NISA operates as a company limited by guarantee, and the Memorandum of Association (“the Memorandum”) and the Articles of Association (“the Articles”) are NISA’s primary constitutional documents. NISA is both a membership association, with key responsibilities to its own members, and NISA is also the officially recognised national governing body (“NGB”) for the sport of ice skating in the United Kingdom, with wider responsibilities for all those who participate in the sport in any way.
The United Kingdom Sport Council (“UK Sport”) invests large amounts of public funding, from the National Lottery and from taxpayers, into Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Sports, including both figure skating and speed skating.
In June last year, in order to meet NISA’s contractual obligations under the Funding Agreement between NISA and UK Sport, the NISA Board agreed to institute a programme of actions to upgrade NISA’s corporate governance and operational management.
Later last year UK Sport commissioned Moore Stephens, one of the leading accountancy and consultancy firms in the United Kingdom, to carry out a management audit of NISA. In October 2016, Moore Stephens very strongly recommended that NISA needed to undertake a thorough review and adopt revised Articles of Association, which would be fit for purpose in the current environment for national governing bodies of sports and thus also benefit the association’s membership.
NISA’s Board of Directors accepted Moore Stephens’ recommendation, and appointed Wharton Consulting to assist with the revision of NISA’s Articles of Association, and also requested Hewitson Moorhead, as NISA’s legal advisors, to review the revised Articles from a legal perspective.
In December 2015, the UK Government adopted a new policy for sport: “Sporting Future – A New Strategy for an Active Nation”. A key requirement of the government policy is that all those national governing bodies of sports, which receive public funding, must comply with the mandatory Code for Sports Governance (“the Code”). The Code came into force on 1 April 2017, and Winter Olympic Sports NGBs, such as NISA, are required to be compliant with the Code by 31 December 2017. With this background in mind, the revised Articles of Association have also been designed to help bring NISA into compliance with the Code.