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Professional Networks, Policy and Framework

AIS High Performance Investment Guidelines

01 / NATIONAL HIGH PERFORMANCE SPORTS STRATEGY

In August 2018, the Australian Government launched the Sport 2030 — National Sport Plan with a clear objective to ensure Australia is the most active and healthy nation, known for its integrity and sporting success.

A key pillar of Sport 2030 is:

Achieving sporting excellence — National pride, inspiration and motivation through international sporting success.

High performance sport system success measures include:

PODIUM SUCCESS

Australians consistently winning medals at major international events

PRIDE AND INSPIRATION

Our sporting champions are a positive influence on the community

WORLD-LEADING SYSTEM

Our high performance sports system is recognised as world-leading

02 / AIS MISSION

The AIS mission is to lead and enable a united high performance system that supports Australian athletes and teams to achieve podium success. The AIS drives and enables success in part through a collaborative strategic high performance investment approach to sports and athletes.

03 / AIS ROLE IN THE AUSTRALIAN HIGH PERFORMANCE SYSTEM

The AIS has two primary roles in the Australian high performance system:

  • To lead and enable a united, collaborative high performance system
  • To do the big system-level things on the frontiers of ethical sporting performance that no other body is naturally positioned to do

To deliver on this role in the system, the AIS has established the following key strategic priorities:

KEY STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

01

Strengthen the Australian high performance system through a united, collaborative approach – get the basics right

02

Drive overall investment and resource allocation to optimise performance outcomes, including long term

03

Transform Australia’s high performance workforce to deliver performance outcomes

04

Develop system capability to provide for athlete personal development, wellbeing and engagement with the community

05

Solve strategic performance problems on frontiers of ethical performance via applied research, technology and innovation

04 / INVESTMENT APPROACH

VISION

Australia’s high performance sport system allocates investment and resources to optimise sustainable performance outcomes, in support of our athletes achieving podium success.

PURPOSE

To drive and enable the strategic and transparent allocation of total integrated resources to sport and athletes, through a collaborative, evidence and principles-based investment approach.

INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY

Build sustainable medal-winning sport system capability within and across sports.

CONDITIONS OF AIS INVESTMENT

  • NSOs meet and comply with the Sport Australia NSO/NSOD recognition criteria and requirements
  • Under the eligibility criteria on the level of NSO self-sufficiency, NSOs meet the thresholds required to receive high performance investment
  • Demonstrate clear alignment with the AIS strategy and KPIs
  • Co-contributions and resource prioritisation from other NSO revenues where capacity allows within the NSO budget
  • NSOs ‘earn the right’ for support; own accountability for outcome/s; and appropriately prioritise podium potential campaigns and holistic athlete development, wellbeing and engagement.

05 / PRINCIPLES

AIS High Performance investment principles below are embedded in the way we operate and underpin the investment decisions we make.

01 / WHAT WE INVEST IN

Australians consistently winning medals at major international events

02 / HOW WE DETERMINE INVESTMENT

Our sporting champions are a positive influence on the community

03 / WHAT INVESTMENT WE PROVIDE

To drive and enable the strategic and transparent allocation of total integrated resources to sport and athletes, through a collaborative, evidence and principles-based investment approach.

04 / HOW WE ENGAGE WITH SPORTS

Our high performance sports system is recognised as world-leading

WHAT WE INVEST IN

Our investment goals will be measurable, aspirational but also attainable, defining them clearly and being realistic about ways to achieve them.

Principle 1 — Outcome-focused: We prioritise investment in Olympic and Paralympic [Summer and Winter] and Commonwealth Games success.

  • We will invest in high performance programs that can deliver sustainable success at the following multi-sport pinnacle events, in the following order of priority:
    • Tier 1 – Olympics, Paralympics (Summer and Winter)
    • Tier 2 – Commonwealth Games
  • We will prioritise our investment towards sports that have the greatest potential to achieve podium outcomes.

Principle 2 — Balance: We will maintain perspective and long-term discipline.

  • We will develop an investment allocation that provides balance across success in both current and future cycles within affordability constraints.
  • We will take a diversified approach to avoid unnecessary risks, seeking outcomes not only in medals, but also medallists and breadth of sport programs where success can be achieved.

HOW WE DETERMINE INVESTMENT

We will prioritise shared data, analysis and expert opinion to inform decision making.

Principle 3 — Transparency: AIS will maintain transparency around the Investment Framework and decision making process and will require NSOs to provide detailed visibility of their high performance strategy, planning documentation, and budgets informed by quality data and information.

  • We will develop a strong co-understanding of various performance and cost factors with sports to determine appropriate levels of investment. This will include dialogue with NIN and peak body partners where appropriate to gain a full understanding of current system investment.
  • In order to do this, we will expect open and transparent dialogue with sports and other strategic system partners on: the international competitive landscape they face; the quality of their high performance program, system and priority campaigns; and the performance trajectories of their athlete cohort.
  • Sports will also be required to share their high performance budgets as well as actual versus forecast spend analysis in order to provide a true understanding of: the sport-specific costs of the program and campaigns; and the broader financial context of the organisation.

Principle 4 — Resourcefulness: We will take an efficiency focus by establishing a shared understanding of the true costs of success and where investment will have the greatest impact on performance, based on individual sport need.

  • Clarity and shared understanding of where funds are being spent now and the alignment with NSO strategy and priority campaigns.
  • We will not assume that simply investing more will generate greater performance returns.

WHAT INVESTMENT WE PROVIDE

We will consider all the resources the high performance system has on offer to determine holistically the right mix of resources to be provided based on sport need.

Principle 5 — Customised holistic approach: Integrated and tailored total resource allocation.

  • We will consider deployment of resources in all AIS investment streams such as cash, applied technology and innovation, performance people and teams capability support, athlete wellbeing and engagement, high performance planning and access to AIS campus resources to ensure the right resources can be delivered to the right athletes at the right time.

Principle 6 — Stability and Agility: AIS will provide a level of continuity to priority sports whilst maintaining flexibility to respond to priority sport needs.

  • Where appropriate we will seek to provide longer-term funding horizons to enable sports to deliver on long-term sustainable success as well as plan accordingly throughout a four-year cycle and beyond; while maintaining the necessary agility to respond to new and/or emerging opportunities across the system e.g. new sports, new disciplines, new events.

HOW WE ENGAGE WITH SPORTS

We will partner with sports to maximise their potential to produce sustainable performance results and execute on their high performance strategy.

Principle 7 — Collaboration: We will drive open performance dialogue with key strategic partners.

  • Performance dialogue and program review is to be led by sports, but conducted in a collaborative and open manner with the right partners in the room, right level of data, analysis and expert opinion
  • The right level of respectful tension will be maintained and where appropriate and required the strategic partners will apply special terms and conditions on investment.

06 / SPORT CATEGORISATION

The High Performance system uses Sport Categorisation as a national framework to identify those sport programs most likely to contribute to Australia’s high performance targets. Sport Categorisation includes three levels that are ranked primarily on past performance and future potential criterion at international benchmark events. Every 2 years sport programs are reviewed by the AIS and NIN partners against this criterion and categorised accordingly

07 / AIS FRAMEWORK & INVESTMENT POOLS

FUNDING BUCKETS

From 1 July 2019, AIS investment will be allocated from two separate investment pool of funds — Baseline and Contestable.

  • Baseline — enables a level of stability and continuity to priority sport programs to deliver on their HP strategy in current and future cycles
  • Contestable — explicitly separates performance enhancement resources to enable a more flexible and agile funding pool

The focus and treatment of each of these investment pools provides an essential balance and opportunity to adjust and modify investment to sports across the cycle, and where required, rebalance the portfolio. Eligibility and access to receive funding from each of these investment pools is dependent on where the sport program is positioned on the Sports Categorisation list.

  • Foundation and Prospective 1 sports are eligible for both Baseline Funding and Contestable Funding.
  • Prospective 2, Prospective 3 and National sports are eligible for Contestable Funding only.
  • Contestable funding provides agility to top up funding to sports for genuine new opportunities, while also holding the sport accountable through a credible risk of decrease where appropriate.

FUNDING HORIZON

The length of time the AIS will invest in a sport program will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The AIS may commit to different investment periods from the baseline and/or contestable investment pools but ultimately it will focus on providing the right balance of stability and agility within the sport and investment portfolios.

08 / ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

AIS Investment levels to sport programs will be determined based on a relative contestable criterion that considers both performance and cost factors:

  • Performance factors
    • International profile
    • Sport profile
    • Athlete/team profile
  • Cost factors
    • High performance program/campaign costs
    • National Sporting Organisation financial context

Assessments will be based on a rolling collaborative review of the sport’s planning documentation including their high performance strategy, operational plans, campaign plans and individual performance plans as well as other documentation/data such as international competitor analysis and athlete trajectories. A detailed high performance budget which aligns with the sport’s operational plan is also required to be provided.

09 / DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

The AIS will seek to provide the right balance of stability and agility, to assist in enabling some priority sports to plan longer-term while maintaining the right level of contestable funds to be agile and flexible to respond to new and/or emerging performance opportunities through the contestable investment pool. Under the investment framework, the AIS will prioritise NSO planning documentation to inform decision making. Collaborative behaviours, consultation/feedback and sharing data and analysis, particularly around reviews/debriefs and athlete future performance trajectories, is essential.

01Planning documentation and high performance budget available for review
02Review/monitoring through a Performance Monitoring Framework and ongoing collaborative dialogue
03AIS reviews investment allocations
04AIS recommendations provided to Sport Australia Board for approval
05Approved investment recommendations provided to Minister for Sport for approval
06Sport Investment Agreement executed
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