• Sport England’s Clubmark is a cross-sport accreditation for sports clubs with junior sections in recognition of a quality club. It has been introduced to :
  • Ensure sport’s national governing bodies (NGBs) have core common criteria to ensure good practice runs through all development and accreditation schemes.
  • To empower parent(s)/carer(s) in choosing a club for their children.
  • To recognise an accredited club through a common approach to branding.
  • To provide a focus around which national governing bodies (NGBs), Sport England, sports coach UK, Child Protection in Sport Unit, County Sports Partnerships, English Federation of Disability Sport, Womens Sports Foundation, Sporting Equals, local authorities and others can come together to support good practice in sports clubs working with children and young people.


Nearly half of all children and young people are members of sports clubs outside school (Young People and Sport National Survey 1999) and it is important that these clubs serve young people well. The reasons for this include:

  • Ensuring the well-being of young people whilst in the care of adults, other than their legal parent(s)/carer(s).
  • Enthusing young people to enjoy sport and active recreation to build a healthy lifestyle.
  • Enabling young people to use their leisure time creatively.
  • Developing young people’s talents.
  • Identifying and developing the most talented young people for representative sport.

Until recently there were few guidelines and little support available to most clubs to develop and assess themselves. Initiatives that were developed by Sport England, some NGBs of sport and local authorities were not coordinated and could lead to duplication of effort. Sports clubs that work with children and young people need and deserve support to improve the quality of work they do.

Clubmark sets core and common criteria for sports clubs to meet in the following categories:

  • child protection
  • coaching and competition
  • sports equity and ethics
  • club management.


The basis of club accreditation is that NGBs incorporate the Clubmark criteria into their own development and accreditation programmes through which clubs gain accreditation. There is no duplication of effort required by clubs and there is one process and one set of paperwork to complete.


At Medway Rugby Football Club we are currently working towards accreditation and are committed to the achieving Clubmark status and ensuring that players continue to be coached in a professional and safe environment.

The process of obtaining clubmark does not happen overnight. A significant amount of time and effort has been invested over the last 15 months towards the clubmark process.We have set ourselves a target date of early 2008 to complete and obtain Clubmark Status.