This guide provides the sport and recreation sector with an overview of good governance practice.

It aims to provide organisations with principles, behaviours and case studies of what good governance looks like. This is a vastly debated topic at present with several high profile examples of sporting organisations experiencing difficulties due to poor governance standards. This guide aims to help sport and recreation bodies to meet the demands and expectations that they face on a regular basis. By showcasing good governance, organisations provide confidence to members, partners and funders.

The five principles of the Code of Good Governance 2016, and additional sports specific good practice and behaviours to support each principle, are outlined. Case studies also provide additional context to the principles and show how the organisations have developed their own governance standards. Many sports organisations, whether they are a governing body, club or umbrella organisation, will use different terms for their committee, board or executive. For the purposes of this guide the term committee is used.

Sport Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Sports Forum are members of the Developing Governance Group, along with partners including Volunteer Now and NICVA. This group produced The Code of Good Governance which was revised in 2016. Following on from the work of the group, several governing bodies and umbrella groups came together to discuss the benefits of additional governance support for the sector.

There are governance codes in the United Kingdom and Ireland which are relevant to the sector, but the group agreed to work from the local Code of Good Governance, with support from the governing bodies Governance Network.

Representatives from Disability Sport NI, Irish Athletic Boxing Association, Irish Football Association, Outdoor Recreation NI, Ulster GAA and Ulster Rugby joined the NI Sports Forum and Sport Northern Ireland on the working group. We thank these organisations for their support in developing the guide.

We hope that you find the guide and this website useful in terms of information and support which will benefit your organisation. Many resources can also be found on the DIY Committee Guide website including a Governance Health Check which is a practical, step-by-step means of ensuring your organisation is adhering to the key principles of the Code of Good Governance, as well as identifying areas where you may wish to make changes or improve.

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