Sport Funding and Accountability Framework

The Sport Funding and Accountability Framework (SFAF) is the tool used by Canadian Heritage to identify which organizations are eligible to receive Sport Canada contributions under the Sport Support Program - in what areas, at what level and under what conditions.

First introduced in 1995-1996, the SFAF for National Sport Organizations has been divided to follow the summer and winter Olympic/Paralympic cycles. The SFAF for summer sports is now in its fifth cycle (SFAF V), and applies to the 4 year time period of April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2017. The SFAF IV for winter sports is in its final year and will be commencing its fifth cycle (SFAF V) beginning April 1, 2014 through to March 31, 2018. The SFAF for Multisport Service Organizations (SFAF IV for MSOs) was first introduced in 2005, and its first edition covers the time period of April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2012. The 2nd edition of the SFAF for MSOs (SFAF IV MSOs) covers the time period of April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2016. The Canadian Sport Centers (CSCs) were included in the initial MSO SFAF, but now have their own framework. The SFAF V for CSCs is valid from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2017.

There are four stages to the SFAF process: Eligibility, Assessment, Funding and Accountability. Organizations seeking support through the Sport Support Program must be deemed eligible and have completed the assessment portion of the SFAF in order to be considered to receive financial support. Once organizations have completed the SFAF assessment process, they are advised of their results in the form of a score (as applicable) and a reference level which assists in planning for funding.

To access the documents for annual funding applications, please refer to the Sport Support Program Contribution Guidelines (PDF Version, 770 KB).

For more information on the SFAF process please refer to the appropriate edition of the framework below.


Prior to being considered for funding through the Sport Support Program, organizations must proceed through the SFAF process. The first step of the process is Eligibility. Below you will find information on Eligibility elements that organizations need to meet for eligibility. Once these elements are met, organizations are requested to contact Sport Canada at to proceed with the application process.


Organizations that meet the Eligibility criteria proceed to the next stage of the SFAF– the Assessment stage. Here, a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment process evaluates each eligible organization against a series of objective and qualitative criteria across a broad range of performance indicators. For National Sport Organizations (NSOs) this assessment is done in the areas of high performance sport excellence and sport participation and development. For Multisport Service Organizations (MSOs) this assessment is done for the type and scope of services provided, and their contribution to Sport Canada's priorities in the Canadian sport system. The assessment components for MSOs are established based on the strategic service areas identified during the eligibility stage.

For each SFAF assessment, there are various components which are rated and weighted to determine an organization’s final score.

For NSOs the SFAF Assessment Weighting Grid is applied consistently across all sports evaluated within the edition of the SFAF. (i.e. summer or winter). The grid outlines the various components and their relative weight in the final result from the SFAF process.

For MSOs the Assessment Weighting Grid differs slightly across the different service areas. All organizations within a particular service area are assessed against the same criteria. (e.g., national standardized services, franchise holder).

For NSOs the Assessment Points and Ranking Lists provide the results scored by each organization in the overall assessment for the areas of excellence and sport participation and development. The resulting scores for NSOs are listed according to their Mainstream and/or Athletes with a Disability programs.

The final results achieved by each MSO are provided in one document regardless of the assessment type. For more information on the scores achieved by organizations please see the different links immediately below.

  • SFAF V Summer 2013-2017 Funding Cycle: Assessment Points and Ranking List – Mainstream+Athletes with a Disability
    Contact Sport Canada to obtain a copy of this document

  • SFAF IV Winter 2010-2014 Funding Cycle: Assessment Points and Ranking Lists – Mainstream + Athletes with a Disability
    Contact Sport Canada to obtain a copy of this document


After completing the SFAF Assessment stage, organizations are provided with their assessment score (See above) which determines their planning reference level. Organizations must use this planning reference level to develop an annual funding application for consideration according to the Contribution Guidelines (PDF Version, 770 KB) in order to receive a contribution under the Sport Support Program.


The final stage of the SFAF is Accountability. All organizations funded through the Sport Support Program are required to work towards the National Standards outlined in the Sport Canada Accountability Framework for National Sport Organizations/Multisport Service Organization by incorporating the accountability policy areas (including expected outcomes) within their strategic and operating plans. Each organization is monitored against pre-determined national performance standards.

While the Framework applies equally to all organizations, the principle of flexibility and customization will apply to each organization’s implementation strategy, given our recognition of the varying strengths and capacities of organizations.

To evaluate results and identify areas of greater or lesser progress, Sport Canada will monitor and assess the organizations operating and strategic plans. The accountability framework document is available through Sport Canada.


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