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Tearfund aims to work to the highest possible standards with integrity and transparency. We have identified a set of corporate Quality Standards in support of our vision and the delivery of our strategy which are in keeping with the organisational characteristics we aspire to and which summarise all of the relevant external and internal accountability and quality standards, codes, guidelines and principles to which we are committed:


We expect the highest standards of behaviour in all of our work, and stand against all forms of exploitation, abuse, fraud, bribery or any other conduct that is incompatible with our values. We strive to transfer power to those we serve; to transform our own, our partners’ and communities’ attitudes and practices on inclusion, conflict sensitivity, accountability, gender and learning.

Impartiality and targeting

We are committed to impartiality, providing support to those most at risk, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, gender, age, sexuality or nationality. We target our work based on need, while staying sensitive to conflict dynamics, and proactively support those who would otherwise be marginalised or excluded, in particular children, the elderly and those living with disability.


We are committed to ensuring that all our work is based upon effective communication with, participation of and feedback from the communities we work with. All interventions aim to be transparent and based upon continuous learning. We also hold ourselves accountable to our partners, donors, supporters and colleagues, and to all others we relate and interact with.


In all our programmes, we actively seek to challenge gender inequality and harmful beliefs and practices, working towards gender justice. We are committed to progressing gender equality, to the restoration of relationships between all men and women, all boys and girls, and to ensuring their equal value, participation, and decision-making in all aspects of life.


We are committed to community-led, participatory approaches to development and humanitarian response for sustainable impact, based on root cause analysis. We encourage participation from all members of a community, and support those we work with to have control over their own development, from local development activities through to national advocacy.


We are committed to helping people understand, reduce and manage the risks they face as well as to address the causes of vulnerability. This includes supporting people and communities as they develop resilient livelihoods, strengthen social cohesion, improve access to services, pursue environmental sustainability, reduce disaster risk and adapt to climate change.


We are committed to support people in restoring relationships and forming safe and secure communities. We prioritise the protection of all – especially children and at-risk adults – from physical, social and psychological harm. We assess risks and seek to act in ways that minimise people’s exposure to danger or abuse. Community members are the best actors in their own protection, and so we support their actions to stay safe, find security and restore dignity.

Technical quality

We are committed to the high technical quality of all of our work and the work of partners, through meeting relevant national and international standards aligned with communities’ own priorities. We learn to improve, replicating good practice that has demonstrable positive impact.

International codes and standards

As well as setting high standards for ourselves in our Quality Standards, we’ve signed up to a range of internationally recognised operating codes and standards because they enshrine our principles of respecting the people we work with. These codes and standards have helped to shape our choice of Quality Standards:

Keeping Children Safe. Setting tough international child safeguarding standards.

Tearfund also makes reference to UN declarations to guide its Quality Standards:

Stakeholders and affiliations

We wish to hold ourselves to account to our main stakeholders for these standards and will make them publicly available in formats appropriate for each:
Project participants: the standards selected are first and foremost to be responsive to the needs and priorities of project participants (via our partners, and via notice boards, leaflets, community meetings etc).

  • Our partners (via Country Representatives, in Tearfund’s International Programme Management System etc).
  • Our supporters (via the website).
  • Our institutional donors (via project proposals and reports).
  • Our staff (via the Tearfund corporate hub, staff induction and internal communications).
  • Our Board (via Board Meeting Agenda items and meetings).

Tearfund has a number of affiliations with other organisations, for which these Quality Standards are relevant, including:

Tearfund’s modern slavery report

Slavery and trafficking is a global problem which is estimated to affect almost 40 million people worldwide. Tearfund exists to support those in greatest need – therefore, we welcome the Modern Slavery Act and are pleased to share the steps we have taken to prevent modern slavery in our organisation and supply chain.

We value each individual we work with as made in the image of God. In upholding our core values we stand against all forms of exploitation, abuse, fraud, bribery and any other conduct which is incompatible with them. Moving beyond our own supply chain, we have the opportunity to proactively seek to prevent and respond to issues of modern slavery through our partner organisations. This is through our work with communities in some of the highest risk countries for slavery and trafficking in the world, as well as using our expertise on sexual and gender based violence.

We have a robust set of policies and procedures aimed at preventing abuse and harm. We work with partners to build their capacity in these areas and to have effective processes to ensure those we work with are protected against exploitation.

Diversity and inclusion

We want Tearfund to be a place where everyone feels welcome, respected, valued, and treated fairly. Our aim is to empower everyone we work with to flourish, reach their god-given potential, and live life with dignity.

We have created some resources to help you explore what diversity and inclusion means. These can be used individually, in your church, workplace or with your family.

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