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Resources to help you run your association

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.

For further information on each of the resources please contact:

Senior Project Officer, Industry Development
Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing
Phone: 1300 714 990
Fax: (08) 8457 1575
Email: participation@sa.gov.au

Links and Resources

Boards & Committees

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 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.

Governance Principles - A good practice guide for sporting organisations assists Board/Committee members, chief executive officers and managers of sporting organisations to develop, implement and maintain a robust system of governance to suit the particular circumstances of their sport.
Governance Principles for SA Sport PDF, 1083.8 KB

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 comprehensive Induction Essentials Packs have been developed to assist organisations to induct new board or committee members.

Board Director Induction Pack PDF, 1833.1 KB

Committee Member Induction Pack PDF, 967.95 KB

So you Want to be a Board Director PDF, 164.99 KB

So you want to be a Committee Member PDF, 165.64 KB

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.

Board Director Exit Process - Fact Sheet PDF, 86.32 KB

Constitution Templates

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

State Sport - Template Constitution

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.

Regional Sport - Template Constitution

Member Protection

Harassment, discrimination or abuse in sport can have a devastating impact on an organisation and result legal liability, low morale, higher turnover of volunteers and long-term damage to the organisation's image and reputation.

To minimise and manage issues when they arise sport and recreation organisations are advised to have policies and procedures in place.

Every organisation that provides a service for children is required to have a child safe policy. This may be incorporated in a member protection policy. This link will take you to further information about creating a child safe environment.

Member Protection Policy

An Association, State Sporting Organisation (SSO) or National body may require their affiliated clubs to adopt their Member Protection Policy or provide clubs with one that can be adapted to meet the clubs requirements.

It is vital that information about Member Protection Policies is regularly communicated to clubs.

For templates, resources and further information

Policy Development

Policies are important as they describe the course or general plan of action adopted by an organisation in a specific area. The board is responsible for ensuring that there are appropriate and relevant policies and procedures that support the operation and control of the sport or recreation and protect those involved with the organisation.

The policies can fall into operational or governance categories.

Operational policies relate to the running of the sport or activity and competitions and events. For example, Hot Weather, Team Selection. These policies are generally developed and monitored by the management of the state body and to ensure consistency and alignment with the national organisation, the state body would normally adopt the national policy, and develop procedures or fact sheets for how the member clubs and associations can implement the policy.

Governance policies include the more hand-son aspect of the board's interactions and the relationship between the board and management. The Institute of Community Directors Australia offers a policy bank with many applicable governance policies - http://communitydirectors.com.au/icda/policybank/

Board, Chair and Director Evaluation

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.

Why Conduct a Board and Director Evaluation? PDF, 147.69 KB

Board Performance Evaluation PDF, 2462.16 KB

Chairman Performance Evaluation PDF, 2053.98 KB

Director Performance Evaluation PDF, 2076.42 KB

Strategic Planning

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.

Strategic Planning Resource PDF, 113.7 KB

Related planning documents on the Clearinghouse for sport


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.

Marketing & Communication Strategies for Sport & Recreation Organisations PDF, 566.76 KB

How to communicate effectively to my organisation PDF, 501.79 KB

Creating a Stakeholders Communications Plan PDF, 240.44 KB

Sport and Recreation Business Workshops

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.

Past Presentations:

Moving between the Board and Management Team PDF, 2667.63 KB

Financial Management PDF, 727.46 KB

National Sport Integrity Unit Presentation PDF, 1243.13 KB

Drugs in Sport PDF, 1354.82 KB

Sports Betting PDF, 328.35 KB

Financial Management

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.

Financial Help Sheets & Resources

Financial Management PDF, 727.46 KB

Ethics and culture

Your organisations ethics and culture are the foundations on which you can build a strong and successful organisation. Ignoring this will put the organisation at risk of losing membership, lack of volunteers and support.

For further information and support visit Sport ethics and culture page.

Integrity in Sport

Codes of Conduct

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.

Play by the rules Code of behaviour template DOCX, 72.6 KB

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:

  • Reflects the information advice provided by Sports Medicine Australia
  • Is applied at all levels of the activity, including at club level
  • Applies to all events, matches and to training

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.


'Sport Pathways' is the journey a person takes through a sport. It's from the entry level experience to the time they leave the sport, whether they're a participant, coach, official or other volunteer.

It is not only about creating Olympians, Paralympians or world champions.. Rather, it's making sure that, regardless of an individual's aspirations or abilities, they have a place in your sporting organisation.

We work with state sporting organisations to  make sure pathways are provided for: active lifestyles, sport participation and sport excellence.

This works with the Australian Institute of Sport's framework to enhance our understanding of sporting pathways – Foundations, Talent, Elite and Mastery (FTEM)  – designed to represent 'whole of sport' pathways for sporting development.

Networks, Events & Resources

Australian Sports Commission

FTEM model