BSI appointed to develop SIGA integrity ratings system for sports governing bodies

By Paul Nicholson in New York

March 26 – Sport integrity group SIGA has appointed the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop and operate its ratings system that will measure how fit-for-purpose sport governing are. It is the next major step in the organisation’s crusade to bring better governance to sport and provide real tools for governing bodies to battle corruption and raise integrity standards.

Called SIRVS (SIGA Independent Rating and Verification System), the ratings will be a game-changer for sports organisations, providing a scorecard of how they are managing themselves in an increasingly integrity conscious sports world.

In appointing the BSI, SIGA has chosen an organisation with a 100-year history in “collecting best practice and helping to shape what good looks like,” said BSI presentation.

The BSI operates globally as an independent, non-profit organisation, and has issued more than 58,000 ‘standards’ providing springboards for regulation. The BSI has auditors in 120 countries working with organisations to help them improve performance and comply with regulations.

Stephen Wilson, BSI’s business development manager, said: “We are very proud to be chosen… we spend 250,000 hours a year assessing organisations and it is important to get across BSI’s independence. We operate under a Royal Charter which as such means there are no shareholders with overriding influence.”

He also said that the BSI had “strong links with the UK government”.

The practical use of SIRVS for international federations and national sports governing bodies will be to provide a measurement for sponsors, broadcasters and commercial partners showing exactly where they are on the sports governance curve – both at an international and national level.

SIRVs will initially spend a pilot phase working with 5-10 sports organisations to devise an initial framework for the measurement system. The next stage will see it opened up to SIGA members who will be SIRVS rated, before the ratings are then pushed outwards to rate sports bodies non-solicited, though it is anticipated they would have to co-operate.

Crucial within the SIRVS methodology will be assessment of the culture of the organisation – the ultimate test of the governance of a sports organisation and its individuals. Sports bodies often have multiple rules covering all eventualities, but they have also been found to have multiple ways of circumventing them. That will ultimately be the test of the robustness of the ratings system the BSI develops.

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