National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement

On 10 June 2011, the Australian Government and the states and territories, except New South Wales, signed the National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement. The Agreement has been established to implement the new national institute partnership between state and territory institutes and academies of sport and the Australian Institute of Sport. Through the Agreement, the institutes and academies will work together with identified national sporting organisations to improve support for their athletes through national agreed high performance plans.

Page last updated: 28 October 2013

10 June 2011
between
The Commonwealth of Australia
The State of Victoria
The State of Queensland
The State of Western Australia
The State of South Australia
The State of Tasmania
The Australian Capital Territory
The Northern Territory of Australia

Preliminaries

1. In recognition that outcomes for Australia’s international sporting success require a strong, collaborative and aligned National Institute System, in February 2011 the Sport and Recreation Ministers Council agreed to a new National Institute partnership in order to deliver on defined national objectives and measures of success.

2. This National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement (Agreement) has been established to implement the new National Institute partnership and clearly identifies criteria and processes for identifying, monitoring and assessing priority National Sporting Organisations (NSOs), collaborative national planning approaches, roles and responsibilities and service delivery parameters to ensure that national athletes receive services and support from the National Institute System to maximise their chances of international and national success.

3.This Agreement is created subject to the provisions of the National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework (Framework) and contributes to the Framework’s international and national success measures. This Agreement should be read in conjunction with the Framework and subsidiary schedules.

4. Through this Agreement, the Parties will work together with identified NSOs to improve support for their athletes, through nationally agreed high performance plans.

5. The Parties are committed to working in close cooperation to achieve strong alignment in the delivery of sports programs by the State and Territory Institutes and Academies of Sport and the Australian Institute of Sport in partnership with identified NSOs. These sports programs derive from the nationally agreed high performance plans for the relevant NSOs.

6. The Australian Olympic Committee, Australian Paralympic Committee and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association are important stakeholders in the support of NSOs and will be involved as observers to the operation of this Agreement.

7. This Agreement acknowledges the primacy of the NSOs in the development of their sport specific high performance plans in the context of the nationally integrated high performance system

8. This Agreement does not diminish the effort to support the high performance plans of other NSOs whose athletes are not part of the National Institute System.

Part 1 — formalities

Parties to this Agreement

9. This Agreement is between:
      1. the Commonwealth of Australia (the Commonwealth); and
      2. the States and Territories.
10. In entering this Agreement, the Commonwealth and the States and Territories (the Parties) recognise that they have a mutual interest in improving national athlete development and need to work together to achieve this.

Term of the Agreement

11. This agreement will commence as soon as all Parties sign the agreement and will expire on 31 December 2014. Annual reviews will be conducted (refer paragraph 45).

Interpretation

12. Unless otherwise specified, the following terms and definitions are used throughout this Agreement:
    1. Agreed NSO High Performance Plan: the detailed plan for the operation of an NSO’s high performance program developed and agreed through the National Planning Process described at Schedule A;
    2. Agreement: this National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement and any attached bilateral implementation plans, schedules or annexures;
    3. AIS: the Australian Institute of Sport;
    4. AIS & SIS/SAS sports programs: programs run by the AIS and SIS/SAS to support the daily training environment of athletes;
    5. Framework: the National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework;
    6. Identified Sports: sports identified to receive support as a priority under this Agreement;
    7. Jurisdictional Priorities: individual priorities of each Party that might have a bearing on the operation of this Agreement;
    8. Milestone: a significant event or point in time within the delivery of the objectives of this Agreement;
    9. Ministers: Ministers of Sport and Recreation from the Commonwealth, States and Territories;
    10. National Athletes: athletes identified as world class, international class, developing international class and emerging international class;
    11. National Institute System: the collection of peak institutes and academies of sport of each Party;
    12. National Planning Process: the process for collaboratively developing NSO high performance plans (refer Schedule A);
    13. National Priorities: the relevant high performance priorities identified in the National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework and subsequently used to inform how identified NSOs would be supported;
    14. NESC: the National Elite Sports Council;
    15. NSO: National Sporting Organisation, representing the whole sport;
    16. NSO High Performance Plan: the detailed plan developed by a NSO for the operation of its high performance program;
    17. Performance Indicators: the indicators used to monitor the progress towards achievement of the activities as specified in the relevant NSO high performance plans;
    18. SCORS: the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport;
    19. SIS/SAS: the State and Territory Institutes and Academies of Sport;
    20. SSO: State Sporting Organisation.

Part 2 — objectives and principles

Objectives

13. The Agreement, together with other relevant agreements, will contribute to the following objectives:
  1. ensure that Australian athletes continue to excel nationally and internationally; and
  2. support continuous improvement of the high performance network.

14. The Parties have agreed the following measures of success:
  1. with respect to the outcomes of the Agreement:
    1. medals at summer and winter Olympic, summer and winter Paralympic and Commonwealth Games;
    2. World Championship, World Cup results; and
    3. Average of world rankings/results of significant benchmark events.
  2. with respect to the operation of the Agreement:
    1. effectiveness of the alignment through the partnership; and
    2. satisfaction of the Parties.

National Institute Partnership Principles

15. Across jurisdictions and consistent with agreed investment under Part 5, this Agreement will be based on the following principles:
  1. commitment to achieving national outcomes;
  2. the Parties work in partnership, with shared investment, influence and accountability;
  3. local flexibility and coordinated decentralised delivery options can be adopted to meet individual athlete needs and individual jurisdictional priorities;
  4. agreed NSO High Performance Plans collaboratively developed in conjunction with the ASC and all SIS/SAS heads are pre-eminent in establishing program needs. All parties are to follow the National Planning Process when establishing each institute program;
  5. agreed NSO High Performance Plans are based on a whole of pathway focus, with strong connectivity and vertical integration;
  6. Institutes as partners not just service providers; and
  7. the most cost effective and efficient approach to delivery of national high performance program outcomes.

National Planning and Resource Allocation Principles

16. The following principles will be applied to national planning for national priorities and subsequent expenditure, consistent with agreed investment levels at Part 5. The National Planning Process is described at Schedule A:
  1. the NESC will translate objectives specified in this Agreement into national planning priorities and will coordinate the collaboration of the National Institute System at an operational level in accordance with the Agreement;
  2. NSO High Performance Plans will be developed, reviewed and agreed in the context of national priorities and objectives, available resources and with reference to National Institute Partnership Principles, collaboratively between the NSO and the Parties;
  3. agreed NSO High Performance Plans should be developed in the context of the resources available from the Parties and the NSO High Performance Plan and related funding detailed in a formal agreement with the ASC;
  4. each Party will recommend to stakeholders (including NESC members) involved in the National Planning Process, with substantiation, the preferred composition of prioritised and approved programs for national athletes to be supported with the funds and resources available (inclusive of NSO contributions) in their jurisdiction;
  5. national athlete programs will be agreed through the National Planning Process with individual Institutes and Academies in accordance with information aggregated from agreed NSO High Performance Plans and in line with the capacity and performances of individual Institutes and Academies to deliver the agreed element/s of an NSO’s High Performance Plan;
  6. NSOs will be expected to contribute funds and resources to support national athletes in jurisdictions as per their agreed high performance plans;
  7. each Party will expend jurisdictional resources in their jurisdictions to deliver agreed support to nationally coordinated NSO High Performance Program;
  8. the Parties will provide in-kind contributions to implement agreed NSO High Performance Plans;
  9. the Parties are able to quarantine some of their funds to assist national athletes in their jurisdiction who are not identified as part of establishing national priorities, for instance, in sports that do not have Institute or Academy programs;
  10. the Parties can deliver additional jurisdictional priorities in agreement with an NSO and with separate additional investment;
  11. in normal circumstances a Party can only divert national priority funding, as outlined in Part 5, having been through all of the planning and review processes, and with 2 years notice to the other Parties. Existing programs utilising national priority funds that are not agreed as national priorities will be reviewed at the termination of the current agreement;
  12. all Parties will follow an agreed NSO’s High Performance Plan provided it meets the National Institute Partnership Principles and the National Planning and Resource Allocation Principles, except as provided for in paragraphs 16(h), 16(i) and 16(j);
  13. the Parties will be recognised for their contribution to the development of national athletes under the Agreement; and
  14. other providers, such as universities, may be involved in delivering on agreed NSO High Performance Plans.

Part 3 — roles and responsibilities of each party

17. To realise the objectives and commitments in this Agreement, each Party will undertake or ensure its agencies undertake the specific roles and responsibilities, as outlined below.

Role of the Commonwealth represented by the ASC

18. The Commonwealth will have responsibility for:
  1. working with other Parties to implement the new National Planning Process;
  2. leading a collaborative process with the other parties to establish identified NSOs;
  3. working with the other Parties to further develop the provision of support for the athletes’ daily training environment (including coaching, strength and conditioning, sports science and medicine and athlete career and education services);
  4. the AIS playing a leadership role in the national institute system;
  5. providing information regarding developments internationally that may benefit the delivery of services to athletes;
  6. providing financial contributions (and associated in-kind support) to NSOs to support agreed high performance plans;
  7. working with States and Territories to establish a coordination mechanism to facilitate problem solving as well as to ensure that the development and implementation of service delivery, including servicing plans, proceeds smoothly;
  8. baseline mapping, building and maintaining the evidence base, and monitoring and evaluation of NSO High Performance Plans, including:
    1. current expenditure/investment by the Parties, encompassing existing service delivery and supporting infrastructure;
    2. a national performance measurement and assessment process as part of the National Planning Process; and
    3. an evidence base to facilitate the measurement of performance against performance measures and standards that cut across the Parties; and
  9. a research capacity to provide advice to the Parties on systemic issues associated with high performance sport.

Role of the States and Territories

19. The States and Territories will have responsibility for:
  1. providing support in the athletes’ daily training environment;
  2. working with the Commonwealth to implement the new National Planning Process; assisting with performance monitoring and assessment;
  3. contributing to the national high performance research agenda; and
  4. delivering on their agreed support for respective NSO High Performance Plans.

Shared

20. The Parties share the following roles and responsibilities, working in partnership to:
  1. identify NSOs for involvement in the National Planning Process;
  2. work collaboratively with identified NSOs to agree on High Performance Plans;
  3. promote alignment of NSOs and SSOs High Performance Plans and objectives;
  4. provide financial support (and any in-kind support identified within the respective agreed high performance plans) as set out in this Agreement (refer Part 5);
  5. deliver programs and activities to support athletes identified as part of national priorities;
  6. provide technical support and funding to NSOs to establish and maintain appropriate structures and capacity for corporate governance, where appropriate;
  7. develop a framework for recognising the contribution of the Parties to the development of national athletes;
  8. participate in consultations as appropriate regarding implementation of this Agreement;
  9. complete reporting requirements as detailed in the Reporting section of this Agreement, paragraphs 24-28;
  10. identify and share best practice among Parties to this Agreement and provide information and assistance with the overarching evaluation of this Agreement; and
  11. provide sufficient data (as specified in Part 4 of this Agreement and in agreed NSO High Performance Plans) to enable effective planning and a thorough evaluation of outcomes of the Agreement and agreed NSO high performance plans at a national level.

Part 4 - performance benchmarks and reporting

21. Under this Agreement, performance indicators will differ from NSO to NSO. Performance indicators will be developed as part of the process of developing agreed NSO High Performance Plans. Performance indicators will be shared across partners delivering on those plans.

22. Performance baselines will be developed through the detailed baseline assessment for establishing identified NSOs (to be undertaken in advance of developing agreed NSO High Performance Plans). This will be updated through the annual performance review of agreed NSO High Performance Plans and the contribution of the Parties to the plan outcomes.

23. Performance monitoring and review will be built around the existing planning and reporting processes of the NSOs.

Reporting

24. The Commonwealth will monitor the overall implementation of the Agreement, including support of agreed NSO High Performance Plans.

25. The Parties will each provide reports to NSO performance monitoring meetings associated with the National Planning Process.

26. A report following annual review will be prepared by the ASC and NESC and be provided to SCORS and will cover progress against Agreement priorities including objectives, measures of success and associated actions, milestones and timelines.

27. SCORS will provide a report to Ministers following each review.

28. Following acceptance by Ministers the report should be publicly available.

Part 5 — financial arrangements

29. The Parties agree to commit resources consistent with (at least) 2010/11 levels to implement agreed NSO high performance plans subject to jurisdictional budget decisions.

Part 6 — governance arrangements

30. Governance arrangements will be based on existing structures and individual agency governance arrangements with modified national system governance.

31. Sport and Recreation Ministers will be responsible for approving and amending the Agreement.

32. The responsibility of the Ministers in relation to the Agreement does not affect the proper policy roles of each of the Parties within their own jurisdictions.

33. The Ministers may jointly authorise the SCORS or the NESC or other appropriate persons or bodies to carry out particular responsibilities under this Agreement on its behalf.
Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport

34. The SCORS referred to in this Agreement will be the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport.

35. The SCORS will be responsible for:

    1. establishing and reviewing the NESC in accordance with this Agreement;
    2. participating in NESC meetings held in their home state;
    3. ensuring its members develop a better understanding of the key issues facing NESC through the attendance of the SCORS member from the home State in which the NESC meeting occurs. If the home State member of SCORS is unavailable, that member must arrange their replacement by another member of SCORS;
    4. the oversight of coordination, cooperation and information exchange between bodies within the National Institute System with funding and delivery roles, to ensure that safety and quality and national priority issues are addressed by relevant bodies in a timely, efficient and effective manner; and
    5. supporting Ministers in carrying out their responsibilities under this Agreement, in any manner required by the Ministers.

National Elite Sports Council

36. The NESC will:
    1. be comprised of members who are the Directors of each of the Institutes and Academies of Sport within the national institute system, as well as a nominee from the ASC;
    2. have a chair elected by the members for a fixed term;
    3. make decisions by consensus;
    4. include the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Committees and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association as observers;
    5. be established as a sub-committee of the SCORS; and
    6. report as required by the SCORS.
37. In carrying out its responsibilities under this Agreement, the NESC will be responsible to the SCORS, and will operate in accordance with any policies, guidelines, instructions or procedures issued to it by the SCORS.

38. Subject to paragraphs 34 and 35, the NESC will otherwise determine its own procedures for carrying out its responsibilities under this Agreement. The NESC will notify the SCORS of such procedures once determined.

39. Decisions of the NESC which have material financial implications within the scope of allocated annual budgets for a Party to this Agreement, or which have a material effect on athlete support and outcomes in a Party’s jurisdiction, must be decided at a meeting attended by that Party and must be agreed to by that Party.

40. Secretariat support for the NESC will be provided by contributions paid by members.

Dispute resolution

41. Any Party may give notice to other Parties of a dispute under this Agreement.

42. The relevant NESC members (refer paragraph 36(a)) will attempt to resolve any dispute in the first instance.

43. If a dispute cannot be resolved between the relevant members, it may be elevated to the NESC for consideration.

44. If a dispute cannot be resolved by the NESC, it may be referred by a Party to SCORS for consideration, or ultimately to Sport Ministers.

Review of the Agreement

45. The Agreement will be reviewed annually and prior to its completion on 31 December 2014 with regard to progress made by the Parties in respect of meeting the objectives.

46. A report of each annual review will be provided to the SCORS by NESC.

Variation of the Agreement

47. The Agreement may be amended at any time by agreement in writing by all the Parties and under terms and conditions as agreed by all the Parties.

48. A Party to the Agreement may terminate their participation in the Agreement with two years notice (unless a Party’s appropriation has been reduced through budgetary processes) by notifying all the other Parties in writing.

The Parties have confirmed their commitment to this agreement as follows:

Signed for and on behalf of the 
Commonwealth of Australia by



Senator the Honourable Mark Arbib 
Minister for Sport

Signed for and on behalf of the
State of Victoria by



The Honourable Hugh Delahunty MP 
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Signed for and on behalf of the
State of Queensland by



The Honourable Phil Reeves MP 
Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Sport

Signed for and on behalf of the
State of Western Australia by



The Honourable Terry Waldron MLA 
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Signed for and on behalf of the
State of South Australia by



The Honourable Tom Kenyon MP 
Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing

Signed for and on behalf of the
State of Tasmania by



The Honourable Michelle O’Byrne MP 
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Signed for and on behalf of theAustralian Capital Territory by



Mr Andrew Barr MLA 
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation

Signed for and on behalf of the 
Northern Territory by



Mr Karl Rio Hampton MLA
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Schedule A

National High Performance Planning Process

National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement

A1. A revised model for national high performance planning will be implemented, building on existing approaches.

A2 NSOs must have a current strategic plan in place to enter into a national funding agreement. NSOs currently have variable planning periods (i.e. winter sports, Commonwealth Games, professional sports etc). There will be a shift to a four year rolling strategic planning cycle with annual performance assessment. NSOs are also required to provide an annual budget supported by the planning documentation.

A3.The diagram below describes the planning process. A rolling four year funding commitment to NSOs is envisaged.

A4.During the consultation phase (Consultation Step 1), the ASC (including the AIS), SIS/SAS, and State Departments of Sport and Recreation (SDSRs) (as required) will set national priorities for national athlete programs in the context of the alignment and vertical integration of these programs with underlying development programs. This will have regard to the principles, national priorities and resources committed by jurisdictions, in the National Institute Partnership Agreement. The priorities set by the ASC (including the AIS), SIS/SAS and SDSRs will include:

  1. a list of NSOs identified for national institute programs; and
  2. the likely location of these programs considering historical approaches and outcomes.
These derived government national athlete program priorities will be subsequently factored into planning discussions with NSOs.

A5. Consultation Steps 2 and 3: NSO High Performance plans must take their strategic guidance from the NSO’s Strategic Plan. NSO high performance staff, working with their chief executive officer, will consult regarding the content for the high performance plan which will ultimately become an operational level plan for the NSO as a subset of the strategic plan. Staff involved from the NSO include the national head coach, high performance manager and/or performance director.
  1. The process also involves consultation with stakeholders including member affiliates, such as SSOs, and the ASC (including the AIS) and SIS/SAS.
  2. National athlete program priorities previously identified will be factored into these discussions. Any jurisdictional priorities and capacity/capability will also be considered.
A6. The steps to finalise the high performance plan for each NSO will collectively be known as National Pathways Planning (Steps 4, 5 and 6). The aim of the National Pathways Planning phase is to ensure mature, aligned and resourced high performance plans with clear objectives consistent with the broad framework of the National Sports and Active Recreation Policy Framework, the National Institute Partnership Agreement and associated priorities, are developed and agreed by contributors and deliverers.

This approach aims to establish the most effective allocation of current resources for each NSO and its members, the ASC, the AIS, and SIS/SAS in order to achieve the maximum return in terms of sustainable sport outcomes. Individual NSOs’ high performance plans must demonstrate the results of collaboration and agreement with system partners and effective allocation of resources within the NSO.

High performance plan content is expected to cover the key areas essential for a successful high performance program including elements such as daily training environment, coaching, domestic and overseas competition, sport science, sport medicine, national talent identification and development, underpinning programs, high performance management, financials etc. The plan is expected to outline strategies, actions, targets/KPIs, personnel responsibilities, timelines and budget allocations.

The ASC, through its partnership arrangement with each NSO, will assist NSOs to implement their high performance plan with system partners so that broad consultation occurs resulting in an agreed plan. The plans will be developed within indicative funding parameters and national priorities discussed with each NSO throughout consultation and plan preparation. A final review and endorsement/agreement step is included. The list of NSOs will be reviewed annually – it is anticipated that around twenty to thirty NSOs will be involved.

Following agreement service delivery agreements will be finalised and funding allocations will be locked in, which links National Pathways Planning into the steps under the Monitoring phase. There is the ability, if partners see it as a priority, to streamline agreements with NSOs, moving from agreements between each SIS/SAS/AIS and each NSO to a single “partnership” agreement with each NSO. This single agreement would form part of the ASC’s funding agreement with the NSO.

A7. Pathways to Podium (P2P) Program – Management, Monitoring, Reporting and Review of High Performance Plans: Steps 7 to 10. The basis for these steps will be agreed high performance plans for each NSO and signed service delivery agreements derived from the plans.

The P2P program focuses upon the management and oversight of the high performance program defined in the NSO high performance plans with a view to maximising medal outcomes. NSO high performance plans are the foundation documents for the P2P meetings and are used to measure NSO performance against KPIs defined in the plans.

The aims of the P2P are:

a. maximise medal outcomes;

b. enhance NSO high performance pathways with a focus on future success;

c. maximise the strategic alignment and effective use of resources between major stakeholders;

d. protect and maximise the return on Government investment; and

e. provide leadership and direction to the NSO high performance program.

The responsibilities of the P2P committees (established with each NSO), include:

a. monitor the implementation of high performance plans of the NSO, including structure, direction and activities of the high performance program. This includes the entirety of the high performance program across all relevant disciplines, including underpinning programs;

b. review expenditure against budget;

c. review the performance of the program against agreed program KPIs;

d. liaise with external stakeholders as necessary for the effective delivery of the program; and

e. any other matters related to the implementation of the high performance program.

Annual performance reporting by NSOs to stakeholders such as the ASC and the SIS/SAS will be against the KPIs defined in the NSO high performance plans.

Through annual performance reporting and review, funding can be revised by the ASC and other system partners.

A major review of the performance of NSOs against their plans will be undertaken in the lead-up to the following long term performance cycle eg. Olympic Games.

1 P2P committees, depending on whether they are strategic or operational in nature, typically include the NSO CEO, a member of the NSO’s Board, the NSO high performance manager, NSO head coach, members of the ASC Executive (CEO, Director AIS, Director SPD or delegates), a representative from the SIS/SAS, the ASC sport consultant responsible for the sport and the AIS sport performance manager responsible for the sport.