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.