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Paving The Way For Technical Officials Development

Announcement of our New Pathway for Technical Officials

We are stoked to announce our new Technical Officials Pathway following a thorough process working with our Technical Advisory Committee and receiving feedback from our community.

Within this new pathway, we have focused on establishing consistency and clarity across the country. We have provided opportunities for those officials who wish to be involved at club and local level meets, right through to those who wish to officiate at national and international meets.

For each role, we have provided a brief overview, the learning requirements (prior and during) and opportunities to take the potential next step along the pathway if desired. We have aspired to cater for everyone along the pathway, with our experienced officials having loads to offer by sharing their wealth of knowledge with their developing peers as mentors and assessors.

One of the major improvements included in this pathway is the removal of separate regional and national qualifications. Moving forward, an official is qualified to officiate at all levels of competition within New Zealand once they have passed their assessment for that respective role (ie: Inspector of Turns).

Another major improvement is the combination of avenues to learning, aimed at assisting our officials to know the skills and have the chance to practice applying them at competitions. We are developing eLearning modules that can be accessed and reviewed at any time, in addition to seminars with Q&A and practical learning at competitions. Additionally, we have developed a learning log to assist officials in their development journey.

We have also introduced some new initiatives within the pathway. One of these includes the Mentorship Programme, established to provide additional support to develop those officials aspiring to gain opportunities at national and international events.

We are also excited to announce a pathway for those crucial volunteers who operate the timing equipment and meet software. The delivery of a great event is reliant upon great people working in the Control Room, so we are proud to promote opportunities for those that are helping out off pool deck. There is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in supporting our competitions.

Swimming NZ’s Head of Participation & Events, Dale Johnson, believes this pathway is the gateway to providing positive swimming experiences for officials moving forward.

“A big part of our strategy is creating positive swimming experiences, and that is the same for everyone involved in our sport. We are proud of the work that’s been done in creating this pathway to help provide officials with development opportunities that support them as officials and their life outside of swimming too.”

Swimming NZ’s Technical Officials & Volunteer Development Lead, Carlrine Gillespie, believes this is a big step forward to supporting the development of our officials in New Zealand.

“We know that officials and volunteers are integral to the delivery of our sport, so we have identified the importance of supporting their development. This pathway provides opportunities for everyone – from the first time volunteer at club nights through to national champs and those aspiring to international events.”

Johnson and Gillespie are both grateful of the support from the Technical Advisory Committee this year in developing this pathway.

“A big thank you to our TAC members for their contribution to the development of this pathway throughout this year, and to those from our community who provided feedback over the past few months. It has been greatly appreciated.”

Over the next few months, we will be finalising the programmes and steps included in the pathway outlined. We encourage you to stay up-to-date on our Technical Officials webpage and our Technical Officials newsletter.

For those already undertaking assessments within their region we encourage you to continue this process whilst we prepare the next steps in 2024. Please note there will be a transition period as we bring the new pathway to life.

There is no time like the present to start your officiating journey. Check out our Technical Officials webpage and reach out to your local club to get involved. Feel free to email Carlrine at to find out how to start your journey today or join our officials newsletter.

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