ICSA seeks to improve governance in the sporting sector with guidance on board effectiveness for sports boards

London, 10 March 2017 – ICSA: The Governance Institute has released guidance aimed at those responsible for the governance of sports bodies in the United Kingdom to enhance governance practices within the sector. The guidance, which was launched last night at ICSA’s ‘Compliance or Bust? Cracking the Sports Governance Code’ event, can be adapted for organisations of any size to reflect good practice for each individual organisation’s needs, and focuses on the responsibilities of directors, trustees and committee members.

‘Our new guidance reflects the content of good practice guidance and governance codes found in different sectors, and aims to support and augment the guidance found in the new Code for Sports Governance, issued by UK Sport and Sport England which comes into effect in April 2017. Under the Code, sports organisations in receipt of public funds will be expected to comply with minimum and bespoke requirements relating to structures, transparency, accountability and financial control set out in the document and agreed with the appropriate funding body. Our guidance aims to clarify what good governance looks like for all sports organisations, regardless of size and level of visibility,’ says Louise Thomson, Head of Policy (Not-for-Profit) at ICSA: The Governance Institute.

The guidance aims to help organisations to think about their governance arrangements and to apply aspects of good practice where appropriate and proportionate. It details various aspects of boardroom activities and behaviours that can contribute to the effectiveness of sports bodies, including:

  • The distinction between governance and management
  • The role of the board and senior managers
  • Board composition and succession planning
  • Board member support and the role of the governance professional
  • Principles of sound decision making
  • Effective meetings
  • Evaluating board member performance
  • Audit, risk and remuneration
  • Member and stakeholder engagement.

‘The sporting world has been rocked by some serious governance failings in recent years and we seek to help advance good practice in the sector with this new guidance and the Advanced Certificate in Sport Governance and Administration that we also offer to senior administrators working for sports organisations. It is vital that sports boards implement effective governance frameworks and consider how they manage relationships with their members and stakeholders, the role of ethics, and how risk can be managed to ensure sustainability and restore public confidence. This is the first in a series of guidance notes and other products that we will be developing for the sector,’ adds Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA.

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For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:

+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143

Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With over 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.
    Website: www.icsa.org.uk 
  2. The guidance can be downloaded at https://www.icsa.org.uk/knowledge/resources/sports-board-effectiveness 

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