IBE comments on the NCVO draft code of ethics for the charity sector

Consultation response
28 September 2018

Tags: Corporate governance, Code of Ethics

The way an organisation is governed is a crucial element in making sure that that high standards of corporate behaviour are achieved and maintained.

Indeed, the challenges around governance are also evolving as organisations in the charity sector seek to address the trust deficit that has recently come into sharp public focus. Nowadays, trustees (or their equivalent) must be concerned not only with the processes around accountability, strategic decision-making and risk oversight. They must also learn to understand and shape the drivers of behaviour within their organisation and consequently its impact on society in general and beneficiaries in particular.

All of these are important issues for the IBE and we are therefore grateful for the opportunity to respond to this consultation on the proposed NVCO Code. Getting the right language in place is a delicate task; in some important areas more work may be needed to get the drafting to a point where it commands the broad consensus support throughout the Charity sector. This is essential if it is to be consistently effective.

We welcome the initiative of the NCVO to address the fact that there is at present ‘no overarching set of principles that reflect the values shared across the charity sector’.

The IBE has some general comments on the draft code as well as suggestions which we think would clarify some of the wording.

These comments are based on our experience in assisting organisations in both the private and public sector with the content, presentation and subsequent training programmes of their codes of ethics and their application in day-to-day operations.