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A Code for Sports Governance

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

A Code for Sports Governance sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that are required from those who ask for government and National Lottery funding.

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.

It’s 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% 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.
A group of lacrosse players shaking hands after a game.

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.

It also includes clear guidance to help organisations meet the requirements and raise standards. We'll support organisations to achieve the standards.

Review

In July 2020, along with UK Sport, we announced that the Code for Sports Governance was to undergo a formal review to look at areas where it would benefit from further development, including around equality, diversity and inclusion.

This review process has involved a wide and inclusive consultation to ensure the experiences of both current partners and other organisations involved in improving governance, diversity and inclusion contributed to the shaping of the revised code.

We thank all of our partners for their contributions to the consultation phase and their help in shaping the future of the code – not least given it took place against the backdrop of the challenges faced in dealing with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Following the conclusion of this process, we and UK Sport are liaising with government on the final stages of the review and will be making a public announcement in the coming weeks.

In the lead up to and following this announcement, we and UK Sport will be in touch with our partners to discuss and support them with the changes and developments to the code.

If you have any questions please contact codereview@sportengland.org.

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