Affiliation is when your club aligns itself with a set of requirements, often determined by an external body such as National Governing Bodies. Its very common that NGBs will have affiliation processes so that clubs can be become ‘members’ of the governing body, therefore accessing benefits such as further levels of support and access to competition.
Being affiliated to a body is not required for your club or organisation to run and offer opportunities to take part in activity, however you should consider the needs of your particular organisation based on your legal structure (LINK).
There are a range of organisations outside of NGBs that offer affiliation or membership, such as Sported, Street Games and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Depending on your club and organisations needs, these may align with the audience or ethos that you are focusing on. Before committing to affiliations, ensure that you consult with your committees or fellow volunteers to understand the cost implications and time required to align to their requirements.
Accreditation is where your club or organisation achieves a certain standard. These are often offered to show that your club or organisation has been able to demonstrate competencies in particular areas depending on the awardee. A number of National Governing Bodies run accreditation schemes, on top of affiliation. If you are interested in accreditation please contact your NGB.
Sport England Club Matters previously ran the Clubmark programme, helping clubs to achieve a core set of standards for how the club was managed, the level of activity provided and a commitment to continual development. Since August 2019, Sport England no long offers the Clubmark programme. As such all awards that have since expired are not able to renewed and should be removed club notices (websites, funding applications etc). Some NGBs do still offer their own scheme under the name ‘Clubmark’ therefore please check with them in the first instance.
Sport England Club Matters has a health check tool available for any club and organisation to use, which helps to analyse your clubs general operations in five areas; Governance, welfare and safeguarding, financial management, workforce and facility development.
The tool is designed to help you to understand your organisation’s strengths and identify any areas for development to ensure you are providing a safe environment and meeting your legal requirements. The tool will be developed over time to help you review some of the wider aspects of your club’s operations and development activities.
To access the tool click here