A Code for Sports Governance

Organisations seeking public funding for sport and physical activity must meet new gold standards of governance considered to be among the most advanced in the world

A new Code for Sports Governance sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that will be required from those who ask for Government and National Lottery funding from April 2017.

Please download A Code for Sports Governance here and in the document carousel below.

High standards

The code has three tiers and will apply to any organisation seeking funding from us or UK Sport, regardless of size and sector, including national governing bodies of sport, clubs, charities and local authorities.

The code is proportionate, expecting the highest standards of good governance from organisations requesting the largest public investments, including:

  • Increased skills and diversity in decision making, with a target of at least 30 per cent gender diversity on boards
  • Greater transparency, for example publishing more information on the structure, strategy and financial position of the organisation
  • Constitutional arrangements that give boards the prime role in decision making.

The Government announced that a new governance code would be developed in its Sporting Future strategy, published in December 2015.

Together with UK Sport, we consulted over 200 organisations on what should be included in the code over summer 2016, and found strong support for higher standards of governance, including:

  • 98 per cent agreed that councils in sports bodies should be more transparent
  • 78 per cent agreed that there needs to be increased diversity in organisations receiving public funding. 

Organisations seeking funding from both us and UK Sport typically national governing bodies will be jointly assessed, meaning a streamlined process for them to demonstrate how they meet the standards.

The code isn’t a barrier to organisations obtaining public funding. Indeed, many of the requirements build on things already being done within the sector.

The code also includes clear guidance to help organisations meet the requirements and raise standards. We will support organisations to achieve the standards.

Update: one year on

A year on from the code's launch, in November 2017 Sport England's chief executive Jennie Price and UK Sport's chief executive Liz Nicholl, have given an update on its implementation.

You can read their letter to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, here.