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Welsh Athletics to assume responsibility for Officials Education

Officials Page Hero Update 1.jpg

17/10/2022 00:00, In Blog /

We are pleased to announce that Welsh Athletics will take an increased level of responsibility for the operational delivery of the officials’ pathway from the Assistant Officials award up to and including Level 3 Officials, in Wales from 1st November.

UKA will retain full accountability and responsibility for all higher-level officials; Levels 4 & 5 as well as those operating as International Technical Officials (ITO) or those falling under the equivalent World Athletics, World Para Athletics or European Athletics qualification schemes.

In practice this means that Welsh Athletics, together with our other Home Country Athletics Federation (HCAF) partners (Athletics Northern Ireland, English Athletics and Scottish Athletics), will have increased ownership to support and develop officials at the appropriate stage of their journey within the sport. We will have the accountability and responsibility for the operational delivery elements for Levels 1 – 3 including:

  • Course and qualification structure and content
  • Tutor training and development
  • Scheduling and delivery

UKA have confirmed they will continue to work closely with the HCAFs to ensure that the needs and on-going support to Technical Officials is prioritised including the delivery of more developmental activity including; conferences, webinars, the ‘Communities of Practice’ series, mentoring and other support services as required.

In addition, the UKA Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Education Sub Groups will remain in place with an amended remit focussing on the higher level qualifications and supporting higher level officials and those operating internationally.

These changes will not affect the existing structures in place for the selection of Technical Officials for Major events and all Technical Officials will remain under a UK licencing scheme that will be fully administered by UKA.

Welsh Athletics CEO James Williams commented on the changes:

“The need to recruit and retain volunteer officials continues to be one of the biggest challenges in our sport. We continue to ask a huge amount from a relatively small group of dedicated officials. The changes being announced today will mean that Welsh Athletics will have the ability to refine the officials education process to meet the ever growing need for new officials in our sport. We will now be engaged with the clubs and officials in Wales to ensure that the education process meets the demands of the sport in Wales. Hopefully this change will be a positive step forward in our aims of increasing the number of officials across Wales, and supporting further growth in the sport.”

Zoe Holloway, Officials & Volunteer Development Officer at Welsh Athletics added:

“We very much hope this development is welcomed by the Welsh Official’s community as a progressive step to developing the official’s education system from assistant official up to Level 3 both on and off track pathways. As part of the ongoing collaborative work started through the UK wide Officials strategy with the other HCAFs this will allow us to create a clearer pathway, which is fit for purpose, and a seamless experience that every official understands the requirements for achieving Level 1-3, whilst also ensuring the learning and development journey is supported across all levels and disciplines”.

As of the 1st of November, a review will be led by Welsh Athletics and the Officials committees, of course provisions at Levels 1-3. Therefore, in the short-term, the autumn and winter schedule of courses will continue as present. We will continue to introduce as much flexibility as possible when collaborating with clubs at a local level to identify opportunities for courses.

We expect that any changes to course content and the process of pre and post course experience will be managed gradually and as part of this review as we look towards 2023 and beyond.

For any queries, please contact