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Sport Sector Organisational Health

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Please contact the Office of Sport, Sector Capability and Performance Team, Sport Development Group:

Phone: 13 13 02

Other Organisations or websites that can assist with governance

Just like athletes constantly monitor and improve their performance, the sport’s sector should do the same. With the changing nature of how sport is played, accessed and consumed, the Office of Sport is committed to support the sport sector in improving its organisational health to better meet these opportunities and challenges.

The NSW Government supports State Sporting Organisations (SSOs) and State Sporting Organisations for people with disabilities (SSODs) to remain healthy and viable to reflect the Government’s vision to enhance the lives of the people of NSW through a valued and vibrant sport and active recreation sector.

Each year, these organisations deliver sporting opportunities for 2.5 million participants throughout the state from grass roots to elite level sport.

Most SSOs and SSODs in NSW are membership-based and dependent on the invaluable contributions of volunteers. Apart from a small number of SSOs, most NSW sporting organisations are operated and governed by volunteers who also act as coaches, officials, administrators, media liaison and fund-raising champions.

State Sporting Organisation Benchmarking and Organisational Health Research Project

The Office of Sport has a target within its Strategic Plan target of 80 percent of SSO’s with a sound organisational health rating by 2020. In this context, in mid-late 2017 the Office of Sport undertook significant research and analysis with 78 SSO's and 19 SSODs. 

The aim of the Project was:

  • to identify key benchmarks to define what sound organisational health means for the Sport Sector
  • to develop a survey framework that could be used by both the Sport Sector and the Office of Sport to measure the levels of organisational health in SSOs and SSODs
  • to use the survey framework to develop a self-assessment diagnostic tool that could be used by the Sport Sector at any time to assess their levels of organisational health.

Review of Organisational Health

The first aim of the Project was to better understand what ‘sound’ organisational health. A review was undertaken of organisational health benchmarking projects in the not-for-profit sector in Australia and New Zealand regarding what constitutes organisational health in the not-for-profit sector.

The review includes considerations of various benchmarking surveys and highlights the common themes and key learnings from those surveys. The six common Key Indicator areas highlighted by the review include:

  • Governance: related to the organisation's structure, constitution, membership, voting rights, compliance with applicable legislation, policies and the operation and composition of the Board.
  • Financial management: focused on financial ratios as indicators of financial health and practices adopted by the organisation.
  • Leadership, culture and integrity: considered behaviours of the organisation, staff practices, volunteers and the integrity measures the organisation has in place.
  • Strategy/strategic plan: addressed strategic and operational plans, a digital strategy and expenditure on "back of house" (administrative) functions.
  • Delivery: how an organisation delivers its services, how it collects and stores data, how it approaches the inclusion of people with a disability, and how an organisation trains and develops its coaches and officials.
  • Risk management and accountability: related to insurance, risk mitigation tools, access to professional advice, recruitment and training and measures in place for working with children.

Review of Organisational Health Benchmarking Projects (June 2017)

2017/18 State Sporting Organisation Health Survey

Based on the review’s findings and in consultations with the SSOs and SSODs, a Survey was developed and distributed to 97 SSOs and SSODs to complete in late 2017. The Survey comprised of questions across the six Key Indicators areas which encompass the organisational health of a not-for-profit entity.

In 2017/18, 65 percent of the sector has sound organisational health or above.

Ways the Office of Sport can help

Running your SSO

Access best practice guidelines, useful tips, suggestions, templates and checklists for NSW SSOs who wish to improve their organisational health.

Running your SSO

Sport Development Grant Program

The Sport Development Grant Program (SDGP) is an application based grant program only available to NSW SSOs and SSODs. Organisations eligible for this program must be a recognised sport which receives funding under the Office of Sport’s Sport Development Program (SDP).

Sport Development Grant Program

Coaching and Officiating Programs

The Office of Sport runs several programs to support the delivery of coaching and officiating development.  These include:

  • ASC General Principles of Coaching and Officiating Courses
  • ASC Assessor and Presenter/Facilitator Courses
  • ASC Mentor Training Courses
  • Independent assessment and auditing of Coaching or Officiating Courses
  • Networking opportunities for the managers Coaching and Officiating development within SSOs
  • Targeted workshops for coaches and officials.

What's on training calendar