Sample UK Charity Code of Conduct Template for Volunteers & Staff

A sample UK charity staff and volunteer code of conduct template and how to communicate and make it work well

UK Charity Staff and Volunteer Code of Conduct Template

A charity staff and volunteer code of conduct that provides a template to lay out your ethics and core values.   It also includes tips on how to create and communicate your charity code of conduct to staff and volunteers, and make it work well.  

What Is a Charity Code of Conduct?

A charity code of conduct is an agreement that explains the standards of behaviour that we all expect from each other to ensure our charity is well run and everyone is kept safe.  It provides the framework to lead and to manage the culture in your charity.  Often there is a single code of conduct for staff, volunteers and trustees but some charities may also have a trustee code of conduct (see below).

Download Charity Codes of Conduct in Word

You can download sample charity trustee, and staff & volunteer codes of conduct in Word format from within the Charity Excellence system.  Register, login, click the AI bunny icon and then his Policies button and tell him you want a charity volunteer or trustee code of conduct template.  There are 40+ policies available.

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Charity Staff and Volunteer Code of Conduct - Applicability

This charity code of conduct applies to all trustees, other volunteers, employees, contractors, and third-party representatives of [Charity Name] (the “Charity”).  Its requirements should be reflected in other policies and procedures, agreements and contracts, as necessary.

Charity Staff and Volunteer Code of Conduct Part 1

Charity staff and volunteers must:

  • Act with integrity and honesty.
  • Ensure that you are aware of and comply with the charity’s policies.
  • Undertake any necessary training for your role.
  • Listen to and respect other staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and other stakeholders.
  • Promote relationships that are based on openness, honesty, trust and respect.
  • Treat everyone fairly and without prejudice or discrimination.
  • Ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
  • Ensure any equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose.
  • Challenge any unacceptable behaviour and report any breaches of this Code of Conduct or any concerns without delay to a trustee.
  • Report any allegations/suspicions of abuse or fraud.
  • Respect everyone’s right to personal privacy and ensure that any personal information is kept secure and not disclosed.
  • Volunteers are not obligated to work at specific times, but if you commit to doing something and are unable to, ensure that the charity is made aware as soon as possible.

Charity Staff & Volunteer Code of Conduct Part 2

Charity staff and volunteers must not:

  • Allow concerns or allegations to go unreported.
  • Develop inappropriate relationships such as contact with children or vulnerable people that is not a part of the work of the Charity or agreed with the trustees.
  • Share your personal contact details (mobile number, email or address) or have contact with a beneficiary or vulnerable person via a personal social media account.
  • Make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of anyone.
  • Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive.
  • Make inappropriate promises to young or other vulnerable people, particularly in relation to confidentiality.

How Do We Create a Charity Code of Conduct?

If all you do is copy this code of conduct, approve it at a meeting and then file it all you'll get is a charity code of conduct on file.  The way people behave is far more about leadership and culture than policies.  Therefore, rather than simply using mine, it is far better to have a facilitated discussion with your trustees and volunteers and use this is a checklist of items to talk about in creating your own.

How Do We Communicate Our Code of Conduct?

Your code of charity conduct applies to all staff and volunteers, so everyone needs to know about it, particularly those new to your charity.  You might consider reflecting some aspect of this in interview questions but it should form part of everyone's induction.  For example, including a copy in a welcome pack or induction briefing/training.  On an ongoing basis, it could be included in a staff handbook or even posters and relevant aspects built into job descriptions and, potentially, appraisal objectives.

Making a Charity Code of Conduct Work Well

The key to a charity code of conduct is that it creates a framework but it is the leadership and culture in your charity that delivers it, or not.  It is not simply a policy or academic exercise.  Those leading your charity must model the behaviour you expect of others and make your expectations clear.  It is also important to cultivate an open, positive culture in which staff and volunteers feel able to speak up and speak out to ensure this is applied across your charity.

Charity Trustee Code of Conduct Template

We also have a charity code of conduct template for trustees.

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This Charity Code of Conduct Article Is Not Professional Advice

This code of conduct article is for general interest only and does not constitute professional legal or financial advice.  I'm neither a lawyer, nor an accountant, so not able to provide this, and I cannot write guidance that covers every charity or eventuality.  You must check to ensure that whatever you create reflects correctly your charity’s needs and your obligations.

In using this resource, you accept that I have no responsibility whatsoever from any harm, loss or other detriment that may arise from your use of my work.  If you need professional advice, you must seek this from someone else. To do so, register, then login and use the Help Finder directory to find pro bono support. Everything is free.

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