The current review of the UBC Department of Athletics and Recreation began with an external review conducted in the spring of 2012, followed by a series of Think Tank sessions involving campus representatives and independent experts that resulted in a framework for a new competitive sport model. The model is comprised of six strands of athletic competition, ranging from intramural competition to the most competitive UBC Thunderbird teams and athletes.

The new competitive sport model was announced in March of 2013, followed by a seven-week consultation process in which stakeholders were encouraged to provide feedback by way of an on-line survey. On May 29, 2013, Ashley Howard was appointed as managing director, Athletics and was asked to lead a process to evaluate all 29 UBC Thunderbird varsity teams in order to determine where each team would fit within the framework of the new model.

The first step of the Sport Review was to assemble an advisory committee consisting of representatives from across the University community, and then develop appropriate criteria for objective analysis of each team, along with weights and measures to be applied in the process. The final stage of the Sport Review will be to gather, check and confirm information required to complete the evaluation and make recommendations for placement of each team within the model.