What is governance?

‘Governance’ refers to the process of running your club, making decision and ensuring that the club is effective and properly run; it is about the principles that guide you to do the right thing in the right way, but differs from ‘management’ which is concerned with organising the day-to-day activities of the club.


Why is governance important?

Governance is not the most exciting of subjects but it is important that good governance arrangements i.e. the processes and procedures, are in place, are used, and are adhered to, otherwise unnecessary problems can occur. Poor governance can, in itself, cause problems when issues get out of hand if they are not handled correctly.

Your club is primarily about one or more of the aquatic disciplines, and few people will want to spend a lot of time on the mechanics of committee meeting, constitutions, rules and policies. However, it will help you club to run much more smoothly if they basic arrangement are in place so that if you do encounter problems you have some guidelines to refer to.

Each club should carefully consider the most appropriate constitution for its particular circumstances and it is important that your club is structured in a way that best suits your needs now and in the future. There are a number of reasons to get you club structure correct including:

  • It determines whether your clubs is a separate legal entity or not.
  • It has an impact on members’ liability.
  • There are different rules and legal requirements depending on how your club is structured.
  • It can have financial implications.

Please click here for more information on alternative club structures that are available.


What does governance actually mean?

Governance includes the following:

  • The constitution – this sets out the purpose and the rules of your clubs and is the basic document which helps to ensure smooth and correct running of the club.
  • Election of the management/executive committee.
  • The rules for different types of meetings (annual, special, committees and sub-committees).
  • Policies and procedures:
    • Membership (types, criteria, application, resignation) and subscriptions
    • Child protection (adoption of and compliance with WavePower)
    • Health and safety (covering a range of issues including duty of care, risk assessments, insurance, first aid, emergency procedures etc.)
    • Expulsion and disciplinary actions (following Swim England procedures).
  • Financial management (budgets, monthly and annual accounts)
  • Compliance with legal requirements:


Please click here for more information on Swim England requirements and Swim England North West support.

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