How to become a TO

NSW Timekeepers working at a meet

Start your journey at your Club

The training and assessment of technical officials is organised by the ATSCC (Area Technical Swimming Committee Coordinator). To start your journey, tell someone in your Club committee that you want to become a qualified technical official or gain extra qualifications.

You must be a registered member of Swimming NSW and of secondary school age or older. Your Club will contact your ATSCC who will:

  • organise the venue, date and time for your training
  • organise a qualified presenter and a qualified assessor to train and assess you

Complete Theoretical and Practical Assessments

In Person

The Course Presenter will take the candidate through the Swimming Australia NOAP Learner Guide/Modules and they will be asked to complete a short written assessment. At the conclusion you will be told when the candidate will be assessed in a practical officiating environment.

The Course Assessor will assess the candidate in a practical officiating environment, probably at a Club meet or at Club night. He/she will assess the candidate as ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’ by assessing them on a list of criteria necessary to be competent in that technical official position.

If the candidate is deemed ‘competent’ in ALL the criteria, the assessor will forward their name on to Swimming Australia as being competent in that position.

If the candidate is deemed as ‘not yet competent’ the Course Assessor will discuss with them what needs to be done for they can become ‘competent’.


Learn all about our easy-to-use online learning portal for Technical Officials here.


Roles available on pool deck

  • Swimming Australia's National Officiating Accreditation Program (NOAP)
  • All Technical Officials in Australia are now being trained and assessed under the guidelines of Swimming Australia's National Officiating Program. Training and assessing is conducted through competency based modules similar to workplace competency courses.

    Technical Official Positions on the pool deck:

    • Referee
    • Starter
    • Timekeeper
    • Chief Timekeeper
    • Check Starter
    • Marshal (Clerk of Course)
    • Recorder
    • Meet Manager Operator
    • Operator of AOE
    • Control Room Supervisor
    • Judge of Stroke
    • Inspector of Turns
    • Announcer
    • Presentation Officer

    For further information on the Swimming Australia National Accreditation Program visit the Swimming Australia website or read the NOAP Guide on this page under Training Resources/For Technical Officials.

Training Resources

  • Training Notes & Exercises
  • Candidates must complete the relevant Training Exercises, accompanied by the Training Notes if applicable, before meeting with the Course Presenter to gain accreditation in any of the SAL Learner Guide/Modules. You can find these here.

Technical Official Support

  • Ask Sam
  • Have a question or two about Technical Course content that you need answered quickly? Ask Sam is a new web page dedicated to answering your queries about officiating, specifically accreditation course content. Feel free to put forward your query at any time on this website, and it will be updated as soon as possible.

    Sam from Ask Sam is now coordinating a group on Facebook! Click here to access the group if you are a registered Technical Official. The Technical Official Facebook group is a team of like-minded people who share a love for swimming and here you'll find all sorts of valuable information, as well as the chance to connect with or reach out to officials from all over New South Wales!

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