Become An Official

How Do I Get Started?

Knowledge/experience of athletics is not essential as full training will be provided. Full details of the qualifications pathway are available from the British Athletics website 

Information regarding courses currently offered by Athletics NI can be found below.  

If you would like to become and Official and volunteer at your local Athletics Club a list of athletic clubs throughout Northern Ireland is on the Athletics NI website.

Should you require additional information please contact Athletics NI via email or on 028 9060 2707.

Download information regarding Insurance Cover for Officials 

Becoming a Track & Field Official – Assistant Official Course available now

The UKA Level 1 Officials Qualification allows candidates aged 16 or over to work in one of the following disciplines under the supervision of a qualified UKA Technical Official with a view to becoming a qualified official.

  • Track Judge
  • Field Judge
  • Timekeeper
  • Photo Finish Judge
  • Starter/Starters Assistant 

New officials can enter the system at this level if you know which discipline you wish to specialise in or have experience within athletics. The course lasts for approximately 5 hours, and there is no assessment on the day. After completing the course candidates will have a knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • Knowledge and application of rules relevant to their chosen discipline.
  • How to follow duty sheet
  • Health and Safety procedures
  • Appropriate attire/equipment
  • Qualities & skills needed to be a good official 

After you have attended the course, you can complete your Level 1 Officials Qualification by:

  • attending a minimum of four athletics meetings, operating under the supervision of a qualified UKA Technical Official
  • recording and submitting to Athletics Northern Ireland, evidence of undertaking a variety of roles
  • undertaking an enhanced Access NI Check.

More information about the Officials Pathway can be found here

Assistant Officials Course

Who should go on this course?

Anyone aged 14 or over interested in gaining an insight and introduction to the key areas of officiating that will enable them to assist at track and field meetings under the supervision of a qualified UKA Technical Official.

What will I learn?

The course is delivered as a single workshop with both theoretical and practical elements covering:

  • The responsibilities and role of an Assistant Official
  • Measuring and recording times and distance
  • Making, sharing and recording judgements
  • Ensuring safety and reporting concerns
  • Communicating with athletes and other officials
  • Following procedures and applying basic rules

What will I be able to do?

After completing the course candidates will need to:

  • Gain experience by attending a minimum of two athletics meetings assisting a qualified Official.
  • Complete a Recorded Evidence Form detailing each meeting and have this signed by a qualified UKA Technical Official. (These experiences can also be gained at schools’ athletics meetings, signed off by the appropriate teacher.)
  • Undertake an Access Northern Ireland check

A Level 1 Assistant Officials' Licence will then be issued.

The next Northern Ireland Assistant Officials Course will be held at Mary Peter's Track on Sunday 21st October 9.30am. Online Entry

Getting Started as an Endurance Official- Training Available Soon

To become a licensed Endurance Official you will need to attend a Risk Awareness and Level 1 Officials' course. Both courses will be delivered alongside one another and will take one day.

This course is open to anyone aged 18 or over who wants to follow the pathway to becoming a qualified endurance official.

After completing the course you will have a knowledge and understanding of how endurance officials operate at road and cross country races, the responsibilities of key officials at an endurance event, knowledge and application of the rules of the sport, a working knowledge of the start, course and finish of an endurance event, identification of hazards and risks.

After completing the course candidates will need to gain four recognised experiences at endurance events, operating under the supervision of a qualified UKA Endurance Official. These experiences should be documented and submitted to Athletics NI.

Once an Access NI check has been completed, a Level 1 Club Endurance Officials Licence will then be issued.

Find Out More

To find out more about the roles of Officials at Track & Field Meets and the Northern Ireland Technical Officials Association please use the following links:



Safe Athletics – Track & Field Safety Guide for Competition (2018)