The collaboration of consultants - Crimson Tiger and Sport Structures Limited were appointed to provide consistent, effective support to national partners, national governing bodies of sport (NGB’s) county sports partnerships (CSPs), Sport England support centre and regions in the implementation of the foundation and preliminary levels of the Standard up until October 31st 2006. In addition, there was a secondary role of supporting and working closely with the Sports Equity Alliance (SEA) to enable it to become the providers of advice, support, and guidance to partners post October 2006.
The project involved achieving the following key outcomes:
- To conduct a review of current status of the organisations relating to the Standard.
- Evaluate the readiness of each organisation, either individually or using a “cluster” approach as appropriate.
- Provide appropriate support to ensure each organisation is ready to submit their portfolios with a high likelihood of success by the agreed deadlines.
- Report progress to the project team on a monthly basis.
- Provide feedback to partners on an on-going basis.
- Act as a point of contact, information and guidance for specific organisations undertaking the Standard.
- Work with Sport England communications team to develop necessary communications.
- Incorporate the Sports Equity Alliance into all work and planning.
An online survey was designed to review the current status of organisations with regards to the Equality Standard. The online survey provided 56 complete responses of which 18 were from NGBs and 38 from CSPs. A detailed audit report was produced and used to tailor the ongoing support to sports organisations.
Cluster meetings were held for CSPs and proved to be a successful approach to support. As the majority of CSPs were only just starting to consider The Standard, the clusters were a good way of bringing people together to share current good practice and explain The Standard process from the start. Due to very short time-scales and major differences in the state of readiness for NGBs it was decided that work would focus more intensively on a one-to-one basis where possible. This approach was well received in the main.
Reports were provided at least three days prior to any monthly Equality Standard Project Team meeting. The Sports Equity Alliance nominated a lead officer on The Standard and a close working relationship was established. A two-day handover to the SEA was held at the end of October.
Overall the majority of NGBs and CSPs were supported either directly through meetings and/or via email and telephone. Six NGB’s achieved Foundation Level, a further three NGB’s achieved this level by the end of October. Two NGB’s have achieved Preliminary Level since the start of this project. Eight CSP’s submitted for Foundation Level and one CSP submitted for Preliminary Level.