Got My Evaluation, So What's Next?
Each year, thousands of USA Swimming’s finest officials go through a mentoring process at Officials Qualifying Meets around the country with the aim of improving their knowledge and techniques at several of the various officiating positions. This past year was no different. Unfortunately, several hundred officials never follow through on the national certifications they have earned simply because they thought the evaluation granted them an automatic certification. That’s not the case, so here’s what needs to be done for those who have already received their evaluations.
Before 2014 comes to a close, log onto the USA Swimming website and take a look at your history. If you have worked 12 sessions in the past two years while at four different local meets, your session requirement has been met.
Continuing education is an important component to national certification, and it’s a requirement. Attendance at a clinic, rules briefing, officials workshop or officials committee meeting are just a few examples of the type of educational opportunities that help keep officials knowledgeable and current on the rules. Credit for those learning opportunities is logged into the Officials Tracking System under Activities. If a clinic wasn’t set up in OTS, each official has the ability to create their own learning activity by adding her/his participation at a clinic or briefing on the “Add Other Activity” at the bottom of the Activity History tabbed page.
USA Swimming’s Mentoring and Evaluation process is designed to stretch an official’s talent by teaching new skills and expanding awareness and understanding for the different protocols and knacks that help all officials develop their expertise. Sharing those tips with others in the LSC is another component of national certification. Spreading the wisdom not only helps others, but helps reinforce newly-learned skills in all officials. Hosting or presenting at a clinic, workshop or pre-meet briefing is often the best way to share those experiences, as well as individual deck mentoring at a meet. Again, if the activity isn’t already set up in OTS, an official can log his or her participation in the “Add Other Activity” page or ask the LSC Officials Chair to set up the activity and add all the participants.
If those four criteria have been met (evaluation, sessions worked, learning and teaching activities), the final step is to Apply for Certification. That can be done either by clicking on the application from the left-column toolbar on the OTS page or by clicking on the top tab on the My History page. Once submitted, a response to the application is usually received within a couple weeks. Some applicants may receive an “application incomplete” notice. This could be for a number of reasons - some of the requirements discussed above may be missing, the evaluation may not have been logged, or in some cases the applicant is not yet eligible. In any case, the notice should be carefully read for the reason and, usually, the steps needed to “complete” the application.
Questions about the National Certification Program? Visit this page and consider reading through all the FAQs. Most questions are already answered there.
Already certified but just noticed your certification expires Dec. 31, 2014? Now is the time for everyone to get their Recertification Application submitted before they expire. Recertification questions can also be found in the FAQs.