As part of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)’s high performance strategy, the dAIS scheme aims to provide athletes with direct financial support to enable them to focus on training and competitions to achieve the strategy targets in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports.
Athletes are nominated by their National Sporting Organisation (NSO) to receive a dAIS grant if they:
- achieved a top 1-8 position result at a recent world championship level event and are expected to maintain that level of performance; or
- demonstrate potential to achieve a podium result at a future world championship level event, and meet certain other eligibility criteria as set out in these guidelines.
There will be two rounds for determining dAIS grants each year. The approximate dates for the two rounds are:
|Round 1||Round 2|
|Offers to athletes||November||April/May|
|dAIS claim by athletes||December||May/June|
NSOs are required to submit new nominations for each round. There is no guarantee that an athlete who receives dAIS in a particular round will be offered dAIS in a subsequent round. dAIS should not be included as part of the NSOs’ athlete agreement.
NSOs will be provided an opportunity to discuss the outcome of their nominations with the AIS prior to dAIS offers being made to the athletes.
To ensure that the dAIS funding is allocated to those athletes who have the greatest need for support, dAIS is subject to means testing.
The after tax income threshold for receipt of the full dAIS allocation is $70,000 AUD per annum. When an athlete’s annual after tax income is over that income threshold, the athlete will get a reduced percentage of the full dAIS allocation, according to their income band, as per the table below:
|Income band||Annual Income range after tax (AUD)||Eligible % of dAIS|
|Band B||$70,001 - $80,000||75%|
|Band C||$80,001 - $90,000||50%|
|Band D||$90,001 - $100,000||25%|
Income for the purpose of this means test includes: income from all sources excluding previous dAIS grants provided by the AIS, and discretionary grants issued by the Australian Sports Foundation arising from philanthropic donations.
An athlete’s annual income for the purpose of this means test can be determined based on either:
a) The athlete's average annual after tax income for the last four financial years ending 30 June; Or
b) the athlete's projected income for the current financial year ending 30 June.
Athletes are able to select the calculation option that gives them the most favourable outcome under the means test.
To be considered for a dAIS grant, an athlete must:
- be nominated by their NSO to receive a dAIS grant;
- be training to represent Australia in an event/discipline that is on the program for a future Olympic or Paralympic Games, or in an event/discipline of the sport of lawn bowls, netball, and squash (Eligible Discipline);
- be an Australian citizen and eligible to represent Australia at the next Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games;
- be following an individual performance plan which has been endorsed by their NSO;
- be categorised in accordance with the AIS Athlete Categorisation;
- satisfy the means test as described in Section (3) above;
- have a signed athlete agreement with their NSO, and not be in breach of that agreement; and
- hold a review or confirmed status international classification (applies to para athletes only). Para athletes who do not hold an international classification should hold a national classification and be planning to seek international classification within an acceptable timeframe.
Performance Considerations and Grant Amounts
Athletes who satisfy the above eligibility criteria may be considered for a dAIS grant if they also meet certain performance considerations. The key performance considerations are:
- Results at a world championship (or equivalent event) in the last 12 months; and
- Potential to medal at the next Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games.
The AIS may consider indicators of performance potential such as a medal performance at a previous world championship, results at other recent events, the gap in performance to a medal performance, world ranking and quality of daily training environment.
dAIS notional grant amounts based on results at a world championship (or equivalent event) in the last 12 months are indicated below.
Athletes in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth cross-over disciplines
Athletes who compete in an Eligible Discipline in an Olympic or Paralympic sport may be considered for a dAIS grant. This includes athletes who compete in a Commonwealth Games event/discipline that is also an Olympic or Paralympic event/discipline.
|Tier||Results at a world championship (or equivalent event) in the last 12 months||Notional grant (6 month period)|
|OP5||5th – 6th||$11,500|
|OP6||7th – 8th||$7,500|
|OP7||Other priority athletes with potential to medal at future Olympic or Paralympic Games||$2,000 - $6,000|
- To be eligible for OP5 or OP6 dAIS, individual athletes and teams who finish 5th – 8th at a world championship (or equivalent event) are generally expected to finish in the top 50 per cent of their competitors at that particular event. The AIS may, at its discretion, take into consideration other factors such as any qualifying event to limit the number of competitors, and the difference between the athlete’s performance and a medal performance.
- For individual athletes and teams who competed in the quarter finals but did not progress, and there was not a play-off game to determine the 5th to 8th positions, the dAIS tier allocated will be determined as follows:
- Where the event organiser officially differentiates the individual or team into a ranking from 5th to 8th place then the dAIS allocated tier will be that of the official result.
- Where the event organiser does not officially differentiate the individual or team into a ranking from 5th to 8th place then the individual or team will be deemed as a OP6 however the dAIS amount eligible will be increased to the average of the OP5 and OP6 on the current structure (would currently equate to $9,500).
- NSOs may be invited to nominate athletes to receive OP7 dAIS. The amount available for each sport is at the discretion of the AIS and may differ between funding rounds. It will be based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the sport’s AIS High Performance category, medal targets, quality of athletes and budget availability.
- The AIS, at its sole discretion, will consider special consideration nominations from NSOs to top-up the allocation for a OP1 to OP3 athlete on the basis of financial hardship due to the athletes responsibility for dependants, primarily children. A maximum top-up of $5,000 per dAIS round will be considered and the NSO will need to provide supporting evidence.
Athletes in Commonwealth-only sports
Athletes who compete in an Eligible Discipline in the sport of lawn bowls, netball or squash may be considered for a dAIS grant.
|Tier||Results at a world championship (or equivalent event) in the last 12 months||Notional grant (6 month period)|
|CG4||Other priority athletes with potential to medal at 2022 Commonwealth Games||$2,000 - $6,000|
- NSOs may be invited to nominate athletes to receive CG4 dAIS. The amount available for each sport is at the discretion of the AIS and may differ between funding rounds. Funding will be prioritised to sports that do not qualify any athletes for CG1-3 dAIS and will be based on the sport’s ability to medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
- Special consideration nominations to support athletes with financial hardship from the responsibility for dependants as described in Section 4A (iv) above will be considered by the AIS for CG1 athletes only.
- Where there is no world championship (or equivalent event) in a calendar year, the AIS may consider an alternative measure of performance, which may include a carry-forward of the previous year’s result.
- Where there is more than one world championship (or equivalent event) in a calendar year, only performances at the peak event will be considered. For example, in 2016 the peak event for summer Olympic sports was the Olympic Games.
- The number of allocations for team sports will be determined by the AIS based on the key benchmark event (Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games) of the 4 year cycle (refer to Appendix 1).
- The NSO may allocate the total value of the team’s dAIS among a larger number of athletes provided that the number of athletes supported does not exceed 1.5 times the number of allocations, and individual payment amounts are between 50 and 100 per cent of the notional grant amount.
- Athletes expected to be selected for the next world championship (or equivalent event) must be nominated and prioritised in terms of the amount of dAIS they receive.
- Over-income athletes in the team will receive reduced dAIS according to the means test, however, other individuals’ payment amounts will not be affected.
- Multi-athlete disciplines are non-team sport disciplines where more than one athlete compete (e.g., relay, rowing coxless four and beach volleyball).
- For Swimming and Athletics relays:
- Athletes that compete in the final will receive a 100% allocation.
- Athletes that compete in a heat/preliminary event but do not compete in the final receive 75% of a full allocation.
- For other multi-athlete disciplines where substitute athletes are allowed to compete at the world championship (or equivalent event): Sports will be given the following number of allocations as per the table below.The number of athletes supported can be up to 1.5 times the number of allocations such that the individual payment amounts per athlete are between 50% and 100% of a full allocation.
Disciplines Number of allocations Maximum number of athletes supported Cycling team pursuit (Men’s and Women’s) 6 9 Cycling team sprint (Men’s) 4 6 Cycling team sprint (Women’s) 3 5
- For multi-athlete disciplines where substitution is not allowed during the event (e.g., Rowing, Canoe/Kayak, Beach Volleyball):
- The total number of allocations will be equal to the number of athletes that compete in the event.
- The number of athletes supported can be up to 1.5 times the number of allocations such that the individual payment amounts per athlete are between 50% and 100% of a full allocation.
- Note on Road Cycling:
- The Men’s Road Cycling team will receive 5 allocations which can be spread to up to 8 athletes such that the individual payment amounts per athlete are between 50% and 100% of a full allocation.
- The Women’s Road Cycling team will receive 4 allocations which can be spread to up to 6 athletes such that the individual payment amounts per athlete are between 50% and 100% of a full allocation.
- Note on Triathlon Mixed Relay:
- The Triathlon Mixed Relay will receive 6 allocations which can be spread to up to 9 athletes such that the individual payment amounts per athlete are between 50% and 100% of a full allocation.
- Unless otherwise stated, allocations awarded to the athletes of multi-athlete disciplines are treated as individual allocations. When there is a change of cohort in multi-athlete disciplines, the allocations will be considered by special consideration.
- Over-income athletes in the multi-athlete discipline will receive reduced dAIS according to the means test, however, other individuals’ payment amounts will not be affected
- Athletes who compete in more than one discipline or sport will only be eligible to receive one dAIS grant, whichever is the higher amount.
Means testing audit
- It is important that athletes are aware that it is an offence for a person to make a false or misleading statement in, or in connection with, an application for a grant.
- The AIS will undertake audits to ensure athletes have been paid in accordance with their eligibility under the means test. Note, the AIS may require athletes to provide details to support their calculation of their income band for the purpose of the means test. Athletes are strongly encouraged to seek financial and/or taxation advice if they are uncertain as to their eligibility under the means test.
- More information about dAIS means test, including frequently asked questions and a checklist, is available on the myAISplaybook portal accessible by categorised athletes.
Tax class ruling
- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a class ruling for dAIS, which is available on the ATO website. The ruling states that dAIS grants are not assessable income for the purposes of sections 6-5 or 6-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 provided that the athlete is not carrying on a business as a sportsperson. Athletes should seek taxation advice if they are unsure as to whether their dAIS grant is taxable.
Nominated athletes are required to:
- check if their annual income (as determined using their selected calculation method) satisfies the means test;
- confirm that the correct annual income band has been nominated for them for the purpose of the means test (refer to the table on section 3);
- provide any evidence requested by the AIS or their NSO to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria; and
An athlete may not accept an offer of a dAIS grant until such time that they have:
- immediately notify the AIS for any suspected breaches of the AIS Athlete Code of Conduct.
- agreed to the AIS Athlete Code of Conduct;
- completed all online learning modules as required by the AIS
- entered into a dAIS Athlete Agreement that sets out the requirements of all dAIS recipients during the term of the agreement.
National Sporting Organisation Responsibilities
NSOs are required to:
- only nominate athletes who satisfy both the eligibility criteria and the performance considerations;
- communicate with the nominated athletes about their dAIS nominations and nominated athletes’ responsibilities as described in section (6) above;
- immediately notify the AIS if an athlete no longer satisfies the eligibility criteria, performance considerations or the terms of the dAIS Athlete Agreement;
- work with athletes under the age of 18 to develop an expenditure plan for their dAIS grant; and
- inform the AIS if the NSO is providing additional direct cash support to athletes.
This document is intended to provide guidelines for the administration of the dAIS scheme only. The AIS may, among other things and at its sole discretion (Within appropriate financial delegations):
- offer dAIS to an athlete under special consideration if an eligibility or performance requirement, or any other requirement set out in these guidelines, cannot be met due to extenuating circumstances such as injury or illness;
- in deciding whether to issue a dAIS grant the AIS may take into account an athlete's compliance with their obligations and responsibilities under any previous dAIS grant; and
- amend any aspect of these guidelines including (but not limited to) the grant amounts, eligibility criteria, performance considerations and timeline.
Appendix 1: dAIS allocations for eligible team sports