Governance is the system by which a club is directed and managed. It influences how the objectives of the club are set and achieved, spells out the rules and procedures for making club decisions and determines the means of optimising and monitoring performance, including how risk is monitored and assessed.

Effective club governance requires leadership, integrity and good judgment. Additionally, effective governance will ensure more effective decision making, with the club demonstrating transparency, accountability and responsibility in the activities undertaken and member resources expended.

It is commonly accepted that governance structures have a significant impact on the performance of clubs. Poor governance has a variety of causes, including director/committee inexperience, lack of women in board positions, conflicts of interest, failure to manage risk, inadequate or inappropriate financial controls, and generally poor internal business systems and reporting.

Generally, governance is focussed on three key issues:

  • How an organisation develops strategic goals and direction.

  • How the board of an organisation monitors the performance of the organisation to ensure it achieves these strategic goals, has effective systems in place and complies with its legal and regulatory obligations.

  • Ensuring that the board acts in the best interests of the members.

The Sports Governance Principles, as developed by SportAUS, advocate strengthening structures that support good leadership and decision-making, and ensure sound and effective governance.

In order to achieve their maximum potential for their participants and communities, sporting organisations need a good governance system. While sporting organisations do not succeed on good governance alone, poor governance almost certainly guarantees failure. SportAUS' Sports Governance Principles resource can be accessed from the following link

In recognition of the important leadership role Directors hold within the Australian sport landscape, Sport Australia have partnered with the State and Territory agencies for sport and recreation to develop the online director education course - The Start Line. Excellent Directors are critical to the success of sporting organisations. Directors have a range of significant legal obligations and the decisions they make have a central impact on their organisation.

This course will provide the foundational knowledge to enable new and existing Directors to understand their duties and responsibilities and to make an effective contribution to their organisation’s Board.

Free of charge, "The Start Line" is accessed through the Australian Sport Learning Centre.

Each director will need to create a new account, and then the can begin the course which takes approxamately 2 hours.

Alternatively there are expert training providers available for more in-depth nationally recognised training.

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