Skip to content

Report shows sports are raising the bar for sports governance

14 October 2022

A new Australian Sports Commission (ASC) report has shown sporting bodies have reported an increase in their governance maturity, helping create a more effective and sustainable national sport sector.

Image of hockey players legs and sticks preparing for a training drill.
Hockey Australia has worked closely with the ASC to improve its transparency around attracting and assessing directors.

The 2022 Sport Governance Standards Benchmarking Report provides insights into how national sporting organisations (NSOs) and national sporting organisations for people with disability (NSODs) assess their own governance maturity.

Among the areas of improvement, organisations reported overall advancement in board composition, following a 12-month focus on nominations committee processes, which helped them develop more transparent processes for recruiting directors.

They also reported improvements in the diverse mix of skills, expertise and experiences within their boards, and their directors being increasingly independent, rather than representative.

Hockey Australia was one organisation that worked closely with the ASC to draft a robust new policy to transparently attract and assess directors that addressed identified gaps in skills and experience to deliver a more diverse and effective board.

With the appointment of a highly regarded corporate governance and recruitment expert as the independent chair of the nominations committee to lead this process, Hockey Australia was able to expand their list of talented candidates for consideration by their members.

ASC Deputy General Manager, Industry Capability, Kate Corkery said the report highlighted how much work sports were doing on improving their governance and enhancing their organisations.

“We know good governance is vital for sports to deliver the best results for members and stakeholders, so the fact that sports have reported this improvement is very encouraging,” she said.

“The process has also helped highlight the areas we can focus on when supporting organisations to improve the way they operate, including our recently released Director and Chair Success Profiles and National Sports Director Register.”

This month’s report follows the initial publication that was released in May 2021 which saw all ASC-funded NSOs and NSODs undertake a self-assessment of the Sports Governance Standards.

In the space of less than 18 months, 45 the 64 NSOs and NSODs reported improvement in their governance maturity level.

Over the past 18 months, the ASC has developed multiple resources to support sports to improve their governance. In a world first the ASC has developed free online courses: The Start Line – Directorship Fundamentals; and The Defence – Risk Management for Directors, which support individuals at all levels of sport to actively contribute to the success of their sporting organisation.

More information and resources on sport governance is available at the ASC’s Sport Governance and Organisational Enhancement web page.

Return to top