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Module 2 - Introduction to Sports Governance

The SGA offers a bursary scheme to allow individuals who are successful in the application process to access The Chartered Governance Institute’s Level 4 Certificate in Sports Governance free of charge.

Those who complete the course will receive a recognised certificate from the leading professional body for governance as well the opportunity to become part of a global governance community.

We are also offering the SGA community a limited number of free places on each of the individual modules which comprise the certificate. This will allow successful applicants to undertake one or more modules which are of particular interest to them, without the commitment of completing the entire course and the assessment process.

Available modules

The four modules which comprise the certificate are: 

  • Module 1 - Governance: Common Knowledge and Skills
  • Module 2 - Introduction to Sports Governance
  • Module 3 - Challenges in Sports Governance
  • Module 4 - Risk, Compliance and Finance in Sports

Module 2 - Introduction to Sports Governance

This module focuses specifically on the governance landscape in the sport and physical activity sector. It introduces the principles of sports governance, the most common organisational structures in the sector and the principal governance frameworks and legislation to which sports organisations adhere. 

Topics covered include:

·         The sports governance landscape

o   Definition of sports governance

o   The evolution and importance of sports governance

o   Comparison of sports governance in the UK to other countries

o   The role of stakeholders in sports governance

·         Sports organisations and governance structures in the UK

o   Types of sports organisations, including grassroots and community sport

o   Governance structures in sports organisations

o   The role of the board, members, executive directors and SMTs in sports organisations

·         Approaches to sports governance

o   Top-down and bottom-up approaches

o   The role of self-regulation and external regulation

o   Mandated and voluntary standards in governance

o   The importance of international regulation

·         Relevant legislation

o   The legal framework for sports governance in the UK

o   The role of government in sports governance

o   The role of international and transnational regulation

The module is an online learning component of a larger self-paced programme with e-learning content, self-assessments, knowledge check quizzes, real-world examples (practical case studies) and other online resources. It will also be supported by a schedule of live webinars with a tutor, group discussions and feedback on discussions and assessments. 

The programme content is delivered through an online learning platform, where you can interact with other students. The webinars are live events but will also reside as an archived recorded resource.

It is an intensive module. It is estimated that completion of the module will require 40-50 hours of self-study, including webinars.

The application process

Applications are invited from individuals working in governance roles in the UK sport and physical activity sector. These may include both paid and voluntary positions.

Decisions on requests for the bursary are made on the basis of responses to the questions contained in the online application form. Applications are scored according to the following criteria which has been agreed with our partner Sports Councils:


Application criteria


Application question

How scored?

Scoring criteria to be applied to applicant responses

Applicant’s role

Briefly describe your current/intended role and governance responsibilities.


Priority will be given to applicants whose role involves clear governance responsibilities, either as part of an organisation’s governance/compliance team, a member of the board or with responsibility for the board or committee(s).

Applicants who do not currently hold such a role should outline their present position/responsibilities and their aspirations with regard to a governance role in the sport and physical activity sector. Consideration will be given to their application.

10 – The applicant’s role contains clear and sustained governance responsibilities.

5 – The applicant’s role contains some governance responsibilities, but these do not comprise the majority of the functions of the role.

0 – The applicant’s role contains little or no governance responsibilities.

Individual benefit to applicant

In what ways will completion of the module benefit your governance development as an individual? Please refer both to your current role and future career development.



Priority will be given to applicants who can demonstrate a commitment to the sport and physical activity sector. Applicants may wish to show how they expect to contribute to governance in the sector.

10 – The applicant provides a clear case for how completion of the module will benefit them, having regard to their skills development and career progression. They provide examples of how the module will improve their ability to carry out their current and future roles.

5 – The applicant has demonstrated some benefits to them of completing the module, but has not provided specific examples or has focused on either the short term advantages or longer term progression without linking the two.

0 – The applicant has provided insufficient or no examples of how completion of the module will benefit them in either the short or longer term.


Benefit to the applicant’s organisation

Briefly outline the benefits to your organisation of your completion of the module.


10 – The applicant provides clear and detailed examples of how completion of the module will equip them to improve the governance of their organisation.

5 – The applicant provides some indication of how completion of the module will improve the governance of their organisation, but their response lacks detail or the impact is limited in scope.

0 – Little or no attempt has been made to link completion of the module to development of skills and knowledge that will benefit the applicant’s organisation.


Financial need/limited funding

Are other sources of funding available to either you or your organisation that will allow you complete this module?

If so, please provide brief details.


Evidence and/or explanation given in application

Access to the bursary is prioritised for those applicants who would otherwise be unable to undertake the module due to lack of financial resources.

No – the applicant and/or their organisation could not fund a place on the module if unsuccessful in this application.

Yes – the applicant and/or their organisation could access other forms of funding for this a place on the module.


Scoring against these criteria will be made on a sliding scale. Key points on this scale are identified in the table above.


Decisions on applications are final.

Successful applicants will be contacted by the SGA Team to make arrangements for registration on the course.

In return for bursary support, successful applicants are expected to:

  • acknowledge the support through their organisation’s website, social media channels or other communications.
  • agree to contribute to SGA output in consultation with the SGA Team. This may include but is not limited to blog posts, testimonials and/or case studies, acting as an ambassador for the bursary scheme, the Certificate in Sports Governance or its component modules and the SGA more generally.

While we understand that career trajectories change, applicants are reminded that the bursary scheme applies public money for the benefit of the sport and physical activity sector. The SGA is keen to retain for the sector the knowledge and learning that completion of the module will provide. Those whose long-term aspirations lie outside the sector are invited to consider the limited availability of funded places. 

Terms and conditions apply.




26 March 2024

Application window opens

15 April 2024 (4.30pm)

Application window closes

29 April 2024

Successful applicants notified

6 May 2024

Deadline for acceptance of places

w/c 24 June 2024

Course begins


How to apply

Applications close 15th April at 16:30 UK Time

Apply for Module 2