of swimming, masters, open water and schools competitions which will require officials and also upcoming sessions / CPD you can attend. Without sufficient help, these Meet licenses will be at risk and times not be valid for National Events. 

Nicky Vause (Norton Radstock Swimming Club) took over as Regional Officials Secretary from June 2018 and issues requests for officials to support regional events. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

The Para Swimming CPD ran before the Spring Regional Para-Swimming Development Meet on 9 March 2019 at Horfield Pool, Bristol, providing everyone with the opportunity to gain experience at the gala in the afternoon.

Please remember tutors of any officials’ courses where trainees are under 18 will require safeguarding accreditation.

We publicised a survey which was emailed to all timekeepers, trainee Judge 1 and Judge 1 individuals who gained their qualifications in 2018 to ascertain their views and help provide the best support for new volunteers. It is the first time Swim England has sent out a questionnaire to technical officials in a bid to ensure it is offering the highest level of training and development. We hope our officials shared their views and responded.


Thank you to everyone who respondd to our call for officials for the 2020 County Swimming Championships. Our Development Meet is always a good practice event for trainee officials.

Congratulations to Simon Lodge who represented Somerset as an Officialat the National County Team Championships 2019 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. We also thank Carolyn Cox for officiating at the British Swimming Championships 2019 in Glasgow.

We  have Officials undergoing Referee, J2(S), J2 and J1 training. Our referee candidates were tutored by Alan Withers and Graham Cockill. 

Officials neededOfficials are not only required around the pool but also for Open Water events.

We publicised opportunities to officiate at Open Water Swimming Events in the UK in 2019. Sadly the Swim England South West and Somerset Open Water Championships on Sat 6 July 2019 at Weymouth were cancelled and unable to be rescheduled in 2019. Please contact the respective event coordinator to register your interest in assisting at an event.

Swim England South West usually run a development course for new open water officials. Sadly no-one took advantage in 2018 or 2019 but please register your interest so venues and future training dates can be planned. Four Somerset volunteers attended in 2017:

Officials are also required in Water Polo and Artistic Swimming. County Technical Secretaries for all disciplines would also be delighted to hear from volunteers who wish to help officiate. Our Disability Swimming Co-ordinator Kay Willcox will also be delighted to hear from anyone interested in becoming an official at Disability Events. Contact details are here.

Stay informed

To receive e-mail updates from British Swimming Officials click here.

Download (modified 5 Dec 2017)


Licensed Meets - Useful Documents:


Please note that you cannot use J1 trainees at Meets licensed by Swim England unless they conform to the new requirement: they must have& attended BOTH sessions 1 and 2, had their Timekeeper competency signed off and undertaken mentoring during the previous six months.

Full details can be found at https://www.swimming.org/sport/licensed-meets/ where the last paragraph reads:  

"In order to act as a 'Judge 1 in training' for meet licensing purposes the individual must:

  • Have enrolled on a Judge 1 course and attended both the timekeeper theory session (unless already qualified as a timekeeper) and the first judging theory session
  • Pass a poolside timekeeper’s assessment (unless already qualified as a timekeeper)
  • Have undertaken at least 1 mentored session within the last 6 months in the role of Inspector of Turns, recorded in their workbook and signed off by a qualified and licensed Referee. "

For a link to past Swimming Officials newsletters and other information available nationally in relation to courses and examinations click here.