Club Governance Code of Practice

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

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

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

View Club Governance Code of Practice

How does the Code help clubs?

The Code is a self-regulatory mechanism for clubs that introduces minimum standards and best practice guidance to help clubs meet the high expectations of their communities. 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 and Best Practice Guidelines provide 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 members may have governance or other issues they wish to raise regarding club operations. A personal conflict may arise between members or directors; disputes may occur over elections, or a member may believe there is inadequate financial reporting or director accountability. 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 Code 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 the Code Authority with administrative support only, to ensure objectivity. The Code Authority acts as a neutral arbiter, providing perspective and advice to both clubs and their members to help resolve any issue which may arise. The Code and Best Practice Guidelines were 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  current edition of the Code and Guidelines was published in March 2018.

What matters are dealt with under the Code?

The Code covers a wide range of club operations, including board elections, complaints handling, conducting disciplinary proceedings, financial reporting, executive remunerations, procurement of goods, services, and major capital works, overseas travel, and board operations. Members should contact the Code Administrator or ClubASSIST if they believe a Code breach has occurred.

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

Please note, the Code Authority is no longer be accepting paper-based applications. All Code Breach Allegations must use the webform at the link above. Please contact the Code Officer at or (02) 9268 3000 if you have any queries.