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QOFL planning timetable

Last edited: Mon 24 Jul 2023

The following timetable contains suggested latest possible deadlines for completing each of the main tasks in planning courses for a QOFL. Actual timings will vary from event to event, but ideally should be earlier.

It is difficult to overstress the importance of deciding on a timetable in advance, and then sticking to it. Mistakes will always happen when planning - the complexity of the jobs involved makes that inevitable - but working under pressure increases the risk. The pressure comes largely through struggling to complete the work in the time available. External sources of pressure - illness, late withdrawal of permission to use part of the area, etc. - can never be predicted. However, they will be easier to cope with if there is 'slack' in the timetable than if the Planner and Controller are already working flat out to be ready in time.

The following are latest possible deadlines for completing each of the main tasks: actual timings will vary from event to event, but ideally should be earlier.

A really essential thing is that the stuff needed for permissions (all controls and risk assessment) gets sent off as soon as possible, at the latest 12 weeks before the event.

As early as possible

Agree location and date of event with committee.

Obtain map from club archive – check when last used, when last updated and ask what time of year runnability is shown on map. Visit the area – ideally at same time of year as proposed event to evaluate state of undergrowth at time of event. Agree with Mapper protocol for any map updates you consider necessary throughout planning period. Find out about crossing points, out of bounds areas, projected forestry work and any access restrictions during planning period. Decide on positions of start(s) and finish(es) - influenced by car parking. Decide course lengths – influenced by terrain (runnability & climb) and previous event winning times. Agree number and colour of courses plus approximate course lengths with Controller.

16 weeks

Draft courses planned and sent to the Controller (Purple Pen file plus map file).

All Controls map and Draft Risk Assessment to Permissions Officer (strict deadline).

Website Details Submission completed.

If using external printers, check that a map printing slot has been booked.

7 weeks

Controller provides initial comments on draft courses. Advise Controller of method (positioning, tape colour, etc.) for taping control sites

6 weeks

Taping control sites – add control code to tape. If possible, GPS waypoint control sites and take photographs (photographs are required for some landowner permissions, especially FE). Rationalise control sites and re-plan (as necessary).

Send updated courses to Controller (plus GPS and photos, if available). Controller checks control sites.

5 weeks

Controller provides feedback, revise courses if necessary. Agree format of Control Descriptions with Controller (written, pictorial, both)

4 weeks

Prepare final maps for printing – see maps for printing.

Send final courses to Controller. Controller signs off final course maps and control description files.

3 weeks

Send final map files (OCAD base map and PPen courses) to professional printers for maps and controls descriptions (or PDF’s to in-house printers).

2 weeks

Check proof of maps.

Agree number of maps required with Organiser – remember blank maps for start lanes, all controls maps for collectors, and extra course maps for officials and potential queries at download/enquiries.

1 week

Arrange to borrow control stakes, kites, and punches (for SI box backup) from equipment store. Send XML file (PP export) of courses to SI Manager to load to SI system. Agree with SI Manager if event will be SIAC activated and agree active time for SI boxes (depends on time between boxes initially activated by physical dibbing and event finish time). Collect SI boxes from SI manager. Check kites, stakes and SI boxes plus sort to make placement easier. Decide which controls can be placed on the day before the event and which on the day. Make control collection instructions - which controls, what order, need to carry a mobile phone, whether need to photograph control sites.

Day Before Event

Selected control placement with or without SI box.

On the Day

Place remainder of control markers and SI boxes; arrange that all SI boxes are activated, plus place any taped routes / smiley faces. Place maps at Start. Controller physically checks all control sites and kite positioning. First competitor starts when Controller confirms all OK. Organise control collectors (if not done before event) and ask them to remove tapes as well as control kite. Confirm all controls returned ‘present and correct’.