The National Officials Certification Program is administered by the USA Swimming Officials Committee. Its primary goal is to expand the education of officials through mentoring, participation and evaluation as well recognizing those officials who have demonstrated their knowledge of swim officiating at each level and position.


Certification at any level requires a combination of several things including evaluations, local participation at meets, continuing education, and the training and mentoring of other officials.


National Certification Program mission:

  "To develop officials who are competent, current and consistent from the LSC level meet to the highest level in our sport through a progressive training program based on an accumulation of experience acquired by specific meet attendance, mentoring and constructive evaluation."


LSC Certification

Contact your LSC Officials Chair for certification and re-certification procedures in your area.  


There are two levels of National Certification – N2 and N3 – for each of 5 positions:

  • Stroke and Turn Judge
  • Chief Judge,
  • Starter,
  • Deck Referee
  • Administrative Referee


Minimum Standards Guidelines   
Discipline & De-Certification   


Q:  001 What is the National Officials Certification program and where can I find out more about it?
Q:  002 What is the difference between N2 and N3 certifications?
Q:  003 What is an Officials Qualifying Meet and how is it approved?
Q:  004 Who are the National Evaluators? How are they appointed?
Q:  005 What is a National Championship Meet and why is attendance at one a requirement for N3 certification other than Stroke and Turn Judge?
Q:  100 OTS and OTS ACCESS
Q:  101 What is the Officials Tracking System (OTS)? Who can use it?
Q:  102 The OTS looks pretty fancy. Does my LSC have to use it?
Q:  103 I can’t get to “My Certification Card” or go to a tracked meet where I’m the designated Meet Referee or an Evaluator (at an OQM). Why?
Q:  104 I’ve been appointed as a Meet Referee/Evaluator/Activity Administrator for the first time and I can’t find the meet/activity that I’m supposed to enter data into! Why?
Q:  105 Who can set up Meets or Activities in the OTS?
Q:  201 How do I get evaluated at a meet?
Q:  202 Will I be provided with a written copy of my evaluation?
Q:  203 Can I use sessions at the same meet to get more than one advancement evaluation?
Q:  204 Can I use sessions at the same meet to satisfy multiple re-certification requirements?
Q:  205 Can I be evaluated at time trials of a Sectional Meet?
Q:  206 Can I be “evaluated for education”?
Q:  207 Is a satisfactory N2 advancement evaluation also an Initial N3 Evaluation for a position?
Q:  208 How frequently can I be evaluated for advancement in the same position?
Q:  209 If I’m already an N3 Deck Referee (Starter, Chief Judge, Administrative Referee) do I have to be evaluated in the Stroke and Turn Judge position to re-certify as a Deck Referee (Starter, Chief Judge, Administrative Referee)?
Q:  210 I’ve been an evaluator at a number of Officials Qualifying Meets over the last couple of years; how do I get to be evaluated for re-certification if I’m always evaluating?
Q:  211 What happens if my evaluation for re-certification or advancement in a position does not recommend re-certification or is not acceptable for advancement?
Q:  301 I’ve been evaluated! Now what do I do? How do I apply to advance or recertify in a position?
Q:  302 I’ve been evaluated for N2 Stroke and Turn Judge and the Application Shows I’ve not worked enough Qualifying Meets and other deficiencies! Now what do I do? How do I apply to advance or recertify in a position?
Q:  303 Does it cost anything to re-certify or upgrade my certification?
Q:  304 Will I get a new patch or pin when I upgrade?
Q:  305 I’ve been evaluated and have filled out the on-line application to advance (or recertify) in the National program. It shows that I have deficiencies in meet attendance and teaching and learning activities. I’ve done plenty of that stuff; what do I do?
Q:  306 What is a National Championship Meet and why is attendance at one a requirement for N3 certification other than Stroke and Turn Judge?
Q:  307 What qualifies as a learning activity?
Q:  308 What qualifies as a teaching/mentoring/training activity?
Q:  309 How often can I upgrade my certification?
Q:  310 Should I wait until the expiration of my current certifications to re-certify?
Q:  311 What happens if one or more of my National Certifications (N2 or N3) expire before I recertify?
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