For sports and national governing bodies to be officially recognised in the UK, they must be approved through a formal application process.
Recognition is a joint policy, operated by the four Home Country Sports Councils (Sport Wales, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Scotland) and UK Sport. Applications for recognition of a sport and a national governing body for that sport are dealt with by these organisations in partnership, as a UK Recognition panel.
Applications must be approved by all the home country sports councils, with the following exceptions:
- Where a National Governing Body operates in a single Home Country, recognition of the body requires the approval of that country's Sports Council only
- UK Sport also needs to approve applications where an Olympic or Paralympic sport or NGB is being considered.