Applications invited for RDO Central/South Scotland

Applications are invited for the position of Regional Development Officer for Central/South Scotland. The deadline has been extended to Aug 15th.

22nd Jul 16

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Please send applications to the SOA Chief Operating Officer, 

Job Description

Appointed by: SOA President

Period of tenure: 2 years, in the first instance 

Hours of work: 22.5 hours per week

Geographical area of work: Scotland: Central / South

Reporting to: SOA Chief Operating Officer


  • Work with clubs to increase participation and club membership in line with SOA targets.
  • Support clubs to achieve a mark of accreditation, in accordance with the SOA Strategic Plan.
  • Promote, publicise and market the sport of orienteering.

Specific duties

  • Support SOA clubs to enable them to create and deliver a Development Plan with the aims of increasing participation and club membership, and achieving a mark of accreditation, in accordance with the SOA Strategic Plan.
  • Identify potential “Focus” clubs that merit closer support to deliver membership growth by ensuring sustainable enhancements to capacity, governance and school-club links, which might include the appointment of a Club Development Officer.
  • Identify appropriate club accreditation schemes, and support clubs that do not have a mark of accreditation to obtain such a mark, including having appropriate policies and procedures.
  • Where appropriate, support the development of new clubs.
  • Where appropriate, incorporate the plans of the Scottish 6-Day Event Co. to further support the development of orienteering in Scotland.
  • Promote and arrange training opportunities for club coaches, event officials and other volunteers.
  • Arrange for Teaching Orienteering courses to take place across clubs.
  • Facilitate the dissemination of best practice amongst clubs.
  • Scope out opportunities for development projects and productive partnerships, such as with other sports, outdoor groups, school networks, trusts and agencies.
  • Maintain a comprehensive, relevant knowledge base, including being a point of contact for Community Sports Hubs, Active Schools and funding streams.
  • Carry out an active advertising campaign for local events with schools, parent groups and other community groups who might be attracted to orienteering.
  • Maintain close contact with local media, invite them to significant events/activities and regularly submit articles to their publications; maintain a social media presence.
  • Contribute to monitoring and evaluation of programmes to demonstrate achievement in growth, working closely the COO, Education Manager and Development Director.
  • Undertake other activities as directed by the SOA.

Regional Development Officer: Person Specification

The SOA is looking for an enthusiastic person who meets the following criteria.

Essential criteria:

  • Highly motivated and able to work both in collaboration with clubs and independently.
  • Understand the role of professional staff within a membership-driven and substantially volunteer-run organisation.
  • Be able to produce work of a consistently high standard.
  • Have good project management skills.
  • Have a friendly, responsive and professional attitude towards SOA members, and members of the public and agencies enquiring about orienteering in Scotland.
  • Have a good working knowledge of the sport of orienteering.
  • Have a full current driving licence and appropriate insurance.
  • Have good communication skills with both internal and external customers.
  • Have good basic IT skills.
  • Live, or be prepared to live, adjacent to the areas of work.
  • Be able to work flexible hours, if required.

Note: The post is conditional on a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure Scotland.

Desirable criteria:

  • Hold a relevant sports development qualification;
  • Be a current member of an SOA / BOF orienteering club;
  • Have a good knowledge of some orienteering software packages e.g. OCAD, Condes, SportIdent, Emit;
  • Be qualified to coach in orienteering at an introductory level.
  • Be qualified to deliver Teaching Orienteering Part 1 courses.

Other information

Salary range: £18,000 to £22,000 per year, depending on experience and prorated for 3 days/week
Working from home, but welcome at the National Orienteering Centre (“hot desk”).
Start date: at a date after 1st August 2016 to be agreed. 

Regional Development Officer: Further Information

Orienteering is an exciting and challenging outdoor sport. The aim is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map as efficiently as possible: as a competitive sport the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time, but as a recreational activity it caters for all ages and abilities and can be taken at a jog or a walk. Although it is associated with remote forest and countryside, it has for many years been taught in schools and nowadays orienteering in urban and parkland areas is as popular as it is in remote areas.

The Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA) has just launched its 2016-2020 Strategy for the development of the sport in the areas of promoting and publicising the sport, participation, membership, club and volunteer development, partnerships and governance. This Regional Development Officer position will join six other staff and play a key role in the delivery of this Strategy.

SOA is one of 12 regional or national associations across the UK. The umbrella organisation for these associations is British Orienteering, but in Scotland all funding for orienteering comes from sportscotland, charitable trusts and other grant-giving bodies or is generated within the sport in a variety of ways. In many respects, Scotland is the best venue for orienteering in the UK, and as a consequence SOA is by far the most developed of the 12 associations. In 2015 the World Orienteering Championships took place in Scotland, in 2016 we will host the Junior European Cup and every second year we host a major, multi-day international event that attracts thousands of participants from across the world. Scotland is, therefore, very much “linked in” to orienteering on an international scale.

There are 18 open orienteering clubs in Scotland located across the country and 5 closed (university and armed services) clubs. Orienteering is organised by orienteers for orienteers. Clubs and their members are the lifeblood of the sport and volunteers from within clubs manage their club, organise events, plan courses, provide quality control, create the social side of the sport, coach and take on managerial roles at the SOA level. SOA itself has a Board of eight volunteer Directors (who are also Trustees of our charity) and seven staff positions. A good deal of the work of the employees is in developing the sport in support of the work of clubs. For example, land access is an important part of organising an event, especially a big event, and SOA has a staff member who is expert in this area. We also have an experienced staff member who runs a range of development courses for volunteers who want to grow their skills in organising, quality controlling or coaching: these include courses for school teachers who want to deliver orienteering to their pupils. Recently, we have appointed a Chief Operating Officer to manage affairs of governance and oversee the delivery of strategic projects.

The membership of SOA is about 1800, which is not as large as some of the associations in the south of England, but we are a dynamic and growing organisation in terms of our capabilities and activities.

Downloadable Documents

RDO Job Description

Posted on 22nd Jul 16
by Stef Lauer