The role of the governance lead

The governance lead – be they a company secretary, governance professional, secretary, or someone who goes by one of a number of other job titles – is at the heart of the delivery of good governance in sports organisations.

While the position of company secretary may be specifically referred to in parts of this section, reflecting the legal position of that role, many of the roles and duties can be applied to those who have lead responsibility for governance under a different position. Organisations should consider what is appropriate for their circumstances and resources.

A highly effective governance lead will:

  • win the confidence of and act as a confidential sounding board to the chair and other board members on issues of concern;
  • provide, where appropriate, a discreet but challenging voice in relation to board deliberations and decision making, drawing in particular on their professional experience and historical knowledge of the sport, the wider sector and the organisation; and
  • keep under review legislative, regulatory and governance developments that may impact the organisation, ensuring that the board is appropriately briefed on existing or new documents published.

This section will dive into the essential duties that can help a governance lead can achieve this, as well as looking at why they should strive to.

Level of appointment

A look at the differences between the positions a governance lead can hold

Role and duties of the governance lead

What exactly should a governance lead do?

Reporting lines

Analysis of how the governance lead should report, and to whom

Related tools

Useful tools to help you understand and enhance the role of the governance lead