Training & Support

Training Pathways

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 along 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 this is more suitable for people working outside orienteering clubs e.g: outdoor centre staff, local authority staff, rangers working in forest or country park environments. Orienteers who want to start to help a coach in their clubs or who are ‘meet & greet’ volunteers may find that the Introduction to Coaching workshops are a useful way to do some initial training. Orienteers who have helped coaches informally and who now want to become a qualified coach are now advised (since 2015) to go directly 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. 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 courses, quality assured and awarded by 1st4sport, operate across all orienteering disciplines for Level 1 and Level 2. Level 3 is available in Scotland whilst in the other three home countries, we offer bespoke workshops on safety in remote terrain, skill/technique development and advanced planning, methodology, sports science knowledge and physical preparation as a range of continuous personal development (CPD) opportunities.


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.


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.


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.


2 x half-day workshops for orienteering club members who are interested in starting to help with club coaching. The workshops are delivered by an active coach and give a practical introduction to key coaching skills so that newcomers get an effective and enjoyable introduction to the sport.


By achieving this certificate you will be able to deliver orienteering sessions from coaching cards in designated areas. The course is appropriate for people who work outside orienteering clubs such as outdoor centre staff, forest/country park rangers, teachers etc.


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.

Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Orienteering

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 lifestyle 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 and experienced coaches looking to progress.


Equipping Secondary Teachers - Pilot Course materials