NCVO has published a set of ethical principles for the sector, which urges charities to “proactively champion ethical behaviour”.
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 early last year.
NCVO published a draft code of ethics last year, which led the Commission to say that its scope and focus needed to be more explicitly defined.
Today, NCVO published its Charity Ethical Principles, which recommend that charities create “an inclusive culture that does not tolerate inappropriate, discriminatory, offensive or harmful behaviour towards any person who works for, volunteers with, or comes into contact with the charity”.
The code is divided into four sections:
- Beneficiaries first
- Right to be safe
‘Work does not end here’
The voluntary principles set standards that are often higher than those required by law and are designed to complement other guidance.
Marsh 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.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said: “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."
NCVO has also today published a summary of responses to its draft guidance.