Below is an example of our code of conduct document.
As a trustee of Advocacy Matters I promise to abide by the fundamental values that underpin all activities of this organisation. These are as follows.
Everything Advocacy Matters does will be able to stand the test of scrutiny by the public, the media, the Charity Commission, members, stakeholders, funders, parliament, and the courts.
Integrity and honesty
These will be the hallmarks of all conduct when dealing with colleagues within Advocacy Matters and equally when dealing with individuals and institutions outside it.
Advocacy Matters strives to maintain an atmosphere of openness throughout the organisation to promote confidence of the public, stakeholders, staff, charity regulators and parliament.
Additionally, I agree to the following points.
Law, mission, policies
I will act within the governing document of Advocacy Matters and abide by the policies and procedures of the organisation. A copy of all Policies and Procedures are available to view and are situated in the main office.
I will not break the law or go against charity regulations in any aspect of my role of trustee.
I will support the objects and mission of Advocacy Matters and act as their guardian and champion.
I will develop and maintain an up-to-date knowledge of Advocacy Matters and its environment
Conflicts of interest
I will always strive to act in the best interests of the organisation as a whole and not as a representative of any group, considering what is best for Advocacy Matters and its present and future beneficiaries.
I will declare any conflict of interest, or any circumstance that might be viewed by others as a conflict of interest, as soon as it arises.
I will submit to the judgment of the board and do as it requires regarding potential conflicts of interest.
Person to person
I will not break the law, go against charity regulations or act in disregard of organisational policies in my relationships with fellow trustees, staff, volunteers, members, service recipients, contractors or anyone I come into contact with in my role as trustee.
I will strive to establish respectful, collegial and courteous relationships.
Where I also volunteer with the organisation I will maintain the separation of my role as a trustee and as a volunteer.
Protecting the organisation’s reputation
I will not make public comments about the organisation, in person or on social media, unless authorised to do so.
Any public comments I make about Advocacy Matters or its activities will be considered and in line with organisational policy, and previous instruction, whether I make them as an individual or as a trustee.
When I am speaking as a trustee of this organisation, my comments will reflect current organisational policy even when these do not agree with my personal views.
When speaking as a private citizen I will strive to uphold the reputation of the organisation and those who work in it.
I will respect organisational, board and individual confidentiality.
I will not personally gain materially or financially from my role as trustee, unless specifically authorised to do so, nor will I permit others to do so as a result of my actions or negligence.
I will use organisational resources responsibly. I will document expenses and seek reimbursement according to procedure.
I will not accept gifts or hospitality without the prior consent of the chair.
In the boardroom
I will strive to embody the principles of leadership in all my actions and live up to the trust placed in me by Advocacy Matters.
I accept my responsibility to ensure that Advocacy Matters is well run and will raise issues and questions in an appropriate and sensitive way to ensure that this is the case.
I will abide by board governance procedures and practices.
I will strive to attend all board meetings, giving apologies ahead of time to the chair if unable to attend.
I will study the agenda and other information sent me in good time prior to the meeting and be prepared to debate and vote on agenda items during the meeting.
I will honour the authority of the chair and respect his or her role as meeting leader.
I will engage in debate and voting in meetings according to procedure, maintaining a respectful attitude toward the opinions of others while making my voice heard.
I will accept a majority board vote on an issue as decisive and final.
I will maintain confidentiality about what goes on in the boardroom unless authorised by the chair or board to speak of it.
I will participate in induction, training and development activities for trustees.
I will continually seek ways to improve board governance practice.
I will strive to identify good candidates for trusteeship and appoint new trustees on the basis of merit.
I will support the chair in his/her efforts to improve his/her leadership skills.
I will support the chief executive in his/her executive role and, with my fellow board members, seek development opportunities for him/her.
Leaving the board
I understand that substantial breach of any part of this code may result in my removal from the trustee board.
Should procedures be put in motion that may result in my being asked to resign from the board, I will be given the opportunity to be heard. In the event that I am asked to resign from the board, I will accept the majority decision of the board and resign at the earliest opportunity.
Should I resign from the board I will inform the chair in advance in writing, stating my reasons for resigning. Additionally, I will participate in an exit interview.