Club Mark

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What is Clubmark NI?

Northern Ireland’s quality standard for sports clubs.

Sport Northern Ireland works with a range of Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities to deliver this sports club accreditation programme. The programme aims to identify, develop, accredit and recognise high quality sports clubs and the contribution that they make to the development of sport in Northern Ireland.

To gain Clubmark NI accreditation, clubs are required to evidence compliance with the core Clubmark NI criteria and sport specific criteria.

Sport Northern Ireland value the essential and significant role that sports clubs play in the development of sport:

  • providing outlets for participation
  • quality environments for talented young athletes to develop and
  • competitive opportunities offered by clubs

An accredited club is recognised as a safe, regarding and quality environment for participants of all ages to enjoy sport and stay involved throughout their lives.

The accreditation is based on five key areas each of which must be supported by specific evidence collected by the club. The five key areas are:


Clubs that are managed effectively are more likely to be successful, characterised by openness and good communication, and compliant with effective and efficient policies and procedures. Well managed clubs understand the importance of creating effective partnerships, will be committed to ongoing development, and will implement measures to ensure that the club will continue to progress and to retain quality standards.


It is important to promote the right culture in your club so that its policies, practices and ethos encourage all members to adopt an inclusive, friendly approach to sport. Engaging with your local community and forming links is key to growing and sustaining your club. Engaged clubs will also effectively manage their volunteers in a manner worthy of the commitment they give to the club.


Coaches play a key role in the creation of a suitable environment for coaching and competition, and in the design and delivery of an appropriate coaching programme. Clubs should take their lead from their sport’s governing body and should be compliant with their guidelines.


Sports clubs should have a commitment to provide appropriate and enjoyable sporting activities in safe environments. To ensure that this is the case, considerations and actions to promote safety in sport must be fundamental to all of the activities undertaken by your club.


It is the duty of every sports club to take steps to ensure that members, volunteers, and visitors can enjoy the sport offered by the Club in a safe environment. All organisations that work or come into contact with children or vulnerable adults need to have safeguarding policies and procedures in place. Safeguarding members protects not only participants in club activities but also the club and its members and volunteers.

There are 3 categories of accreditation, details of minimum operating standards for each are outlined below:

  • Junior Club Minimum Operating Criteria
  • Senior Club Minimum Operating Criteria
  • Junior and Senior Club Minimum Operating Criteria
Benefits of Clubmark NI
  • Adopting more organised structures to help run the club more efficiently and effectively
  • Formalising and implementing procedures and policies
  • Recruiting and developing volunteers
  • Parental appreciation, satisfaction, comfort and confidence
  • A safe environment for children and young people
  • Access to funding and discounted rates for accredited clubs

In addition to the club development benefits of Clubmark NI, specific benefits are linked to many of the endorsed schemes, details of these would be available from your scheme operator. Sport Northern Ireland also provides a range of benefits for all Clubmark NI accredited clubs:

  • One free Sport Northern Ireland coach development workshop for a group of up to 20 coaches. Sport Northern Ireland will deploy a Coach Educator to the club to deliver a coach development workshop (excluding Safeguarding and Designated Officer Workshops)
  • A framed Clubmark NI certificate will be presented to the club upon accreditation and the club will be invited to a presentation event.
  • A large (3m x 1.5m) ‘Clubmark NI Accredited Club’ banner will be provided to the club to promote their status as a Clubmark NI accredited club.
  • The Clubmark NI logo will be made available to all Clubmark NI accredited clubs in an electronic format to allow clubs to add this to their website, letterheads or other club materials.
  • All accredited clubs will be listed on the Sport Northern Ireland Clubmark NI webpage as a Clubmark NI accredited club.

Clubmark NI also provides clubs with expert support and guidance from professional sports development staff and online resources to support your clubs development.