FIDE Handbook B. Permanent Commissions / 06. Regulations for the Titles of Arbiters / FIDE Regulations for Arbiters (effective from 1 July 2021) / B.06.2 – FIDE Regulations for the Training of chess arbiters /
International Chess Federation
FIDE Handbook
B. Permanent Commissions / 06. Regulations for the Titles of Arbiters / FIDE Regulations for Arbiters (effective from 1 July 2021) / B.06.2 – FIDE Regulations for the Training of chess arbiters /

B.06.2 – FIDE Regulations for the Training of chess arbiters

1.       General

These regulations comprise of all aspects for training of Arbiters, certification of Lecturers, and organisation of Seminars under the auspices of FIDE.

Regardless of the requirements of this document, all arbiters are expected to keep their skills up to date.

1.1     FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Education Team

The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Education Team is a group of members of the Commission in charge of the education sector. Their scope is to cover these regulations for the Arbiters’ Commission.

The Commission Chairman nominates a leader and members of the team as appropriate.

1.2     Working Languages

The main language in Arbiter training shall be English, whenever possible. However, the following list of languages may be used during FIDE Arbiter seminars and Refresher courses, for lectures and evaluations: Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

1.2.1         IA restricted training

For any course or seminar restricted to IAs the only permitted language is English, however the sessions may be translated into one of the abovementioned languages.

2.       FIDE Lecturers Accreditation

2.1     Definitions

2.1.1         Accreditation

An accreditation is the right granted by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission to cover specific duties. An accreditation differs from a title by the fact that it is granted for a limited period defined in advance.

2.1.2         FIDE Lecturer

A FIDE Lecturer is an International Arbiter, classified as Category A or B, who is accredited by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission to give lectures in official arbiter training seminars.

The FIDE Lecturer accreditation shall be awarded after approval of candidates by the Arbiters’ Commission to the FIDE Council.

The FIDE Lecturer accreditation is valid for a period of four (4) years. Further periods of accreditation, which are not automatic, may then be awarded.

2.2     List of Lecturers

The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission shall maintain a list of accredited Lecturers.

This list will be regularly revised to reflect the training needs of the arbiting community. This revision may involve the addition of new Lecturers from the FIDE Lecturer Training Programme (LTP, see Article 3) as well as the removal of Lecturers.

Those conducting training on behalf of the Arbiters’ Commission will be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures for arbiters and will be expected to perform their duties to the same high standards. Anyone failing to maintain the expected standards will be removed from the list.

2.2.1         Requirements for Accreditation

The minimum requirements to obtain a FIDE Lecturer accreditation are:

being an active International Arbiter Category A or B,

acceptance to the Lecturer Training Programme,

having demonstrated teaching abilities to a panel of experts from the Arbiters’ Commission

being experienced as an assistant lecturer in at least 3 Arbiter Seminars, with a satisfactory FL Active Participation Report (APR) from each.

Not all of the submitted FL APRs shall be signed by the same Lecturer.

All FL APRs must have been achieved after classification as International Arbiter Category A or B.

2.2.2         Inactivity

Lecturers who had not given any FIDE approved Seminar for four (4) consecutive years are called “inactive”.

Lecturers are expected to have a minimum activity as arbiters in FIDE rated events. This should be at least one event per year.

Lecturers who are marked inactive as arbiters will also be marked inactive as Lecturers.

Inactive Lecturers will be excluded from the list of lecturers, by a decision of the Arbiters’ Commission.

2.2.3         Renewal

Those at the end of their period of accreditation shall be eligible for reselection.

The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission shall confirm the renewal.

Accredited Lecturers who reach the last 6 months of their accreditation and whose accreditation may not be renewed for any reason (inactivity or other) shall be informed by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission. They shall confirm their wish to keep their accreditation and define an action plan together with the commission to reconsider the renewal. Otherwise, the accreditation stops at the end of the 4 years of inactivity.

3.       FIDE Lecturer Training Programme

The FIDE Lecturer Training Programme (LTP) is the system designed by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission to support the certification of future FIDE lecturers and the continuous improvement of accredited lecturers.

3.1     Initial certification of FIDE Lecturers

Candidates selected for the LTP can prepare their certification to become a FIDE Lecturer. Only those accepted to this programme can gain the necessary endorsements from FA Seminars.

There are 2 components in the certification of FIDE Lecturers: practical experience and pedagogical certification.

3.1.1         Practical Experience

Each candidate FIDE Lecturer shall attend at least 3 seminars as an assistant lecturer and be present during the entire duration of those seminars. The practical experience shall cover all aspects of a Lecturer’s activities:

The candidate shall actively work in the presentation of seminars under the supervision of a Lecturer and shall lecture for a minimum of 3 hours in each seminar he attends as an Assistant Lecturer.

The candidate shall produce materials for lectures. These materials shall be submitted to the Arbiters’ Commission for evaluation prior to the seminar.

The candidate shall produce for each seminar a selection of potential examination questions with a detailed marking scheme. These materials shall be submitted to the Arbiters’ Commission for evaluation prior to the seminar.

At the end of a seminar, the Lecturer shall evaluate the candidate, using the FL Active Participation Report form, and submit the form with his report for the Seminar to the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission.

3.1.2         Pedagogical Certification

To complement the practical experience in seminars, candidate Lecturers shall demonstrate their pedagogical skills to the Arbiters Commission. This may be by sharing a lecture prepared for one of the seminars or in another manner approved by the Arbiters’ Commission.

3.2     Continuous improvement of Lecturers

As part of their activity, accredited lecturers shall also participate in the Lecturer Training Programme.

3.2.1         LTP Webinars

The Education Team of the Arbiters’ Commission shall regularly organize webinars where:

Lecturers may share good practice

The Commission may promote teaching methods, available materials and share policies and processes.

3.2.2         LTP Mentoring programme

Experienced Lecturers and Education Team members may be involved as mentors to support the progress of candidate lecturers.

Such one to one mentoring shall focus on areas such as topic preparation and presentation skills.

3.3     Recruitment

3.3.1         Principles

The number of active lecturers shall be consistent with the actual needs for all levels of arbiter training.

The Arbiters’ Commission shall identify candidates before they are allowed to officiate in seminars as lecturers in training, through the LTP.

Recruited arbiters shall demonstrate appropriate experience before being added to the list of lecturers. Candidates who fail to demonstrate the appropriate level of experience after a significant training period may not be added to the list and be removed from the LTP.

3.3.2         Call of interest

When necessary, the Arbiters’ Commission shall proceed to a call of interest to identify potential candidates to join the Lecturer Training Programme.

The candidates shall send their resume and motivations through their National Federation and eventually get interviewed before the commission makes its decision.

Those who have obtained Lecturer norms under the previous system have until 30th June 2021 to apply for the LTP and produce any FL1 (replaced by APRs in the current regulations) that they have achieved. Reports received after this date will be disregarded. Reports should be submitted to the Arbiters’ Commission through the National Federation.

3.3.3         Application

When a candidate from the LTP fulfils all requirements to be added to the list of Lecturers, the applicant’s National Federation is entitled to formally request the addition to the list.

4.       Training of Arbiters

Arbiter training falls into 3 categories:

Initial training;

refresher courses; and

world events preparation.

In addition, the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission shall assist, where requested, federations with their National Arbiter training programmes.

4.1     Initial Training

Initial training allows an arbiter to acquire a norm to be used for a title application.

Initial training is mandatory, as part of the title validation process.

There are two (2) levels of initial training for arbiters:

FIDE Arbiter (FA) Seminar

International Arbiter (IA) Certification Seminar

4.1.1         FIDE Arbiter Seminar

The FIDE Arbiter seminar is a training session for Arbiters of National level (NA), previously registered as such by their National Federation.

The goal of this first level is to study technical topics and behaviour skills that are a foundation for Arbiters of international level.

The session is concluded by a centrally administered exam with feedback from the lecturer.

Participants who pass the exam are awarded a FIDE Arbiter Norm from the seminar. It is strongly advised, however not mandatory, to attend the FIDE Arbiter Seminar before requesting norms from tournaments.             FA Seminar Content

The following topics are studied in FA Seminars:

a)         Laws of Chess

b)         Use of electronic clocks

c)         System of games, tie breaks

d)         Swiss system and pairing rules

e)         Anti‐cheating guidelines for Arbiters

f)         Regulations for the titles of Arbiters

g)         FIDE Competition Rules and standards of chess equipment

h)         Rating and over‐the‐board titles

When the seminar is in a language other than English, basic English chess vocabulary shall be included into the lectures.

The lectures will also focus on the arbiter’s behaviour in chess event situations, including organisational abilities, relationship with the participants and the public, dealing with conflicts, etc.             FA Seminar Duration

Duration of the FA seminar may differ, depending on the strength of the Arbiter of National level curriculum in the host federation:

a)         When the NA curriculum already included thorough study of all topics, the minimum duration shall be sixteen (16) hours on at least two (2) days, comparable to a refresher course including an exam.

b)         When the NA curriculum didn’t previously teach all of the topics listed in a)-f), the minimum duration shall be as in a) with an additional 3 hours per “new” topic, on at least three (3) days in total.

c)         For seminars conducted in a language other than English an additional hour should be included for the introduction of chess terms in English.      FA Exam

At the end of the Seminar, the participants can take part in a written examination, the FA Exam.

The objective of the exam is to validate that the participant knows the various FIDE regulations, can apply them and take appropriate decisions in normal chess event situations.

The duration of the FA Exam shall be 4 hours.

The FA exam and marking scheme shall be prepared by the Lecturer, following instructions published by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission. They shall be reviewed by the Education Team of the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission before the seminar, to ensure homogeneity of testing everywhere.

The FA exam shall be marked by a FIDE Lecturer designated by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Education Team.

Participants who achieve 80% and above will be awarded one (1) norm for the title of FIDE Arbiter. Only one (1) such norm shall be used in the awarding of the title of FIDE Arbiter.

4.1.2         International Arbiter certification Seminar

The International Arbiter Certification Seminar is a training session for active FIDE Arbiters.

The goal of this second level of arbiter training is to ensure that candidates applying for the IA title are ready, in terms of technical skills and practical experience. It is advisable, but not mandatory, that participants already have at least two (2) valid International Arbiter Norms.

The lectures and evaluations of an International Arbiters’ Seminar shall comply with Article 1.2.1.

The session is delivered by two (2) FIDE lecturers, one of them being the leading lecturer.

The session is concluded by a readiness evaluation. Participants who are declared ready through the evaluation are granted an International Arbiter Norm from the seminar.             IA Certification Seminar Content

The following topics are covered in IA Certification Seminars:

a)         Revision of all the necessary regulations of Arbiters, Rules, Qualification, Pairings, Fair Play and Technical Commissions

b)         Ability to use chess clocks efficiently

c)         Ability to use an approved version of pairing software efficiently

d)         Ability to run a chess event

e)         Ability to communicate in English in a chess event      IA Seminar Duration

Duration of the IA Certification Seminar shall be a minimum of sixteen (16) hours on at least two (2) days. Assessment will form part of the seminar but will not be a formal exam.             International Arbiter Readiness Evaluation

During the IA Certification Seminar, candidates are evaluated on their capabilities to be an International Arbiter, using an evaluation grid provided by the FIDE Arbiters Commission.

The evaluation consists of several parts:

a)         Short written evaluation on regulations (refresher topics)

b)         English evaluation

c)         Technical skills (clocks, pairing software)

d)         Review of chess event experience of the candidate

As a conclusion to the evaluation, the candidate shall be provided with written feedback on their strengths and areas for improvement to consolidate the foundations of their future IA career.

4.2     Refresher Courses

Most FIDE regulations change every 4 years. The goal of the refresher course is to keep arbiters up to date with the latest versions of FIDE regulations and tournament practices.

The Refresher Course is a training session for active and inactive FIDE Arbiters or International Arbiters and is used to confirm or regain their active status as an arbiter. It is mandatory to attend a refresher course at least once in a period of four (4) years.

To facilitate accessibility to a wider population of arbiters, such courses shall mainly be organised online or during FIDE official events which gather large numbers of arbiters.

These refresher courses are directly provided by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission.

Failure to attend a refresher course in a period of four (4) years shall result in changing the arbiter’s activity flag to “inactive”.

4.2.1         Refresher Course Content

The following topics are covered in Refresher Courses:

a)         Latest regulations of the Arbiter, Rules, Qualification, Pairings, Fair Play and Technical Commissions.

b)         Questions and answers from participants

c)         Optional: familiarisation with the latest Chess equipment (Including chess clocks, electronic boards and Anti-Cheatings devices).

4.2.2         Refresher Course Duration

Duration of the Refresher Course shall be a minimum of twelve (12) hours.

4.2.3         Refresher Seminar Diagnostic Evaluation

The Refresher Course is concluded by a written evaluation.

The objective of this evaluation is to give candidates feedback on their current strengths and weaknesses. Except in the case of particularly poor results requiring a personalised action plan with the arbiter, only attendance is recorded to validate the arbiter’s active status.

4.3     World Event Preparation

World Event Preparation Training is a session dedicated to FIDE Arbiters and International Arbiters selected to officiate in an upcoming World Event.

The goal of the training is to globally raise the level of arbiters in world level events and to ensure homogeneous preparation for large arbiter teams. It also plays a role in the team building process.

The FIDE Lecturer in charge of the training shall be selected by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission.

World Event Preparation Training shall be prepared together with the Arbiters’ Commission, the Chief Arbiter of the event and the FIDE Lecturer assigned to the training, in consultancy with the organising committee of the event.

4.3.1         Training program

The training plan shall cover important aspects of FIDE events, such as technical skills and practical experiences for success in a World top-level competition:

a)         Teamwork

b)         Interaction with players, captains, officials and spectators

c)         Role of each arbiter in the team

d)         Regulations of the event

e)         Necessary FIDE Laws and Regulations

f)         Practical exercises (setting clocks, writing moves, checking draw claims, etc.)

4.3.2         Training structure

Ideally, the training is split into 3 phases:

a)         Initial session: as early as possible after the arbiters are selected, a session to initiate the training and team building processes, identify personalised working areas. This can consist in online sessions and personal interviews.

b)         Preparational work: under the supervision of the Lecturer, individual or team work to reinforce identified topics.

c)         On-site final session: at the place of the event, minimum four (4) hours, before the start of the event, to practice event procedures and have a final revision of technical subjects.

Depending on constraints, all steps might not be achievable for a given event. However, at least the on-site final session shall be organised for the selected arbiters.

4.4     National Arbiter Training Programme

The development of National Arbiter Training Programme is under the responsibility of a National Federation. Such programs shall be designed to answer the needs of the National Federation and fit with these International Regulations.

When a National Federation needs assistance, they may consult the Arbiters’ Commission Education Team for advice and support.

5.       Seminars

Seminars which are not organised according to these Regulations will not be recognised by FIDE. Exam results from unrecognised Seminars shall be disregarded by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission and participants may not use such seminars for title application.

5.1     Formats and capacity

5.1.1         Standard Format

A seminar is called Standard, when all participants meet in a single classroom and lectures are given in the presence of the Lecturer.

The standard format is recommended when it is easier for participants to attend a location or when offered during large events.

5.1.2         Online Format (Internet based)

A seminar is called Online (or Internet based), when the lecture is delivered remotely by the Lecturer, and participants attend a virtual classroom using a computer over the network.

The online format is recommended for refresher courses or seminars targeting a population spread over a large geographic area.

5.1.3         Mixed Format

A seminar is called Mixed, when part of the lecture is delivered over the Internet and part in a classroom with all participants. In such seminars, the exam or evaluation session shall happen in the presence of the lecturer with the candidates assembled at a central location.

The mixed format is recommended when the duration of the lecture is higher than 2 full days and it is economically and practically easier for participants to attend than a standard seminar.

5.1.4         Seminars capacity

Initial training seminars shall target a maximum attendance of twenty (20) participants and refresher courses a maximum of twenty-five (25) participants.

The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission may approve seminars of larger capacity in exceptional circumstances, duly communicated by the organizing committee prior to the start of the seminar.

5.2     Organisation

Seminars for Arbiters shall be organised by one of the following:

a) The FIDE Arbiters Commission;

b) FIDE Affiliated Organizations from the FIDE Directory;

c)  National Chess Federations – either directly or by delegation to one of their affiliated chess organisations,

following approval by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission.

5.2.1         Organising Committee

There should be an Organising Committee of the Seminar, consisting of three (3) members as follows:

a)         A member appointed by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission.

b)         A member appointed by the host Federation.

c)         A member appointed by the host Federation’s Arbiters’ Commission.

At least one member appointed under b) and c) should have an IA, FA, or IO title.             Observer

The Organizing Committee member, who is proposed by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, shall act as the Observer. The Observer shall ensure the due application of the present Regulations during the Seminar. After the end of the Seminar, the Observer shall submit a full report to the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission within seven days of the Seminar’s end.             FIDE Lecturer and Assistant

The proposed Lecturer of the Seminar must be approved by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission and a maximum of two (2) Assistants may be involved in a seminar.

One local Assistant should be in one or more of the following categories:

a)         An arbiter from the host Federation to help with communication and/or the technical organisation of an online seminar

b)         An arbiter from the host Federation who is involved with the training of local arbiters

One additional assistant may be appointed if they satisfy either of the following conditions:

a)         They are an IA from the FIDE Lecturer Training Programme

b)         They are a current Lecturer wishing to maintain or improve their lecturing skills

They may, in the case of online seminars only, share the duties of the Technical Organiser with the Lecturer.             Technical Organiser

In the case of an Online or Mixed Seminar, the role of a Technical Organizer is needed.

The Technical Organizer shall be the person with the following responsibilities:

a)         sending invitations from the Internet conferencing system

b)         verifying attendance of Seminar participants

c)         addressing all Internet conferencing system issues

d)         monitoring questions from participants and passing these on to the Lecturer and Assistants

e)         reporting attendance, technical and non‐technical issues to the Arbiters’ Commission.

The Technical Organizer is responsible for the management of an internet conferencing system (audio and screen sharing video).

5.2.2         Application Procedure

To organise a Seminar, a host Federation or FIDE Affiliated Organization from the FIDE Directory shall send an application to the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, at least one (1) month before the proposed start of the Seminar.

When the organisation is delegated to an affiliated organisation of a National Chess Federation, this shall be specified on the application form.

The application shall include details of:

a)         The organiser, the dates, the suitable venue, the type of seminar and the full schedule.

b)         An estimation of the number of participants.

c)         The topics that will be discussed during the course (with lecture duration).

d)         The members of the Seminar’s Organising Committee.

e)         The proposed Lecturer for the Seminar (who should be approved by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission) and the Assistant(s).

f)         The proposed Technical Organizer (who should be approved by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission) – in the case of Online or Mixed Seminars.

g)         Other matters in respect of the Seminar, such as the language of the lectures, any fees for the participants, the accommodation conditions, contact information etc.

5.2.3         Fees

When a seminar or exam is subject to fees, each participant shall be charged accordingly.

Except for seminars which are directly managed by the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, fees shall be paid to FIDE by the host Federation or FIDE Affiliated Organisation.             Amounts as of 1 January 2021

Fees shall be in accordance with the FIDE Financial regulations.

As of 1 January 2021, fees determined by the Arbiters’ Commission are:

a)         FA Examination Fee:   the host shall be invoiced 20€ per participant in the FA exam.

b)         IA Certification Fee:    the host shall be invoiced 30€ per participant in the IA certification seminar.

c)         Refresher Course Fee:            each participant shall be charged 40€ directly by FIDE for the seminar.             Waivers

Fees shall be the same worldwide, without any waiver. However, specific development programs may be designed in collaboration with the FIDE PDC (Planning and Development Commission) to financially support the participation of identified populations.

5.2.4         Review and Publication

The Arbiters’ Commission shall review applications as soon as possible after they are received.

When clarifications are needed or objections are raised, the organising committee shall provide supplementary information upon request from the Commission.

If the application is compliant with the regulations, the Commission shall confirm the validity and publish the seminar in the official calendar. Otherwise, the Commission may refuse validation.

5.2.5         Training Material

All the participants of the Seminar must be provided with the materials for the course, including details of all the topics to be discussed.

5.2.6         Report and Result Handling

a)         Within one week of the end of the Seminar, the Lecturer shall provide the results of the examination and submit a full report to the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission according to instructions given by the Education Team. When appropriate, the report shall also include elements of evaluation of an assistant lecturer from the FIDE Lecturer Training Programme.

b)         Within one week of the end of the Seminar, the Observer shall provide a full report to the FIDE Arbiters Commission.

c)         After the end of the Seminar, all the participants will receive certificates of attendance provided by the Organizers.

On receipt of the reports under a) and b), the FIDE Arbiters’ Commission shall check the Lecturer’s report and announce the results. The National Federation or FIDE Affiliated Organization shall then be invoiced for the seminar or exam fees, when applicable in accordance with FIDE financial regulations.

The results of all seminars shall be reported to FIDE for final approval (FIDE Council, Congress, GA).