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Get help to find what you need

Club Matters offers support and guidance to clubs in a wide range of topics.

To help find what you need, select the option below which best describes your current situation.

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Get started

If your club is new or in the process of being set-up, we recommend exploring our Start a Club section.

This section is split into the following topics:

  • Things to think about before starting your club
  • The rules and structure your new club will adopt
  • The facilities and funding you will need in place
  • Raising awareness of your club
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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Keep it up

If your club wants to maintain what it has, or check you’re doing the best you can, we recommend exploring our main topic areas in more detail.

Sign-up to workshops which cover key topic areas such as business planning, marketing, club structures, finances and tax.

Register for free for full access to our resources

Click on these boxes to access toolkits, online modules and interactive content. Have a look around to see which areas your club could benefit from.

For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Get back on track

My club is struggling on one or more areas and is looking for specific guidance.

We need help growing or maintaining our membership levels We need to manage our finances better We are looking for guidance on applying for funding We need more volunteers to help run our club We are unsure what good governance really means or how we can improve We don’t know if our club’s legal structure is right for us We need support with our facilities or lack of facilities We want to better understand our members and what they want from the club

Top Tips

1. Think about the best way to market your club to reach potential new members

2. Make sure your club is welcoming and inclusive to appeal to new members

3. Make your club experience extraordinary, so that your current members want to stay

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Marketing Inclusivity Members and Participants

Top Tips

1. Get into a routine of checking your club’s financial position and keeping records

2. Plan for the future and develop a budget, to help you keep costs on track

3. Get your income from a variety of sources, to stay sustainable

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Managing Money Budgeting Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Create a clear club development plan to show funders that you have realistic goals

2. Research the best funding for your club

3. Don’t forget the other ways to raise funds for your club, including fundraising, forming partnerships and gaining sponsorship

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Development Plan Funding Guidance Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Look beyond your current volunteer base - don’t just rely on those who already have a link to the club

2. Convey the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving a CV or boosting self-confidence

3. Improve the experience of your current volunteers to reduce the risk of them leaving

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Finding Volunteers Developing Volunteers Keeping Volunteers

Top Tips

1. Governance is all about having the right people, policies, procedures and structure in place at your club

2. Protect your club’s reputation by creating, communicating and following a robust set of policies

3. Have an effective committee with clear roles and responsibilities, skills and experiences

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Governance Policies and Procedures Effective Committees

Top Tips

1. Explore all the options available and consider seeking legal advice

2. Incorporating your club creates a separate legal entity and protects your committee and members from entering into contracts in their own name

3. Adopting charitable status or becoming a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) can provide benefits such as tax relief for your club

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club structures Incorporated Charitable Status CASC

Top Tips

1. Carry out risk assessments for the facilities you use

2. Hiring or leasing facilities is often the simplest solution if you only need to access them for a few hours each week

3. If you own your facilities, make sure you are clued up on business rates and energy saving measures to keep costs down

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Facilities Risk Assessment Managing Costs

Top Tips

1. The way people participate in sport is changing, you need to make sure your club is flexible and can adapt to modern lifestyles and demands

2. Seek feedback from your members

3. Every club can improve, keep trying to make your club’s experience even better by creating and following an action plan

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Understanding Your Members Understanding Your Offer Delivering a Great Experience Being Consistently Brilliant

Raise the bar

If your club is keen to develop and you want to improve your current offer, we recommend using our Club Improvement Tool.

The tool prompts you to think about how your club is performing now and where you would like it to be in the future. Based on your responses, the tool directs you to specific resources to help you reach your goals.

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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Clubmark

Clubmark is Sport England’s universally acknowledged, cross-sport accreditation scheme.

If your club wants to achieve Clubmark accreditation or you want to find out more, we recommend exploring our Clubmark section.

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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

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What is Clubmark

Clubmark is the universally acknowledged cross sport accreditation scheme for community sports Clubs.

It stands for:

  • Higher standards of welfare, equity, coaching and management in community sports clubs.
  • Making sure the nation’s sports club infrastructure is safer, stronger and more successful.
  • Ensuring clubs provide the right environment to encourage all its members to enjoy sport and stay involved throughout their lives.

An accredited Club is recognised as a safe, rewarding and fulfilling place for participants of all ages as well as helping parents and carers know that they’re choosing the right Club for their young people.

Are you eligible?

medium-content-01To be eligible for Clubmark status, clubs must be located in England and affiliated to a Sport England recognised NGB.

To achieve Clubmark status, a club is supported by a Clubmark licensed body. This is usually either the National Governing Body for its sport (NGB) or by the County Sports Partnership (CSP) operating in its geographic area.

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Clubmark accreditation can be gained no matter the sport enjoyed at the club. Some NGBs have their own Sport Specific Accreditation schemes. If your NGB has their own scheme, you may also automatically gain Clubmark status when you complete their scheme. If your NGB does not have a sport specific accreditation scheme you will be supported by your CSP to gain generic Clubmark. For a list of NGBs with their own accreditations, please see below:

Start my Clubmark Accreditation online

What are the benefits of Clubmark?

Clubmark is a development journey, not an end result. It helps clubs ‘get themselves in order’ using our best practice framework. Clubmark is not a destination but an approach to club development that is relevant to, and can be adopted by, all.

The benefits are defined in the following ways:

  • The development of clear goals and objectives that can be communicated to all club members and the wider community, demonstrating the club’s ambition for the future to grow and/or improve.
  • The analysis of the current workforce ensures all training is up to date and the club is operating at its best.
  • Adopting organised systems and structures will help the club run more efficiently and effectively.
  • Addressing issues such as equity, child protection and adult safeguarding should increase potential new member confidence.
  • Updating policies, training and systems shows confidence and increased productivity within the club. This in turn attracts schools and local authorities, meaning that quality of child/adult friendly systems and procedures is key.
  • The development of a clear club strategy to recruit new members.
  • The opportunity for potential discounts with certain leisure operators and local authorities who may give priority to Clubmark accredited clubs.
  • Clubmark also provides recognition for high quality clubs.
  • Members can be sure their club is a well-managed club, striving to offer the best in coaching and sports development.

What does it involve?

Clubmark is based on four key areas of club development:

  • Activity / Playing Programme
    This section looks at the opportunities a club provides, when it is providing them and how and by whom they are being delivered. Clubs are asked to think about how their session engages new members and are inclusive to all. It also ensures that the people running activities are suitably trained and qualified.
  • Duty of Care and Welfare
    It is the duty of every club to take steps to ensure that members, volunteers, and visitors can enjoy the opportunities offered by the club in a safe environment. This section encourages clubs to meet minimum best practice standards in these areas. Duty of Care and Welfare covers everything from identifying a Welfare Officer who is there to support club members, to completing risk assessments and demonstrating reporting processes.
  • Knowing your Club and Community
    This section is all about the culture of a club. It is important to promote the right culture so that the policies, practices and ethos encourage all members to adopt an inclusive, friendly approach to sport. This section focuses on knowing the club’s members, what they like, how they want to get information from the club and what they want for the future of the club, as well as getting to know the community around the club and how it could meet local needs.
  • Club Management
    Clubs that are well managed tend to be more successful and sustainable for the future as well as being prepared in the event of an emergency. This section supports the establishment of good governance practices and financial management, engagement with NGB’s and encourages the development of a plan to help the club succeed.

To gain a basic understanding of what clubs will be working towards achieving to develop themselves, download the Clubmark criteria here.

It is worth noting that some NGBs have their own Sport Specific Accreditation schemes (which incorporates the Clubmark criteria). Visit the ‘Am I eligible?’ section to find out more.

Start my Clubmark accreditation

Your Clubmark checklist:

  • Firstly, check to see if your NGB has their own Clubmark licensed Sport Specific Accreditation scheme. If they do, please get in touch with your NGB to start their process. Remember if you gain accreditation to an NGB scheme that is accredited to Clubmark, you automatically gain Clubmark too.
  • If your NGB does not have its own Sport Specific Accreditation scheme then take time to explore the Clubmark criteria to get an understanding of what you already do and what you will need to develop to gain accreditation. One of the benefits of Clubmark is that it is an excellent club development tool so take advantage of the Club Matters resources, such as the Club Improvement Tool, to support you and help you make the most of the Clubmark journey.
  • Although it helps to have one person leading on the co-ordination of your Clubmark accreditation it is important that the whole club is involved. Make sure the committee and club members are aware of what has been achieved and ensure they are part of the development planning that is a key part of the accreditation. Working together, your club will achieve more.
  • We advise that clubs wanting to go through the Clubmark process use their club generic email address, usually your general enquiries contact e.g. info@sportsclub.com when signing up to Club Matters. There can only be 1 online administrator for the Clubmark process so using a generic email allows multiple club members to have access by providing them with the log in details and password, avoiding the use of personal accounts.
  • Once registered, complete the expression of interest form below, giving your club contact details and indicating your NGB and CSP, and your local Clubmark Assessor will be in touch.
  • Once you have gained your accreditation, whether you are becoming accredited for the first time or you have held accreditation for several years it is something to celebrate and share with your members, potential members and your community. It shows you are a club with quality standards of welfare, equity, coaching and management. On completion of your Clubmark accreditation you will be able to download top tips for making the most of your Clubmark status. Visit the Club Matters Marketing area for lots more support and help with your club promotion.

Start my Clubmark Accreditation online

FAQs

About Clubmark

Clubmark is Sport England’s national accreditation scheme for high quality community sports clubs.

The integration to Club Matters gives clubs access to support and information when working towards the accreditation, including tools, templates, online modules and workshops. Clubs also complete the accreditation process via the Clubmark online portal accessed through the Club Matters website.

Who accredits Clubmark?

You will be assessed online and through a site visit carried out by a licensed assessor body, this will usually be someone from your National Governing Body (NGB) or County Sports Partnership (CSP). All organisations involved in accrediting Clubmark clubs are subject to a licensing process and all assessors will have been through a Clubmark assessor training programme. Sport England quality assure each licensee to ensure consistency and high quality across the scheme.

Why should my Club apply for accreditation?

Clubmark provides recognition for high quality clubs. Clubmark is an important club development tool and provides a solid foundation for all clubs wishing to grow. Parents can be assured that their children belong to a safer club. Members can be sure their club is a well managed club, striving to offer the best in coaching and sports development. By striving to achieve higher standards clubs are likely to attract more members and build a sustainable future.

What does working towards Clubmark accreditation involve?

In working towards Clubmark accreditation, clubs will complete online questions about practice within their club and submit some evidence in support of this e.g. uploading a safeguarding and welfare policy, their clubs playing programme. This evidence is uploaded onto the online portal. A site visit will also be conducted in which your assessor will visit your club to fully understand your club’s practices. Following your site visit, as part of your accreditation, your club will agree club development goals for the year ahead. Download the Clubmark criteria or explore the criteria pages for more information. Club Matters provides lots of information that can help you through the process.

How long will it take to achieve Clubmark?

It should take no more than six months for a club to gain accreditation. There are some elements, however, that could affect this time period such as coaching or CPD course availability.

How long does Clubmark accreditation last?

Clubmark accreditation lasts for two years, and at the end of the first year, clubs will be invited to complete an Annual Health Check. This involves updating the information on the online portal and assessing their progress against their Clubmark development goals.

For NGBs that have their own Sport Specific Accreditation, these accreditations can last between 1-4 years. Visit the ‘am I eligible’ section to find out more.

How do I know which clubs have Clubmark? How can I find a Clubmark club near me?

The Club Matters website holds records of all Clubmark accredited clubs across the country, including clubs that have gained accreditation through their NGB. To find a Clubmark accredited club, click here. Look out for the Clubmark logo - all accredited clubs are presented with a certificate to display and use the logo on websites, signage and letterheads etc.

How do I find out more information?

If you would like to speak to someone on our team you can email us at clubmatters@sportengland.org