Certifying Official Training Program

The Application Period is now over as of 7/31/2017.  We will have additional information when the next training opportunity is available.


As the number of trials increases annually, it is important that we continue to grow the number of NACSW Certifying Officials to meet the demand.  We are excited to begin this Certifying Official Training pilot program and offer more individuals the opportunity to become Certifying Officials for NACSW.

The first training weekend will take place in Northern California, February 3rd and 4th, 2018.  The cost of the training weekend is $500, and all travel expenses are to be paid by the participant.

We are accepting applications for the pilot program from July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017.


The following are the minimum qualifications in order to apply:

  • 200 hours observing dogs search; can be combined as an instructor, a student or a volunteer at a trial
  • 100 hours setting hides, in person, for others either in or out of the class setting (this does not include online instruction or video review)
  • volunteering at a minimum of 10 NACSW trials
  • experience competing in an NACSW trial

Please note this is our pilot program.  We will continue adjust the criteria as the program develops.

Prior to submitting your application, please review the following basic duties of being an NACSW Certifying Official.

  • travel by air to trial locations
  • spend extensive time walking and standing during a trial weekend, at times over rough or uneven ground
  • be available the day before and after a trial, minimum, for travel and site walk-thru
  • must be willing to accept the terms and conditions of NACSW Certifying Official agreement (to be provided upon acceptance in program)
  • COs in-training are responsible for their own expenses, including travel and lodging
  • comfortable with public speaking
  • able to work with hosts, volunteers and competitors at trials
  • select appropriate search areas and make necessary adjustments based on trial level
  • understand and implement appropriate hide placement for each trial level
  • select appropriate flow for site and trial level
  • have a good understanding of each trial level and what is being tested
  • navigate Google docs and make sure you have all appropriate paperwork for each trial
  • ability to think quickly and make last-minute adjustments when necessary
  • stay current on NACSW trial rules

The NACSW trial department will review all submitted applications and reserves the right to select applicants for any reason into this pilot program.  We will be looking for several criteria including experience, familiarity with NACSW trials, and overall fit in the program.  Again, criteria may change as the program develops.

Accepted participants will be expected to:

  • pay for and travel to Northern California the weekend of the training
  • attend both days of the training weekend
  • submit pertinent videos within a given period of time after the training
  • complete a written test
  • pay for and travel to assigned trials for hands-on training (Length of time for this training will vary based on available assignment opportunities and trainee availability.)
  • once CO training is complete, annual meetings are required to stay current in the program

We will be accepting a maximum of 10 people for this initial training.  All applicants will be advised by August 15th as to whether or not they have been accepted.

Thank you for your interest in the NACSW Certifying Official training.  Please email COT@nacsw.net with any questions.