KKP to deliver national officials feasibility study for Ireland

Sport Ireland, working in partnership with Sport Northern Ireland, has commissioned KKP to deliver research, consultation and recommendations to inform development of a national technical officials’ development plan (TODP) for Ireland.

This action directly reflects, and is an immediate response to, commitments made in, Sport Ireland’s recently launched Statement of Strategy 2023-2027 and Sport NI’s Corporate Plan 2021-26.

It follows hard on the heels of the Review of Women’s Sports Officiating in Ireland undertaken by KKP in 2022 and will utilise and build upon the findings of that process. The TODP report will:

  • Identify and describe the range of roles undertaken by technical officials in Ireland.
  • Assess levels of activity among technical officials in Irish sport and consider the key factors which affect recruitment, retention and attrition.
  • Evaluate the needs of technical officials and of those who support them.
  • Review the support currently provided to technical officials and those working to support them.
  • Make recommendations about what should be included in the TODP and how it should be led, resourced and managed.

Sport Ireland and Sport NI are actively seeking to secure strong support for this process from NGBs (all Ireland and NI) plus the active participation and support of other key agencies such as LSPs and third sector education providers. To this end, NGBs and others with an interest in this process are being encouraged to:

  • Confirm their willingness to be consulted and to indicate who, within their organisations might be the most appropriate contact.
  • Make it possible to include as many current and former technical officials as possible from the widest cross-section of sports in a national survey – scheduled to be conducted in spring 2024.

Consultation, survey and focus group/ workshop processes will include and capture the views of:

  • People involved (an a paid/voluntary basis) in the recruitment/organisation/training/support of officials.
  • Current/aspiring/former paid and voluntary technical officials from a wide range of individual/ team sports, disability sport and sports where specialist officiating is required.
  • Officials ‘covering’ all levels and types of technical experience and the full range of roles.
  • People with expertise/opinions in respect of volunteering issues for officials and knowledgeable representatives from the education system and LSPs.

The process is scheduled to run between November 2023 and May 2024.

Project leads are Fiona Larkin at Sport Ireland (flarkin@sportireland.ie) and Michael Cooke from Sport Northern Ireland (michaelcooke@sportni.net).


KKP is one of the UK’s largest independent sport and leisure management practices. It delivers planning, consultancy and research services to the sports sector in the UK, Ireland, China and Southeast Asia.

Contact: John Eady (CEO) john.eady@kkp.co.uk



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