Code of Conduct

Last Updated: October 2020

1.1 Overview

This Code of Conduct has been introduced to primarily safeguard the rights of children with disabilities and their families (henceforth known as ‘beneficiaries’) and to provide them with a safe and secure environment that enables the VACD Ltd. Board, Administration, Fellows and Volunteers (henceforth known as VACD Ltd. Personnel’) to carry out their duties and responsibilities in a safe, competent, ethical and transparent manner so as to avoid any form of future litigation, loss of reputation or personal harm to all concerned.

The strict adherence to these guidelines will go a long way to secure, safeguard and enhance the reputation and public trust of VACD Ltd. and make it conducive for us to collectively achieve our aims, objectives, mission and vision for our beneficiaries. Secondarily, this Code of Conduct also applies to the collegial relationships formed between VACD Ltd. Personnel and partners, and the minimum standard of behaviour expected while executing VACD Ltd duties. 

1.2 Key Principles

1) In all work that VACD Ltd undertakes, the aim is to behave in ethical ways that promote good and avoid doing harm.

2) This Code is also informed by and refers to principles within the VACD Ltd. Child Protection Policy, the VACD Ltd. Anti-Terrorism, Anti-Fraud and Ant-Money Laundering Policy, and the VACD Ltd. Privacy and Refund Policy.

3) All VACD Ltd. Personnel, while in the process of communicating, interacting and engaging with children, parents and carers must demonstrate a high degree of respect, understanding and appreciation for the unique value and human potential in each child, and of the circumstances, difficulties and challenges faced by family members and carers.

4) All VACD Ltd. Personnel must demonstrate the highest standards of honesty, professionalism, and personal integrity in all of their dealings with each other or external parties, in order to inspire trust and confidence in each other, the public, in the children, their families, carers and the broader community. 

5) All VACD Ltd. Personnel must honour and respect the diversity in race, religion, political alliances, culture, language and all other differences among each other, the public, the children, families, carers and the broader community and not behave in a manner that is disrespectful, harmful or detrimental to VACD Ltd. or to others.

6) Any VACD Ltd. Personnel should notify the VACD Ltd. Board, within a reasonable period of time (which in this case will be determined to be one calendar month from the event) any instances of errors, incompetence or inappropriate behaviour on the part of a VACD Ltd. Personnel member or beneficiary that may compromise the safety of another, lead to litigation or bring disrepute to VACD Ltd. 

7) All VACD Ltd. Personnel must be responsible for safeguarding confidential and personal information stored in the VACD database while communicating in written, verbal or electronic format with internal or external sources, unless required to disclose by law enforcement agencies.

8) All VACD Ltd. Personnel must disclose any personal gifts over the value of AUD$100 or above or its equivalent received by them in the course of discharging their duties and this information should be recorded in a ‘Register of Gifts’ to be maintained by the Secretary to the Board at VACD Ltd. and available for periodic scrutiny, review and audit by the Board. Where possible, gifts offered by beneficiaries to VACD Ltd. Personnel should be politely declined so as to avoid beneficiaries feeling obliged to give gifts beyond their means. 

9) All VACD Ltd. Personnel should not encourage, condone, facilitate or agree to VACD Ltd. funds being given to salaried state sector or private sector employees whose official responsibility is to support VACD Ltd. programs, projects and activities in the normal course of discharging their official duties. Any exceptions to this code of conduct must be approved by the VACD Ltd. Board.

10) All VACD Ltd. fundraising activities will be the sole responsibility of the VACD Ltd. Board, Administration and Fellows with any exception to this rule requiring explicit prior approval from the VACD Ltd. Board. 

11) The VACD Ltd. Board and Administration must obtain written consent from any person or persons, their parents or guardians prior to the publication of their photographs or any promotional or publicity material internally or externally.

12) The VACD Ltd. Board and Administration must ensure that apart from the leadership, parents and teachers, no volunteers or well-wishes are permitted to spend time alone with a child or take a child away from the others without the prior consent of the parent, carer or the VACD Ltd, leadership.

13)To promote child safety, in the absence of a primary carer the VACD Ltd. leadership should ensure that at least 2 other parents, guardians or VACD Ltd. team members accompany a child who needs to be taken away from the main group for the purposes of personal care, for example.

14) The VACD Ltd. leadership must ensure that physical touching of a child is avoided, except in unavoidable personal care situations. Children should be encouraged and taught to complete self-care tasks as independently as possible.  

15) The VACD Ltd. Personnel must refrain from giving drugs or inappropriate substances to the children in their care. The administration of prescription drugs should only be undertaken if expressly directed by a medical officer and only if the parents are unable to administer the necessary dose themselves. 

16) VACD Ltd. Personnel are not to execute their official duties while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

17) All VACD Ltd. Personnel must at all time refrain from making inappropriate or derogatory comments, even in jest, about the children, their families, carers or communities from which they hail.

18) The Secretary to the VACD Ltd. Board must maintain a register of all visits made by VACD Ltd. Personnel to homes of beneficiaries. Any visit to homes of beneficiaries must be done by a minimum of 2 VACD Ltd. Personnel. The information recorded in this register must include: 

  • Names of the VACD Ltd. Personnel making the visit
  • Date and time the visit commenced and concluded
  • Name, contact details, and address of person/family being visited
  • The purpose of the visit and whether the visit had been arranged prior
  • Any other people present while the visit was made
  • The mode of transport used for the visit 
  • All key points discussed during this visit 

This register must be reviewed and signed off by the Chairman or a delegated person of VACD Ltd. Board and tabled at the next VACD Ltd. Board meeting after such a visit.  

19) All property of VACD Ltd. including intellectual and promotional property belongs solely to the company and should not to be abused or misused by any VACD Ltd. Personnel for their personal benefit or for the benefit of any of their friends, family members or associates.

20) Any VACD Ltd. Personnel who leave the charity voluntarily or involuntarily must agree not to act in a manner that brings VACD Ltd. or its Personnel or beneficiaries to disrepute and agree not to use intellectual or any other property belonging to VACD Ltd. for the benefit of a similar or competing organisation up to and including a period of three years from the time of leaving.

21) VACD Ltd. reserves the right to dismiss, prosecute or discharge any VACD Ltd. Personnel who deliberately and/or knowingly violates the above codes of conduct. 

22) All VACD Ltd. Personnel must adhere to local government laws and regulations while undertaking VACD Ltd. duties, including local government health policies regarding infection control.

1.4 Acknowledgement, Acceptance & Agreement

Upon being admitted to the VACD Ltd. Board, Administration, Fellow, Young VACD members club or as a volunteer, this document will be given to such a person either in a hard copy or soft copy format and it will be deemed to have been read, understood and agreed upon when this person attends the first general, regular, ad hoc or annual general meeting called by the VACD Ltd. Company Secretary even if the declaration below has not been signed, dated and witnessed.