Roles and responsibilities

In this section, we examine specific roles and responsibilities of board members relevant to sports organisations. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined for all stakeholders. Consultation with stakeholders on their role or if you want to make changes to a role or responsibility can actually be very helpful and can avoid unnecessary conflict later due to overlapping responsibilities or lack of clarity on who is responsible for what.

Roles and responsibilities discussed in this section include:

  • board members – directors/trustees/officers
  • the chair
  • members

For many sports organisations, a place on the board – as a director or trustee – is one of the most important and central roles in the organisation and so we cover a variety of topics related to this position in this section, including:

  • the benefits of being a board member
  • responsibilities often associated with board members
  • liabilities
  • eligibility (can I serve on the board?) and recruitment
  • due diligence

In this section, we have used the term ‘board member’ as a generic term covering those with the legal responsibility for the governance and oversight of an organisation. Where circumstances relate to a company or a charity specifically, the terms ‘director’ and ‘trustee’ are used respectively.

Board members – directors and trustees

An overview of the roles and responsibilities of board members

Board member eligibility

Guidance on the eligibility of directors or trustees

Recruitment of board members

A look at the process of recruiting board members

Honorary officers

An overview of the honorary officer positions in sports organisations, in particular the chair

Lead directors - welfare and safety

The Code for Sports Governance places a requirement on organisations to appoint a lead director with responsibility for welfare and safety and this may be considered good practice regardless of an explicit obligation to do so.


The important roles and responsibilities of a sports organisation’s members

Related tools

Useful tools for understanding the key roles within sports organisations