Wiltshire FA becomes first county to achieve The FA’s new Code of Governance

Friday 13 Aug 2021

Wiltshire FA has become the first County FA to achieve our new Code of Governance for County Football Associations.

Wiltshire FA evidenced full compliance with the regional Code of Governance, which sets a higher precedent than the current gold standard for sport and aims to provide support and guidance to those running the grassroots game up and down the country.

Last year, The FA became the first national governing body in English sport to introduce a regional Code of Governance, with a number of other sports now following the model which has been endorsed by Sport England. The Code itself represents a ‘Gold Standard’ of governance, made up of 65 requirements based on Sport England and UK Sport’s Code for Sports Governance.

The requirements within the code means each County FA can assess their current practices against the highest standard of corporate governance in football, supporting their development and ensuring they have the structures, functional operations and decision-making processes in place to offer the best possible service to the game at a local level. The code also includes provisions for gender diversity, ethnic diversity and youth representation across the County FA network.

All 50 CFAs have self-assessed against the Code and are committed to improving their governance, with Wiltshire FA becoming the first to be awarded with the County FA Code of Compliance logo, which can be used on County FA external and internal communications channels.

James Kendall, The FA's Director of Football Development, said: “As the national sport that millions of people play and support across the country, it’s vitally important that The FA and the County FAs serve and lead the game as effectively as possible. Through the Code of Governance for County FAs, we have strived to build upon the existing gold standard set by the Sport England Code of Governance. We have gone further to give County FAs a clear framework, setting out how they can enhance the levels of governance at county level and ultimately deliver an even better service to their communities. I’d like to congratulate Wiltshire FA in becoming the first to be fully compliant and look forward to seeing many other County FAs achieve this same standard as their ongoing work progresses.”

Oliver Selfe, CEO at Wiltshire FA, said: “Wiltshire FA is extremely proud to achieve the FA Code of Governance for County FAs. Whilst it has been a challenge, there is a clear benefit for the organisation and it has been a catalyst to unite our team behind a common goal. Effective governance is at the heart of successful organisations and the Code of Governance has certainly enabled Wiltshire FA to review our current practices, implement new processes and provide transparency and accountability to our members. One of the greatest impacts arising from Wiltshire FA achieving the Code of Governance is the recruitment of new independent directors, who have brought new skills and experience to the Board and have helped us to create a more diverse senior leadership team, which is more reflective of the communities we serve”

Phil Smith, Director of Sport at Sport England, said: “Sport England and UK Sport developed the Code for Sports Governance in 2016 with the aim of bringing about better governance within major sport organisations, with the changes to the Code announced in July serving to build on the progress made to date. Most community sport decisions are made locally, so The FA’s aspiration to improve how decisions are made in local football is welcome. Congratulations to Wiltshire FA as the first to achieve full compliance with the Code, with this a step forward for football in the county.”

For further information on the Code of Governance for County FAs, please click here

By FA Staff