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Office of Sport

Governance is how an organisation is managed.

A sporting organisation that demonstrates good governance can: 

  • Develop strategic goals and direction
  • Monitor organisation performance to ensure it achieves its strategic goals
  • Has effective systems in place and complies with legal and regulatory obligations.
  • Act in the best interests of its members.

The Sports Governance Capability Framework

The Sports Governance Capability Framework has been developed to assist sporting organisations improve governance practices and adapts Sport Australia’s Sport Governance Principles for the context of NSW sporting organisations. 

The Framework is for Boards, Directors, Office Bearers, members of committees, volunteers, and paid staff of NSW State Sporting Organisations and State Sporting Organisations for people with Disability. It's also applicable for all sporting organisations including district/regional sport associations and grassroots community sport clubs.

Included in the Framework is a range of information, resources and templates which address the following governance principles:  

  • Board composition, roles, and powers
  • Board processes 
  • Governance systems 
  • Board reporting and performance 
  • Stakeholder relationship and reporting 
  • Ethical and responsible decision making. 

In applying the Framework, State Sporting Organisations are also encouraged to visit and apply within their specific context, the Sport Australia Sport Governance Principles. The key matter for SSOs to consider and apply is the application of these principles and this Framework in the specific operational and governance context of your SSO. 

This Framework focuses on key areas of governance and aims to assist NSW State Sporting Organisations and State Sporting Organisations for people with Disability to improve governance practices and skills.

Given the range of State Sporting Organisation governance, administrative and operational models, not all organisations will be able to, or need to, adopt all the themes in this Framework. The timing of what is adopted is not prescriptive, therefore there is no start or finish point and it is not necessary to follow any particular sequence.  

The Framework may be used in two different ways:  

  • to address a particular requirement at any one time. For example, the board may refer to the relevant section of the Framework prior to an upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to review its election processes; and/or
  • as a model for the board to undertake a comprehensive governance review process where the board can systematically work through each stage for reflection, improvement and to ensure risk management and compliance obligations are met.  

Whichever approach is chosen, State Sporting Organisations should seek to review each stage at some point so a continual review, evaluation and improvement of the organisation’s governance occurs.  

Whilst many of the resources contained in this Framework have been tailored specifically for sport, the resources are only general in nature. The Framework draws on 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 particular context and to reflect their own particular needs. 

Membership structure, legal structure, regulatory environment, culture, members’ expectations, National Sporting Organisation requirements, government requirements are all organisational context factors to consider which parts of the Framework apply to you and which tools you can adopt and apply. 

State Sporting Organisations should examine the index of templates in Appendix 7 in this Framework. The Office of Sport recommends some tools which State Sporting Organisation should seek to adopt and those recommended to adopt first. 

As State Sporting Organisations work through the Fraemwork think not just of the Sport’s current situation, but where it is envisaged the organisation should be in five or ten years. 

As with any legal document, this does not replace obtaining legal advice on your specific requirements and it is recommended you do so.


The Sports Governance Capability Framework is a range of information, resources and templates which address Governance Principles.

View the 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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