Commitment 9.4 We enable our people to conduct themselves professionally and according to our stated values.

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. 

9.4.1 Members specify the expectation of professional conduct of all staff and volunteers.

Verifier

A documented Code of Conduct that specifies the values and expectations of professional conduct of all staff and volunteers. This must include reference to child safeguarding behaviours, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, transactional sex, anti-bullying and sexual harassment; and an obligation on staff and volunteers to report wrongdoing.

Guidance

A Code of Conduct for staff and volunteers needs to be tailored to the values and principles of an organisation.

At the most basic level, Members will have an organisational Code of Conduct that:

  • References child safeguarding behaviours as per the Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct (see 1.4.2)
  • References organisational expectations around behaviours as outlined in your PSEA policy (see 1.5.1)
  • Clearly articulates in what circumstances transactional sex is prohibited. An example could be “I will not engage in any form of transactional sex with primary stakeholders. I understand this to be any form of sexual activity in exchange for goods or services, money, employment or preferential treatment.
  • Outlines and prohibits behaviours that constitute bullying, or references these if they are outlined in your anti-bullying policy (see 9.2.3)
  • Outlines and prohibits behaviours that constitute sexual harassment, or references these if they are outlined in your anti-sexual harassment policy (see 9.2.3)
  • Requires staff and volunteers to report suspected violations of the organisation’s Code of Conduct.

Other areas addressed within an organisational Code of Conduct could include responsible stewardship of resources, fraud and corruption prevention, occupational health and safety, conflict of interest, privacy, professional relationships, protecting confidential information, record keeping, and intellectual property.

9.4.2 Members’ staff and volunteers work in accordance with agreed standards of practice.

Verifier

  • Members provide all staff with information about the ACFID Code of Conduct and opportunities for associated training.
  • Members provide staff and volunteers with information about, and training in, other Codes and Standards as relevant to their roles.
  • Documented evidence of induction, pre-deployment and refresher training provided to all staff and volunteers on the Member’s code of conduct and key policies including child protection, prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, complaints and whistle blowing.

Guidance

Members will use different ways to provide staff with information about the ACFID Code of Conduct. This may include providing an orientation to the Code during induction training, including reference to the Code in job descriptions and employment contracts, including reference to the Code in organisational policies, or providing opportunities to attend learning events related to the Code.

Members will also need to facilitate access for their staff and volunteers to training materials on the topics of the organisation’s own Code of Conduct: child protection; prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment; complaints; and whistle blowing. It is a requirement that training is provided to staff and volunteers on these topics at induction, and then again prior to the deployment of staff or volunteers overseas, and on a regular basis as refresher training.

Members will also provide information and training to their staff and volunteers on agreed standards of practice that relate to different positions and areas of work within Member organisations. This could include Australian Accounting Standards, the Core Humanitarian Standard for Quality and Accountability, Principles and Standards of Fundraising Practice, and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

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.

  • Organisation governing body and staff undertake ACFID Code of Conduct training.
  • Pre-deployment training covers scenario-based discussions about power imbalances, status and workplace cultures of the destination country and how these impact work and personal relationships. 

GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES 

Good Practice Guidance

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

Organisational

  • Identify sector and industry standards that are relevant to your staff and ensure that training on relevant standards is available to staff.

Awareness of ACFID Code of Conduct

  • Require your staff, volunteers and board members to undertake the ACFID ‘Introduction to the Code’ training module. It is available online and can be completed at the user’s own pace. Include their Certificate of Completion with their individual files
  • Maintain a training register showing who in the organisation has completed the ACFID ‘Introduction to the Code’ training module
  • Ensure that your organisation’s own Code of Conduct reflects the core principles and values of the ACFID Code
  • Conduct comprehensive training during induction for staff, volunteers and board members on the ACFID Code and the implications of the Code for their role within the organisation
  • Ensure appropriate policies and procedures, contracts, job descriptions and duty statements reflect the ACFID Code’s standards, obligations and values
  • Refer to the ACFID Code during performance appraisals
  • Involve staff from all parts of the organisation when undertaking the ACFID Compliance Self-Assessment
  • Promote awareness of other relevant standards

Conduct in the workplace

  • All staff have a duty of care to others and should treat each other with courtesy and respect and refrain from harassment or discrimination. However, this is not always simple. Different social and cultural standards may lead to confusion as to what behaviour is acceptable and reasonable. To ensure clarity, develop and document a statement of unacceptable behaviours in your human resources policies and procedures, i.e. behaviour in the workplace that has the potential to cause offence, or create a risk to a staff member's health and safety. Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to:
    • Sexual eploitation, abuse and harassmemt
    • Emotional, psychological or physical violence or abuse
    • Coercion, harassment and discrimination
    • Unreasonable demands and undue persistence
    • Disruptive behaviour
    • Aggressive or abusive behaviour such as threatening gestures or actual violence or assault
    • Verbal abuse such as yelling, screaming, abusive or offensive language
    • Being under the influence of illicit drugs or impaired by alcohol
    • Unsafe work practices or behaviour which may harm the staff member or others
    • Bullying, harassment or intimidation
    • Stalking
    • Unwelcome physical contact including that of a sexual, intimate or threatening nature
    • Teasing, name calling, ridicule or making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes
    • Withholding approval for or denial of requests maliciously, discriminatorily, unfairly or without basis
    • Excluding or isolating individuals
    • Undermining the performance, reputation or professionalism of others by deliberately withholding information, resources or authorisation, or by supplying incorrect information
    • Malicious or mischievous gossip or complaints
    • Abusive or harassing communication (such as notes, emails, telephone calls and text messages) during or after working hours
    • Belittling opinions or unreasonable and unconstructive criticism
    • Offensive gestures and behaviour
    • Stealing or misuse of organisational resources
    • Viewing inappropriate images or pornography in hard copy or electronically
  • Develop and document a ‘Code of Conduct’ for staff that addresses how staff and volunteers should treat other staff and volunteer members and outlines unacceptable behaviours.
  • Document a reporting or complaints process to respond to unacceptable behaviour, and ensure that this process is readily accessible to the governing body, staff and volunteers. Any reports need to be taken seriously by your organisation and handled in a confidential manner, taking into account the principles of impartiality and fairness.
  • You are obliged to take action if you become aware of unacceptable behaviour that may have an adverse effect on the well-being of staff or volunteers or which places children at risk. Such action may include disciplinary action. 

Human Resources

  • Document a reporting or complaints process to respond to misconduct, and ensure that this process is readily accessible to the governing body, staff and volunteers. Any reports need to be taken seriously by your organisation and handled in a confidential manner, taking into account the principles of impartiality and fairness.
  • Provide guidance to managers on the legislative requirements associated with resolving formal complaints.
  • Provide managers with assistance and support with regard to the investigation of complaints.
  • Provide information on the options available to employees who believe they have been treated unfairly
  • Monitor that the actions required to resolve formal complaints have been implemented.
  • Maintain confidentiality in child protection and sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment incidents.
  • Report serious misconduct including any that relate to child protection, sexual exploitation and abuse to the governing body of the organisation.
  • Document the information obtained and actions taken in secure location.

Grievances

Good practice grievance processes commit to:

  • Managers addressing grievances promptly and not unreasonably delaying meetings, decisions or confirmation of those decisions.
  • Managers acting consistently in relation to grievances.
  • Investigations to establish the facts of the case, where appropriate.
  • Employees being allowed to be accompanied at any formal grievance meetings by a work colleague.
  • Employees being allowed to appeal against any formal decision made.
  • Advising the employee of the outcome of the grievance in a reasonable time period
  • Monitoring of grievances processes by HR.
  • Regular reporting to identify key workplace issues and trends.