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Institute of Community Directors Australia Code of Ethics and Conduct


Prelude

An ethical approach to not-for-profit governance should:

  1. set out the fundamental principles that should guide the actions of not-for-profit organisations, and the boards and committees that govern them, and the employees and volunteers who work for them. In what follows, we refer to this level as 'ethics'.
  2. set out the standards that those who deal with these organisations can expect of them, and their employees and volunteers. In what follows, we refer to this level as 'conduct'.
  3. require these organisations to build these aspirations into their day-to-day operations, including monitoring and reporting standards, recognition and rewards for compliance, and penalties and sanctions for breaches. In what follows, we refer to this level as 'practice'.

Membership of the Institute of Community Directors Australia carries with it a degree of public endorsement as an appropriately qualified and properly accredited Community Director. This accreditation carries with it the responsibility to maintain the high ethical standards expected of Australian not-for-profit governance. This code provides a framework for understanding what such a responsibility involves.

The Institute of Community Directors Australia Code of Ethics and Conduct sets out the ethical principles the Institute endorses and the standards that are expected of its members. As part of their governance duties, members are also required to work towards instituting a system of compliance and fostering a culture of ethics in their organisation.

1. Commitment

Ethics

I took up this position to work for something larger than myself. I will carry out this work honestly and in fairness to everybody involved, placing the interests of others before my own.

Conduct

Every Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at all times when acting in their capacity as director/board member, employee or volunteer in a community organisation:

  1. pursue as their highest priority the fulfilment of the mission of the organisation
  2. after that, promote the interests of the organisation itself
  3. after that, consider the interests of the organisation's stakeholders, its clients, its consumers, its employees, and the society and the environment in which it operates.

2. Compliance

Ethics

I will work within the law, and within the rules, and I will see that my organisation does too.

Conduct

Every Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at all times while acting in their capacity as director/board member, employee or volunteer in a community organisation:

  1. ensure to the best of their ability and within the bounds of their authority that the organisation is observing sound financial practices and managing potential risks effectively, and is at all times in its dealings with other parties capable of meeting its legal and financial obligations
  2. ensure to the best of their ability that the organisation is complying with all applicable federal, state and local legislation and regulation
  3. observe the provisions of the organisation's constitution, its bylaws, its standing orders and its policies.

3. Conflicts

Ethics

In my dealings with the organisation I shall be honest and open, and shall not take any advantage of my position on the board.

Conduct

No member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at any time while acting in their capacity as director/board member, employee or volunteer in a community organisation:

  1. place their own interests, or the interests of any other person or body, before the interests of the organisation, or so act as to give the appearance of any such conflict
  2. enter into any financial relationship with the organisation without the approval of the board, in whose deliberations on that issue the director/board member shall have taken no part
  3. through their own conduct bring the organisation into disrepute.

4. Confidentiality

Ethics

I shall keep secret any secrets that have been entrusted to me, and I shall freely tell anyone anything they are entitled to know.

Conduct

Every member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at all times while acting in their capacity as director/board Member, employee or volunteer in a community organisation:

  1. preserve, where appropriate, the confidentiality of the organisation's business
  2. protect the privacy of the organisation's employees, clients and customers
  3. recognise their accountability to the organisation's members, and provide all information on the organisation's performance necessary to give meaning to that accountability.

5. Conscientiousness

Ethics

I shall do the job fully and without reservations.

Conduct

Every member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at all times while acting in their capacity as director/board member, employee or volunteer of a community organisation:

  1. exercise their independent judgement on the issues before them
  2. provide themselves with the information from within and without the organisation necessary to support the exercise of their judgements
  3. invest the time and effort required to fulfil the requirements of the position by reading the materials, participating fully in meetings, and carrying out any duties assigned by the organisation.

6. Communication

Ethics

I shall know what the organisation does, and why, and I shall tell the world about it.

Conduct

Every Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at all times while acting in their capacity as director/board Member, employee or volunteer in a community organisation:

  1. educate themselves continuously to maintain the information base, the skills base, and the qualifications needed to oversee the affairs of the organisation effectively
  2. communicate the significance of the organisation's mission, its strategy, and its culture to members, employees, stakeholders and the public
  3. share with the Institute where appropriate and with their colleagues in the field the insights and practices they have developed in the course of their work.

7. Community

Ethics

I will treat the people involved with the organisation respectfully, fairly and without prejudice.

Conduct

Every Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia shall at all times while acting in their capacity as director/board member, employee or volunteer in a community organisation:

  1. observe and promote the human rights of all persons touched by the work of the organisation
  2. oppose prejudice, address disadvantage, and promote diversity in all aspects of the governance and the management of the organisation
  3. treat colleagues, clients and the community with courtesy and respect.

About the Institute Of Community Directors Australia

The Institute of Community Directors Australia is the best practice governance network for the members of Australian not-for-profit boards, committees and councils, and the senior staff members who work alongside them.

An Our Community enterprise, the Institute is Australia's leading provider of information, tools, training and qualifications for Australian not-for-profits.