How to Get Started
Certification at all levels, except Level I, is a two-part process involving clinical and practical assessment. From the point of view of the clinic, the official must attend all sessions and must obtain the minimum mark on the examination.

Once certified, it is essential that an official continue to update and be completely familiar with new rule interpretations and officiating techniques. To maintain one's present level of certification, an individual must attend a full Hockey Canada officiating program clinic and write a national examination every year with appropriate passing mark.

An individual must be at least 16 years of age to be certified at Level II or higher.

An individual will not be eligible to advance more than one level of the Hockey Canada officiating program per season, except for Levels I and II.

Level System

If you are interested in becoming a hockey official – this is for you! It will provide you with all the information you need to get your officiating career started.

The level system, Level I through Level VI, is the foundation for the training and development of amateur hockey officials across Canada. Hockey Canada has categorized the hockey played in Canada into four basic streams, each with different priorities. They include:

• Initiation
• Recreational
• Competitive
• Program of Excellence

The Hockey Canada officiating program has opportunities for everyone from the Initiation at Level I, through to the Program of Excellence Levels V and VI.

Select a level and start officiating!
LEVEL I
Purpose To prepare a young or new official to officiate minor hockey. » view more
LEVEL II
Purpose To further enhance the training and skills of minor hockey officials. » view more
LEVEL III
Purpose To prepare officials capable of refereeing minor hockey playoffs, minor hockey regional playoffs and female national championships, or being linesmen in Junior B, C, D, Senior and Bantam or Midget regional championships. » view more
LEVEL IV
Purpose To prepare hockey officials capable of refereeing Senior, Junior A, B, C, D, minor hockey regional and national championships, female hockey national championships and designated minor hockey IIHF competition, or being a linesman in Major Junior, Junior A, Senior, CIS, CCAA, inter-branch and IIHF competition. » view more
LEVEL V
Purpose To prepare competent officials to referee Major Junior, Junior A, Senior, CIS, and inter-branch playoffs. » view more
LEVEL VI
Purpose To prepare competent officials capable of refereeing at national championships and designated IIHF competition (i.e. Memorial Cup, RBC Cup, Allan Cup, Hardy Cup, University Cup, CCAA finals, world championships, Olympics, FISU Games). » view more

Certification Procedures

Certification at all levels, except Level I, is a two-part process involving clinical and practical assessment. From the point of view of the clinic, the official must attend all sessions and must obtain the minimum mark on the examination.

The practical assessment portion is equally important and, also, the most difficult to apply consistently across the entire program. It is strongly recommended that all Supervisors be provided with a copy of the Hockey Canada Officiating Procedures Manual to ensure a consistent approach to this task.

General Certification Rules:
• Certification at any level with the Hockey Canada officiating program does not make an individual automatically eligible for entry to the next higher level (except Level I). Demonstration of ability or potential ability is necessary to move to the next level.

• Being certified at any one level does not necessarily mean that an individual will be able to officiate all categories of hockey defined at that level.
Conversely, an individual does not have to officiate all categories of hockey labeled at a certain level in order to gain certification at that level.

• Certification is not complete until both phases - clinical and practical - have been completed.

• An individual must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to be certified at Level II or higher.

• Officials, where it has been determined (through supervision) that they are no longer able to officiate at a certain level, will be certified at a new, lower level in line with their present ability.

Re-Certification Procedures
Once certified, it is essential that an official continue to update and be completely familiar with new rule interpretations and officiating techniques. Toward this end, the following policies are in effect:

• To maintain one's present level of certification, an individual must attend a full Hockey Canada officiating program clinic and write a national examination every year with appropriate passing mark. An open book exam is not acceptable for re-certification purposes.

• Should an official fail the Level IV, V or VI examination, the branch shall be authorized to allow the candidate to write a supplementary examination during the current season. This second exam shall be different from the first one and shall originate from the Hockey Canada head office. Only those officials whose supplementary examinations are successful and sent to the Hockey Canada head office shall be eligible to referee inter-branch playoffs.

• An individual will not be eligible to advance more than one level of the Hockey Canada officiating program per season, except for Levels I and II. Certification at the higher level cannot be granted until one year has passed.

• When an official has not officiated for a season or more, the individual must attend a full Hockey Canada officiating program clinic at the appropriate level and successfully complete a practical assessment.

• When a Level VI official has not officiated for a season or more and wants to regain Level VI status, the individual must first obtain Level V status within the branch. The candidate may then apply to the Hockey Canada manager, officiating through his/her branch referee-In-chief for Level VI certification, which requires the successful completion of the Level VI examination, and an on-ice evaluation by a national supervisor. The cost of such re-assessment shall be borne by the branch and/or official.

For more information or to contact a branch referee.