The NCVO has launched its Charity Ethical Principles guidance, aimed at providing a benchmark of good practice among the sector.
The new guidance, formerly the Charity Code of Ethics, follows months of consultation and engagement with charities of all sizes.
Governing bodies, staff and volunteers are being encouraged to actively consider the principles and how they can integrate them throughout their work.
A summary of the feedback has been published alongside the guidance, showing the sector’s positive response towards the principles.
Putting beneficiaries first, integrity, openness and the right to be safe have constituted the overarching principles of the finished document. Each of the principles is accompanied by guidance on how it can be upheld, providing broad, instructive statements that charities using the code should observe.
In response to feedback, the original proposed title of Charity Code of Ethics has been changed to Charity Ethical Principles, to make clear that the guidance is intended as complementary to existing codes such as the Charity Governance Code, and also makes clear its status as a voluntary framework.
Commenting on the guidance, Dame Mary Marsh, who led on drafting the principles said: “It has been a privilege to lead this important piece of work and I would like to thank all those who contributed so thoughtfully.
“These principles demonstrate how much we all want to live our values in everything we do and show the public that charities aim to be places where everyone meets the highest ethical standards.’
NCVO chief executive, Sir Stuart Etherington added: “NCVO is pleased to have supported the development of the Charity Ethical Principles. I hope they will be widely used by charities in their decision making and in the development of their policies and procedures. This work does not end here and we are open to further development of this important guidance once organisations have started to use it as part of their decision making.’
You can download the full principles here.