Information sources for Event Officials
This page provides links to various sources of information and guidance for event organisers, planners and controllers. The page itself and several of the documents listed are being reviewed in 2017; all constructive comments appreciated.
The British Orienteering website now provides well structured access to essential information - simply navigate via the "Officials" tab on the dark blue strip from the British Orienteering website.
Many clubs have their own procedures and checklists; some lists are easier to work with than others, and to a certain extent this is a matter of personal preference. Please remember that such documents must be kept in line with British Orienteering rules etc..
Listed below are various additional and alternative sources of help and guidance.
Event safety documents:
- British Orienteering risk assessment form
- Sample completed risk assessment
- Safety handout from Event Safety workshops
- Rescue Plan or Emergency Plan. We all hope never to need one, but it’s essential.
- Missing Competitor handout from Event Safety workshops
For events on land owned by Forestry Commission Scotland, you should consult the guidance document which includes several important aspects relating to safety and liaison.
Some clubs run courses for new organisers; these can also be run by the National Centre, locally to clubs or at Glenmore Lodge. Organisers are not (yet?) required to attend a course, but few of us would deny that it’s easier to do a job when you’ve been given a bit of training.
Many clubs also have their own procedure documents and checklists, reflecting their own particular way of working. (It’s probably a good idea to list roles/names/contact details separately from these documents, so updating when people move on is easy.) Some examples:
The British Orienteering website has lots of important stuff:
- a page with links to a couple of checklists for large and small events.
- All organisers should be familiar with the BOF Rules, Appendices (esp. A, C and E) – not necessarily in detail, but to understand what duties fall to them – there could be a few surprises! Access all sorts of useful stuff from the Organisers' page.
- Robin Strain has provided links to SI and Emit information.
- You might need to swot up on Route Gadget
We strongly recommend that new planners should attend a proper course. Too many misunderstandings are perpetuated by people simply copying what is done in the events they attend. You’ll find it helpful to understand why things should be done a particular way. Some clubs run courses for new planners; these can also be run by the National Centre, locally to clubs or at Glenmore Lodge. I can supply the Powerpoint presentation for the course if you wish; the course should be delivered by an experienced and competent tutor who also has appropriate technical knowledge. If you can’t attend a formal course, you should seek guidance from an experienced colleague – preferably a qualified controller – when planning your first few events.
If you look at nothing else, you absolutely MUST look at the information on the British Orienteering website Planners' page and particularly study Appendix B of the Rules
There’s lots of other useful reference material:
- How to get maps printed via Stirling Surveys
- Orienteering Course Planning - Practical Guidance - re-written July 2016
- Barry Elkington produced planning guidance which was printed in CompassSport and is now available on the British Orienteering website.
- Specific guidance on Starts and Finishes was produced by Rob Hickling
- You must be familiar with the Rules - remember these change frequently, so don’t rely on an old printed version.
- Also refer to the Appendices Use the links from British Orienteering's Planners' page to ensure you get the latest version
- For help with Condes, courses are run from time to time, and there’s the On-line User Guide .
Controllers are required to attend a recognised course in order to become qualified. Courses are co-ordinated by the SOA Controllers’ Co-ordinator, Rob Hickling via the Contacts page .
See under the “Planners” section above for items of common interest; Controllers must also be familiar with the Organiser’s role.
- Application form to be Grade C Controller
- Application form to be Grade B Controller
- This checklist should suit most events (updated January 2017)
- British Orienteering Controllers' page has various essential links
- Rob Hickling's guidance on Starts and Finishes is also essential reading for controllers
- A post-event review is always a good idea; some clubs have a form, others prefer a simple e-mail covering key areas. A simple review might also form part of a sociable get-together a few days later, with 2 flipcharts, 1 for good bits, the other for learning points.
All these links are supplied in good faith; some are outwith the control of Scottish Orienteering Association so we cannot be held liable for content. Please report any inaccuracies to
Updated 28 September 2018