As a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee, having good governance is a fundamental part of being an effective organisation.
Wesport has a Memorandum of Understanding & Articles of Association that sets out the charitable purpose of the organisation. Every 4 years, a strategic plan is created by the Wesport Trust Board & the Wesport Team that highlights the aims of the organisation over that time period, and how that fulfils the charitable objectives. Each year, an Annual Report is created that demonstrates the impact of the work that Wesport has done over the financial year. You can download our current strategy from the Downloads section on the right hand side of this page
On a day to day basis, Wesport has a large number of policies and procedures that determine the processes that the Wesport Team and Wesport Trust Board follow - for example, Safeguarding, Equality, Financial Procedures, Recruitment, and many others. The Board review these on a regular basis & they are updated in accordance with any changes in relevant legislation or personnel.
For years, Wesport has signed up to the Voluntary Code of Good Governance from the Sport & Recreation Alliance.
2017 saw the introduction of Sport England’s Code for Sports Governance.
The code has three tiers and will apply to any organisation seeking funding from Sport England or UK Sport, regardless of size and sector, including national governing bodies of sport, clubs, charities and local authorities.
The code is proportionate, expecting the highest standards of good governance from organisations requesting the largest public investments, including:
• Increased skills and diversity in decision making, with a target of at least 30 per cent gender diversity on boards
• Greater transparency, for example publishing more information on the structure, strategy and financial position of the organisation
• Constitutional arrangements that give boards the prime role in decision-making.
There are 5 key principles within the Code for Sports Governance:
4) Standards & Conduct
5) Policies & Processes
You can download the full Sport England Code for Sports Governance from the Sport England website here.
As we receive a significant level of our funding from Sport England, we need to achieve and maintain the highest level of good governance (Tier 3). Upon assessment against the criteria of the Code, a large proportion of this was already in place, and we achieved full compliance in 2018 & have maintained it since then.
In 2021, the Code was revised, and so additional work is currently taking place to ensure full compliance to this updated Code.
Part of this includes publicising our audited accounts on our own website (they have always been available on both the Charity Commission website and Companies House website), so please find them attached to view / download on the right hand side of this page. As per the Sport England Code, the accounts are fully audited each year by an external auditing company.
A large area of work under Principle 2: People is in relation to gender parity & diversity targets on the Trust Board and the leadership team. While this has not been required previously as a funding prerequisite, one of the actions to achieve full compliance with Tier 3 of the Code of Governance is to ensure that there is a strong & public commitment from the Board in relation to the Board Diversity targets set by Sport England.
As such, the Wesport Trust Board and Senior Management Team are updating the Wesport Equality Policy to include a specific reference to the Trust Board and the Sport England diversity & equality targets. A specific Board Diversity Action Plan has also been created which you can download on the right of this page. This covers the actions and steps that the Board will be taking to ensure that they continue to meet Sport England’s target requirements.
Sport England have since commissioned an external consultancy, AGS Consortium, to provide support to all System Partners (including Active Partnerships) in creating a full and robust Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan. This will therefore be updated as this work takes place.
Wesport has always had a strong commitment to equality & diversity, including achieving and maintaining the Equality Standard. The Wesport Board has adopted Sport England's targets of achieving at least 30% of each gender on its Board, along with a target to increase diversity on the Board (including, but not limited to, Trustees that identify as having a BAME background & those with a disability). The recruitment for new Trustees is via open recruitment and shared with all networks with whom Wesport has access. The shortlisting is completed purely on a skills basis, comparing their application against the role description, and all equality & diversity monitoring information is removed from applications prior to shortlisting.
For more information on our Trust Board, please click here.