SOA launches new Code of Conduct for Orienteers

The Scottish Orienteering Association has launched a new code of conduct for those organising and taking part in orienteering activities across the country.

All orienteers are encouraged to read the new code – which can be read and downloaded below. SOA Chair Anne Hickling explains why it has been created:

“Orienteering has a good reputation as a sport, and it is essential that we do all we can to uphold this.  We depend on the goodwill of landowners, local residents and the general public to allow us to run events on their land or in their communities.  We also depend on the volunteers in our clubs who give up their time to put on events for us all.  And we have to meet current standards designed to protect the welfare of all those involved in the sport.”

“Sadly over the last few years there have been a very small number of incidents where we have fallen short in one or other of these areas.  As a result of these, the SOA Board has drawn up a code of conduct for all orienteers.  This is designed to serve as a reminder of the standards of behaviour expected of us all which the Board believes are necessary to protect our reputation as a responsible, respectful, welcoming and inclusive sport.  Please read it carefully.”

SOA Chair, Anne Hickling

Scottish Orienteering Association Code of Conduct for members

This Code of Conduct defines what is considered good and correct behaviour by members of the SOA.  Members are expected to uphold the values and policies of the SOA and to preserve the reputation of orienteering in Scotland as an inclusive sport showing respect for all participants, officials, landowners, local residents, members of the public and the environment.

SOA members are expected to:

  1. Compete within the rules of orienteering
  2. Show courtesy and respect to officials and the decisions they make
  3. Respect the spirit of the sport by showing encouragement and support to other participants and by volunteering at events.
  4. Not display or condone any inappropriate or abusive language, bullying, harassment, discrimination, physical or verbal violence or any conduct which could be construed as unethical, whether in person or on social media
  5. Ensure that any concern regarding the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults is reported to their club child protection officer
  6. Promote the good reputation of orienteering and not behave, or condone others’ behaviour, in a manner liable to bring the sport or SOA into disrepute.

In particular, members should:

  1. Not behave in any way which could be deemed offensive by other participants or members of the public.  
  2. Recognise that behaviour tolerated by regular orienteers may not be acceptable to new orienteers or members of the public
  3. Respect the property and privacy of local residents
  4. Respect the property and livelihood of landowners
  5. Show courtesy and respect towards members of the public, whether in a forest or urban setting
  6. Follow the principles of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

February 2019

Download Scottish Orienteering’s Code of Conduct: