FIE Referee Exam Selection Procedure

The FIE offer opportunities annually (there can be a break for the Olympic year) for referees to sit their FIE Referee exams.

FIE Referee Exams are held in each zone, therefore the European exams are held in Europe.

The maximum number of candidates any Nation can put forward is defined in the FIE Administrative Rules. A total of 4 candidates (5 if one is a woman) can be proposed with a maximum of 2 per weapon.

Exams are normally held in September/October and the dates can be announced with little notice. As places are allocated to nations by the FIE on a first come first served basis this can result in very tight timescales for selection.


FIE Exam Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible for selection, a referee must:

  • Have GBR Eligibility – National Federations can only put forward candidates eligible for FIE licences for that federation. Therefore the published GBR eligibility rules apply for anyone wishing to be put forward.
  • Be a current EFC C license holder
  • Have passed a BF Level 4 (Mock FIE) exam in that weapon within the preceding 24 months
  • Be proposed by an existing FIE qualified referee, ideally their mentor
  • To have an exam preparation plan in place, ideally agreed with/signed off by their mentor, which would cover activities between selection and exam to ensure the candidate is prepared as best as they can be

In addition, it is important to note that once qualified the FIE expect a 10 year commitment to refereeing at this level, and enforce retirement (at Junior/Senior level) the season after your 60th birthday, so those who are within 10 years of this date are less likely to be put forward for their 1st FIE  Referee licence.

FIE Exam Selection Factors

In considering selection, eligible candidates will be assessed on the basis of their:

  • Ability to demonstrate that in the preceding 12 months there has been an appropriate level (both volume and standard) of active refereeing at that weapon which would give a high degree of confidence that the candidate would pass. (data from form, feedback from L4 examiners and referee mentors)
  • Ambition to be selected for major EFC & FIE Championships. This requires 2 referee licences, therefore currently priority in selection will be given to internationally active referees seeking second weapon licences.
  • Ability to be a professional role model for BF, working collaboratively within the system (feedback from BF and EFC event organisers and international FIE referees)
  • Previous support and future intention to support BF Championships and International events (eg EFC nominated events, Junior World Cups) – data from application form and BF events
  • Engagement with the Referee Development Programme, both as a participant but also as a mentor/developer of up-and-coming referees (L1-EFC C)

The Selection Process

Referees will be invited to apply to BF using an online form.

Referees that meet the eligibility criteria will be put forward to the Senior Referee Development Advisory Panel (SRDAP) members who will be individually invited to rate each candidate as “ready/ not yet ready/ nearly ready/not known” and provide evidence and comments to support their rating.

Where a candidate is marked as ‘nearly ready’ the panel member will additionally suggest what is required to get the candidate ready for the exams.

The SRDAP will discuss the ratings and comments with the intention of agreeing a proposal.  Input will be taken from BF.

The SRDAP ratings and comments and any proposal will be collated by the Executive Team and submitted to the Selection Panel. Comments will not be anonymised.

Along with the SRDAP feedback the BF executive team will provide any relevant additional information in relation to the Eligibility and Selection Factors and propose the final candidate list to the Referee Selection Panel.


Senior Referee Development Advisory Panel (SRDAP)

BF (specifically the CEO) will appoint members to a Senior Referee Development Advisory Panel, responsible for advising and supporting the BF executive team maximise the quality and quantity of GBR internationally licensed referees. Members of the Panel must already be involved in pathway referee mentoring, delivering L4 exams,  and be active GBR FIE referees.

Members currently include Adrian Speakman, Luke Deamer, Jen Sancroft and Mike Selig. Anyone meeting the above criteria is welcome to apply to be considered to join the group (email [email protected]). Conflicts will be managed in the same way as it is for athlete selection.

BF reserves the rights to:

  • add into the panel an independent (non GBR) associate pathway referee and/or
  • temporarily appoint an additional FIE referee (independent or GBR) to cover any weapon gaps should these occur (eg due to arising conflicts of interest, availability).

The names of any additional referees on the Panel will be published.


Referee Selection Panel

The independent selection panel consists of Pat Casey, Paul Abrahams, Oliver Smith.

They will be responsible for reviewing the proposed FIE Exam Candidates and making the final selection decision.

Exam Expenses

BF aims to cover the full expenses of the first FIE exam in each weapon with travel costs from the UK.  Any opportunities to re-sit following failure will be be at the candidates expense. In exceptional circumstances BF may make a financial contribution to re-sits.


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