12 Nov. Nat. Dev. Officer role

National Development Officer, Scottish Motor Sports …

I didn’t think the appointment of a new Motor Sports Development Officer for Scotland would have aroused quite so much interest and curiosity, but it would appear that it has, going by the questions and emails received since the appointment was publicised here.

So, in the interests of open-ness and transparency I have printed out the ‘job description’ of the new National Development Officer for Scotland. This might give you some idea of what will be expected of the new man. I would also like to point out that it would be unfair to expect the recently appointed NDO to have broadcast his own message to the nation as yet. He’ll need a bit of time to get his feet under the desk and discuss the future with his paymasters. Mind you, it is rather disappointing that the SMS website has not kept us better informed, but maybe that will be addressed soon too.

I have therefore printed below the full list of duties expected of the new bloke by his employers. This is not a secret document by any means as it was published by both the SMS and the MSA when they advertised for applications for the post. However, it would appear that many of you missed it since you weren’t looking for a job in the right places!

Anyway, the text of the job description reads as follows:

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) and Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU), in partnership with sportscotland, are seeking a National Development Officer to support the newly formed Scottish Motor Sports (SMS) group by leading the development of two- and four- wheel motorsport in Scotland.

Reporting to the SMS group and acting as an integral part of the SMS management team, the role of National Development Officer will be to:
• Lead and manage the Development function of SMS, taking responsibility for the creation of a new SMS Strategic Plan
• Shape the strategic direction of Scottish Motor Sports at senior management, local and grass roots levels
• Provide impetus to vital development priorities
• Maximise the benefits to both four -wheel and two -wheel motorsport of strong partnerships at national, regional and local levels.

The National Development Officer will be responsible for:

1. Strategic Planning
• Through partnerships and clear stakeholder management, create a Scottish Motor Sports Strategic Plan, ensuring consistency and appropriate delivery across all key regions of Scotland and across all key motorsport disciplines.
• Work closely with the MSA, SACU, SMS and partner agencies such as SACC and ASKC on all aspects of the Strategic Plan; refine, develop, implement and review relevant operational programmes
• Lead and co-ordinate the work of relevant SMS development groups
• Manage implementation and development of all key motorsport programmes.
• Contribute to SMS group meetings as a senior staff member, ensuring effective interfacing with all partners.
• Take responsibility for the SMS Development function’s budget.

2. Communication
• Communicate and interface regularly with the SMS, SACU, MSA, Scottish Association of Car Clubs, Association of Scottish Kart Clubs
Also, Key national and local partners, e.g. Local Authorities, Forestry Commission, eventScotland, VisitScotland, sportscotland, Clubs, centres and development groups.
• Develop and maintain strong effective partnerships and relationships with key agencies including sportscotland, EventScotland, VisitScotland, Regional Partnerships, Local Authorities/Trusts.
• Network with counterparts in other sports to share best practice and learn from others
• Represent SMS at relevant national/regional forums and events.

3. Monitoring
• Provide timely monthly, six-monthly, and annual monitoring and evaluation reports in an agreed format to the MSA, SACU, SMS and sportscotland
• Ensure that a robust recording mechanism of all Development activity is in place.

4. Professional Development
• Pursue an agreed programme of professional development in order to keep practices up to date.


In other words, the new NDO will have a lot to do. At this stage, there is no indication of time limit, although sportscotland are funding the post for at least the first year.

As ever time will tell if the appointment of a motor sports NDO for Scotland will be a good thing or bad thing, but look at it this way, every other major amateur sport has a similar individual/team working on its behalf and promoting its interests. Such an approach is needed these days, especially when funds are being sought from Government, national agencies and major sponsors. Gone are the days of asking for money in return for hanging up banners – that’s only the start.