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Annual Report 2022-23

Reporting on ACFID’s activities to ensure transparency and accountability


ACFID is the peak body for Australian NGOs involved in international development and humanitarian action.


ACFID works and engages with a range of strategic partners in addition to our members.


ACFID is governed by its Board, ACFID Council, and various expert and governance committees.


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Conference 2023

disruptive dynamics, inspired ideas

18-19 October 2023

Meet our Members

The ACFID membership is comprised of Australian NGOs that actively work in the international aid and development sector.

Become a member

Joining ACFID means joining an experienced and powerful mix of like-minded organisations committed to good international development practice.

Membership types & fees

ACFID has two types of organisational membership: Full Membership and Affiliate Membership.

State of the Sector

The State of the Sector Report provides a comprehensive and robust analysis of the state of the Australian aid and development sector.

NGO Aid Map

ACFID’s NGO Aid Map allows the Australian public and stakeholders to explore the work of ACFID Members around the world.

Development Practice Committee

The DPC is an expert advisory group of development practitioners leading good practice within the sector.

Our Focus

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Federal Budget 23-24 Analysis

Facts and figures on how aid is presented in this year’s annual budget

Strategic Plan

ACFID prioritises a robust response to climate change and pressure on civil society in developing countries, as well as other key priorities.

Emergency Aid

ACFID Members provide vital life-saving assistance in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.

Climate Change

Action on climate change is one of ACFID’s highest priorities, as it is an existential threat to humanity and our development.

Civil Society

Civil societies are a cornerstone of regional stability and ensure that the voices of the marginalised are heard.

Supporting NGOS

Supporting NGOs as Valuable Partners.

Inclusive & locally led development

Walking the talk on inclusive development.

Humanitarian Action

Taking humanitarian action for those in greatest need.

Elevating Development

Elevating Development to the Heart of Australia’s International Engagement.


Improving standards, practice and culture to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Code of Conduct

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2022-23 ACFID Code of Conduct Review

The ACFID Code of Conduct is periodically reviewed to ensure it continues to reflect good practice and the needs of ACFID and its members.

Code of Conduct

The Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory industry code of good practice.

About the Code

Find out more about the Code of Conduct and how it operates.

Good Practice Toolkit

Overview and practical resources, and examples to support the implementation of the Code.

Spotlight on the Code

Provides a thematic ‘deep dive’ into each of the nine Quality Principles in the Code


This section outlines the responsibility to be taken by each Member to ensure compliance with the Code.

Complaints Handling

How to make a complaint and information on the Code’s independent mechanism to address concerns relating to an ACFID Members’ conduct.

Other Standards

Mapping the Code with other professional standards and principles in the humanitarian and aid sector in Australia and internationally

Home 5 Good Practice Toolkit 5 PSEA Changes 2019 5 Changes to Quality Principle 9

Changes to Quality Principle 9

Changes made to the Code’s Quality Assurance Framework are in khaki.

These changes will take effect for ACFID members as of 31 December 2019, and are a result of the ACFID Review into Prevention of Sexual Exploitation & Abuse.

Compliance Indicator 9.3.1 - Members are fair, transparent and non-discriminatory in their management of staff and volunteers.

Human resource policies and procedures which address:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Remuneration and benefits
  • Equity and diversity
  • Staff learning and development
  • Performance management
  • Family and carer leave provisions
  • Conduct in the workplace
  • Integrity (including confidentiality and conflict of interest)
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Reference checking and vetting for former misconduct of all staff and volunteers


Human resources policies and procedures should be in-line with the values of your organisation and employment legislation. Policies should be endorsed or approved by the governing body, and easily accessible to all staff and volunteers. Some organisations may have these policies compiled in a manual or handbook, and some may have them available in a policy resource bank such as a shared file or an intranet.

There are lots of free on-line resources that can help organisations develop policies and procedures that are most appropriate to their workplace and which are consistent with legal obligations. An example of a Human Resources Toolkit is included in the Resources Section below.

It is important that your organisation’s human resources policies and procedures meet the National Employment Standards (NES) for employees in Australia. These are 10 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees. There is a link to the NES in the Resources Section below.

Compliance indicator 9.3.3 - Members manage the performance and grievances of their staff and volunteers in a fair and transparent manner.

  • Performance management, grievance and disciplinary processes that are accessible to all staff and volunteers.
  • Performance management processes for staff and volunteers that include adherence to the Member’s code of conduct and other codes and standards as relevant to their roles.
  • HR policies clearly define what constitutes staff and volunteer misconduct and outline consequences of such misconduct, including grounds for termination.


All processes that relate to performance management, workplace grievances and disciplinary action should be clearly documented and made available to staff and volunteers upon employment and then on a continuously accessible basis. This should include expected behaviours and code of conduct, what constitutes misconduct and the consequences of misconduct. Grievance processes should also refer to the member’s Whistleblowing Policy and procedures.

Some organisations may include HR policies and processes in an employee handbook, or may have them available in an accessible policy platform such as a shared drive or  intranet. It is essential that the organisation’s Code of Conduct is readily accessible to staff and volunteers at all times.

Processes should include or ensure:

  • staff have clear work objectives and performance standards
  • the organisation’s code of conduct is included in employment documentation
  • staff know whom they report to and what management support they will receive
  • staff know what constitutes misconduct and the consequences of misconduct, and
  • that there is a clear and known mechanism for reviewing staff performance.

Compliance indicator 9.4.1 - Members specify the expectation of professional conduct of all staff and volunteers

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


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.

Compliance indicator 9.4.2 - Members’ staff and volunteers work in accordance with agreed standards of practice

  • 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.


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 related to 9.4

  • 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.