Commitment 9.2 We protect, value and support our people.

Compliance Indicators

Compliance with the Commitments will be assessed against the following Compliance Indicators. All of the applicable Compliance Indicators must be met by every ACFID Member to be considered compliant with the Code. Each of the Compliance Indicators has one or more compliance Verifiers. Verifiers are the description of evidence that is required to substantiate compliance with each Compliance Indicator. Guidance is also provided. 

9.2.1 Members provide professional development opportunities for staff and key volunteers.

Verifier

A record of professional development undertaken by staff and key volunteers.

Guidance

There are a variety of approaches to professional development and this will vary between organisations and staff positions. It may include formal learning and training opportunities such as conferences and coursework, or it may include less formal opportunities such as coaching, communities of practice, mentoring, and technical assistance.

9.2.2 Members enable staff and volunteers to make complaints and report wrongdoing through fair, transparent and accessible procedures.

Verifier

Both of the following must be in place for all Members:

  • A policy or guideline which:
    • Must meet complaints handling requirements in 7.3.2.
    • Is clearly accessible to all staff and volunteers.
    • Provides clear processes that are safe and confidential.
  • A whistleblowing policy that has the following components as a minimum:
    • A clear statement that staff, volunteers, contractors and partners who are aware of possible wrongdoing have a responsibility to disclose that information
    • A guarantee that staff and volunteers who in good faith disclose perceived wrongdoing will be protected from adverse employment consequences
    • The establishment of a fair and impartial investigative process
    • Provides protection for whistleblowers.

Guidance

ACFID has a policy template to assist signatory organisations to develop a whistleblowing policy, which can be found in the Resources Section below. Members will also find links to the whistleblowing policies of other members by looking at their websites. 

9.2.3 Members protect the safety, security and well- being of staff and volunteers.

Verifier

  • Policy, procedure or guidance document outlining the requirements for the safety, security and travel for staff and volunteers
  • Appropriate travel insurances
  • Guidelines for staff travel
  • Anti-bullying and anti-sexual harassment policies
  • Workplace, Health and Safety policy and training for staff and volunteers.

Guidance

The work of development and humanitarian assistance organisations often places great demands on staff and volunteers in conditions of complexity and risk.  In the Resources Section below, you will find information to assist your organisation in the development of appropriate policies, guidelines and training, which further the protection, safety, security and well-being of your personnel. 

Good Practice Indicators

The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code. Rather, they provide a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.

  • A focal point for Occupational Health and Safety is in place.
  • Counselling support services are available to staff. 
  • Organisation, staff and volunteers are aware of and have access to a range of professional development opportunities across and outside the sector.
  • An incident register is maintained and periodically reviewed by organisation management and governing body

GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES 

Good Practice Guidance

Here are some practical suggestions for your organisation to further deepen and improve practice over time. 

Policies and procedures

  • Ensure human resources policies and procedures are in line with the values of your organisation and with employment legislation
  • Set them out in writing, addressing at a minimum:
    • Recruitment and selection
    • Remuneration and benefits
    • Equity and diversity
    • Staff training and development
    • Performance management
    • Conduct in the workplace
    • Integrity (including confidentiality and conflict of interest)
    • Grievance procedures
    • Occupational Health and Safety
    • Unacceptable behaviours (see list below under ‘Conduct in the workplace’)
  • Regularly monitor and review them according to how well they meet legal and regulatory requirements, organisational and programme aims, and reasonable considerations of effectiveness, fairness and transparency.
  • Familiarise staff with policies and practices that affect them
  • Provide appropriate guidance and training to managers to implement policies effectively. 

Occupational Health and Safety

  • The aim of occupational health and safety (OH&S) is to eliminate or reduce the risk of injuries and illness associated with work.
  • Identify the risks that face staff in Australia and overseas, and develop policy and procedures to manage these risks. For the system to work effectively, staff need to be aware of, understand and be trained to follow relevant policies and procedures. OH&S policies typically include:
    • Workplace risk assessment
    • Leave arrangements
    • Security arrangements
    • Insurance arrangements
    • Staff care arrangements, such as medical and counselling services
    • Communications protocols
    • Travel and accommodation protocols
    • Accident and incident protocols
    • Emergency protocols
    • Emergency contacts

Overseas staff

  • There are additional occupation health and safety considerations for staff and volunteers working overseas. The People in Aid Standard recognises that the work of relief and development agencies often places great demands on staff in conditions of complexity and risk.
  • Use the People in Aid Standard to guide your policy and procedures. It identifies a range of actions to demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of staff. It recommends:
    • Developing program plans that include a written assessment of security, travel and health risks specific to the relevant country or region, and reviewing them at appropriate intervals
    • Before international assignments, ensure staff receive a health clearance, a verbal and written briefing on all risks relevant to the role and clear advice on agency obligations and individual responsibilities in relation to possible risks
    • Put measures in place to mitigate those risks, including insurance
    • Provide update briefings when new equipment, procedures or risks are identified
    • Regularly review security plans including evacuation procedures
    • Offer all staff a debriefing or exit interview at the end of any contract or assignment
    • Make health checks, personal counselling and careers advice available to overseas staff. 

Humanitarian workers

  • In recognition that humanitarian work is often stressful, the Antares Foundation has developed Guidelines for Good Practice which provide practical suggestions for organisations to provide good psychosocial care for its staff. Utilise the Guidelines for Good Practice to guide your policy and procedures. Its recommends you:
    • Develop a written and active policy to prevent or mitigate the effects of stress
    • Systematically screen and/or assess the capacity of staff to respond to, and cope with, the anticipated stresses of a position or contract
    • Ensure that all staff have appropriate pre-assignment preparation and training in managing stress.
    • Monitor staff response on an ongoing basis
    • Provide training and support on an ongoing basis to help staff manage daily stress
    • Provide staff with specific and culturally appropriate support in the wake of critical or traumatic incidents, and other unusual and unexpected sources of severe stress
    • Provide practical, emotional and culturally appropriate support for staff at the end of an assignment or contract
    • Have clear written policies with respect to the ongoing support it offers staff who have been adversely impacted by exposure to stress and trauma during assignments

Professional Development

  • Supporting the growth and development of your individual employees and volunteers can be done within both large and small signatory organisations. You are obliged to provide adequate resources and an environment for this to take place.
  • Instil a culture of learning through your recruitment, planning, monitoring and review processes, by:
    • Including in personnel policies the availability of training, development and learning opportunities, and making staff and volunteers aware of them
    • Developing and establishing robust recruitment, selection and induction processes that emphasise learning
    • Including learning opportunities and discussion in a range of areas such as:
      • Team planning
      • Performance management
      • Program monitoring
      • Evaluation frameworks and activities
    • Including explicit provision for training in plans and budgets
    • Offering internal and external formal training opportunities
    • Providing mentoring, coaching and peer support of staff, volunteers or governing body members
    • Granting opportunities for staff and volunteers to build skills ‘on the job’ by working in different areas and roles
    • Using formal organisational reflection processes such as organisational strategic planning and review
  • It is well established that a learning approach that blends different methods, and targets individual learning styles will lead to the best outcomes. Specific training and development activities should be offered to your employees and volunteers at all points of their engagement
  • Develop clear job descriptions that are the foundation upon which training and development activities are built
  • Implement a structured orientation and induction process for all employees, volunteers and governing body members
  • Provide training, so that staff and volunteers can meet the basic competencies for the role
  • Provide mentoring, coaching, and peer support
  • Identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that your organisation will need in the future
  • Conduct regular performance reviews
  • Align individual development plans to work outcomes and career development