British Cycling today, along with UK Sport, has published the findings and recommendations of the Independent Review into the Climate and Culture of the World Class Programme (WCP) at British Cycling.
Commissioned in April 2016, the Panel was asked to understand what needed to potentially change culturally within British Cycling to ensure that the highest standards of ethical behaviour exist within and across the whole WCP.
The Panel found that there were failings in British Cycling’s governance and leadership, monitoring and supervision of the WCP, training and development, and management and communications with staff and athletes. The CIR had five recommendations, which were:
- Leadership within the Board and the WCP needs to change, recognising that accountability and example-setting must begin at the top of any organisation;
- Both the Board, in particular its new CEO, and UK Sport must together actively engage in and monitor steps being taken to implement the recommendations;
- Training and development needs to be rolled out. On the staff-side of the WCP, professional development should be offered not only in relation to core disciplines but also in terms of equalities and discrimination. Interpersonal skills were also an area for coaching staff in the WCP. The evolution of an adult-adult relationship between WCP staff and riders should be nurtured. The CIR also recommends developing athlete leadership and empowerment;
- Selection procedures (for events and removal from the WCP) need to be improved. The CIR found that the process is generally sound but communications in terms of ongoing performances, selection decisions and the appeal process can be improved; and
- Funding by UK Sport is strongly recommended to be made conditional on the implementation of the recommendations in the CIR.
The full report of the CIR can be found here.
On behalf of British Cycling, its new Chair Jonathan Browning said: “We accept, in full, the recommendations in the CIR and apologise for where we have failed or fallen short of the standards which we should have achieved.
“It is clear from the CIR that our structures and procedures, especially at the leadership level within the World Class Programme (WCP), were lacking. Since the findings were shared with us, we have rapidly made major changes to the WCP and to our leadership, operations and governance so that we can ensure that British Cycling learns these lessons and becomes a world class governing body.
“The report states that the experiences of some people on the WCP were not representative of the whole. However this does not diminish the seriousness of the allegations. We hear those criticisms clearly and have and are, committed to acting on them.
“Since becoming Chair in February, we have quickly steered through widespread changes to British Cycling’s leadership and governance, some of which still require final approval at our EGM on 22nd July. Our proposals to alter the Board and the recruitment of new senior executives, demonstrates our commitment to professionalise and significantly improve the governance, transparency and strength of our sport – for the good of all involved.
“The Action Plan I announced in March goes beyond the recommendations in the CIR. In the Action Plan we identified 39 areas for immediate action in the areas of governance; leadership and management; culture; athlete whole-life development and welfare; and best practice in operational delivery and performance management. We are determined to learn the lessons and move forward, ensuring effective and accountable leadership that fosters a transparent and inclusive culture at British Cycling. UK Sport has confirmed that our Action Plan satisfies the recommendations in the CIR. The delivery of this plan demonstrates that change is going right to the heart of the organisation.
“The CIR reminds us that we must not be complacent; that excellence in some areas does not offset poor performance elsewhere. Our ambition is to make British Cycling the most revered sports governing body in the world, providing our riders with the best experience possible which leads to success on the world stage; giving our members the support they need to flourish in our sport; provide our staff with the motivation to help us deliver our ambitions; and with the support of exceptional partners such as HSBC UK, encourage our communities throughout the country, to experience the benefits of cycling in their everyday lives. High expectations and high performance will therefore apply to everything that we do.”
The Action Plan published in March can be found here.
In addition to the CIR and Action Plan, UK Sport is today publishing the 2012 King report and the recommendations from an independent financial audit completed between March and May 2017 into financial misconduct and impropriety at British Cycling. The audit found no evidence of fraud or corruption. It has provided a series of recommendations to British Cycling in order to tighten and improve processes and bring them up to best practice standards. UK Sport will publish both on its website.