Boards and directors

The sport and recreation industry is underpinned by thousands of voluntary board members at club, regional and state association level.

The role as a board member, committee member or director can be challenging, rewarding and is one of responsibility.

As a board member, you have the responsibility to ensure the organisation is well governed.

Board and director roles and responsibilities

Explore the role of the board, code of conduct and conflicts of interest

Board induction

Board induction is essential to ensuring that new board members become productive contributors as quickly as possible

Governance principles 

The Australian Sports Commission’s Sports Governance Principles assists members of boards and management to develop, implement and maintain a robust system of governance that fits the particular circumstances of their sport.

The following principles are beneficial for clubs, regional and state associations to implement:    

Induction

The board should ensure all new directors undergo an appropriate induction process. This should include a clear understanding of an organisations business operations, financial circumstances, strategy and direction and what is expected of the director in their role.

Clear outline of board roles and responsibilities

Outlines the fiduciary duty and legal duty of individual directors, code of conduct specifying expected behaviour of directors, conflict of interest provision and the responsibilities of directors to complete an induction program.

Board charter

The board and each committee established by the board should have a terms of reference or charter. This should outline the purpose, delegated authority, composition including the appointment of a chair, reporting requirements and delineation of the role of the board/committee.

Board calendar

Outlines major annual activities for the board and distributed annually to all directors.

Risk management strategy and process

The board should have in place an effective risk management strategy and process. This will require the board to take actions to identify key risks facing organisations and ensure that management strategies are developed and actioned. 

Monitor the boards performance

The board should regularly review and assess its own performance and the performance of individual directors.

The Department can assist State Sporting Associations to undertake the Australian Sports Commissions Board Evaluation Tool. To undertake an evaluation contact your relevant sports consultant.

Officers and directors insurance

The board should ensure its officers and directors have appropriate insurance cover as once an organisation starts incurring debts and liabilities, directors are potentially liable to provide for any losses incurred.

Considering becoming a board member?

If you are considering joining a board or committee, it is recommended that you do your due diligence and see the constitution, review the last three years of financial statements, talk to the chairperson and make sure the organisation has directors and officers insurance (may also be known as Professional Indemnity Insurance).

Page reviewed 04 July 2019