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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

Commitment 9.3:
We manage our people effectively and fairly.

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.

9.3.1 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 online 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 11 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees. There is a link to the NES in the Resources Section below.

9.3.2 Members comply with human resource regulatory requirements and legislation.

Human resource policies and procedures that are consistent with, and reflect industrial relations, legislation and relevant agreements or awards in Australia, as well as in countries of operation.


When developing human resources policies and procedures, Members should be informed by relevant legislation, including the National Employment Standards, the Privacy Act 1988, the Fair Work Act 2009, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. There are links to these pieces of legislation in the Resources Section below. Members will also need to refer to relevant legislation in overseas countries of operation.

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.

Good Practice Indicators

The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. While Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code, they will self-assess against these indicators once every three years. This provides a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.

  • A dedicated governing body member or staff person for human resource management is appointed.
  • Organisation complies with the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement.
  • Merit-based and transparent processes for filling vacancies are in place.

Good Practice Guidance

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


  • Embed human rights principles in the vision, purpose and values of your organisational charter, related objectives in your strategic plan and your human resources policies.
  • Continuously promote your organisation’s values to your governing body, staff and volunteers.
  • Provide a work environment that fosters fairness, equity, and respect for social and cultural diversity, and one that is free from discrimination, harassment and vilification.
  • Conduct recruitment and selection processes that promote equity and diversity.
  • Establish clear reporting and investigation procedures for sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse to report suspected or known instances of abuse to relevant authorities.
  • Build alliances with other organisations to share past performance information about applicants, with their consent and in accordance with data protection laws.
  • Provide training to senior management and all staff and volunteers on ‘unconscious bias’.
  • Train managers and staff on human rights in the workplace.
  • Actively address barriers to hiring and progression in employment to promote diversity and equity.
  • Promote practices to build trust between managers, staff and volunteers.
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers are aware of their rights and their responsibilities.
  • Ensure confidentiality in your complaints and grievances processes.
  • Undertake regular staff satisfaction surveys.
  • Regularly review employment legislation in all countries where you work.

Gender equity and disability

  • Gender equity and disability inclusion have been highlighted as areas of particular focus for the aid and development sector. Policies and guidelines can address inequities faced by women and people with a disability, aiming to achieve fairness and justice and to reduce barriers to participation in and receiving the benefits of employment. Examples of strategies that can promote equity and inclusion include:
    • Provide flexible work hours for carers of children.
    • Consider subsidising child care costs.
    • Providing all necessary support and services to staff, board members and volunteers with a disability.
    • Making a statement of commitment to achieving gender balance in delegations, boards and other decision-making bodies.
    • Setting targets for gender balance.

Performance Management

Develop performance management processes which ensure that:

  • staff and volunteers have clear and documented work objectives and key performance indicators.
  • performance standards and the organisation’s Code of Conduct is included in employment documentation.
  • staff and volunteers are regularly familiarised with expected staff behaviours and the organisation’s Code of Conduct.
  • staff and volunteers know what constitutes misconduct and the consequences of misconduct.
  • staff and volunteers know whom they report to and what management support they will receive.
  • there is a clear and known mechanism for regularly reviewing staff and volunteer performance.
  • supervision and performance appraisals include adherence to the organisation’s Code of Conduct and other codes and standards as relevant to their roles.
  • performance appraisals for Senior Management include adherence to creating and maintaining an environment which promotes the implementation of the organisation’s Code of Conduct.
  • allegations of misconduct processes follow standard investigation operating procedures or equivalent.
  • substantiated misconduct by staff or volunteers results in disciplinary action or contractual consequences.
  • allegations of serious misconduct, whether substantiated or not, are reported to the organisation’s Board.

Workplace Grievance Procedures

Grievance procedures should:

  • reflect a survivor- and victim-centred approach that is grounded in respect for human rights, as well as respect, confidentiality, safety, and non-discrimination.
  • encourage grievances to be initially dealt with by the immediate supervisor of the employee who raised it.
  • provide a mechanism for employees to raise a formal grievance if they wish.
  • outline when a grievance hearing should be held.
  • ensure that review of a grievance is conducted fairly and impartially, with the employee given the opportunity to voice his or her concerns.
  • ensure that feedback on the outcome of the grievance is given to the employee.
  • include a right of appeal.

ACFID Resources

ACFID Practice Note – Volunteering for International Development

AVI and other ACFID members have brought this practice guidance into one document.

Other Resources

Approaches to disability inclusive employment

Outlines CBM's approach to embedding disability inclusiveness in recruitment practices

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)

This is a compilation of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as in force on 1 January 2014. It includes any ...

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Commonwealth)

An Act to require certain employers to promote equal opportunity for women in employment, to establish the Equal ...

Fair Work Act 2009

Commonwealth Law on the Fair Work Act.

Human Resources Toolkit

The Human Resources (HR) Tool Kit has many documents, policies and supporting templates, aimed at improving the ...

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Commonwealth)

An Act to establish the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, to make provision in relation to human ...

National Employment Standards

Minimum employment standards that have to be provided to all employees

National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

Standards supporting the volunteering sector in Australia

Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 (Commonwealth)

Commonwealth Law on Occupational Health & Safety.

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Commonwealth)

An Act relating to the Elimination of Racial and other Discrimination.

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth)

An Act relating to discrimination on the ground of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, ...