Governance (Champion Club Guide)

Constitution / club rules

Your club constitution is the back bone of the rules and guidelines set for the daily and long term running of your club. It details the name, objects, methods of management, and other conditions your club operates under. All incorporated groups must have a constitution or set of rules which comply with and meet the basic legal requirements of the Associations Incorporation Act 2015. Once adopted, any alterations must be made via a special general meeting and resolution, and application to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulations, and Safety – Consumer Protection.

Model rules

The Model Rules are a standard set of rules that have been developed for use by associations who do not wish to develop their own rules or constitution. These rules meet all the requirements of the Act and provide a suitable governance framework for an incorporated association. Many clubs use or base their constitutions on these Model Rules. Once you have made a change to the Model Rules, it becomes your Constitution.

To complement or supplement the Constitution, your club may also have a set of:

By-laws or regulations

  • Sit beneath the constitution
  • Must not contradict the constitution
  • Are not law and can be changed by the committee as per constitution instructions
  • May include finer details of club management policies.

Game or competition rules

  • Sit beneath the constitution and the by-laws
  • Must not contradict the by-laws or constitution
  • Can be changed to suit the season, age group, special needs, adapted games, special competitions, etc.  (as per constitution instructions).


  • Policies are useful to use as support documents for managing day to day issues.
  • A Member Protection policy is an important and core document that acts as a backbone and links to various other policies. 
  • State and National Bodies will have a selection of policies that your club can use or adapt.

The constitution, rules and policies are your friends

  • Get to know them and keep them handy
  • If you have a question or problem with any aspect of your club management or daily running, check your constitution and by-laws.
Visit the the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website for more information on constitution and by-laws.

Should our organisation be incorporated?

Being incorporated is voluntary but offers some benefits:
  • Members and officers of the association are generally not liable to contribute towards the payment of debts or liabilities of the association.
  • Practical support / advice / resources available from the State or National body
  • Members can participate in state and national competitions
  • Often a requirement for grants
  • Once registered, the name of an incorporated association will be protected and ends with the word “Incorporated” or the abbreviation “Inc”.

Risk management

Risk management assesses possible risks and creates a response plan to mitigate risks associated with sporting clubs. Clubs need to manage risks and provide protection for their volunteers, members, and participants.
Risk may include; physical (eg. injury prevention), financial (eg. avoiding fraud or monetary loss), sustainability (eg. maintaining membership numbers), or other.
A risk management checklist is paramount for an effective risk management plan and can be applied to all club operations:
  • Appoint a risk manager on your committee to oversee all aspects of the risk management process
  • Identify key people to be involved in managing risks (i.e. head coach, event manager, treasurer).

5 Steps to risk management:

  1. Establish the context
  2. Identify risks
  3. Assess risks (consequence, likelihood)
  4. Treat  and control risks
  5. Ongoing monitoring and review (audits, reviews).
Visit the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website for more information on risk management 

Working with Children Checks

The Working with Children Check (WWC Check) is a compulsory screening check in Western Australia.

The WWC Check aims to protect children by:
  • Deterring people from applying to work with children where they have a relevant charge or conviction on their criminal record that indicates they may harm a child.
  • Detecting new charges and convictions of those people who hold a current WWC Card and preventing them from continuing to engage in child-related work where their criminal record and behaviour indicates they may harm a child.
  • Protecting children by creating awareness that child safety is a whole of community responsibility.
What your club needs to do:
  • Keep adequate records that demonstrate compliance with the WWC Act.
  • Check, record and validate (using the online service on the WWC Check website) the WWC Cards of all new volunteers and periodically check and record that all current volunteers’ WWC Cards are valid, current and have not been cancelled.
  • Have a plan in place to ensure volunteers engaging in child-related work renew their WWC Cards every three years, before their WWC Cards expire.
  • Complete the ‘Register Card Holders’ online form on the WWC Check website to advise us when you have new volunteers who already have a WWC Card from a previous employer. Keeping this information up to date will help WWC contact you if the card holder working for you is issued with an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice (or of other matters if necessary).
  • You should have policies and practices to ensure that any volunteer issued with an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice does not engage in child related work (your state sporting organisation should be able to provide guidance).
To find out more please visit Working with Children Check

Liquor licensing for clubs

Racing, Gaming and Liquor (DLGSC) has three types of licences that may be eligible for your club:
  • Club Licence - A club licence allows liquor to be supplied to a member, or guest in the company of a member of the club, for consumption on and off the premises.
  • Club Restricted Licence - Club restricted licences only differ from a club licence in that:
     - A club restricted licence doesn't permit the sale of packaged liquor; and
     - The licensee only has access to the premises during certain hours of the day.
  • Occasional Licence - An occasional licence is granted for an event that cannot be covered under another type of licence. An occasional licence allows an individual, a group of people, a company or an incorporated association the ability to supply and sell liquor to people attending an event.
All application kits, forms, and fee & chargers can be found on the Racing, Gaming and Liquor website.

All licence applications are subject to approval by the City of Cockburn, please email the Recreation Services Team before applying for any type of licence.

Resources for your club

Document name Downloadable files
Checklists for your club - Champion ClubsPDF document



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