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Coaching Orienteering Matters

2023 Coaching Review Report & Recommendations


The Coaching Review was commissioned by British Orienteering to support the current strategic plan within the strategic theme of strengthening lifelong pathways.

The report was completed in July 2023 and was carried out by Dr Tom Leeder from the University of East Anglia. Data was collected via an online qualitative survey, which was open for 11 weeks from 10 March 2023 to 26 May 2023, and was completed by 34 Orienteering coaches. The survey explored coaches’ experiences of attending and engaging with British Orienteering’s current coach education pathway, in addition to their suggested changes and improvements to any future provision. Three focus groups were conducted, with the aim of expanding upon their survey responses in further depth and detail, while discussing proposed changes. One focus group was conducted with coach developers to understand their thoughts and experiences of both designing and delivering coach education programmes for British Orienteering. A huge thank you to all members who engaged in the review , your thoughts are highly valued and very much appreciated.

All of recommendations from the Coaching review have been approved by the British Orienteering  Board, The Coaching Advisory Group is now working on a plan of development and implementation.

The Coaching Review Report is now available via this link.


The recommendations are below and have been explored further,

Withdraw the current Level 2 from 1st for Sport and develop our own Level 2 award.

This is a priority, as there is a formal process to follow which covers withdrawing the Level 2 from 1st for Sport. The process is very straight forward and can be done straight away, however we cannot simply withdraw without a replacement award, the Coaching Advisory Group has commissioned a Working Group of Hilary Palmer, Pat Mee and Howard Blackman to develop our own Level 2, with a working title of Orienteering Coach that supports the needs of our sport, while maintaining its integrity, robustness, rigour and quality. We aim to have a pilot run by early January 2024.

We have asked Tutors to hold off running any new Level 2 (1st for Sport) coaching awards until we launch our own version which will likely be in the earlier spring of 2024. The process for us withdrawing as a 1st for Sport ‘Centre’ cannot happen overnight as there are currently 37 members yet to complete their Level 2. We appreciate that some members may be very close to completing all their tasks and others not so.

We will do our best to keep members updated with progress of the development of the Orienteering Coach award.

Reintroduce a Level 1 and a Level 3 coaching award.

The development of these 2 Coaching awards will begin once we have launched the new Level 2 . At this stage we plan to develop the Level 1, working title Orienteering Instructor, during 2024 and then the Level 3,working title Orienteering Performance Coach, in 2025.

Develop a robust system of CPD for our Coaching workforce.

As the Coaching Review Report clearly points out ,there is current a lack of CPD opportunities for Coaches. The report set out an aspirational CPD system of embracing and recognising webinars, regional workshops and National Conferences, gaining ‘CPD points’ in the process. At this stage this is very aspirational as the database and booking systems would need to be developed to ensure that coaches are duly recognised with CPD points. We have not begun any work in this area and further discussion with the Coaching Community will be required to ensure we develop a system that supports Coaches rather than becoming a burden.

Develop a fair, transparent and robust Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

The Report sets out a balanced argument around ‘fast tracking’ within a Coaching system. Whilst we all recognise that there may be members of squads with outstanding technical skills and knowledge who wish to transition into a Coaching role. A fair, transparent and robust RPL process would also need to ensure the ability to coach and not simply demonstrate the skill.

Work has yet to begin in this area and again further discussion with the Coaching Community will be required to ensure we develop a system that supports aspirant Coaches rather than becoming a burden.

A webinar covering the recommendations of the Coaching Review and one discussing the progress and specification of the British Orienteering , Orienteering Coach award, will form part of the Online Development Conference in January 2024.

Proposed Pathway