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ASC Recognition

Review of 2009 – 2013 eligibility criteria for the recognition of National Sporting Organisation by the Australian Sports Commission

A thorough review of the recognition system has been conducted by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), with the view to implement changes from the start of the new recognition cycle – 1 July 2014.

The review was conducted from June to August 2013 and included:

  • A survey of all State/Territory Departments of Sports and Recreation (SDSRs)

  • Comparison with the National Sporting Organisation (NSO) recognition system in other countries, including UK, Canada and New Zealand

  • Consultation with ASC programs/areas which have a close working relationship with NSOs

  • Consultation with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

ASC recognition of National Sporting Organisations

The current ASC recognition of NSO system was developed in 2004/05 outlining the eligibility criteria, application processes, recognition cycle, support and services to NSOs and reporting requirements from NSOs.

The ASC currently recognises 90 organisations, including National Sporting Organisations for people with a disability (NSODs), as NSOs. For recognition, these organisations have satisfied the ASC that they have met the eligibility criteria.

What is defined as a Sport?

The ASC has a long-established definition and criteria for recognising which activities are defined as sports and which sporting bodies are recognised by the ASC as NSOs and NSODs.

The ASC defines sport as: 'A human activity capable of achieving a result requiring physical exertion and/or physical skill which, by its nature and organisation, is competitive and is generally accepted as being a sport'. The ASC maintain the final authority for determining if an activity meets the definition of a sport.

To be Eligible for Recognition by the ASC

To be eligible for recognition by the ASC, NSOs must meet the 2014 – 2018 eligibility criteria and continue to work towards the ASC’s governance principles and appropriately implement their member protection policies.

Support to Recognised Organisations

If an application for ASC recognition is successful, a recognised NSO/NSOD will be eligible to receive the following support from the ASC for the period in which the ASC has confirmed recognition:

  1. the opportunity to use the ASC logo and/or the following words on stationery (letterhead, complimentary slips), in sponsorship and funding applications, annual reports, newsletters and magazines, and sponsors page or similar on organisation’s website as outlined in the ASC Branding Guide for NSOs. The words to be used in these circumstances are: “The Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission recognises «NSO» to develop «Sport_name» in Australia”. Please refer to the “Use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms by Sporting Bodies”.
  2. the opportunity to apply to use the Commonwealth Coat of Arms on playing and dress uniforms of Australian representative sports persons and by accompanying officials on their dress uniforms.
  3. entry in the ASC’s online Australian Sports Directory as the NSO for the particular sport. 
  4. invitations to attend workshops, seminars and other ASC forums conducted for recognised NSOs.
  5. access to NSO services from the Clearinghouse for Sport.
  6. The opportunity to access the ASC’s National Coaching Accreditation Scheme, National Officiating Accreditation Scheme and associated programs and services.
  7. the opportunity for policy development assistance and financial support through various grant programs administered by the ASC.

Which sporting organisations are currently recognised by the ASC?

A list of the ASC currently recognised NSOs/NSODs is available from the related documents below (link). The Australian Sports Directory online provides contact details and web links to the recognised organisations. See related links below.

Use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms by sporting bodies

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms is the pre-eminent mark of Commonwealth authority. Its use, with a few limited exceptions, is limited to the Commonwealth Parliament, the Government and the Federal Courts. However, since 1922, Australian representative national sporting teams participating in international competitions have been able to seek Commonwealth Government permission to display the Arms on their uniforms. Requests must be made in writing to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Please refer to the “Use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms by Sporting Bodies”.

Assessment Process

The Australian Sports Commission's (ASC) recognition review panel will conduct assessments of new sporting organisation applications applying for recognition twice annually. These assessments will take place in the months of July and January of that year with notification offered to sporting organisations on the success of their applications following this. All applications received prior to these dates, will be reviewed only in July and January. Please note that special consideration will not be offered to organisations wishing to have their application reviewed prior to this.

ASC Contact

Organisations wanting to lodge an application to the ASC in order to be assessed for recognition must complete the application criteria and provided supporting documentation for the recognition of NSO 2014 - 2018. Applications can be submitted online using the "Apply now" button or by postal to:

Participation and Sustainable Sports Division
Australian Sports Commission
PO Box 176
Tel: (02) 6214 1111

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