Posted: 2 years ago

£20 per course

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Biological recording is the activity of recording information on where a living organism, habitat or community is found, when it was seen and by whom. Biological records inform wildlife monitoring, research, nature conservation and policy, as well as helping to engage the public with nature and developing wildlife survey and identification skills.

iRecord is a free tool created by the Biological Record Centre to support naturalists and biological recording schemes and societies. It facilitates the submission of biological records into the complicated network of organisations that make up the UK’s biological recording community. It is an ever-evolving platform with many features and an ever-expanding user base, including over 700 registered record verifiers that contribute their taxon-specific expertise into the verification system.

This course will introduce learners to the basics of biological recording, such as grid references, data flow and verification. In addition, the course will give those new to iRecord (or those existing users that struggle with the platform) an introduction to the basic features of the platform and instil them with confidence when using iRecord to submit biological records.

  • 4-week online course for adults, with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours.
  • Start date: Tuesday 11 January 2022
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.
  • This course will involve completing field assignments so learners will benefit from access to a garden or local park.
  • Please email if you have any questions.

Book here for Discovering iRecord

What topics are covered in this course?

  • REC101 Introduction to Biological Recording covers what a biological record is and introduces concepts such as data resolution, data quality and verification. The iRecord platform is introduced and learners are set up with accounts and access to the Discovering iRecord activity for future assignments.
  • REC102 Grid References & Submitting Records introduces the technical skills needed to submit records, including grid references and practical experience of submitting real biological records through iRecord in the form of a ‘mini-garden birdwatch’.
  • REC103 Data-Flow & iRecord Activities covers what happens to a biological record between the initial observation and use of the record by user groups such as conservationists, scientists and decision-makers. Assignments teach learners how to use different recording forms and look up individual species records on the iRecord system.
  • REC104 Exploring & Downloading Data looks at how data can be accessed in iRecord and where to go outside of iRecord to access national and even international datasets. Learners evidence that they can download their records, explore data held on the iRecord system and respond to verification queries through the assignments.

Live webinars

The webinars will take place every Tuesday for the duration of the course and there are two live webinar times available (1pm or 7pm GMT) to fit around your work schedule. The webinars will take place on:

  • Tuesday 18th January 2022 at 1.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm
  • Tuesday 25th January 2022 at 1.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm
  • Tuesday 1st February 2022 at 11.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm
  • Tuesday 8th February 2022 at 1.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm

Attendees can choose to attend either the 1pm or 7pm webinars (the same content will be covered at both times).


  • £20 Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students. Available to UK residents only.
  • £60 for professionals and non-UK residents.