Terms of Reference

The human body was designed to move. But in a very short period of time, we have become dangerously inactive as a global population. As economies have developed, technology and other modern conveniences have enabled us to move less, making physical activity optional. The cost and consequences of physical inactivity have been underestimated and we believe that the financial implications alone have the potential to bankrupt economies. Evidence shows that children and young people are not experiencing the enormous spectrum of benefits that physical activity and sport can bring. As a direct result, childhood obesity, preventable diabetes and a whole host of other emotional and physical health disorders have never been more prevalent. Like never before in history, people’s potential is stifled due to the absence of something so fundamentally human: moving. Something needs to change, and the change needs to happen now.

The All-Party Commission on Physical Activity (referred to as ‘the Commission’) has been established to address this urgent issue and make direct, policy-based recommendations to tackle the physical inactivity crisis in the UK. The Commission will have a cross sector approach and include strands on Health, Sport, Transport and Urban Planning, and Education. The Commission will be taking evidence on each of these themes with a number of overreaching questions:

  1. How can we encourage more people to be physically active, on a regular basis?
  2. What fundamental policy changes need to be made to increase the levels of physical activity across the UK?
  3. What existing best practice is being delivered in or across Sport, Health, Transport and Urban Planning, and Education which addresses the issue of physical inactivity? How and why are these examples successful?
  4. What are some examples of excellent initiatives that have failed and why have they been unsuccessful or not lasted?
  5. In a world with limited financial resources what are the most cost-effective approaches and how can existing resources be realigned to have the greatest impact?

We are inviting written evidence and will also be holding a number of oral evidence sessions from Autumn of 2013 – early 2014.

The work of the Commission is directed by the Co-Chairs and Commissioners who are all members of the UK Parliament, either the House of Commons or the House of Lords. The final report of the Commission, which will make policy recommendations to tackle this crisis, will be signed and directed by the outcomes of the Commission’s evidence gathering and presented by the Co-Chairs and Commissioners. The Co-Chairs and Commissioners are supported in this work by the Designed to Move Champions, with secretariat and communications support from FleishmanHillard and Blue Rubicon respectively.

All-Party Commission on Physical Activity Structure

The All-Party Commission on Physical Activity is a joint APPG led investigation into physical activity. For transparency purposes, the Commission sits under the auspices of APPG Sport and the Officers of this group, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Gerry Sutcliffe MP, are Co-Chair and Commissioner respectively on the Commission. The Commission Secretariat (provided by FleishmanHillard) will be a part of the APPG Sport Secretariat and, in line with APPG rules, be subject to the same criteria in terms of declarations.

The Commission will follow a simple structure along the lines of previous Commissions led by Parliamentarians. We have four Co-Chairs to lead proceedings, representing different sector backgrounds – transport, education, health and sport – plus a panel of up to five additional members. There needs to be a balance across the panel to ensure that all political parties and both Houses are represented. All members need to be prepared to play an active role, with the commitment to being thoroughly involved throughout the proceedings, and have a clear understanding of, and belief in, the objectives of the Commission.

Each Co-chair will take charge of a section of the Commission’s output which will include chairing the relevant sectoral evidence session.

The Commissioners will assist the work of the Commission and more specifically one of the sector Co-chairs. They will assist the discussion within the sector specific session and attend as many sessions as their timetable will allow. Where a Co-Chair is unable to host their sector session at short notice, the Commissioner will take their place. It will be the co-chair’s responsibility to facilitate this.

In line with the challenge laid down by the Designed to Move initiative, the Designed to Move Champions have responsibility for the organisation of a site visit relating to an appropriate enquiry theme.

The Secretariat (as provided by FleishmanHillard) will assist the work of the Commission. Blue Rubicon will provide communications support to the Commission.

Commission Programme

The All-Party Commission on Physical Activity will meet seven times in all between formation in October 2013 and conclusion in March 2014.

The Secretariat will work with members to assist with logistics and planning for the meetings as well as coordinating the production of the final report.

The seven hearings will be arranged as below:

1 Convening meeting – 16th October 2013, 14:30-15:30, Room B, 1 Parliament Street.

2 Parliamentary Hearing – hearing for MPs and Peers to give evidence. 30thOctober 2013, 09:15-11:15, Committee Room 17, Houses of Parliament.

3 Hearing One – first sector-specific evidence session, theme transport and built environment. 20th November 2013, 13:00-15:00, Committee Room 7

4 Hearing Two – second sector-specific evidence session, theme sport TBC.

5 Hearing Three – third sector-specific evidence session, theme education TBC.

6 Hearing Four – fourth sector-specific evidence session, theme health TBC.

7 Concluding meeting.

Key stakeholders/expert witnesses will be identified over the course of the summer, to be invited to give verbal evidence at one of the four theme-specific hearings. It is our firm belief that this Commission should be open to all and thus the Commission is committed to seek submissions of written evidence from as wide a network of interested parties and influencers as possible. The Commission Secretariat does not intend to set a limit on how many organisations and individuals are invited to send in their written evidence. Written evidence will be requested in a specific form however for ease of analysis and use.

Site Visits

As detailed above, the Designed to Move Champions will take responsibility for making arrangements for a series of site visits during the course of the Commission.

Commission findings

It is envisioned that the Commission will release a final report with the findings and recommendations. The report will be written and agreed by all Co-Chairs supported by the Young Foundation (a Designed to Move Champion).