The fourth full partner meeting of the ONSIDE project took place in Bucharest, Romania on 26-27 March.
The meeting was hosted by the Romanian Football Federation and was attended by representatives from more than 10 sporting federations and organisations across Europe, including personnel from European Athletics.
ONSIDE is a cross-sporting project which aims to enhance and develop the skills of sports officials across Europe and develop innovative products both face-to-face and online to facilitate officials. It is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Collaborative Partnerships in Sport programme.
During their two day visit, the delegates learned about the role and activity of the Romanian Football Federation in developing and supporting referees across the country. There was also an update from Patrick Vajda on the formation of the International Federation for Sport Officials (IFSO) and ONSIDE pledged to support the recruitment of new members through their networks.
The focus of day one was to validate the Occupational Map and Occupational Descriptor for officiating in Europe, focusing on the landscape of officiating and addressing the key issues related to it - namely recruitment and retention.
On the second day, collaborators worked together to establish the first steps towards developing a competence framework for sport officiating by drafting a working definition of sport officiating in Europe. The key purpose statement is: enable participants to compete through the impartial application of rules/ laws within the spirit of the sport.
Further group work saw delegates develop key areas of competence including application of rules and regulations, health and safety, administration and working with others.
“This fourth meeting showed great progress in our ultimate objective to develop innovative education products,” said competitions and team services manager Sandrine Glacier, who attended the meeting on behalf of European Athletics.
“While the first meetings were mainly focused on the definition of the realities and challenges in sport officiating, the discussions and outcomes of the productive work groups in Bucharest, enabled us to define the key areas as well as an exhaustive list of functions covered by sport officials.
“We now look forward to the next steps and share of experience which will help us to define the generic competences, skills and knowledge expected of sport officials, in addition to the knowledge of competition rules and regulations specific to each sport.”
The production of a new competency framework will be a valuable output for the whole area of sport officiating in Europe and will be further expanded on ahead of the next meeting in Malta in September 2019.