Sports Officials UK (SOUK) is recognised in the industry as the umbrella organisation responsible for representing and supporting the education and development of sports officials across all sports in the UK. It is governed by a Board of Directors with Chris Kelly (Cricket) as Chair alongside Janie Frampton (Football), Julia Lee (Rugby League), Don Blacklock (Lacrosse & Netball), Kevin Carpenter (Legal & Sports Integrity), with Jane Harvey (Independent & Treasurer).
The SOUK Board currently meets every month and has recently launched a new Membership deal for NGBs and Associate members. For those already signed up, there is access to the E-Learning platform and SOUK resources via the login area to the right of this post.
SOUK is a membership organisation comprising National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport and associated organisations. Many of the representatives have a clear responsibility for officiating and the volunteer workforce within their specific sport and/or event.
For more information on the new Membership deal and how to join, please contact Jane Harvey
Current status and plans
Sports officiating is central to developing, sustaining and increasing participation in sport by offering a fair, safe and enjoyable environment for players. It makes a significant contribution to developing individuals’ core skills enabling them to achieve identified key social and economic objectives.
Sports Officials played a pivotal role in the 2012 London Olympics and had similar responsbilities in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Following the success of these two major international multisport competitions, the UK has secured many high profile events in the next 10 years. The legacy provides an opportuity for the officiating sector to raise its profile, promoting growth, sustainability and excellence. Sports Officials UK (SOUK) sees its task as delivering qualified, enthusiastic officials and volunteers to support the legacy and sustainability programmes of all sports.
- Every sporting performance, event or activity to have an appropriately trained match official, with the practice of officiating and volunteering in the UK recognised alongside playing and coaching in the development of sport.
Officiating will have:
- Professional, ethical values, inclusive and equitable practices
- Agreed national standards of competence as a benchmark at all levels
- A regulated and accredited structure
- Recognition, value and appropriate funding
- A culture of and structure for innovation, constant renewal and continuous personal and professional development
- Promotional activities to improve the image and role of officiating in sport.
- SOUK Objectives
- Achieve wider recognition as the Voice of Sports Officiating SOUK has gained a high level of recognition within the industry as the body that supports the education of sports officials; however, we constantly strive to achieve wider recognition as a conduit for communication and support for officials and volunteers across all sports
- Enable exchange of good practice between Sports SOUK promotes dialogue between sports, including specific development topics on the agendas of the Members’ meetings. It strives to instil and communicate best practice and the sharing of best practice in and between sports
- Develop and introduce training procedures The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Sports Officiating define the generic topics common to all sports officiating. With the support of Skills Active and Sport England we have a complete suite of NOS in place, which may be used as a bench mark in the industry of quality assurance across officiating in every sport. For a number of sports, provision of a ‘common-core’ would encourage them to align with the NOS, and thereby conforming to best practice
- Define Good Practice NOS provide an excellent platform for good practice in education and development. SOUK plans to develop these further by producing generic modules of training available to all NGB’s. As an example, the area of Safe Guarding Children through the implementation of DBS is one which has to be addressed by all sports officials, and some commonality of approach underlined by a definition of good practice will be of value
- Raise the profile of Sports officials Leading to increased numbers, enhanced performance through quality training and development and a boost in retention.