What is the National Club Development Program (NCDP)?

Community based football clubs play a key role in the development of football in Australia. 

To raise the overall standard of club administration and operations at all levels of the game, Football Australia has established the National Club Development Program (NCDP) providing a clear model to develop and maintain a successful football club.

The NCDP is an enhanced version of the previous National Club Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) that was introduced in 2012.  

NCDP provides club’s with an on-line development platform that allows them to answer a series of questions regarding all facets of their football club.

After completing the program, the club will receive an automated report summarizing their responses.

Once approved by Football Australia, the club will be provided with an Action Report noting the top five recommendations that a club could consider adopting for improvement and a logo recognizing level they have achieved based on the information received from their answers.  

The topics covered within the program will be accompanied with an on-line resource library that will aim to provide Club's with the tools to up-skill themselves.

What are the Key Outcomes of NCDP?

The NCDP is expected to achieve these objectives:

  • Improve processes and control mechanisms of affiliated Clubs
  • Assist Member Federations and Governing Bodies to better support Clubs, by facilitating a process which encourages greater engagement
  • Improve the efficiencies of the sport
  • Establish bench marks of success across Australia
  • Improve player retention
  • Increase female participation
  • Increase Miniroos Participation
  • Embrace and support inclusivity
  • Increase the number of clubs accessing and utilizing the National Club Development Program
  • Improve net promoter score among administrators
What is the framework and how was it developed?

The essentials of the program are the framework and the resources that accompany it.  

A working group of Member Federations, Local Associations, Clubs, Football Australia Staff and football experts, all contributed to developing  the  framework of the National Club Development Program (NCDP).

The framework was based on the existing Football Victoria Club Engagement Program which was extensively and successfully piloted.

The NCDP provides a snap shot as to what a club’s current successes and challenges are.

The NCDP is delivered in an on-line platform to ease the burden on volunteers and the governing bodies that administer it.

What are the Resources for NCDP?

There is an on-line resource library that accompanies the NCDP.  

This is located at www.playfootball.com.au

The resources provide a club with the tools to upskill themselves or in conjunction with their governing body.  

The resources have been sourced from a wide cross section of organisations including sporting and non sporting organisations.

The resources will be continually reviewed, developed and generated so that they remain relevant and are delivered in a user-friendly manner.  

Ongoing feedback will be sourced from the football community to ensure that the resources meet the needs of the Program.

What are the benefits for clubs?

• Assisting Member Federations to better support clubs, by facilitating a process which encourages greater engagement with clubs.

• Enabling Football Australia and Member Federations to provide direct guidance to clubs relating to Football delivery

• Bringing together all elements of Game Development including coach education, volunteer development, refereeing, MiniRoos, good governance and the National Curriculum.

• Promoting use of the PlayFootball system which will lead to more accurate records nationally of those involved in our game in all capacities.

• Directly assisting clubs to sustain and increase football participation

• Promoting and raising the profile of quality clubs across Australia

• Attracting sponsors

• Attracting volunteers

• Increasing credibility in the community

• Priority access to any future funding opportunities through Football Australia

How does a Club complete the NCDP?

Football Australia recognises that the President/Chairperson of a club is the figure head and as such is responsible for engaging the club in this process.

A President/Chairperson does not physically have to respond to the questions, however, they, along with the club committee/board should be aware of the answers and outcomes.


The following is a guide to get you started on this journey:

Step 1 - Login

· Your e-mail address is your Club’s Primary Play Football Login “CLUB E-MAIL ADDRESS”

· You will need to “reset” your password to “create” a password. Please note that you will need access to the login e-mail address, provided above, to complete this process.

· You should then be able to log into the system.

  • If this is not possible then please contact “INSERT CONTACT NAME, E-MAIL AND PHONE NUMBER”

Step 2 - The Club completes the on-line program

The Club must provide a response to each question to complete the Program. You can save the information and return later if you need to check information.

Please note that there are some MANDATORY questions within the program.

  1. Your Club must upload a current version of your Constitution
  2. Your Club must provide its most recent Annual Return to the state Department of Fair Trading (or equivalent) or the Australian Securities and Investment Commission
  3. You must comply with MPIO/Child Protection Questions and provide a name and contact details of your Clubs MPIO or Child Safety Officer

Step 3 – Completion

  • When you have completed all categories, you will see a Submit button appear near the category list on the Welcome Page.

· You will then be able to submit your Club’s responses.

  • A summary of all responses will automatically be sent to you via e-mail.

Step 4 - Assessment

  • The Club’s Member Federation and/or Governing Body will review the Club’s submission and when satisfied all questions are accurate and complete, will forward to Football Australia.

Step 5 – Football Australia Review

  • Football Australia will advise the respective Member Federation and Club on the success of the submission, issue a letter of completion and star level to accompany a tailored Action Plan collated by the Member Federation/Governing Body.

· The Action Plan will highlight the top 5 opportunities for the Club to address.

· These top five opportunities will be accompanied along with resources from the NCDP Library.

· Each Club that completes the Program will be issued with a logo depicting the level of recognition based on the answers provided by the Club. Each level will be reflected from either a 1 Star (minimum standard) through to a 5 Star (maximum standard).

  • There will also be a letter of congratulations and thanks to your Club
What does a Club receive for completing the NCDP?
  • Written Summary Report of the Club's responses once application is submitted
  • Written  Action Plan with 5 items to work on and accompanying resources once assessment is completed
  • An electronic logo (star rating) recognising the Clubs achievement 
  • Letter of congratulations
  • Electronic Certificate
What does the Star Rating mean?

There are five levels within the Program that a club can obtain by completing the NCDP.

Each Club that completes the Program will be issued with a logo depicting the level of recognition based on the answers provided by the Club.

Each level will be reflected from either a 1 Star (lowest) through to a 5 Star (highest).

1 Star will indicate football’s minimum standard to qualify for the program (includes mandatory provision of Clubs Constitution, current Annual Return to respective regulatory authority and MPIO/Child Safety requirements) whilst 5 Star will indicate the maximum standard.

30% to 50%          1 Star

51% to 70%           2 Star

71% to 80%           3 Star

81% to 90%           4 Star

91%+                        5 Star

Will a Clubs Existing Level of NCAS Accreditation remain?

Only Clubs completing the NCAS within the last 12 months will have their existing rating remain within the new system.

It will be to their benefit for them to partake in the new system as they may rate higher under the new scheme.  Each MF will be required to provide a list of Clubs and levels of accreditation with the previous 12 months.