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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.

As of August 2019, Sport England is no longer providing general support for accreditation through Clubmark. You can still go through the process if your NGB runs their own Sport Specific Accreditation. To see the list of NGBs that do, please click on ‘Are you eligible’ below. For sports that do not have their own scheme; take a look at our Club Improvement Tool here to support your development journey.

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. For a list of NGBs with their own accreditations, please see below:

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.

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

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