Clubmark is the only national cross sports quality accreditation scheme for clubs with junior sections. It is built around a set of core criteria which ensure that accredited clubs operate to a set of consistent, accepted and adopted minimum operating standards.
Sport England recognises and values the commitment made by sports clubs to develop high quality, welcoming environments for young participants. The development of clubs that encourage young people to take-up sport, improve their talents and give them the option to initiate and maintain life-long participation in sport is an essential part of our work to support the sporting infrastructure in England.
Clubmark is endorsed by all the main sporting, youth and education agencies involved in delivery of sporting opportunity for young people as the accreditation scheme for clubs with quality assured junior sections.
A club is accredited via either its licensed National Governing Body (NGB) or County Sports Partnership (CSP). It must, therefore, be affiliated to the relevant Sport England recognised NGB in order to be accredited.
More than 10,000 clubs across around 35 sports are currently Clubmark accredited or working towards the award. These cover a diverse array of sports from ball games such as tennis, cricket and rugby to water sports like swimming, canoeing and rowing.
Benefits of Clubmark
As a single, national standard, Clubmark gives sports clubs of all types structure and direction. Clubs awarded Clubmark have seen many tangible benefits, such as:
- Increased membership – Addressing issues like equity and child protection gives parents confidence when choosing a club for their children.
- Retaining members – Clubmark stimulates real thought about how clubs cater for junior and all members. The culture it promotes boosts the morale of players and ensures that volunteers are recognised for their contributions.
- Continuous improvement – Accreditation encourages a club to adopt better, more organised systems and structures, thus helping them to run more effectively and efficiently.
- Funding – Many funding bodies state that applicants must be Clubmark accredited or working towards
- Facilities – More and more local authorities and other leisure operators give priority-booking slots to Clubmark accredited clubs. Some also offer discounted rates for facility hire.
- Developing coaches – As part of Clubmark, clubs are entitled to receive help to develop the skills of coaches. This, in turn leads to better quality provision and improved player performance. Parents can be confident that appropriately qualified coaches are deployed.
- Volunteers – Clubmark promotes a volunteer culture where hard work and dedication is recognised. Once accredited, clubs find more people are keen to get involved, especially parents.
- Links with schools – Increasingly, schools are looking for guarantees of quality and the presence of child- friendly systems and procedures. Clubmark clubs are normally the first invited to work with local schoolsand schools are being encouraged to signpost pupils to Clubmark clubs.
- Raised profile – Clubmark is a highly valued accreditation. As well as raising the profile with local authorities, NGBs and other sporting and community bodies, all accredited clubs are listed on a national database and in other directories, to help them to publicise what they do, attract new members and grow.
- Club development – The foundation for any club is its youth structure. The Clubmark accreditation process is designed to assist clubs to attract and cater for young members, and build a strong future.