How to become a Referee

This page contains information on how you can become a British Fencing Registered Referee. You will also find links to the documents that need to be submitted.

To become a British Fencing Registered Referee, you must:

1. Be a Current Member of British Fencing

If you are not already a member you can join at
If you have been a member in the past but are not at the moment you will need to renew your membership. This can be done by logging into your membership profile at

Please note: if you have not previously registered for the website, please click on 'I do not have an account with Sport80' once you arrive at the link and follow the instructions.

2. Pass a Refereeing Exam

British Fencing accept a variety of refereeing qualifications typically gained through passing an exam that combines technical knowledge and a practical assessment.

Please go to the Upcoming Courses page to look for BF refereeing courses in the UK.

We also accept referee qualifications issued by England, Jersey, Guernsey, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales – you will be expected to send a copy of this qualification to allow us to register you.

If you are a foreign referee you will need to send us a copy of the refereeing qualification you hold from your country of origin or country you were trained in and an appropriate translation into English.

3. Familiarise yourself with best practice safeguarding principles

Referees are expected, through the proper application of the FIE rules and penalties, to assist British Fencing in creating an appropriate competitive fencing environment that protects children and vulnerable adults.

To understand more about the pressures that young people feel when competing, all BF volunteers including referees should watch 'The Magic Sports Kit'.
There is no further requirement for Referees to attend Safeguarding courses, although BF would strongly encourage all volunteers to consider attending either a Safeguarding and Protecting Children course or the BF En Garde, Ready course.  For more information click here.

4. Hold a DBS Enhanced Certificate

If you will be travelling abroad with a GBR team as a referee on a Youth Trip you will need to obtain a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Certificate.

Please see DBS information here.

We can only process DBS application forms from current members so please ensure that your membership is up to date.

If you require a DBS application form please send a stamped, addressed envelope to British Fencing, 1 Baron's Gate, 33-35 Rothschild Road, London, W4 5HT.

If you are a referee based in Guernsey you will need to obtain a Guernsey Vetting Bureau (GVB) check through Guernsey Fencing. Please contact Guernsey Fencing for a GVB application form.

If you are a referee based in Northern Ireland you will need to obtain an AccessNI check through Northern Ireland Fencing. Please contact Northern Ireland Fencing for a AccessNI application form.

If you are a referee based in Scotland you will need to obtain a DisclosureScotland check through Scottish Fencing. Please contact Scottish Fencing for a DisclosureScotland application form.

5. Hold a European Fencing Confederation Licence (EFC)

Any referee who will be travelling to a European Cadet Circuit Tournament will need to obtain a European Fencing Confederation (EFC) Refereeing License. The application form and details can be found at

6. Send British Fencing your Completed Documention

Once you have obtained all of the documents listed  you must send copies of them either via email to Development or by post to British Fencing, 1 Baron's Gate, 33-35 Rothschild Road, London W4 5HT. Without these documents, you cannot be added to the British Fencing Referees Register. Please do not post originals as we cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to these documents.

For more information on referee education including the syllabus for level please see below.

Pre-course Reading - updated 13.06.2017 

Overview of British Fencing Referee Qualifications - updated 13.06.2017

Introduction to British Fencing Referee Course and Examination - updated 13.06.2017

Level 1 - Basic Referee - updated 7th February 2015

Level 2 - Referee - updated 14th July 2015

Level 3 - National Referee - updated 4th February 2015

Level 4 - Senior Referee - updated 6th February 2015

Referees Log Book

FIE Technical Rules December 2016

Offences & Penalties Sheet December 2015

Refereeing Hand Signals