Coaching Award Scheme

Our sport offers many valuable experiences and opportunities for competitive and recreational orienteering. Our sport requires people with the desire and motivation to make a real difference - by choosing to coach. Whether you are thinking about becoming a coach, or looking to build on your existing skills and expertise, British Orienteering offers a range of opportunities that will enhance knowledge and understanding at every level and may well improve your own orienteering.

Becoming a Coach

There are many routes into coaching; as an enthusiastic parent, as a participant, as a teacher, as a young leader or simply someone inspired to be that person to make a real and positive difference. Whichever way you come to orienteering, as a coach you will have the satisfaction and pride in knowing you have helped others to participate, achieve and excel.

There are a number of great starting points for your coaching career, for example;

  • Helping one of your club coaches: Find out when they run sessions and go a long and offer to help.
  • Children involved in coaching sessions: Don’t just drop them off, ask the coach if they want any help.
  • UK Coaching Certificate Award Scheme: The scheme provides a structured pathway from being an Assistant Coach supporting a more qualified coach through to master coach. At Level 1 Assistant Coach, the award offers an introduction to the running and navigational skills required to introduce orienteering and support a more experienced coach. For many orienteers who have helped coaches informally the first step may be to go direct to Level 2 Coach which is the level at which you can coach independently. The level 2 coach is the mainstay of coaching at club sessions.

Coaching is at the heart of orienteering at every level from children and adults beginner participating in their first activity, through to preparing athletes for the World Orienteering Championships. Coaches are vital to the success of orienteering in the UK and are, in many ways, the people who will promote the benefits and enjoyment of taking part in orienteering.

The Coaching Pathway mirrors the participant development pathway but can be shown as:

We operate a programme of education, including formal qualifications that are part of the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC). These qualifications sit on the National Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) with other professional and academic awards such as GCSEs, A levels and degree courses. Our courses are also recognised nationally and internationally and will enhance your CV.

Our UKCC courses, quality assured and awarded by 1st4sport, operate across all orienteering disciplines for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. At Level 3, we operate a modular course which prepares experienced coaches for direct assessment. We will also offer bespoke workshops and courses for coaches looking to develop High Performance standards, focusing on skill/technique development and advanced planning, methodology, sports science knowledge and physical preparation. In addition to UKCC, we will be offering a range of continuous personal development (CPD) opportunities including courses and Add-On Modules that aim to deliver quality education opportunities to broaden knowledge and expertise.


Young Leader

This award is designed for 14-19 year olds and will enable them to introduce the basic skills of the sport, provide fun activities on a safe enclosed site and assist as volunteers at school or local events.

Teaching Orienteering Part 1

Aimed at teachers, youth sector workers and people working in schools and outdoor centres. The training delivers the knowledge, understanding and practical ability to teach the basic skills of orienteering. Anyone aged 16 or older can attend the course.

Teaching Orienteering Part 2

Aimed at teachers, youth sector workers and people working in schools and outdoor centres. The training delivers the knowledge, understanding and practical ability to teach some of the advanced skills of orienteering. Anyone aged 16 or older may attend the course.  People wishing to deliver GCSE syllabuses for students should attend Teaching Orienteering Part 2.

Assistant Coach UKCC Level 1

By achieving this certificate you will be able to deliver orienteering sessions from coaching cards in designated areas. The course is practical and will give you opportunities to practice your coaching skills.

Coach UKCC Level 2

Aimed at people who wish to coach the techniques and skills of orienteering beyond an introductory level and apply them on all areas except those that are complex, exposed or mountainous.

Coach UKCC Level 3

Aimed at coaches who wish to analyse and benchmark individuals who they will go on to coach. The analysis will enable the coach to guide the development of the techniques, skills and overall performance and life-style of the individual. Coaches will learn how to prepare an annual training programme, including the preparation of periodised training, for an athlete. If you are interested in the Level 3 award please contact the National Office


Further details of each award can be found by clicking on the above links.

The cost of coaching qualifications has increased over the last few years and in recognition of this sports coach UK have researched and developed the Funding Opportunities for Coaching Guide to provide details about funding available to support coaches and coaching across the UK. The guide includes top tips for securing funding as well as UK wide, regional and local funding for both new ad experienced coaches looking to progress.