Policy Development

Templates and tips for clearly documenting guidelines and communicating alcohol management measures to your members and spectators.

Program success requires members to champion cultural change, a well-run committee with good governance and a whole club commitment (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation).

A ‘policy’ is a set of principles or rules that guide an organisation towards its overarching goals. They are generally endorsed by the committee or board and published somewhere that everyone can find them such as a dedicated ‘Policies’ section of the organisation website.

Change is often more achievable and lasting if it’s backed up by policy. This is because having a policy can help you:

  • Communicate a consistent message about the responsible use of alcohol.
  • Plan and agree on a direction for change that aligns with the organisation’s values and priorities.
  • Set specific goals and support members as they make the change.
  • Helps deal with any negative feedback.

Club governance was considered a key enabler of this program as evaluation findings revealed that change is more likely to be achieved if it is a club directive (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation)

An alcohol management policy is most effective when it has the support of the committee and is regularly reviewed. When establishing what needs to be included in an alcohol management policy some key areas to consider are:

  • Rationale
  • Objectives
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Links to other Policies
  • Responsible Officer

Other important points to consider when developing an alcohol management policy include:

Why – What is it that you want for your organisation? This may include:

- Supporting health and wellbeing of members

- Improving/maintaining your reputation in the community

- Providing a safe environment that reduces risk of illness and disease

- Meeting community expectations about providing a safe environment

What – What will you be changing? Consider:

- Changes to the organisation that will minimise risk of risky alcohol consumption

- Encouraging members to protect themselves from excessive alcohol consumption

- Focusing on junior members

How – What changes will you put in place to achieve your goals? This may include:

- Providing and encouraging responsible use of alcohol

- Deliver education of the responsible use of alcohol to members

- Actively promote alcohol management strategies

Support and endorsement:

-This is not always easy and requires a willingness to listen and possibly compromise.

- Consider providing your committee with some background information for discussion on alcohol consumption and its influence on health and wellbeing.

- Ensure that the committee and members understand how an Alcohol Management Policy supports the organisation’s overarching goals.

- Document how this Alcohol Management Policy relates to or supports other established policies, such as those on smoking, safe transport or inclusiveness.

Promotion of the policy:

How will you communicate your alcohol management policy to members, supporters and visitors? Some of the ways to promote your new policy could be to:

- Display it around the organisation

- Distribute it with membership or enrolment forms

- Add it in your organisation’s handbook

- Write an article about it in your newsletter or website/social media page

- Distribute it at functions or meetings

- Email a copy to every member, with some background on why it was created.

For more information on how to develop and implement a policy, click on this link.

Implementing these changes in your sporting organisations will help you work towards becoming an accredited Good Sports level 3 club.

Good Sports provide a Fact Sheet on Safe Transport which provides a list of strategies for sporting organisations to implement to ensure that everyone gets home safely in circumstance where alcohol may be consumed.

Implementing these changes in your sporting organisations will help you work towards becoming an accredited Good Sports level 2 club.

To support the need to provide safe transport, sporting organisations should consider enacting a safe transport policy.

The following resources include some existing sport specific alcohol management policy examples that may help you in developing your own:

Bentleigh Bowling Club Alcohol Management Policy

Play by the Rules – Alcohol Policy Template