Licence applications and renewals

Swimming Official licences demonstrate your competence as an official and help British Swimming to ensure the sport of swimming benefits from the highest possible standards. To learn how to apply for, or renew, your licence, read on.

Administered by Swim England on behalf of British Swimming, the Swimming Official Licensing scheme helps demonstrate that officials have undertaken education or training to ensure they are up to date with their knowledge. 

Licences aid meet organisers in selecting officials and work to offer them a summary statement of qualifications and experience for more information on the licensing scheme. But these are not the only benefits. Licences help to:

  • promote high standards
  • provide a framework for continuous improvement and Continuous Professional Development CPD
  • provide a vehicle that can be used to implement change
  • commit the holder to uphold the appropriate Home Country Code of Ethics in swimming
  • be part of a regulated and developing career structure
  • enable the suspension or removal of the status

Applying and renewing a licence

To apply for your first licence you will need a passport size photograph. The licence costs £10 and lasts for four years. 

You will need to provide evidence as part of your application, including proof you have attended mandatory courses such as the Official’s Awareness/ Contemporary Issues module or the FINA Rules Update.

A Course Leader, Referee or other authorised official is needed to sign off each element. There are also elective options to complete on the form. You will need to use your log book to provide evidence where appropriate.

Coronavirus update

The British Swimming Officials Group has stated that anyone who’s licence ran out in 2020 will get an automatic extension to the end of 2021. Your current licence will remain valid. If you wish to renew anyway, then please send in the renewal application and evidence as normal. There may be a delay in processing due to reduced staffing at British Swimming.

Any licence renewals submitted between 1st January 2021 and 31st December 2024 will have an extra year added to the licence validity to reflect the fact we have been away from poolside for so long.

Code of Conduct and revoking a licence

British Swimming has produced a Code of Conduct for officials which describes what is expected of officials (see British Swimming Licensing Officials document at the top right of this page).

If a licence holder fails to meet the demands of holding a licence then the licence can be suspended or even revoked (see British Swimming Licensing Officials document to learn more about the procedures for suspending and revoking a licence).