Introduction to Club Standards

We have produced a set of Club Standards in line with legal legislation and the code of sports governance (Tier 1) set out by Sport England to help clubs understand what they should have in place for good governance and duty of care:

  • Good governance is the foundation of a well-run club. It protects the club’s values and reputation whilst looking after the club’s funds and people. It also holds those responsible accountable for the club’s actions and decisions. It’s  represented by the structures, rules, policies and practices in operation in a club.
  • ‘Duty of care’ is a common law that applies to all individuals and organisations. Clubs have a duty of care towards their members and are responsible for ensuring all club activity is safe. Everyone has a role to play in keeping others safe. All club members should know what to do if they have any concerns.

To aid clubs, England Athletics have created our “Club Standards checklist (coming soon) on the myAthletics portal. Clubs will be prompted to review this at the point of affiliation.


Having the standards in place will help clubs to:

  • Be legally compliant
  • Protect and support volunteers in their roles
  • Ensure members are accessing club activity safely, protecting them from harm, incidents and accidents.
  • Minimises club issues and conflicts
  • Give their members the confidence that the volunteers have the interests of the club at heart and are making decisions based on what is right for the club
  • Engage with their members so they understand how the club operates and can contribute to the success 
  • Have happier members, less churn, bigger growth and perform better
  • Save time when policies or procedures need to be adopted 

Key Ideas

  • Start by reviewing your club legal structure. You can access the England Athletics Legal structure guidance and seek advice through Muckle PLC.

  • The constitution is your club’s most important document, it provides the rules for your club. Ensure this is fit for purpose, up to date and agreed by your club committee.

  • Ensure all committee members understand how Club Standards can benefit your club.

  • Work through each club standard one by one. You might want to create an action plan and delegate to club committee members to complete. The committee must agree to any new policies or procedures and decisions must be documented in your committee meeting minutes.

  • Use the myAthletics portal Club Standards checklist at the start of the affiliation year to review Club Standards.


Yes No
Club Standard 1: Does your club have a constitution that is fit for purpose, reflective of the legal structure and agreed by the committee?
Great. Ensure your constitution is used to manage club matters. Don’t forget to put in an annual review, as part of your AGM.
The constitution is the key document that sets out how your club is governed. It’s the rules by which you operate. Your club cannot and should not operate without one.
Club Standard 2: Does your club have elected committee members for the key roles? These include club chair, treasurer, secretary, membership secretary, welfare officer and DBS verifier. At least three of the people on the committee should be unrelated or not cohabiting.
Great. An elected committee will ensure that club members get a say in who represents them and makes club decisions.
Your constitution should highlight the key roles and the process for election.
Club Standard 3: Does your club have a Grievance and Disciplinary policy?
Great. We hope you don’t have many club disputes, but if you do, you are prepared and know how to deal with this.
We hope that you don’t have many club disputes to deal with, but if you do, the committee will be responsible for managing this. Having a policy will ensure you know how to manage this.
Club Standard 4: Does your club have a privacy notice in line with (General Data Protection Regulation) ?
Great. This will ensure you are compliant with GDPR and all your members know how their data is managed and stored.
Clubs must have a privacy notice in place and ensure members are aware of how their data will be processed. This will ensure the club remains compliant with current data protection legislation.
Club Standard 5: Does your club have an inclusion policy?
Great. This will help your club be compliant with the equality act (2010). Don’t forget to back this up with actions and behaviours to ensure that all your club members feel welcome and have a positive experience at your club.
It’s important that your club members feel welcomed and valued. Inclusion creates a sense of belonging. It ensures that everyone feels comfortable and confident to be themselves and to take part in a way that suits them. Creating a proactive inclusion policy will help achieve this.
Club Standard 6: Has your club signed and agreed to implement the club safeguarding code of conduct?
Great! Keeping everyone in the sport safe is so important. It’s the club’s responsibility to lead on this. If club members feel safe, they’re more likely to have a positive experience at your club. Key parts of the code include ensuring all members have signed a code of conduct, trained welfare officers are appointed and coaches and leaders are licensed.
The club committee is responsible for the duty of care of all members. Not having a safeguarding code of conduct is a risk to both volunteers and members. Key parts of the code include ensuring all members have signed a code of conduct, trained welfare officers are appointed and coaches and leaders are licensed.
Club Standard 7: Does your club have a health and safety policy and associated risk assessments?
Great. Your committee should understand their responsibility to keep club activity safe. Your members will thank you as they will feel safe and able to enjoy a positive experience in your club.
Clubs are responsible for providing a duty of care to their members. It’s important for club members to feel safe during club activities. A health and safety policy and risk assessments can help mitigate and manage risk. Ensure everyone understands this.

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Related Resources

Type Resource Last Updated
Club Guide - Club Legal Structure
Club Factsheet - Which legal structure and tax status is right for your club?
Club Template-Constitution for Unincorporated Clubs
Club Template - Unincorporated Club Constitution notes and optional sections
Club Template - Committee meeting agenda
Club Template - Chair role description
Club Template - Club Secretary role description
Club Template - Membership secretary role description
Club Template - Treasurer role description
Club Template - DBS Verifier role description
Club template - Welfare officer role description
Club Guide - GDPR
Club Template - Privacy Notice
Club Template - Inclusion Policy
UK Athletics and HCAF Club Safeguarding Code of Conduct
UK Athletics and HCAF Adult Safeguarding Policy
UK Athletics and HCAF Child Safeguarding Policy
UK Athletics and HCAF Adult Safeguarding Procedures
UK Athletics and HCAF Children and Young People Code of Conduct
UK Athletics and HCAF Coaches Code of Conduct
UK Athletics and HCAF Parent and Carer Code of Conduct
UK Athletics and HCAF Senior Athletes Code of Conduct
UK Athletics and HCAF Technical Officials Code of Conduct
UK Athletics and HCAF Volunteer Code of Conduct
Club Template - Grievance and disciplinary policy

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