BASES granted Royal Charter

14th June 2024

BASES is delighted to formally announce that we have been granted the Charter of Incorporation by His Majesty King Charles III.

The Royal Charter was granted in recognition of BASES’ quality and status as the pre-eminent body for the discipline of sport and exercise science in the UK. Having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023, this Charter reflects the role of BASES, supporting, developing and guiding the profession into the future.

The issue of a Royal Charter is also significant for the discipline of sport and exercise science, recognising it as a distinct, important and of significant public value. BASES’ role at the forefront of the discipline, working across academia and professional practice, gives strength to our professional voice and leadership nationally and internationally and offers great opportunity and pride for our current members and those who will join the profession in future.

As part of the process of reincorporation, as approved by the membership at the 2023 AGM, the Board has agreed that the name of the organisation will change to The Chartered Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (CASES) to reflect the new status of the organisation. The timeline and next steps for the change will be published in due course.

BASES’ Chief Executive Officer, Ian Wilson, said:
“I am delighted we have been able to achieve this on behalf of our members, and to strengthen the Association and the discipline for the future. Gaining the Royal Charter will increase leadership and development across our profession and will provide a solid foundation for the development of sport and exercise science as a discipline and greater professional opportunity for academics and practitioners working in all areas of sport and exercise sciences in the UK.”

BASES’ Chair, Prof Zoe Knowles, FBASES, said:
“I am extremely proud that BASES has received this level of recognition. I want to pay special tribute to all those who have given their time and effort over the past 30 years to develop BASES into the organisation it is today, without whose vision and persistence this could not have been achieved.

In an Olympic year when sport is at the forefront of everyone’s mind along with the importance the role of exercise and physical activity across the life course, it feels fitting that the contribution of sport and exercise science to our national life is being recognised in this way. I’m excited for the future, and I look forward to celebrating with our members and partners and working with them to continue to drive development of our Association and our profession.”


The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK. BASES members span academia, practitioners and professional sport, while BASES accredits Sport and Exercise Science degrees at 58 universities. In affiliation with Routledge, BASES publishes the Journal of Sport Sciences, one of the leading peer-reviewed journals focused on sport and exercise sciences, as well as The Sport and Exercise Scientist quarterly member publication.

BASES celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023 after being established in its current form in 1993. The origins of BASES extend back still further to the creation of the British Association of Sports Sciences (BASS) in 1984, established to facilitate communication amongst those actively engaged in the scientific study of sport and to promote the dissemination of information derived from the scientific study of sport.

Since spring 2021, the Board has engaged with its members about the steps towards a Royal Charter for BASES, providing ongoing updates along the way. In 2023, significant work took place to develop proposals around membership categories, rules and bylaws which meet the needs of BASES for the future. A number of documents were duly shared with members during a consultation period in September 2023, and updated papers were presented to the 2023 AGM. Members wholly approved:

  • changing the name of the Association to The Chartered Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (CASES)
  • the current Draft Charter and Draft Bylaws, and granted permission for the Board to make any changes necessary to meet the requirements of the Privy Council Office (PCO)
  • granting the Board the powers to submit all necessary documents to the PCO at the appropriate time.

Discussions continued with BASES’ legal advisor. The Petition, Charter and Bylaws were submitted to the PCO on 31 December 2023, with refinements made on 25 January 2024. BASES was notified by the PCO on 21 February 2024 that His Majesty The King had approved an Order referring the petition for consideration and report. Notification was published in the London Gazette for a period of eight weeks. On 23 May 2024, BASES was advised by the PCO that at a Privy Council meeting held on 22 May 2024, His Majesty The King approved an Order allowing the grant of a Charter of Incorporation to the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. The terms of the Charter will not come into legal effect until the Great Seal is affixed to the vellum copy by the Crown Office at the House of Lords.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a Royal Charter?
A Royal Charter is an instrument of incorporation, granted by The King, which confers independent legal personality on an organisation and defines its objectives, constitution and powers to govern its own affairs. The terms of each Charter are therefore somewhat different, depending on the individual requirements of the type of organisation that is being incorporated.

What effect does a Charter of Incorporation have on a professional body?
Incorporation by Charter is a prestigious way of acquiring legal personality and reflects the high status of that body. The authority for the grant of a Charter comes from the Royal Prerogative, i.e., the grant is made by the Sovereign (on the advice of the Privy Council).

An institution incorporated by Charter is, subject to the general law, generally self-regulating and not answerable to the Privy Council or the Privy Council Office in relation to the conduct of its internal affairs. The role of the Privy Council Office only extends to dealing with applications for new Charters and amendments to existing ones. In both cases, the work is instigated by the applicant or the Chartered body itself.

What is the history of incorporation by Charter?
Before the 19th century, the grant of a Charter of Incorporation was the principal method of creating separate legal personalities. By this means, universities, colleges, schools, municipalities, guilds and livery companies, a wide range of benevolent institutions and, with the development of trade, a growing number of joint stock companies were incorporated over a long period. Various criteria were applied over the years to such grants. When legislation was introduced in the 19th century facilitating the incorporation of commercial enterprises, and with the advent of charities legislation, the occasion for incorporation by the grant of a Charter became much reduced, and the grant of a Charter came to be seen more as a special token of Royal favour or as a mark of distinction.

As such, it came to be limited to bodies pre-eminent in their field and satisfying certain criteria, which varied according to the category in which the applicant fell, and since the 1950s one of these criteria has been that the petitioner shall exist not solely to advance the interests of its members but also, and primarily, to advance the public interest.

What does this mean to me as a member?
The receipt of Chartership solidifies the Association’s reputation as the recognised authority within sport and exercise sciences. As a member, this recognition gives a greater weight to your collective voice in shaping your profession through the Association. Benefits of achieving Royal Charter status include: 

  • Recognition of professional expertise
  • Increased public confidence and awareness
  • Strengthen the organisation
  • Creates aspiration

Why do some individuals call themselves ‘Chartered’?
Chartered is used to indicate that someone, such as an accountant or a surveyor, has formally qualified in their profession. Chartered status originates from royal charters issued to professional bodies in the UK by the British Monarch.

Under current rules, Royal Charters do not typically grant organisations the power to create ‘Chartered’ individual members in the first instance. However, the Charter granted to BASES/CASES will enable members who have demonstrated the relevant level of professional experience and knowledge to refer to themselves as a ‘Fellow/Member/Technical Member of the Chartered Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences’, and to use defined post-nominal letters accordingly.

Should BASES (CASES) seek permission to create Chartered individuals in the future, a separate petition to the Privy Council Office would be required to modify the Charter and Bylaws. However, at this point there is no intention to do this, and the Charter and Bylaws have been drafted with a view to their being the permanent and enduring documents of incorporation.

What are the next stages?
The terms of the Charter will not come into legal effect until the Great Seal is affixed to the vellum copy by the Crown Office at the House of Lords. Once the Great Seal has been affixed to the vellum copy, the Crown office will contact BASES to arrange for collection.

BASES can exercise discretion as to when reincorporation takes place. Reincorporation itself is a simple process under which the existing BASES Company Limited by Guarantee is wound up, and simultaneously a new Association is formed, which is incorporated by Royal Charter. At this point, the Articles of Association as set out in the Charter, the Bylaws and Regulations would come into effect, and all the assets, etc., of BASES would transfer to CASES. Because of the name change from BASES to CASES, there will be significant branding and marketing work to be done.

Currently, work is taking place to review and update existing documents and to prepare any new Regulations as set out in the Bylaws. A plan is also being developed to set out how existing BASES members will be transferred to the equivalent category within the new organisation (see draft summary here), and when the new Association will begin admitting members directly. Draft regulations and transition plans will be shared with the membership in due course.

Within CASES, there will be four categories of membership with sub-categories:

  1. Regulated members, comprised of Fellows, Professional Members and Technical Members. These are effectively the ‘Chartered’ member categories with protected descriptors and postnominals. Existing BASES Accredited Fellows and BASES Accredited Members will map to Fellow and Professional Members respectively. Technical Member is a new category to provide a route to regulated membership for those without a higher degree either working in academic or practical settings and is intended to sit alongside the Science Council’s Registered Scientist grade. The existing BASES Certified Exercise Practitioner would map to this category.
  2. Retired and special members. Special Members would include Honorary Fellows as a closed category for existing BASES Fellows who are not BASES Accredited, and Companions who would be members recognised for their exceptional contribution to BASES or to the field of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
  3. Ordinary Members, comprised of Members, Graduate Members and Student Members. Ordinary Members will be those in the current ‘Professional Member’ Category.

BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.

Contact us
  • Rooms G07 and G08 Fairfax Hall, Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus. Headingley, Leeds LS6 3QT
  • 07838 153258