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.
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:
- The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief
- The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS)
Tearfund has the first ever Certificate issued by the new organisation to verify compliance. This attests that Tearfund meets the requirements of the CHS.
- The Keeping Children Safe Coalition standards
Tearfund was a founding member of the Keeping Children Safe Coalition, first established in 2003. The Coalition is made up of agencies who are committed to child protection, aim to achieve the highest level of protection for children with whom they come into contact and to work towards achieving the international standards developed by the Keeping Children Safe Coalition through voluntary compliance.
- The UN Statement of Commitment on Eliminating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and non-UN Personnel
Tearfund became a signatory in 2008. The statement commits signatories to incorporate core principles relating to combating sexual exploitation and abuse into their codes of conduct and staff rules and regulations.
- The SPHERE Project – Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response
We are committed to the technical quality of our projects as laid out in the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.
- The Code of Good Practice for NGOs Responding to HIV
The Code sets out key principles, practice and evidence base required for successful responses to HIV. In endorsing the Code, organisations commit to continuous improvement and accountability.
- NCVO charity ethical principles
We are signed up to a series of guidelines developed by the NCVO. These are principles that provide an overarching framework for voluntary organisations to guide good decision-making and conduct.