Follow these steps to become a Referee


The Referee Journey Info-graph – a pictorial guide to becoming a referee

1.  Practice Makes…

The first step on the refereeing ladder begins within the relaxed atmosphere of your club. Here you can safely test out your refereeing skills supported by the British Fencing Rules app and your club mates.

2. Get Qualified

From there it is a simple matter of attending an accredited Level 2 referee course (find them on our upcoming courses page or contact your Home Country Association Lead Referee to gain your first qualification

Level 2 referee course expression of interest form 

Learn more about the qualifications here.

3. Be listed on the Referee Register – once you have passed both your level 2 theory and practical assessment, and BF has received the completed practical assessment smart-sheet form from the assessor, you will be added to the Referee Register.  Detailed information on how to join the Referee Register can be found here

4. Gain Experience

Once you are on the register there will be plenty of domestic opportunities to begin to fill your referee log book and build on your experience ready for the exciting challenges of the new level 3 and 4 qualifications. You can find all the refereeing opportunities here.

If you are refereeing children you should familiarise yourself with current BF welfare policies and practices.

It is strongly recommended that referees who frequently referee children attend a Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sports course.

Once you are regularly refereeing into the latter stages of larger open or regional (L8) and National (L16) level competitions, and have a full log book, it may be time to look towards applying to sit your Level 3 refereeing exam.

Levels 3 and 4  are the BF National Referee qualifications. They are run in a different format to the basic 2 refereeing qualification, as they are designed to develop your refereeing skills to those expected at EFC and FIE levels.  and so will begin to open the doors to international refereeing.

Level 4 is the highest domestic refereeing qualification and is the expected level of achievement for referees that wish to referee the latter stages (L8) at major Opens and National Championships, whilst Level 3 is the entry point for those wishing to develop their international refereeing skills. 

Click here to find out more about all the refereeing qualifications.

5. Go International

This could be the start of your journey to international stardom and even the possibility of refereeing at the Olympic Games. You may be eligible to join the BF FIE Referee Pathway Programme which is designed to help GBR referees as they pursue their international careers.  For more information on International refereeing for GBR click here.


Just so you know…

Once you are on the BF Referee Register, refereeing opportunities and updates will be emailed to you.

If you wish to opt out of receiving these emails please unsubscribe using the links in the email or contact [email protected] If your email address changes please contact [email protected] to request an update.

If you opt out of this mailing list you will also no longer receive any emails pertaining to all forms of refereeing including rule updates.


Criminal Record Checks

If you are regularly (3 or more times a month) refereeing children without being directly and continuously supervised (by a suitably checked individual) you are required to have a current enhanced DBS check (or the Home Country equivalent)




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