Good governance practices are essential for any organisation to be able to function effectively.
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing is committed to working with state sport and active recreation organisations to develop and pursue a philosophy of good governance and continuous improvement.
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing works with organisations to achieve best-practice governance, management and human resource structures, and the processes required to create a high-performing organisation.
The sport system is supported by a whole of sport Sport Australia Sport Governance Framework, consisting of:
It is important for new Board and Committee members to know about the workings of the organisation and their responsibilities as a Board or Committee member. It is good practice to provide a structured, comprehensive and practical orientation to the activities, policies and structure of the organisation. These resources have been developed to assist organisations to induct new board or committee members.
The overarching documents that outlines the role and authority of the Board or Committee is the Constitution and any underpinning governance policies, regulations or bylaws. If you are intending to review your constitution, the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing has developed template constitutions to assist with the process.
Board Director Exit – survey or interview
When a director has completed their time on your Board you may consider undertaking a process to understand their experience on your board, areas for improvement and to celebrate the contributions that individual has made to your sport. This is suitable for a director who is staying within the sport in another role as well as those that are leaving your organisation.
A board should be a diverse group of people who collectively provide different perspectives and experience to facilitate more considered decision-making. Boards are best able to fulfil their roles and responsibilities when the directors have a diversity of skills, perspectives and backgrounds and a culture that values this diversity. This diversity of perspective means the board is more likely to consider different options, risks and implications leading to more informed decision-making.
Constitution templates are available for State Associations, Regional Associations and Clubs. The templates meet the requirements of the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 in South Australia and incorporate best practice governance principles as advocated by the Australian Sports Commission and Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing.
To find out more about the requirements of an incorporated association, download publications or lodge a new or updated constitution, visit the SA Government agency of Consumer and Business Services, www.cbs.sa.gov.au
As sport is delivered through a system that includes local clubs, district or regional associations, state organisations and then to national and international organisations, the delivery of consistent rules, programs and aligned objectives are desirable. To assist with establishing the intention of aligning the objectives at each level of the system, a State body might consider requiring affiliated associations or clubs to adopt aligned constitutions. The Constitution templates have been developed to support the aligned objectives at club, regional and state level.
The committee is responsible for endorsing high-level policy documents that establish your organisation’s framework for quality, safety, risk and operations. Within your organisation, there should be two levels of policy making: Committee level policy and operational policy.
Committee level policy examples
Resources to assist you to develop some of these policies can be found on the Institute of Community Directors Australia – Policy Bank website.
Operational policies in the sport environment include:
As sport operates in a federated system, it is recommended to ensure that policies are aligned to those of any body you are affiliated with.
Hot/Extreme Weather policy
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing encourages all sport and recreation organisations to adopt and adhere to a hot/extreme weather policy. The safety of participants, coaches, volunteers and officials is paramount. While the impact and risk can vary depending on location and activity, in South Australia extreme weather such as cold, lightning, extreme heat and catastrophic fire danger is a risk for every sport and recreation organisation and its members.
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing encourages sport and recreation organisations implement a Hot Weather/Extreme Weather policy and that this policy:
Sports Medicine Australia has produced a number of resources that can assist organisations in developing and implementing their policy. For further information visit Sports Medicine Australia – SA Branch.
Bureau of Meteorology
The Bureau of Meteorology provides Thermal Comfort observations for South Australia. The South Australian observations can be found at www.bom.gov.au/products/IDS65004.shtml
The information provided by the Bureau of Meteorology is state-wide and updated regularly during the day. The information provided by the Bureau of Meteorology should be used in-conjunction with the advice provided by Sports Medicine Australia.
It is important that both the Board as a whole and individual directors take the time to review their performance. Board evaluation processes help governing Boards determine how well they are carrying out their responsibilities and identify strategies to develop areas that need improvement.
A strategic plan is a document that is designed to give the organisation some direction in the short to mid-term (2-4 years). It takes into account the internal strengths and weakness plus the external opportunities and threats to the organisation, and details strategies to address and build on these. This resource provides a brief description of what is included in a strategic plan.
Communication plays a key role insuring that the organisation's activities are communicated in an effective, timely, open, reliable and responsible manner to all stakeholders. Through effective communication organisations can increase membership, retain existing members, attract sponsors and raise the profile of the organisation.
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR) hosts Workshops each year aimed at Board Directors and staff from state sport and recreation associations. The workshops are promoted by direct contact with staff and board of State Sport and Recreation organisations. Each workshop is facilitated by a guest speaker and focuses on industry specific information related to organisational development.
Please Note - The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing engages speakers for these workshops, the detail of what is presented is not vetted and the workshop program is designed to present a range of views. As such, ORSR does not endorse all aspects of the presentations that are made and you are encouraged to read other ORSR publications to inform your governance or organisational development initiatives.
Managing the finances of a sport and recreation organisation can be complex. The available financial management resources can assist organisations in implementing effective financial processes.
To proactively protect the organisation from harm, the board ensures the organisation has and maintains robust and systematic processes for managing risk. The board is responsible for determining how much risk the organisation is willing to accept in pursuit of its purpose and vision, monitoring adherence to that level of risk, and ensuring action is taken when the level of risk exceeds the organisation’s stated comfort level. The board must ensure that the organisation effectively manages risk in line with a board-approved risk management framework. Documenting the risk management framework is essential.
The values and behaviours of an organisation define its culture. It's "the way we do things around here" that establishes the brand of the organisation.
Leadership of the organisation should drive this culture and in many sports, coaches can have a significant impact. Recognising the importance of this and identifying opportunities to make improvements can provide a key to building a strong and successful organisation.
Culture can influence the vitality and viability of an organisation and impact on things such as participation rates, sponsorship and volunteer engagement.
Issues commonly identified in sport as providing a negative cultural influence include going beyond the spirit of the game, verbal abuse, negative coaching behaviours and practices, athletes being pushed too hard by coaches or parents, negative administrative or officiating behaviours and practices.
It is important that members have the opportunity to provide feedback and take ownership of culture change. Consider conducting a club survey or holding a workshop to engage all stakeholders in creating change.
Codes of conduct or codes of behaviour provided to all participants and supporters can assist the organisation with managing behaviour and building a culture of respect.
These templates are available for adaptation or developing your own codes with the input of all stakeholders can help to create ownership and responsibility.
Sport plays an important role in the community.
Confidence in the integrity of sport must be maintained to ensure the recognised health, wellbeing, safety and social benefits continue to be enjoyed by the public.
Other Committee resources can be found:
Our Community https://communitydirectors.com.au/tools-resources/home
Australian Institute of Company Directors http://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/resources/not-for-profit-resources
Sports Community (membership to access many resources – some free) https://sportscommunity.com.au/