Certification Process for Alberta and Canada

In Alberta, we have adopted the certification system that has been approved by SNC.  The National Officials Committee approved it on October 23, 2007. 


1.    Complete the Level 1 clinic for Timekeeper and Safety Marshal.


1.    Certify in Level I by obtaining successful deck evaluations in each of Timekeeper and Safety Marshall;
2.    Complete the clinic for Judge of Stroke/Inspector of Turns and one other Level II clinic listed below;
3.    Certify in those positions by obtaining two successful deck evaluations in each position:

  •  Judge of Stroke/Inspector of Turns (counts as 1 position) - REQUIRED;
  • Clerk of Course;
  • Chief Timekeeper;
  • Meet Manager; 
  • Chief Finish Judge/Chief Judge Electronics/Recorder Scorer (counts as 1 position);
  • Starter.

NOTE:      There are separate clinics for Chief Finish Judge, Chief Judge Electronics and Recorder Scorer. It some areas of the province these three clinics are combined into one. In order to complete the certification you must work two sessions as Chief Finish Judge and two sessions as Recorder Scorer.


1.    Certified in Level II;
2.    Complete all of the clinics for the positions listed under Level II;
3.    Certify in three additional positions listed under Level II by obtaining two successful deck evaluation in each position;
4.    Conduct a Level I clinic under the direction of a Level IV or V official.


1.    Successful completion of the following requirements in the following order:

  • Certify in all positions listed under Level II;
  • Successfully complete the Referee clinic;
  • Gain experience as a Referee at a minimum of five sessions over a minimum of three competitions
  • Conduct a minimum of two Level II officials clinics within the year of application under the direction of a Level IV or V official;
  • Complete one year of active service as a Level III official. (Note:  it is important in this first year of active service, that you gain as much experience as you can, not only  in referee roles, but other deck roles.   Gain experience with a number of different types of meets from one-session development meets, to multi-day meets that have heats/finals.  The more diversified experience you gain as a referee and continue to gain as an official in other roles on deck, will serve positively in your development as an effective and successful Referee).

2.    Obtain the approval of the provincial Officials’ Chairperson or his designate to be evaluated.   In Alberta, requests should be submitted to the Referee Development Advisory Group. Via email to:  officials@swimalberta.ca.

3.    Two successful evaluations in the position of Referee by a Level V official. A Level V official will be appointed by the Referee Development Advisory group to conduct the evaluation.


1.    Complete a minimum of one year of active service as a Level IV official;
2.    Organize, conduct and/or supervise a minimum of two Level II clinics within the year of application;
3.    Work a minimum of two sessions at a SNC designated (National) meet at any position;
5.    Provide the information required by the National Officials Competition and Rules Committee for the appointment of Master Officials to the provincial Officials Chairperson.

  • If the provincial Officials' Chairperson is satisfied that the candidate has met all requirements, the candidate's name and the required information will be presented to the Officials Competition and Rules Committee representative for certification of the candidate as a National Official (Blue Pin). 
  • The Chair of the Alberta Officials Committee will submit qualified candidates to the Swim Alberta board of directors for endorsement through the Executive Director.  The board of directors through the Executive Director will then forward the candidates nomination on to the National Officials Competition and Rules Committee representative.
  • If the National Officials Competition and Rules Committee representative certifies the candidate as a national official, a congratulatory letter and Master Official certification card will be sent to the candidate.

Click on this link for a full copy of the Certification Pathway document. 

Overview for Alberta Officials

Officials Code of Conduct - Swim Alberta Code of Condcut and Ethics for all members

  • The Board of Swim Alberta has approved a Code of Conduct and Ethics for all members of Swim Alberta. 
  • The Alberta Officials Committee and the Swim Alberta Board feel that it is important that the organization helps to define how we interact and the roles that we play
  • This code of conduct outlines the responsibilities that Swim Alberta has to its officials, as well as the responsibility that officials have to Swim Alberta. 
  • Please ensure you have read and understand this code.
  • A copy of the code can be found in about us section of the website under policies.

Officials Management System: 

  • This is also known as the officials’ database. 
  • The database holds all of your officials’ records and the up-to-date official’s clinic that can be taken on line.  Your records include the clinics and deck evaluations, which you have completed.  It also identifies the level of officiating that you have obtained.
  • Currently, Lockie Lister is our Officials Registrar.  He manages and oversees the database, and supports club officials’ chairs in its use and upkeep.
  • To access the Officials Management System
  • Enter your user ID, email address and your password

Club Officials Chair:

  • Most large clubs have a volunteer that has been designated as the Club Officials Chair. 
  • In smaller clubs, this may be the responsibility of a member of your board, meet manager etc… 
  • The Club Officials Chair has access to the officials’ database and can update your officiating records.  This means updating clinics you have taken and ensuring when you work a position on deck it is recorded in the system as a deck evaluation.
  • If you have any questions that your club officials chair cannot answer for you, you can direct them to any member of the Alberta Officials Committee.  Contact information is available on the Alberta Officials Committee page

Officials Certification Card: 

  • This is your personal record of the clinics, mentoring sessions, and deck evaluations you have had.  It is your responsibility to have this signed after you complete clinics, mentoring sessions and deck evaluations. 
  • It is also good practice to occasionally ensure that your certification card matches the information in the database. 
  • You have access to the database through your User ID that was provided to you.


  • Clinics can be taken in two ways:  either on-line  or in-person.  In-person clinics are offered throughout the year by various clubs.  In the spring and fall, the Alberta Officials Committee organizes an officials’ clinic day where you can take any of the clinics.  Upcoming in-person clinics are also announced on the Swim Alberta web site
  • It is strongly encouraged that the Judge of Stroke/Inspector of Turns Clinic as well as the Meet Manager Clinic be taken in person whenever possible.
  • It is advisable that the clinics be taken in the following order:
    • Timer and Safety Marshal
    • Judge of Stroke/Inspector of Turns – Stroke and Turn (should be done in person where possible)
    • Chief Timer
    • Clerk of Course
    • Chief Finish Judge/Chief Judge of Electronics/Recorder Scorer
    • Starter
    • Meet Manager (should be done in-person where possible; The more experience you have gained in a number of different positions on deck, particularly Clerk of Course and Recorder Scorer will assist you in being a more proficient meet manager more quickly.  Where possible, you should gain this experience prior to taking the Meet Manager Clinic).
  • It is your responsibility to keep your club chair of officials apprised of the clinics you have taken on line. Your club officials’ chair can input the information into the database
  • Forms to assist you in tracking your clinics, and communicating completion of on-line clinics are available at: www.swimalberta.ca
  • If you take an in-person clinic, your clinic instructor sends this information to the provincial officials registrar for inputting into the officials’ database. 

Mentoring Sessions: 

  • After completing a clinic, you are required to mentor with an experienced official in your first session working that position. This is not included as a deck evaluation.
  • You should advise the officials’ chairperson of the meet, when you sign up to work the meet, that you require a mentoring session so that they can place you with an appropriately experienced official.
  • At the meet, please let the Referee know that you require mentoring.  They will sign off on your “official certification card”.  They will also confirm that you have been assigned an official who can mentor you in your new role.

Deck Evaluations

  • A deck evaluation for all positions (except Referee) is your second working experience on deck.
  • After one mentoring session, each session you work, is counted as one deck evaluation, with the exception of Meet Manager, which requires two meets versus sessions.
  • You will not be given a formal evaluation. 
  • You require two deck evaluations in order to be certified in a position.  Ensure that the referee has signed off on your “officials certification card” for each of the two deck evaluations.