Implementation and Reference Guide

The Code has an accompanying Implementation Guideline, which has been developed to assist organisations understand the Code and meet its requirements.  It gives more detailed information on how signatories can comply with requirements of the Code.

Download the Implementation and Reference Guide.



Mandatory Principles

There are 5 (five) mandatory principles in the Code, which are:

B.1.5 Non-Development Activity

The intention of this principle is first to ensure that signatory organisations are accurately representing their activities to the people they work with, donors and the public. Secondly, to ensure funds raised for aid and development purposes are not used to exploit people and communities who are vulnerable and do not place any conditions or obligations on recipients in terms of non-development, religious or political outcomes that would affect their access to services being offered. The intention of this principle is not to restrict the activities of Code signatory organisations or to judge their values.



B.2.3 Control of Funds and Resources

There are risks associated with transferring funds to partner organisations and other third parties, and the responsibility and accountability for how they are used. Your organisation and your partners must do your best to manage this risk. This Standard and its Obligations are complex. The following table breaks down each of the Obligations into individual elements:



Key components to address

Suggested framework

1a. Consistency with donor promise

  • Who develops and approves fundraising campaign materials?
  • How do you capture, record and bank your donations?
  • If you have run an individual appeal or campaign, how do you keep it separate from other finances and record its income and expenditure?
  • Language used in fundraising campaigns
  • Separation of duties
  • Limits of authority
  • Practical implications
  • Audit (internal risk assessment)
  • Choice of appropriate accounting system
  • Use of project or job codes
  • Use of separate bank accounts, and when their use is triggered.
  • Finance policy or manual
  • Privacy policy
  • Fundraising and donations policy
  • Delegations policy

1b. Consistency with Objects, Purpose and Strategy

  • Is your organisation a conduit for third parties?
  • If so, is this intentional or unintentional?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • What are the risks of this practice and how can you mitigate them?
  • Review of partner, including: Consitution, website, Annual Report, finances and references from other in-country agencies.
  • With whom do you share findings of a review of partners?
  • Who approves your engagement with third parties? Eg. the CEO, board, multiple board members, project managers
  • Fundraising and donations policy
  • Ethics and conflict of interest policy
  • Anti-fraud and anti-corrpution policy [see D.4.1]
  • Due diligence documents such as checklists, templates and contracts and monitoring vist reports
  • Delegations policy
  • Partner Project Agreements

1c. Capacity of third parties

  • How do you perform due diligence and verify the existence and capacity of third parties?
  • As above
  • Due diligence checklist
  • Documents from partner agency, including legal, pro formas and templates
  • Reference checks
  • Government checks

1d. Compliance with relevant laws

  • How do you confirm how donations will be used?
  • How do you ensure your funds are used in a way that complies with relevant laws?
  • Reference to appropriate NZ law, including taxation and counter-terrorism
  • Checking all relevant lists of known terrorist individuals and organisations
  • An explicit organisational statement to say you do not work with known terrorist organisations
  • Due diligence checklist
  • Documents from partner agency including: legal pro formas and templates
  • Anti-fraud and anti-corruption policy [see D.4.1]
  • Finance policy or manual
  • Evidence of periodic checks against proscribed terrorist lists
  • Partner Project Agreements

1e. Controls and risk management

  • How do you assess and mitigate risk?
  • And how often?
  • How do you disseminate key risk management messages to stakeholders?
  • If risk is identified, what is a proportionate response that is appropriate to the circumstances?
  • What methods do you use to transfer funds?
  • As above
  • Human resources and volunteers policy
  • Policy that addresses appropriate insurance



B.3.4 Protection of Children

Even if their work is not directly aimed at benefiting children, the work of signatory organisations in both New Zealand and overseas can impact directly and indirectly on the lives of children. It is a stakeholder expectation and implicit in the requirements of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child that signatory organisations will have taken all necessary measures to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of children.

This Principle and Obligation 1 is applicable to all signatory organisations.



Other useful material on child protection:

B.5.1 Emergency Management

This Section and its Principles only apply to those signatory organisations that undertake emergency management activities and is in addition to those Principles outlined in Section B.1, which form the basis of activities in this area. If Section B.5 is applicable to a signatory organisation, the Principles and Obligations are mandatory.

Emergency management involves plans, structures and arrangements established to engage the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies and other relevant stakeholders in humanitarian response such as UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), multilateral and bilateral donors and beneficiary communities in a comprehensive and coordinated way to respond to the whole spectrum of emergency needs over time. This includes preparedness, mitigation, response, rehabilitation, reconstruction, development and prevention activities.

Many signatory organisations have multiple mandates and will conduct work across both longer-term development and emergency management. It is expected that signatory organisations which are engaged in emergency management will use best endeavours to adhere to the international standards operating in this area.

Co-ordination with other actors (organisation, government department or individual with a role or influence) is critical to effective humanitarian response and is reiterated in key international statements on aid effectiveness such as the Paris Declaration, the Accra Agenda for Action and the Busan Outcome Statement.


D.6 Complaints-handling within signatory organisations

The ‘right to redress’ is a basic consumer right enshrined in the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection. An important part of a complete accountability framework for signatory organisations is the ability for stakeholders to report or lodge a complaint about conduct that breaches the signatory organisation’s promises. This dimension of signatory organisation accountability enables stakeholders to hold an organisation to account for its actions or decisions by providing a process where these can be queried and a response obtained. However, this type of accountability is only as effective as the commitment the signatory organisation has to learning from the complaint and the robustness of both the process and its accessibility.

These provisions are distinct from the processes for handling complaints against signatory organisations that are brought to CID under this Code of Conduct which are specified at E.3.1. These provisions relate to the signatory organisation’s own capacity to accept and deal with complaints.  




Other Principles - policy templates:

B. Programme Principles

B.1 Effective aid and development - Environmental Sustainability template (B.1.6)

B.2 Relationships with partners

B.3 Human Rights

B.4 Advocacy

B.5 Emergency management

C. Public engagement

C.1 Integrity in marketing and reporting

C.2 Annual reporting

C.3 Fundraising - Fundraising Policy template 

D. Organisation

D.1 Structure

D.2 Integrity and ethics - Whistleblowing Policy template (D.2.3)

D.3 Governance

D.4 Financial management

D.5 Staff and volunteers

D.6 Complaints-handling within signatory organisations