- WHAT IS A CODE OF CONDUCT?
The Board of Directors has responsibility for all actions carried out by anyone representing LPCF.
As a result the conduct of the Board, Advisory members, staff, Parent Reps, Parent Mentors, and any other individual parent carers who are acting on behalf of Luton Parent Carer Forum CIC (LPCF CIC) should give our Members, partners and funders confidence. All individuals covered by the Code of Conduct need to show integrity; ensure actions are transparent and avoid any suggestion of improper influence. There must be no abuse of authority in our actions. All Board, Advisory members, staff (including self employed), Parent Reps, Parent Mentors, volunteers and anyone acting on behalf of the LPCF CIC (are required to uphold the spirit, as well as the wording, of this Code of Conduct.
This “Code of Conduct” includes the findings of the Nolan Committee on “Standards in Public Life”, and goes beyond these. The term “we” and “ us” have been used throughout to show that the Code of Conduct applies to Board and all parties mentioned above, including anyone acting on behalf of LPCF CIC .
- FINDINGS OF THE NOLAN COMMITTEE
The seven principles of public life identified by the Nolan Committee guide the content of our Code of Conduct.
- Selflessness: take decisions in terms of LPCF values and mission and not to gain financial or material benefits for ourselves, our family and friends other than in the case of universal benefit.
- Integrity: not place ourselves under obligations to individuals or organisations that might influence us in the performance of our duties.
- Objectivity: to ensure that we represent, at all times, a range of disability, Special Educational Needs, cultures, social backgrounds and geographical areas.
- Accountability: accept accountability for our decisions and actions to LPCF Members, the providers of public funds and other stakeholders, and submit ourselves to appropriate scrutiny.
- Openness: be open about all decisions and actions that we take. Where required give reasons for our decisions.
- Honesty: declare private interests relating to our duties and take steps to resolve conflicts arising in a way that protects LPCF reputation, values and mission.
- Leadership: promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
- DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST
3.1 This covers circumstances where an individual (or their close relative) could in theory receive a personal or business benefit (other than Rep Claim/Self Employed Salary/Salary and expenses) as a consequence of LPCF CIC activity. There are two main examples where a benefit could occur:
3.1.1 A Duality of Interest. Where the circumstances could potentially bring about some personal or business gain;
3.1.2 A Conflict of Interest. Where LPCF CIC’s interest and a personal/business/other Voluntary Sector interest occurs over the same matter.
Any of these types of interest must be disclosed. The Secretary is responsible to ensure that annually, members complete a declaration form. These forms will be held in a register that is open to public scrutiny.
- AIMS AND VALUES
4.1 Our work and reputation relies on us upholding and promoting Luton Parent Carer Forum aims and values.
4.2 We should all work to the same aims and uphold the same values. We are required to incorporate these in our conduct in relation to LPCF CIC.
- POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
5.1 LPCF CIC work may take it into the political arena, but we must ensure that we demonstrate our non-political nature, and are impartial about party politics. When making any political representation, LPCF CIC must clearly be seen as presenting a balanced case in support of LPCF CIC’s key objectives
5.2 Members can engage in political activities, including standing for election to public office, as long as it is legal to do so. However, participation will be entirely on their own behalf and their political opinions will not represent the LPCF CIC’s position.
- EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
6.1 LPCF CIC is committed to achieving equality of opportunity in every area. Our aim is that everyone should be treated fairly and be equally respected and represented. The aim is to ensure that LPCF CIC reflects its Members.
7.1 We may not solicit hospitality, however, occasional modest hospitality is allowed.
7.2 Hospitality must always be recorded in the register held by the Chair. Anyone who has received hospitality must record this in the register as soon as practicable.
- PERSONAL CONDUCT
8.1 As a representative of parent carers in Luton, the Directors and Advisory Board have clear responsibilities and requirements in relation to personal conduct, and in addition, it is expected that any member who represents the Forum in whatever manner, must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of our wider membership, and partners with whom we work.
8.2 Anyone undertaking duties on behalf of the LPCF CIC must not bring the organisation into disrepute while acting in a representative capacity. As a Director, Advisory member, staff (including self employed), Parent Rep, Parent Mentor, or any other individual parent carers who are acting on behalf of Luton Parent Carer Forum CIC (LPCF CIC) actions and behaviour are subject to greater scrutiny than that of ordinary members of the public. Representatives should be aware that their actions in both public and private life might have an adverse impact on their role and the image of the Forum.
8.2 Those who represent LPCF CIC must ensure that in their conduct and activity they:
- Conduct themselves appropriately for the duty or function that they are carrying out or attending, which includes treating all of those they come into contact with courteously and with dignity and respect.
- Respect diversity and different cultures and values.
- Are honest and trustworthy;
- Communicate in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way;
- Respect confidential information and do not share any information that is confidential outside of the Board/Advisory Members or appropriate meeting
- Are reliable and dependable, or provide clear information to the Chair if they are experiencing challenges that may prevent them from being so.
- Honour work commitments, agreements and arrangements and, when it is not possible to do so, explaining why to the Chair and other Directors/Advisory members as appropriate
- Ensure that the views of parent carers are fully and accurately represented. Whilst personal experience may inform this, it is important not to rely entirely on own experiences, views and judgements, but be fully representative of the wider membership.
- Declare issues that might create conflicts of interest and making sure that they do not influence judgement or practice
- Behave in a way, in work or outside work, which would call into question a representative of the Forum’s suitability to be a representative of the Forum (including substance misuse).
8.3 Any Representative of the LPCF CIC, must inform the Chair about any personal difficulties that might affect their ability to exercise their responsibilities appropriately. Any individual representing and expected to work in partnership with different individuals and organisations, any personal circumstance which may pose a conflict for individuals, and therefore for the Organisation, must be declared to the Chair immediately .
The following are examples of types of circumstances
- Any allegation that an individual may have committed, or is being investigated in relation to having committed a crime
- Any child protection or safeguarding concern relating to children and /or vulnerable adults.
- Any significant challenge between individuals and Government agencies (e.g. where individuals may end up in a litigious relationship with a central or local Government Department) NB This does not include any statutory Tribunal or Complaints procedures
- Where there is a particular personal dispute with a service that may cause a representative not to be objective in their approach (eg to a meeting)
- Other similar circumstances
8.4 In these situations, it will be standard practice to ask the Board member, Advisory member, staff (including self-employed), Parent Rep, Parent Mentor, and any other individual parent carer who are acting on behalf of Luton Parent Carer Forum CIC (LPCF CIC) member to temporarily stand down until the issues are resolved. This is a neutral and non-judgemental position, designed to protect the organisation and the individual, and to ensure the individual involved is able to focus all of their attention on the issue at hand. It is felt necessary however to insist on this protocol, to safeguard both LPCF and the individual involved.
After a conflict/situation has been concluded, a grace period to ensure (time, based on case by case basis) that all parties are able to work with each other professionally again – is requested. Without such a period the individual would not be able to undertake further LPCF CIC work. This is to clarify that everything has been settled to a satisfactory level and all are able to move forward positively in the future.
8.5 Consideration will be given as to how the roles and responsibilities of that individual will be covered in their absence, and whether a temporary replacement should be sought.
9.1 Where personal conduct may be viewed as conflicting with the work of LPCF CIC, details must be disclosed to the Chair, and enter details in the “Disclosure of Interest Register”. Advice on any matter in this Code of Conduct should be sought from the Chair.
9.2 In any case of uncertainty, there should always be an entry made in the “Disclosure of Interest Register” and/or seek advice and make a record of this.
9.3 Responsibilities should be carried out in accordance with LPCF policies and procedures.
- FAILURE TO FOLLOW CODE OF CONDUCT
10.1 Failure to follow this Code of Conduct may damage LPCF CIC and will be viewed as a disciplinary matter.
10.2 In the event of an alleged breach of the Code, any investigation or action will be initiated by the Chair. Based on the outcome of the investigation, a range of actions may be taken, ranging from seeking appropriate training and support for the individual member, to asking them to permanently step down, depending on the severity and impact of any alleged breach.
Reviewed and approved by Board at Board Meeting: 25th February 2019
Date to be reviewed : February 2020