Code of conduct

NPC is the think tank and consultancy for the charity sector. As such, NPC is a voice for the sector committed to helping charities, foundations, philanthropists, impact investors, social enterprises, corporates, and the public sector to maximise social impact in the lives of the people they serve.   

We expect high standards from our trustees, staff, our associates, and other stakeholders. Whilst working, all NPC trustees, staff, and associates are expected to exercise reasonable judgment and strive to uphold the standards and behaviours set out in this code of conduct. NPC encourages everyone to speak up when they think something is wrong, following the guidance in NPC’s whistleblowing policy. 

Professional competence and behaviour

  • Maximise NPC’s impact by working to deliver NPC’s strategic objectives and business plans. 
  • Actively engage in NPC’s work by sharing skills, experience, and knowledge with others.  
  • Develop professional knowledge and competence, such as by engaging in NPC’s learning and development programme and using external resources as appropriate.  
  • Seek advice and support to develop knowledge and ability when engaging in new areas of activity. 
  • Seek advice and support to rectify any issues as soon as possible, informing stakeholders of any likely impact to them and taking all reasonable steps to mitigate loss/harm. 
  • Produce relevant, accurate and timely work. 

Ethical standards and integrity

  • Exhibit professional integrity and honesty.  
  • Proactively flag potential or actual conflicts of interest, following the guidance in section 10.4 of the Staff Handbook.    
  • Follow the guidance in section 4.1 of the Staff Handbook when handling confidential and personal data. 
  • Work in a way to minimise any harmful effect on the environment, following the guidance in section 10.3 of the Staff Handbook.  
  • Challenge others who display unlawful, unethical, or inappropriate behaviour, following the guidance in section 6 of the Staff Handbook. 
  • Act against any form of corruption; not offer, promise, give or accept any bribes; and declare any hospitality and gifts received, following the guidance in section 10.1 of the Staff Handbook. 

Representing NPC and the sector

  • Act in a way which supports and upholds NPC’s reputation and values.  
  • Accurately represent NPC’s organisational position on an issue or area in external forums and only use NPC’s official media channels when authorised to do so. 
  • Carefully consider any personal comments about NPC and its work as well as comments about others in the sector, following the guidance in section 4.6 of the Staff Handbook. 
  • Use NPC’s resources responsibly and protect them from damage (e.g. office equipment and computers, including the use of internet, email, and intranet). 
  • Not hold or consume any illegal substances or consume excessive alcohol. 

Working with others

  • Establish, maintain, and develop professional relationships based on mutual confidence, trust, respect, and dignity. 
  • Listen and learn from others, challenge respectfully, and have an open debate. 
  • Demonstrate and promote sensitivity for the customs, practices, culture, and personal beliefs of others.  
  • Promote equality of opportunity, diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of NPC’s work, following the guidance in section 10.5 of the Staff Handbook. 
  • Be supportive, encouraging and collaborative in the workplace. Avoid abusing any position of power or unequal power relationships. 
  • Avoid any unnecessary risk to the welfare of others. 

Meetings (trustees only)

  • Regularly attend meetings and other appointments of NPC. Request a leave of absence or sabbatical if attendance is not possible for a period.  
  • Prepare fully for all meetings and work for NPC.  
  • Engage in discussion, debate and voting in meetings, contributing in a considered and constructive way.  
  • Ensure that all decisions made are in NPC’s best interests.   
  • Accept a majority decision of the board.  
  • Keep confidential information or material provided to or discussed at a trustee meeting.   
  • Contribute towards improving the governance of the trustee board, including identifying and appointing new trustees in accordance with agreed selection criteria.  

Acknowledgment (trustees only)

A substantial breach of any part of this code may result in procedures being put in motion that may result in a trustee being asked to resign from the trustee board. A trustee who wishes to cease being a trustee of NPC at any time should inform the Chair in advance in writing stating their reasons for leaving.