This is an online course

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 is a new online training course from the FSC BioLinks project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Field Studies Council, that aims to give those new to iRecord (or those existing users that struggle with the platform) an introduction to the basic features of the platform and instill them with confidence when using iRecord to submit biological records.

An e-certificate of course completion will be sent to any participants that successfully complete all the course components.


£20 – Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals e.g. biological recorders, volunteers, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists, and students
£60 – For professionals


This course is fully booked

Tutor: Keiron Brown

Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.

Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. He teaches our Discovering iRecord and earthworm courses. In his spare time he is an active member, and trustee, of the London Natural History Society and is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain).

This is an online course:

Closer to the time of the course start date, attendees will be given access to the FSC's online learning platform. There will be a number of resources for you to work through in your own time and weekly live webinars with the course tutor (see timetable). These webinars will be hosted on Zoom, a free videoconferencing platform. We will email all attendees details of how to access the online course and the webinars closer to the course start date.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Time commitment

This course will require approximately 3 - 4 hours of your time each week. The course consists of four weekly topics. For each topic there will be a number of resources and activities for you to work through in your own time, as well as assignments for you to complete before the end of the week. Each topic will end with a 45 minute live webinar with the course tutor, these will consist of discussions and exercises that reflect on the learning of the previous week.

Live webinars

The webinars will take place every Wednesday for the duration of the course and there are two live webinar times available (1.00pm or 6.00pm GMT) to fit around your work schedule.

The webinars will take place on:

Wednesday 20th January at 1.00-1.45pm and 6.00-6.45pm
Wednesday 27th January at 1.00-1.45pm and 6.00-6.45pm
Wednesday 3rd February at 1.00-1.45pm and 6.00-6.45pm
Wednesday 10th February at 1.00-1.45pm and 6.00-6.45pm
Attendees can choose to attend either the 1.00pm or 6.00pm webinars (the same content will be covered at both times).

Example Timetable


Week 1: Introduction to Biological Recording

Self-study material: available from 13/01/2021
Assignments due: 19/01/2021
Week 1 live webinar: 20/01/2021 (at either 1.00pm or 6.00pm)

Week 2: Grid References & Submitting Records

Self-study material: available from 20/01/2021
Assignments due: 26/01/2021
Week 2 live webinar: 27/01/2021 (at either 1.00pm or 6.00pm)

Week 3: Data Flow & iRecord Activities

Self-study material: available from 27/01/2021
Assignments due: 02/02/2021
Week 3 live webinar: 03/02/2021 (at either 1.00pm or 6.00pm)

Week 4: Exploring & Downloading Data

Self-study material: available from 03/02/2021
Assignments due: 09/02/2021
Week 4 live webinar: 10/02/2021 (at either 1.00pm or 6.00pm)

The final deadline to complete any outstanding assignments and self-study components is 17/02/20.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • access to course content through the FSC virtual learning platform
  • access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions with the course tutor through Zoom