"Sample Trustee Code of Conduct Template" - United Kingdom

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Download "Sample Trustee Code of Conduct Template" - United Kingdom

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Sample Trustee code of conduct
From National Council of Voluntary Organisations, UK
The purpose of this document is to provide a model code of conduct for trustees. A code
of conduct for board members ensures high standards and makes it clear how potential
conflicts of interests are dealt with.
This model aims to capture good practice. It should be used as a guide rather than a
definitive code. It should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each organisation.
Remember also that the organisation must comply with all legal regulations.
This code of conduct is based on the Nolan Committee's 'Seven Principles of Public Life'.
Selflessness
Trustees of [name of organisation] have a general duty to act in the best interests of
[name of organisation] as a whole. They should not do so in order to gain financial or
other material benefits for themselves, their family, their friends or the organisation they
come from or represent.
Integrity
[name of organisation]'s trustees:
should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals
or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their role;
as well as avoiding actual impropriety, should avoid any appearance of improper
behaviour;
should avoid accepting gifts and hospitality that might reasonably be thought to influence
their judgment.
Objectivity
In carrying out their role, including making appointments (including trustee
appointments), awarding contracts, recommending individuals for rewards and benefits
or transacting other business, [name of organisation]'s trustees should ensure that
decisions are made solely on merit.
Accountability
[name of organisation's] trustees:
have a duty to comply with the law on all occasions in accordance with the trust placed in
them and in such a way as to preserve public confidence in[name of organisation];
are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public, funders and service users.
They must submit themselves to what scrutiny is appropriate to their role.
Openness
[name of organisation's] trustees:
Sample Trustee code of conduct
From National Council of Voluntary Organisations, UK
The purpose of this document is to provide a model code of conduct for trustees. A code
of conduct for board members ensures high standards and makes it clear how potential
conflicts of interests are dealt with.
This model aims to capture good practice. It should be used as a guide rather than a
definitive code. It should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each organisation.
Remember also that the organisation must comply with all legal regulations.
This code of conduct is based on the Nolan Committee's 'Seven Principles of Public Life'.
Selflessness
Trustees of [name of organisation] have a general duty to act in the best interests of
[name of organisation] as a whole. They should not do so in order to gain financial or
other material benefits for themselves, their family, their friends or the organisation they
come from or represent.
Integrity
[name of organisation]'s trustees:
should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals
or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their role;
as well as avoiding actual impropriety, should avoid any appearance of improper
behaviour;
should avoid accepting gifts and hospitality that might reasonably be thought to influence
their judgment.
Objectivity
In carrying out their role, including making appointments (including trustee
appointments), awarding contracts, recommending individuals for rewards and benefits
or transacting other business, [name of organisation]'s trustees should ensure that
decisions are made solely on merit.
Accountability
[name of organisation's] trustees:
have a duty to comply with the law on all occasions in accordance with the trust placed in
them and in such a way as to preserve public confidence in[name of organisation];
are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public, funders and service users.
They must submit themselves to what scrutiny is appropriate to their role.
Openness
[name of organisation's] trustees:
should ensure that confidential material, including material about individuals, is handled
in accordance with due care;
should be as open as possible about their decisions and action that they take. They
should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider
interest clearly demands.
Honesty
[name of organisation's] trustees:
have a duty to declare any interests relating to their trustee role and to take steps to
resolve any conflicts that may arise. Where private interests of a trustee conflicts with
their trustee duties, he / she must resolve this conflict in favour of the trustee role;
must make relevant declarations of interest in the different circumstances and roles they
play both within and outside [name of organisation].
Leadership
[name of organisation]'s trustees:
should promote and support the principles of leadership by example;
must respect the role of the chief executive. There will be circumstances under which
trustees will be working directly with [name of organisation] staff. Guidelines for such
working relationships must be clear to both staff and trustees and, when these occasions
arise, the chief executive / Chair should be informed in advance.
(The chief executive officer is the head of staff and may be referred to as the director or
co-ordinator)
Board member's declaration
I have read and understood the provisions of the
trustee contract
I have received and read the induction material for new trustees and understand my
duties and responsibilities as a trustee
I undertake to familiarise myself with the organisation's policies, objectives, plans and
financial position.
I shall declare all conflicts of interest as and when they arise. If at any time these conflicts
hamper my ability to perform my role as trustee, I shall resign from the board.
I shall keep all the proceedings at trustee meetings confidential and shall not discuss any
of the issues with the press / media without clearance from the Chairperson.
Signed __________________________________________
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