As you know, since the vote to change the governance of the Society we have moved to a strategic board with external directors and the staff taking more day to day responsibility for the running of the Society. Since that vote, over the last two and a half years, the Board with the help of the Senior Management team and the Operations Committee chairs, have been re-structuring the operating model of the Society. This was an externally guided process where members of the Society were widely consulted. This results of this process are now being put into effect. It became clear as part of this review that Coaching was fundamental to the future success of the Society. This will mean great opportunities for coaching and coaches but with it will also come some change.
By way of further background, three out of four pounds of our income now comes from external funders. Much of this funding relies on success on the world stage. Clearly, whilst Richard has done his best over the last few months, only two participants at the Olympics in Rio means that the Society has struggled to meet its objectives and a portion of that funding is at risk. Similarly the all sport plan from Sport England for funding sports between 2017 and 2022 has been published and this is also going to make it harder for NGBs to obtain funding outside their core activities to move the sport forward. Whilst the other home nations receive their own funding it is a fact of life that Sport England funding is critical to our income streams. We need to align to that plan. I would recommend you read the new all sport plan that has been released by Sport England which will provide further background to this note but given the tighter funding climate and the importance of coaching to enable us to access this funding, this new plan was always going to drive change in the organisation of coaching within our sport.
Finally it has been clear to me that over the years the activities of the volunteer coaches in the Society as led by the NCC , the work of the Development team and the output from Performance Unit have been overlapping on many occasions. We have had situations where, on the same day, the talent programme have had performance squads running just up the road from a traditional junior county squad, with archers torn between which one to attend. We have had complaints from Performance Unit that they cannot find good performance coaches for their athletes and questioning why senior and county coaches are not getting involved in the programme when they put out advertisements. The Development team have launched initiatives that required coaching input, sometimes without realising that was never going to be available. For our part our coaching initiatives have been strangled through lack of funds that have been spent on other coaching projects that we did not control. In short the governance and operational control of coaching had become dysfunctional. We all need to work closer together and in a more co-ordinated fashion. It makes sense to build this co-ordination into the structure of the functional body controlling coaching.
Therefore, as an essential part of the new structure going forward, the Board decided to create a Strategic Action Group under the control of David Tillotson, our new performance director. His role is to initially undertake a full strategic review of coach in respect of the Societies requirements of its coaches, the effectiveness of our current delivery systems, teachings, knowledge requirements and practices. The first meeting has been held and the second one is due in September. I have been asked to sit on this group and have engaged a number of senior coaches to help me. Going forward it is also highly likely we will involve the RCOs and CCOs.
As part of the early steps the National Coaching Committee and the Operations Committee have been disbanded. The members of the both committees knew this was coming and it was only the timing that was hard to predict. However it was considered a sensible move to remove the policy making mandate for the NCC to avoid any future confusion. This means going forward, future coaching policy changes will be issued and controlled by the Coaching S.A.G. This body has not yet finished its initial phase, so we currently are in a period of transition. There is an element of ongoing operational work that needs to be managed until the S.A.G. becomes fully operational. Those aspects come under the title of “Business as Usual”. For the sake of continuity and the membership these have to continue to function as normal.
I would also clear up some governance issues. My position, whilst now inappropriately named, still has a mandate from the membership until the end of my term in April 2018. I will still be working with the other Operational Chairs until such time as the work I undertake merges into a new role or indeed a new volunteer body. There are still issues that are better handled by the volunteer structure and some element of this will be needed going forward. I will also be working with the S.A.G. to represent the volunteer structure although as I have said it is important we do undertake a wider consultation. My formal position, dependant on the progress the S.A.G. makes, may change at any time. When it is appropriate, I will willingly tender my resignation and go back to doing some proper coaching. Until then I will continue to act as the first point of contact on core market coaching, technical issues for the membership, technical point of reference for coaching queries etc. I will also be handling any coaching disciplinary related matters involving volunteer coaches alongside the CASE management structure. I have asked Bill Mackay to continue to act as renewal panel lead and he will also oversee the Senior Coach renewal panel, as he always has done. I would ask that the renewal panels continue as normal and that the current rules on renewal stay until you are otherwise informed. Bill and I will also continue to co-ordinate technical matters that are referred by Hannah in respect of her responsibilities for Coach Education. This process is still continuing albeit with much more effective liaison with Performance already being seen. In short, until you are told otherwise, operationally, nothing has changed other than the NCC will cease to meet. It really is “Business as Usual”.
At the end of the day the Society is prepared to invest significant sums in coaching but as a lot of this money will be from external funders this money has to be funnelled through paid employees who can be held accountable. We are going to see change but I am optimistic that change is going to be positive for coaching. I believe at the end of the process we will have a better trained, better respected and more professional workforce who are broadly rewarded for the coaching work they undertake. I am not really able to tell you any more at this stage as we really are at first base but I do hope to see many of you at the conference where I will be happy to answer questions and discuss the matter further.
Chairman of Coaching