Devon County 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.
In January 2020, 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 Devon County FA becoming the latest to be awarded with the County FA Code of Compliance logo, which can be used on County FA external and internal communications channels.
John Street, Chair of the Board of Directors at Devon County FA said: “After many months of working on our Code of Governance, we have been awarded the Code – only the tenth County FA in the country so to do. This means that the County now meet the standards for all professional governing bodies, set by Sport England and UK Sport, and ensures that what we do is done correctly; to an even, yet exacting standard; and with transparency – something which some sporting organisations have often been accused of avoiding. It’s important to me that whilst there was no incentive for achieving this award, we needed to follow these standards – and it is pleasing to note that whilst we now have to work to achieve compliance with version 2 of the standards by the end of this forthcoming season.
Chris French, CEO at Devon County FA said: “Achieving the FA’s Code of Governance is a significant landmark for Devon County FA and we’re very proud to be in the first 10 County FA’s to be Code of Governance compliant. This is credit to the hard work carried out by our staff, board, and council members to ensure we govern ourselves to the highest standards and continuously aim to be the best we can be. Good governance reinforces everything we helps to support our vision of enhancing lives through football.”
Tim Foster, Head of Operations at The FA, 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 this Code of Governance for County FAs, we have set out how they can enhance their governance at county level and ultimately deliver an even better service to their communities. I’d like to congratulate Devon County FA in becoming fully compliant and look forward to seeing many other County FAs achieve this same standard as their ongoing work progresses.”
For further information on the Code of Governance for County FAs, please see here.