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Western Australia (WA) has a proud sporting tradition with an outstanding record of national and international achievement across many sports. However, with the dynamic environment and competitive nature of national/international competition, sustaining this success presents a major challenge to WA’s high performance (HP) stakeholders, in particular State Sporting Associations (SSAs).

This booklet, ‘High Performance Planning Guide for State Sporting Associations’, has been developed by the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR), in consultation with the Australian Sports Commission, Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) and experienced personnel within the industry, to assist SSAs and other groups within the WA HP system to deliver and facilitate HP program outcomes. Based on well established principles, it provides a guiding framework to assist in the development/review of your sport’s HP development pathways and programs.

This guide highlights the value of HP planning, how an organisation can use effective planning to achieve meaningful and sustainable outcomes, and outlines the various key components of a HP plan. HP planning is an integral component of an organisation’s overall strategic plan. While the guide focuses on the development of a separate HP plan, the principles equally apply to the development of the HP area within an organisation’s strategic plan.

As sporting organisations are very different structurally and operationally, a “one-size-fits-all” approach will not suit everyone. The depth and complexity of your HP planning activities and resultant HP plan will depend on the nature of your sport and the size and capacity of your organisation. We encourage you to think clearly about what your organisation requires and the capacity it has to deliver before you commence the planning process.

First and foremost your HP Plan should connect with the plan of your National Sporting Organisation (NSO). If all SSAs have plans that align with NSO plans, there should be mutual benefit in an inter-dependent national system all working towards optimal athlete development and high performance success. In addition, starting with your NSO HP plan will give direction and guidance from which to evolve your SSA plan.

This resource will provide valuable assistance in the HP planning process and is best utilised as an interactive tool for working with your sport’s key stakeholders. DSR also encourages organisations to utilise this Guide in conjunction with the consultancy services provided by DSR and as part of the Organisational Sustainability Program (OSP)1.

Utilising the OSP benchmarking tool2, each organisation can assess their performance across a number of key result areas (Organisational Development; People Development; Participation; High Performance; and Places and Spaces) and subsequently develop strategies to continuously improve performance. Note: The HP Statements (see Appendix 1) are currently under review for the 2011/12 – 2013/14 triennial.


  1. DSR OSP – Developed to assist organisations to meet current and emerging challenges and enable best practice governance and management.
  2. Each organisation is benchmarked against best practice in particular areas and the information gathered is used to develop strategies to increase their capacity as well as give DSR a whole-of-industry picture of current organisational strength.
Page reviewed 11 September 2023