A code of conduct is a set of rules or standards setting out how you, as members of the Big Local partnership and/or those actively involved, agree to behave.
This includes how you behave towards each other and to others as a representative of Big Local in your area.
The purpose of the code of conduct is to ensure that all members of the partnership operate in line with the values and ethos of Big Local. This also means that your code of conduct must align with Big Local, for example your code of conduct should support openness and transparency, and should not exclude or discriminate.
You should discuss and agree a code of conduct to adopt, and then regularly refer back and remind yourselves of what’s in there.
Your code of conduct should be simple and right for your area. The code of conduct can include standards on:
- the personal conduct of members such as honesty, integrity and not seeking to obtain favourable treatment
- conduct at meetings, such as respecting each other, coming to meetings on time, and not interrupting others
- examples about behaviour that the group will not tolerate such as abuse or swearing
managing conflicts of interest (find tips on managing conflicts of interest in our guidance: Big Local Partnerships)
- how you will represent the agreed views of the partnership to others
- how members of the partnership will share information about meetings to others
- what happens if the code of conduct is breached by someone.
An example of a code of conduct:
As a member of the partnership I agree to abide by our area’s Big Local values. I agree that:
- Everything the partnership does will stand the test of scrutiny by people in the Big Local area, Local Trust, community members, stakeholders, funders and the courts.
- Integrity, respect and honesty are the hallmarks of all conduct when dealing with others within the partnership and equally when dealing with individuals and institutions outside it.
- The partnership will strive to maintain an atmosphere of openness throughout the community to promote confidence of the public, stakeholders, Local Trust, the Big Lottery Fund, charity regulators and government.
- I will not break the law or go against charity regulations.
- I will abide by our local Big Local policies and procedures.
- I will always strive to act in the best interests of Big Local.
- I will declare any conflict of interest or of loyalty, or any circumstance that might be viewed by others as such, as soon as it arises so that I do not gain any improper personal benefits from my role on the partnership, nor will I permit others to do so as a result of my actions or negligence.
- 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 maintain confidentiality (where this has been agreed by the partnership) about what goes on in the meeting.
- I understand that substantial breach of any part of this code may result in my removal as a member.
- Should I resign as a member I will inform the chair in writing, stating my reasons for resigning.
- I will respect equality of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Here is an example of a statement about unacceptable behaviour:
We will not tolerate behaviour which produces damaging or hurtful effects, physically or emotionally, on people. Inappropriate behaviour includes abusive, threatening or intimidating behaviour and applies to phone calls, emails, letters, in person and face-to-face meetings. This includes:
- insults and name-calling
- swearing, offensive language and gestures
- inappropriate jokes
- ridiculing and undermining behaviour
- inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact
- physical assault or threats of physical assault
- intimidating, coercive or threatening actions and behaviour
- unwelcome sexual advances
- isolation, non-cooperation or deliberate exclusion
- inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance
- intrusive questions or comments about a person’s private life and malicious gossip
- offensive images and literature
- pestering, spying or stalking.
If somebody’s behaviour is making you feel uncomfortable or you find it unacceptable, report it to your Big Local partnership chair or your Big Local rep. If it’s not appropriate to talk to either of these people you should get in touch with Local Trust on 020 3588 0565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep a log of any inappropriate behaviour which might include phone calls (including missed calls and messages), emails, letters, and face-to-face meetings.
If you are concerned for your own safety, report the behaviour immediately to the police.
This guidance was updated in April 2019.