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Quality Principle 9: People and Culture

Development and humanitarian organisations manage and support their people fairly and effectively.


Quality Principle 9 recognises the importance of our people and their ability to work to enable good development outcomes. The working environments of our organisations should be places where the key human rights principles of fairness, equity, and respect for social and cultural diversity are deeply embedded in policies, practices and organisational culture. This means that there is agreement between these same principles that underlie your mission and goals for aid and development, and the way that staff and volunteers are treated.

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This Quality Principle requires Members to have established frameworks that clearly define and protect the rights and safety of staff and volunteers, and that support their duty of care to personnel, both paid and voluntary. This is particularly necessary given the often insecure and stressful nature of development, humanitarian and emergency management activities. The standards recognise that staff and volunteers are key to our organisations being able to fulfil its missions and objectives. And they will help deliver effective programmes, as good personnel and management practices contribute to greater organisational effectiveness.  This Quality Principle covers the professional management of human resources, professional conduct, training and development and rights and discrimination. This reflects the approach taken by the Core Humanitarian Standard, where its equivalent human resources criterion requires that ‘staff are supported to do their job effectively, and are treated fairly and equitably’. The revised Code requirements are explicit in their requirements for volunteers, in particular those who fill roles which are an integral part of the Member’s organisational structure. Quality Principle 9 reflects a more comprehensive and holistic approach to human resources than ever before.

Quality Principle 9 requires ACFID’s Members to be fair and non-discriminatory in their management of staff, requires human resources policies and procedures to address equity and diversity, and requires Members to comply with human resource regulations and legislation.

Quality Principle 9 is implemented through four Commitments by ACFID Members.



We have the human resource capacity and capability to deliver our work.


We protect, value and support our people.


We manage our people effectively and fairly.


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