Code of Practice

The ClubsNSW Code of Practice sets out common standards of conduct for all member clubs, with a specific focus on corporate governance.

The Club Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines outlines clubs’ key obligations to their members, visitors and the community. All registered clubs abide by their own Constitution - but they must concurrently comply with a wide range of state and federal laws. Clubs also need to satisfy member and community expectations.

The Code of Practice is a plain-English document that helps boards, management and staff meet all these responsibilities. Complying with the Code of Practice is a condition of membership of ClubsNSW.

View Club Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines

How does the Code help clubs?

The Club Code of Practice is a self-regulatory mechanism for clubs that introduces minimum standards and best practice guidance to help clubs meet the high expectations that the community holds. By providing a user-friendly way to resolve issues, it also helps clubs and their members avoid costly legal action to resolve disputes. The Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines provides a framework for successful club operations — with checklists to help monitor performance, avoid potential financial or legal problems, and ensure future club viability. The Code has played an important role in helping to lift the performance of club boards and management.

How does the Code help club members?

Club membership enriches millions of people’s lives across NSW — but if a concern presents, it can sometimes be difficult to deal with. Occasionally a personal conflict arises between members, or disputes occur over elections, or you’re just not sure what your rights are. The Code provides club members with a free-of-charge service to help resolve these problems and ensure they are being dealt with fairly. Lodging a complaint is a simple process and we can advise you at each step of the way. Members also benefit from better-run clubs. Since the Code’s introduction, industry standards have improved significantly. This means members can enjoy stronger, more professionally-operated clubs.

Who oversees the Code?

The Club Code of Practice is monitored by the Code Authority. The Code Authority is an independent panel of club industry experts, with decades of experience in law, policy and governance. ClubsNSW provides administrative support, but the Code Authority operates at arm’s length to ensure it remains objective. While the Code Authority members have expertise in the industry, they do not take sides. The Code Authority acts as a neutral arbiter, providing perspective and advice to both clubs and their members to help resolve whatever problem they are facing. History of the Code The Club Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines was first released in July 2005. The Code is subject to regular review, to keep up with regulation and the community’s expectations of clubs. The fifth and current edition of the Code and Guidelines was published in September 2014.

What matters are dealt with under the Code of Practice?

The Code of Practice covers a wide range of club operations, including board elections, complaints handling, conducting disciplinary proceedings, financial reporting and benchmarking club performance, executive remunerations, procurement of goods, services, and major capital works, overseas travel, and board operations. If you are unsure about whether the Code covers the issue you’re dealing with, simply contact the Code Administrator or the ClubsNSW Member Enquiries Centre. 

Frequently Asked Questions regarding making a complaint under the code can be accessed here, with the complaint allegation form accessible here.

Completed forms and any supporting documentation can be emailed to or posted to Code Administrator, ClubsNSW - Level 8, 51 Druitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000