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Office of Sport

Board Performance

The Office of Sport has developed the Board Evaluation Framework and two Tools to assist NSW State Sporting Organisations in reviewing Board performance

Evaluation of Board performance can assist boards in understanding their effectiveness, their competencies, structure, behaviours within legal frameworks, and their governing rules, purpose, and strategy.

This is recognised in numerous best practice guides and standards. For example, Sport Australia’s Sports Governance Standards Principle 9: The board must have an appropriate system of internal controls to enable it to monitor performance, track progress against strategy and address issues of concern.

The Board Evaluation Framework (the Framework) aims to connect State Sporting Organisations to a key part of good governance as identified by Sport Australia. Given the governance, administrative and operational models for State Sporting Organisations vary widely, the Framework presents a range of different board performance evaluation approaches.    

The Framework draws on information, resources, and templates from a broad range of sources.  All boards operate differently and vary in size and structure, as such the Office of Sport strongly encourages sport boards to apply the Framework in their own context and to reflect their own needs.

The Board Evaluation Context Tool will assist in reviewing and determining a board’s governance level context. It's a very useful first step in determining the level and depth of evaluation a board may need to complete.

The context review should demonstrate that your board has a particular level of maturity in terms of its governance processes, this will guide the level of evaluation that you need or might like to complete. It is recommended to be completed before using the Board Evaluation Self-Assessment Tool.

The Board Evaluation Self-Assessment Tool

The Board Evaluation Self-Assessment Tool (BESAT) is a self-evaluation survey approach designed to assist the State Sporting Organisation to identify key parts of good governance as recognised by Sport Australia. 

It's a starting point; acknowledging in NSW there are State Sporting Organisation boards who operate differently, vary in size, structure, and organisational maturity. 

The tool should take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete and comprises a total of 73 compulsory questions (i.e six administration and 67 survey questions). 

The tool can be completed by directors, committees, members of committees, whole board, and management. 

There is a different set of questions for each area of the governance of your State Sporting Organisation:

  • Board (Committee of Management)
  • Chair (President)
  • Sub-committees
  • Management (if applicable, but including volunteers)

In using BESAT, State Sporting Organisations should be guided by both the Framework and the Board Evaluation Context Tool in considering their organisational context and needs.

Before you begin read the following documents, as they will provide some helpful background and assist you to consider your SSO’s organisational context and needs.

After completing BESAT the board should meet to discuss the survey results of directors, committees, members of committees, whole board, and management who completed the survey.   Refer to section 5.3 of the Board Evaluation Framework regarding information about the board evaluation process.

The Office of Sport engaged governance consultants Board Matters, to develop the High Performing Board Evaluation Assessment Tool (HPBEAT) a survey tool to assist larger NSW State Sporting Organisation’s (SSOs) and their Boards to further improve their governance capabilities and maturity.

Typically, a large SSO in NSW will have a Chief Executive Officer or equivalent, and have both a Strategic and Operating Plan, have total revenue as recorded in the income and expenditure statement (i.e gross receipts) for a financial year of more than $250,000 or current assets are more than $500,000.

Whilst the focus of the survey is for larger SSOs with a CEO and paid staff, the HPBEAT is not restricted to larger SSOs. It can be completed by any SSO looking to improve their governance performance. It should be noted that this tool is premised on your SSO having paid staff and in particular, a CEO, with whom the Board delegates key functions. 

Why was the HPBEAT developed?

HPBEAT was developed with the objective of providing high performing and larger SSOs with the opportunity to self-assess current governance maturity levels and identify opportunities for improvement through an in-depth survey evaluation tool. 

An extensive desktop review of the SSO governance environment was completed to align good governance concepts at a national level, along with those that specifically address SSOs’ governance needs in NSW, now and in the future.

This culminated in identifying the 10 Key Governance Areas which inform and shape this survey.

  1. Purpose, vision, and strategy 
  2. Integrity and values
  3. Stakeholder engagement and accountability 
  4. Policy and oversight
  5. Risk management
  6. Working with and through the CEO
  7. Board dynamics
  8. Board administration and structures
  9. Board composition
  10. Board Chair

Before using HPBEAT

HPBEAT has been designed with the following frameworks, standards and principles in mind and it is recommended SSOs review the following key governance documentation to provide the necessary contextual framing to help understand references to practices and concepts.

What does HPBEAT involve?

The HPBEAT survey comprises 73 questions, 6 administrative questions followed by 67 assessment questions across the 10 Key Governance Areas, to assess your SSO’s current governance maturity and performance. All questions are quantitative and must all be completed to create the detailed results report.

The 67 assessment questions will culminate in 10 scores, one for each ’Key Governance Area’ once your survey is completed.

It is anticipated the survey will take 30 minutes to complete. It is recommended to complete the HPBEAT on a computer or tablet device. 

Each question will prompt you to provide a response rating on a 5 point ‘level of confidence’ scale. The response rating options, and their respective scores are as follows:

  • Not at all confident
  • Not very confident
  • Generally confident
  • Very confident 
  • Completely confident

Note: the confidence scale is used because it provides a summary of the implications based on the score received giving an immediate indication of an organisation or individual’s level of confidence. This can then be used specifically to identify areas that need improvement based on these findings.

The HPBEAT Fact Sheet includes the methodology and background, Governance Maturity Rating and Scoring Matrix used in the design of HPBEAT.

The Performance Assessment Implementation Strategy Tool (PAIST) is a word document which can be downloaded at Governance | NSW Government.

Before completing the HPBEAT survey

Your Board should decide who and when the HPBEAT Survey will be completed.

Those completing the survey will need a thorough understanding of:

  • your organisation's constitution, board charter and other governance documents about how your organisation operates.
  • your organisation's financial reports from the current and previous financial year
  • your organisation's structure and operations.

Upon completing HPBEAT survey

When an SSO completes the Survey through a collective discussion amongst nominated individuals, or individually one person should be designated as the primary contributor (to receive the report) and the details of the other contributors should also be listed in the Administration section of the Survey.

When you complete the HPBEAT Survey, you can download your scorecard results using ‘Print Results’ and save it as a pdf document or click on ‘Email Results’ to email your results to a nominated email address.

Complete HPBEAT now

If I don’t complete the survey in one sitting, can I come back to it?

Yes, the survey automatically saves your answers as you go, so you can go back to complete the survey at any time prior to the close of the survey. You will need your email with the link giving access to the survey.

How often should the HPBEAT Survey be completed?

It is recommended your SSO complete a new survey annually. This will allow you to update your responses and to compare your previous year’s results.

Can I have multiple people within my organisation complete the survey?

It is recommended that all your SSO Board be involved in completing the HPBEAT Survey. The Survey can be completed by one individual (i.e. the Chairperson or Director) or through a collective discussion amongst a number of people from the board and even the CEO).

More info
If you are still stuck or if you have any queries about how to complete the HPBEAT survey or about any question, contact the Sector Capability and Performance Team at


The Board Evaluation Framework aims to connect State Sporting Organisations to a key part of good governance as identified by Sport Australia.

Board Evaluation Framework


The Office of Sport in conjunction with industry experts have developed a series of  Professional Development webinars for Directors and Managers of SSOs.

Watch the SSO webinar series

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