UK Sport is committed to driving and influencing the highest standards of professional, organisational and ethical conduct in sport.
Sport in the UK has achieved incredible results in recent years, with the British Olympic and Paralympic Teams both finishing second in the medal tables in Rio 2016, and the UK continuing to host some of the world’s biggest sporting events. However the business of sport has changed rapidly in recent years, New opportunities and threats continue to present themselves. The type of decisions that now need to be taken are frequently complex, commercial, multi-disciplinary and high-profile in nature. Those entrusted with the responsibility to take those decisions therefore need to constitute and equip themselves in a manner that allows them to thrive in this shifting environment. The UK public sector has also changed its approach to sport in recent years. Far greater investment now flows through sporting organisations.
It was against this background that ‘Sporting Future’, the Government’s strategy for an active nation (published Dec 2015) set the requirement for UK Sport and Sport England to agree a new Code for Sports Governance, in order to protect the value for money that the public receives from investment into sport, and maximise the effectiveness of those investments. The Government called for the ‘gold standard’ in sports governance, and tasked UK Sport and Sport England with agreeing a new Code.
A Code for Sports Governance was published in October 2016. It followed consultation with over 200 sporting and non-sporting organisations, and an extensive review of sporting and non-sporting governance frameworks across the world. It introduced a set of 58 mandatory requirements for organisations funded by UK Sport and Sport England, but with a tiered approach enabling these requirements to be tailored based on the type and size of investments being made.
From April 2017, UK Sport and Sport England began agreeing Governance Action Plans, through which funded organisations set out a gap analysis between their existing governance arrangements and those that the Code required. These Plans also identified the actions that had been agreed with UK Sport and Sport England in order to achieve compliance with the Code. The deadline for compliance for the initial group of organisations was 31 October 2017.