NCVO has published a draft code of ethics for the sector, which recommends that charities operate with the “presumption of openness”.
A review panel, led by Dame Mary Marsh, was set up as part of a programme of work agreed by charities, umbrella bodies, the Charity Commission and the government in the wake of the revelations about safeguarding failures earlier this year.
NCVO said it hopes that this code of ethics will be the sector’s equivalent of the Nolan Principles, which apply to those who hold public office, and is a set of overarching principles that should apply to all types of charities.
The code is divided into four sections:
- Putting beneficiaries first
- Acting with integrity
- Being open
- Ensuring the right to be safe
‘Prevent problems arising again’
The aim of the code is to help charities to create the right framework and do more to prevent people from being exploited.
Marsh said: “This code of ethics is not just about safeguarding, its ambition is much bigger. It is designed to encourage charities to reflect on their current policies and practice, to fire further debate on key issues, to show the sector’s commitment to ethical principles, and most importantly to help prevent problems ever arising again.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, added: “I encourage organisations to take this opportunity to respond to the draft code, and be a part of this sector-wide push for safer practices.”
The consultation period will last 12 weeks and will close on 26 September. Anyone wishing to respond or be involved in upcoming consultation events should email [email protected].
Today’s announcement has been deliberately timed to coincide with Acevo’s publication of a report about leading safe cultures.