Clubmark FAQs

  • Clubmark is Sport England's national accreditation scheme for high quality community sports clubs
  • Sport England sets the standard for all high quality community sports clubs in England
  • With more than 14,000 Clubmark accredited clubs across over 50 different sports and more than 4,000 clubs working towards accreditation the likelihood is that there will be a Clubmark club near you
  • Around 70 National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) and County Sports Partnerships are licensed to award Clubmark
  • All organisations involved in accrediting Clubmark clubs are subject to a licensing process
  • The licence is designed to ensure that all such organisations involved work to a minimum operating framework and can prove it
  • The licence is renewed every two years to ensure that minimum operating standards agreed are met by all Clubmark sports and best practice in quality standards is reflected
  • Clubmark stands for higher standards of welfare, equity, coaching and management
  • That way the nation's sports club infrastructure is safer, stronger and more successful
  • This means that a club that has been awarded Clubmark has achieved minimum operating standards in activity/playing programmes, equity, welfare and good club management

In essence, a club that qualifies for Clubmark is a well run club which is ACTIVE and ACCESSIBLE, getting the best out of people and giving everyone a sporting chance.

  • Clubmark provides recognition for high quality clubs
  • It is important that all clubs should strive to this quality standard
  • Clubmark is an important club development tool and provides a solid foundation for all clubs wishing to grow
  • Clubs awarded Clubmark can be proud of what they have achieved
  • They are shown to have a commitment to developing junior sport
  • 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
  • As a single, national standard, Clubmark gives sports clubs of all types structure and direction
  • Clubs awarded Clubmark have seen many tangible benefits... more
  • All clubs that are affiliated to a Sport England recognised NGB can gain Clubmark accreditation
  • Clubs are not disadvantaged simply because their NGB is not licensed to accredit
  • Licensed CSPs can accredit clubs in their area that do not belong to a licensed NGB, such as handball, ice hockey and korfball
  • Registration for Clubmark should be through your NGB or CSP who will provide you with all the relevant resources and information
  • We recognise that sometimes the hardest part of accreditation is knowing which organisation to contact to register an interest so to help clubs get started we have developed the Pathway to Accreditation
  • Just answer a few simple questions and we can point you in the right direction
  • In working towards Clubmark accreditation, clubs will essentially need to put together a portfolio of evidence which outlines the minimum operating criteria
  • This criteria for example, includes having a child protection policy, demonstrating a coaching plan and having up to date public liability insurance
  • Download the Clubmark criteria here
  • Each NGB/CSP which is licensed to accredit clubs must go through a rigorous process and provide evidence that it has sufficient resources to operate Clubmark
  • Clubs in each region are externally assessed by trained staff to ensure that NGBs/CSPs are supporting clubs throughout the process and that clubs provide appropriate and up to date evidence
  • The Clubmark database holds records for every accredited clubs across the country and also those working towards accreditation
  • This database can be filtered by sport to help you to find the most suitable club for you by entering a postcode/location
  • Also, 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
  • Clubmark accreditation lasts for 3 years (or 4 years for some NGBs)
  • At this stage each club will be re-assessed on all areas of the award
  • Clubs are also asked to complete an annual healthcheck to ensure that no major changes have taken place and there will be at least one visit by the licensing organisation during the accreditation period
  • Clubs may also be visited by a trained member of staff as part of its external verification programme
  • A club must re-submit its file to its NGB or CSP (whichever body accredited the club), after the relevant timer period in order to become re-accredited
  • There are a number of sports which adopt a different brand name for their Clubmark accreditation
  • If your Club has any of the following awards then the Club also qualifies for Clubmark:

CAPS (Netball)
Club Charter (Squash)
Clubs First (Hockey)
Club Future (Badminton)
Go-ride (Cycling)
Golf Mark (Golf)
GymMark (Gymnastics)
LacrosseMark (Lacrosse)
Premier Club (Table Tennis)
Seal of Approval (Rugby Union)
Snowmark (Snowsports) 
Swim 21 (Swimming)
Tennis Clubmark (Tennis)
Charter Standard (Football Association)
Top Club (Canoeing)
Volleyball (Volley 1-2-3)

  • As of the 1st October 2011, the Clubmark criteria does not insist on attendance at the 'Equity in your coaching' workshop
  • The club must continue to produce an Equity Action Plan or incorporate equity actions within its club development plans.
  • This should be a short summary of how to recruit and retain members based on fairness
  • This can be either separate or part of the overall club development plan
  • The club can send people on a variety of courses to support personal and club development
  • Some NGBs and CSPs still require you to do this so it is essential that you check with your licensing organisation

There are a number of reasons, but the main factors are:

  • In response to club feedback that it can be difficult to access appropriate courses that can hold up the Clubmark process
  • The Clubmark advisory group felt that the courses were not producing tangible outcomes and were considered by some to be a 'tick box' exercise
  • The annual health check details the minimum requirements that each club, regardless of sport, should complete on an annual basis
  • It is recommended that there should be a minimum of at least one club visit between Clubmark renewals (this still varies between three and four years) from authorised personnel from either the licensing NGB or CSP

The aim of the annual health check is to obtain the following:

  • A progress report on the club development plan
  • An improvement or updated plan for the following year
  • An update on contact details - this should be passed on to Clubmark operators
  • Signed declaration by appropriate person in club that all aspects of Clubmark are valid
  • In addition it is necessary for the clubs to identify how many hours per week and per year your club has organised planned coaching sessions
  • This is a self assessment form that may be asked for by your NGB or CSP but should be maintained by individual clubs to aid on-going development
  • You can find a template annual health check here
  • External verification is the process whereby a trained member of staff visits the accredited sports club and checks that the Club has the relevant evidence in place and that is has been sufficiently supported by its licensed organisation to achieve accreditation
  • This process is essential to maintaining high quality processes within sports clubs
  • Most clubs find the process allows them to showcase the good practice they do on daily basis
  • Clubs are selected randomly, although we do try to ensure that all regions, sports and a range of new and older accredited clubs are chosen
  • This allows us to identify if there are specific issues which need to be addressed with regard to training needs and understanding of Clubmark
  • The Club needs to ensure that it can provide evidence that it meets Clubmark criteria
  • This can be in a variety of formats and does not mean that the Club has reams of evidence in a folder
  • Much information can now be found on the Club's website/social media pages/stored electronically/displayed at clubhouse etc
  • We try and check this out before attending the face to face meeting
  • We are always looking to identify good practice within the leisure sector and will raise the profile of individuals and clubs on the Clubmark website and in the newsletter if possible
  • Further, we use this important consultation to help develop new ideas and resources which we think will be useful to volunteers and clubs in the future
  • Active Kids was introduced in 2005 and its aim has remained unchanged: to help young people of all ages and abilities lead healthier, more active lifestyles whilst having fun.
  • Since 2010, Clubmark accredited clubs have received over £250,000 worth of equipment and experiences, and over 1,800 accredited sports clubs are registered with the scheme
  • 2013 promises to be a huge year for sport, so make sure you get kitted out with Active Kids!
  • The scheme delivers real benefits in the form of equipment and coaching, that go beyond the traditional curriculum based sports and PE lessons, for all types of sports clubs, and for all ages and abilities
  • To find out more visit the Active Kids website or call 0844 415 8440
  • To be eligible your sports club must have junior member provision, i.e. a junior club or team for under-18s that provides sport in a safe environment, be accredited by Clubmark or an acceptable equivalent (in Scotland and Wales) and affiliated to a Sport England recognised national governing body (NGB) of sport
  • To find out more visit the FAQ section of the Active Kids website.
  • You can register by visiting the Active Kids website or by calling 0844 415 8440
  • Clubs who register with Active Kids are sent a welcome pack, which includes a catalogue and support materials to help rally the support of children and parents
  • If your club is already registered for Active Kids, there is no need to re-register and you will automatically receive your welcome pack