PVS Officials

How to Certify as an Official in PVS

Follow the steps below to become certified as a PVS Official.
(or advance to the next level)

Transfer Policy for Officials Joining/Leaving PVS

The Roadmap to Becoming a PVS Official
1 Review the Requirements for Certification

Read the requirements for certification or advancement. The entry level positions (requiring no prior experience) are Stroke&Turn Judge, Timing System Operator, and Hy-Tek Operator. The positions of Referee, Starter, Chief Judge and Administrative Official require experience as a certified official at the next lower level.
2 Attend a PVS Clinic

PVS clinics are offered for all the positions. They are held throughout the year, but mostly in the fall. Check the schedule for an upcoming clinic. Certain Summer League S&T clinics may be eligible for PVS certification. Check with your Summer League or the PVS website for details.
3 Register with USA Swimming
(If you are not already registered)

Before starting your on-deck apprentice sessions, you must be registered as a non-athlete with USA Swimming.

There are four steps to the registration process
  • Sumbit the online registration form
  • Register on the USA Swimming website
  • Complete the USA Swimming background screening
  • Complete the USA Swimming athlete protection training

** Submit the online registration form. You must pay for your registration using a credit card. Within two days, you should receive an email from the PVS Registrar with your USA Swimming ID so you can continue the process below.

** Create an account on the USA Swimming website and link your ID to it. This is required so you can do the background screening, the athlete protection training and take the online tests. Here are instructions for creating the account.

** Initiate your background check. Go to the USA Swimming website at usaswimming.org/backgroundcheck for more details and to initiate your check. USA Swimming has provided an Overview of the program and a Frequently Asked Questions.

PVS officials can request Reimbursement from PVS for the cost of their background screen. Please read the form carefully before submitting.

** Complete Athlete Protection Training. please go to the USA Swimming website at usaswimming.org/apt for more details and to initiate your training.

4 Complete Your Apprentice Sessions

Each position requires you to successfully complete a number of apprentice sessions at several swim meets. Make sure to have your Training Card (received at your clinic) signed by the referee after each session.

NOTE: You are encouraged to complete this step simultaneously with Step 5.
5 Complete Your USA Swimming Tests

Check the list of tests required for each position. No test is required for the Timing System Operator and Hy-Tek Operator positions. All tests are taken on-line at the USA Swimming website.

NOTE: You are encouraged to complete this step simultaneously with Step 4.
6 Complete Your Final Evaluation Session

All positions require you to be evaluated at your final training session. Steps 1-5 must be completed prior to the evaluation session, although the evaluation session can be counted as the final training session. Contact one of the Officials Designated to Perform Evaluations for your position to set up your evaluation.

Evaluation Forms: Referee, Starter, Chief Judge, Stroke & Turn Judge, Hy-Tek Operator, Timing System Operator, Administrative Official

NOTE: This should be done well in advance of the meet where you want to be evaluated as it has to be coordinated with the meet referee.
7 Send Your Certification Paperwork The PVS Certification Officer

Your test scores are automatically sent to the PVS Certification Officer, Lynne Gerlach. You must send your Training Card to show you worked the required number of training sessions and the Evaluation Form to show that you passed the evaluation. If you scan the documents and email them to the Certification Officer, it speeds up the certification process. If you must mail them, the address is listed below.

Lynne Gerlach
11910 Callow Terrace
Laurel, MD 20708-2802
8 Proof of Certification

After the PVS Certification Officer, Lynne Gerlach, has received your Training Card, verified your USA Swimming registration, and verified your test score(s), your LSC certifications will be processed. You will receive an email from USA Swimming with directions to view your certification card. You may print this card. A nametag will be ordered for you and mailed out at a later date along with a PVS patch and vinyl holder. These items are currently free of charge.