Exams and Examiners


RefCom is responsible for maintaining the syllabus, exam procedure and examiner list for all levels of refereeing.

The Home Countries are responsible for scheduling Level 1&2 referee training and examinations.

REFCOM/BF is responsible for scheduling Level 3 upwards (including FIE) referee training and examinations.


There are four levels of refereeing qualifications, starting at the basic level 1 and up to level 4 (Senior National referee). The exams all feature theory and practical assessments both of which will take up to a day to complete. There is an additional oral examination for levels 3 and above. Full information into the exam structures can be seen here.

Many candidates that take the level 1 refereeing theory exam do so purely to improve their own understanding of the current rules and regulations, without any desire to participate as a qualified referee, thus may never progress to the practical part of the course, which is why it is held over two days. 

Latest News 


Referee Working Group L3 & 4 exam

Following an internal review of the Level 3 and 4 refereeing exams held at the 2016 Senior National Championships, British Fencing are seeking applications from those interested in becoming part of a Referee Working Group to redevelop the current syllabus and exam structure to reflect the current requirements for both national level domestic referees and those engaged within the international circuits.

The application form can be found here 

The selection policy and procedure can be found here 





Referees that wish to become L1 and 2 examiners should ideally hold a weapon specific referee qualification at that level or above and will then need to approach their home country who will then inform REFCOM.

Level 1, and to a degree, level 2 are a foundation course leading to an introductory qualification providing a basic but good insight into the skill set of refereeing.

Once accepted onto the register those holding L1&2 will be able to assist a more senior examiner but not examine as an independent examiner.

Level 3 are appointed by REFCOM following nomination from the home country and level 4 examiners are directly appointed by REFCOM.

All appointments are for a 3-year tenure and subject to an activity and competency review throughout this period.


When agreeing to run a examination course, the advisory guidelines for remuneration is in line with the standardised cost British Fencing coaches charge (£100-125 per day plus reasonable travel expenses). 

Further information can be found here

The examiners register can be found here


Below are some useful links to documents for use during exams.

Pre-Course Reading Matter  (updated 08.03.2017)

Offenses and Penalties

Refereeing hand signals

Code of conduct

Refereeing assessment forms

Referees log book