Assurance Framework

Assurance Framework

Background to the Revision of the National Anti-Doping Policy

UKAD is working with the UK Government and Devolved Administrations to update the UK National Anti-Doping Policy (‘Policy’) to ensure that it continues to reflect contemporary anti-doping practices and procedures.

The current version of the Policy was issued in 2009 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It sets out the anti-doping roles and responsibilities of UKAD, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), Sports Councils and the National Anti-Doping Panel, and can be found here. UKAD is responsible for managing the Policy’s day-to-day operation.

In October 2019, the government conducted a public consultation on the Policy, inviting stakeholders to provide feedback on the responsibilities of the various organisations covered by it. UKAD is in the process of reviewing this feedback and updating the Policy, in conjunction with DCMS, whilst consulting with other organisations that may wish to also adopt the revised Policy. 

What is the Assurance Framework?

The Assurance Framework is the primary mechanism through which NGBs will demonstrate to UKAD their compliance with the Policy. The Assurance Framework outlines a series of mandatory requirements, the fulfilment of which NGBs must evidence in order to give UKAD ‘assurance’ that they are meeting their anti-doping responsibilities.

The Assurance Framework also sets out some further steps and measures that NGBs can take, if they are able to further develop their anti-doping practices and capabilities, above and beyond the mandatory requirements - UKAD encourages any NGB in this position to go the extra mile.

The Assurance Framework has been created following extensive consultation with a large and varied number of NGBs from across the UK. Whilst NGBs with a larger pool of elite Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel will be required to do more to meet certain requirements within the Assurance Framework, proportionality and flexibility have been built in to ensure that it is adaptable to all NGBs, regardless of size, resource, structure and remit.

For some NGBs, there will be several aspects of the Assurance Framework that are already being met through compliance with the 2009 Policy. However, other aspects are new, and represent a desire to raise anti-doping practices across the board and ensure that sports in the UK are setting the standard globally in this area.

Launch and Timeframes

UKAD and the Government are working towards a launch of both the revised Policy and Assurance Framework in late 2020 or early 2021. 

However, there are currently no confirmed timeframes for the launch, as the finalisation process, which involves various external organisations, is being affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. 

When launched, the Assurance Framework will be made available to all NGBs digitally, alongside supporting commentary, outlining the purpose of each requirement and how the NGB can meet them. The Assurance Team at UKAD will be offering further support too, including via individual meetings/sessions and video/phone calls. 

NGBs will be given a significant period of time in which to meet their responsibilities, with evidence of compliance to be submitted electronically to UKAD by a deadline to be confirmed at the launch of the Policy and Assurance Framework. In subsequent years it is likely that NGBs will find compliance easier to achieve, as once implemented, some of the requirements in the framework may remain the same from year to year.

Additional Information

Throughout March 2020, UKAD conducted a series of briefings across the UK aimed at NGB Chairs and Chief Executives. These briefings were designed to highlight the proposed NGB Assurance Framework requirements, and to seek any further feedback prior to their finalisation. To make sure every partner has the opportunity to access the information, UKAD has produced a video of the content. 

If you wish to receive a copy of this video, or have any other queries about the Policy or Assurance Framework, please contact the Assurance Team at UKAD via assurance@ukad.org.uk.