Scroll To Top
Swim Ontario address is 1 Concorde Gate, Suite 200B, North York, ON M3C3N6
Awards for Provincials and AA Champs now posted!




Level I & II Clinics

Deck evaluations for positions other than referee may be requested after the clinic has been completed and the official has been mentored for a minimum one or two sessions in the position to be assessed.

There is no substitution for on-deck experience.  The classroom can only touch some of the situations you will encounter as an official.  Candidates should feel comfortable making decisions on their own before asking for an on-deck evaluation.  Some positions may require more mentoring sessions.  As an example, the Stroke and Turn clinic covers several positions on deck, and experience in those different positions is key to obtaining an overall understanding.  Level IV & V Referees will grant a successful deck evaluations where candidates have shown competency and confidence in the position. 

  • The position of Inspector of Turn and Judge of Stroke requires practice at all 3 possible positions on the deck (Turn Judge at start end, Turn Judge at turn end and Judge of Stroke).  It is recommended to begin mentoring as a turn judge before mentoring as a stroke judge. 
  • It is important to gain experience as a Chief Finish Judge before you begin tackling the Chief Judge Electronics position. One of the on-deck evaluations must be as a Chief Finish Judge.   Learning the “clock operations” is also an asset to the Chief Judge Electronics position. 
  • The Meet Manager position should be mentored starting with smaller meets such as In-house competitions and one day development swim meets.   Your first multi-session competition should be with a mentor.
  • Meet Manager deck evaluation:  the candidate should be named in the meet package, should participate in the development of the meet package and the entries and should also participate in the lead-up activities and preparation including entries processing and communications with Coaches (in addition to activities at the meet itself and taking a prime role for sessions).

Deck evaluations, other than Referee Assessments, can be obtained at sanctioned Invitational and Provincial competitions that have minimum 2 hours long sessions. The Referee assessments should have minimum 3 hours sessions and be mentored / conducted by a Level V. On deck evaluations for all positions except timekeeper or referee, are granted by Level IV or V officials. A Level III that has completed all requirements to act as a session referee may grant on-deck evaluations for the position of timekeeper only.  Although Time Trials, In House Competitions and High School swim meets are valuable for on-deck experience, deck evaluations cannot be obtained at these events. Not all requests for deck evaluations can be granted. For each position, on-deck evaluations must be at two different swim meets, however, more than one on-deck evaluation can be obtained at the same swim meet provided they are for different positions.

  • Inform the session referee and /or designate BEFORE the start of the session that you require an on-deck evaluation. 
  • Not all on-deck evaluations requests can be granted.
  • Once the on-deck evaluation has been completed please see Competition Coordinator and/or Level IV/V mentor assigned for on-deck evaluations.  If successful, they will keep a record of this successful evaluation and sign your Officials Certification Card if presented.  See Competition Coordinator Guidelines for On-Deck Evaluations.

Please make sure to keep your Club Officials Chair informed of your successful on-deck evaluations in order for them to update your online officiating profile on the Swimming Canada registration system.  Swim Ontario will consult with your COC and the Competition Coordinator to verify the information entered.  Once verified Swim Ontario will approve the on deck evaluation.


Log of Meets and Clinics

Once an official reaches Level II certification they are encouraged to begin keeping track of all meets worked including what positions and also clinics they have instructed in a log.  Any format is acceptable however, electronic format is advised.  A template Excel spreadsheet can be found HERE to help the official get started.  This may be asked as a verification tool.


Level III Certification Process

Once you have all the requirements listed in the Certification Process for a Level III and your Officials Card and/or online profile is completed you need to contact Swim Ontario - and your ROR.  

  • They will verify information (either Officials Card or online profile).  The verification may require a deck log to confirm some requirements.
  • The COA will be asked to complete any missing information on your online profile.
  • Swim Ontario will approve your certification and if desired will order a Swim Ontario namebadge.
  • Once certification is approved, a club representative or your ROR can present you with the Level III orange pin.

Level III official acting as a Session Referee

If an official received their Level III certification after September 23, 2017, they may not act as a session referee until the following are completed

  • Taken the Referee Clinic
  • Completed certification in last Level II position

Once an official completes the above requirements they need to contact Swim Ontario -  

  • Swim Ontario will verify information.  The verification may require a deck log to confirm some requirements.
  • The COA will be asked to complete any missing information on your online profile.
  • Once verified you will be added to a list of Level III officials that can act as a session referee.  This will be shared with RORs and Competition Coordinators.
  • If requested a mentor official will be  assigned for the next stages of Senior and Master Officials requirements.
  • Swim Ontario will also send you a whistle and lanyard as you move to the next phase of mentoring as a Referee.


Level IV & V Evaluation Process

By the time a candidate has completed the requirements for Level III +, the motivation to continue should come primarily from the candidate. The focus should be directed to self‐improvement through travel afield in the region and the province, and should also be active in providing more help to upcoming officials at the local club.

It is important that the candidate gain as much experience as they can in not only referee roles, but other deck roles.  They should 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 the candidate gains as a referee and continues to gain as an official in other roles on deck, will serve them positively in their development as an effective and successful Referee. 

The Mentor Referee (Level V official) will help with preparing the candidate for their on-deck evaluations as a Referee and/or Starter.  Using the Referee Assessment Form, the Mentor Referee will prepare the candidate for their evaluations but will not conduct the evaluations.  

A candidate for Level IV or V should contact the Provincial Official Administrator (POA) at and their ROR to indicate their intent of requesting an evaluation as they approach the completion of their requirements.  A request for evaluation with supporting documents requires a minimum of 6 weeks to review, approve request and organize the evaluation.  The Level IV or V candidate will be required to submit the following documentation to the Provincial Official Chair ( and their ROR.

One of the submitted successful referee assessment for Level V candidates must be from an out-of-region competition.  Funding is available to Level IV and V candidates seeking out-of-region experience.

The Provincial Official Chair will consult with the ROR as to the readiness of the candidate, however the final decision regarding evaluation rests with the candidate.  The Provincial Official Administrator will arrange for evaluations to be conducted with the Competition Coordinator, ROR and Evaluators.  The formal assessment for Level IV candidates requires them to work 2 sessions as Referee.  The formal evaluation for Level V candidate requires them to work two sessions.  The first session as a Referee and if successful the second evaluation can be either as a Referee or Starter.  These two formal Assessments will be conducted by two Level V officials.  The level IV evaluation can have two level V evaluators from the same region and the level V evaluation will require one evaluator to be out of region.

Once the evaluations are successful and completed,

  • the ROR or evaluators will present the official with their level IV green pin / level V blue pin
  • one of the evaluators must send the following documents to the POA, ROR and candidate
    • Referee Assessment Forms signed (Level IV)
    • Starter Assessment Form (if used for Level V) signed
    • Completed and signed by evaluators certification form for Level IV or V

Swim Ontario has final approval for all Level IV certification and Swim Ontario will recommend for approval any level V candidates to the Official Competition and Rules Committee (OCRC) who has final approval for all Level V certification.  Swim Ontario will ensure the Swimming Canada Level V certification form is sent to Swimming Canada for review by the OCRC.

Once the national office certifies a candidate for Master Official certification, a congratulatory letter and Master Official certificate will be sent to the candidate from the national office.