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Record verification is a key component of the County Recorder role. This aspect of the workload can be substantial and is growing. This growth is primarily driven by an increasing number of recorders generating online records, via a range of data capture methods, and the popularity of citizen science. The recording activity also varies county to county, so locally some areas have particularly high volumes of data to process, where there are more recorders.

To manage the increasing workload that they face, some County Recorders operate within teams and have verification assistants who contribute to the validation, processing and verification of records. This is a model of local verification that Butterfly Conservation supports and recommends. If you are a County Recorder who would like to find out more or recruit assistance, please see more detail below and get in touch @email.

Taking a team approach: benefits to you as a County Recorder

Butterfly Conservation encourages a team approach to verification where possible. Using a team approach has many advantages. You can share your volunteer workload and assistants can offer specialist skills such as Excel expertise or familiarity with verification in iRecord. Working in a team can make the workload seem less overwhelming and bring moral support and camaraderie. The team approach also enables people to work to their strengths within the group.

Wider benefits of teamwork

Using a team approach and widening the pool of verifiers and County Recorder assistants, will support the long-term sustainability of this network of local experts. Upskilling of the wider network of recorders will increase the pool of people suitable to take on the key role of County Recorder and smooth the way for succession planning. Sharing skills and providing mentoring means that new people can be introduced to verification at an earlier stage in their recording career, dealing with the easier species or verifying records with photographs for example.

Diversifying the range of roles through a team approach also has potential to support a wider range of people to take part in this fascinating and rewarding type of volunteering.

Verification Assistants

One popular model for team working / collaboration is for a County Recorder to have one or more Verification Assistants. The role that Verification Assistants take on may vary depending on the specific skills that they have and the areas in which a specific County Recorder would like more help. The Verification Assistant role description can be found here.

Verification Assistants need not be highly experienced butterfly or moth recorders to support their local County Recorder. A Verification Assistant may be assigned verifier access on iRecord for a specific task, such as assessing only records of distinctive species where photographs have been submitted. Over time the Verification Assistant can be assigned additional distinctive species, increasing in complexity as their skills develop.

If you are a County Recorder and you would like to enlist the help of a Verification Assistant please contact us via [email protected] and we can advertise the role, which you can circulate locally, and provide training, including a bespoke course on iRecord verification.


Due to the popularity of Lepidoptera recording, in many places the County Recorder role requires a team approach. The team approach also enables sharing of skills, knowledge and expertise which ensures sustainability of the County Recorder network into the future. And the variety of roles in a team can open opportunities and benefit from a wider range of people volunteering. Many County Recorders have already adopted the team approach and can testify to its success.