IMPLEMENTING THE CODE

How to implement the Code of Good Practice?

The Code of Good Practice works to facilitate learning, build the capacity of volunteer sending agencies and ensure accountability to partners and local communities overseas.  The Code network enables peer exchange and support amongst organisations; and collective initiatives to raise standards across the international volunteering sector. 
CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE volunteer sending agencies are required to progressively implement the Code’s values and principles by working to meet a range of indicators under each of the 13 PRINCIPLES to undergo regular assessments, including annual self audits and three yearly external audits,  to measure their practice and identify areas for improvement.  A recognition panel also meets annually to review progression and to award an organisation if it has attained a higher level of compliance. 

Key to the Code’s implementation is participating in the CODE PEER SUPPORT NETWORK which meets twice a year and includes organisations that are party to the Code. This network enables the sharing of expertise and the development of collaborative initiatives and Code working groups on common issues. Currently there are three  Code of Good Practice Working Groups – the Volunteering & Development Education Working Group, the Volunteering and Orphanage Working Group and the Code Steering Committee. 

Targeted training, discussion forums and exchange of expertise initiatives are organised to enable Code VOLUNTEER SENDING AGENCIES to implement the Code’s values and principles. Training needs are identified at the biannual Peer Support Network meetings and through the work of the various Code working groups. Access to relevant resources is also facilitated through the dissemination of the Code monthly newsletter and the Code resource website section, Comhlámh’s Volunteering Quality Project Officer provides support, including outreach, to Code organisations. 

COMHLÁMH’S

CODE of GOOD PRACTICE AWARD ICONS

Under each value, there are a set of principles and indicators which provide guidance for the development and implementation of volunteer sending programmes. Assessment of a Code Volunteer Sending Agency performance is carried out by examining progress under the indicators and as evidenced by material provided by the organisation. There are 32 indicators in total, 21 of which are intermediate level indicators and 11 are of which are advanced compliance indicators. 

An organisation is allocated this icon on joining the Code after completion of their first self-audit. This icon denotes initial compliance with the Code minimum criteria for joining the Code and the Volunteer Sending Agency’s given commitment to implement the Code’s values and principles by actively working towards implementing the standards within their volunteer programme.

An organisation is awarded this icon after having being assessed by the Recognition Panel that they have reached the intermediate level of compliance. Volunteer Sending Agencies are required to reach the intermediate level of compliance within 3 years of its first external audit. In order to reach this level an organisation is required to have 15 of the total of 21 intermediate compliance indicators fully in place, and 6 of the remaining intermediate compliance indicators substantially in place.

An organisation is awarded this icon after having being assessed by the Recognition Panel that they have reached the advanced level of compliance. Volunteer Sending Agencies are required to reach the advanced level of compliance within 3 years of having reached the intermediate level. In order to reach this level a Volunteer Sending Agency is required to have 20 of the indicators fully in place and 7 indicators substantially in place (including all of the 21 intermediate compliance indicators).

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