Comply with the ACFID Code and meet the ACNC Governance Standards

This is a detailed comparison that shows how the ACNC governance standards compare with the ACFID Code of Conduct. If you comply with the ACFID code, in particular the following principles and underlying obligations, you will meet the governance standards.

ACNC governance standards

ACFID Code of Conduct

Standard 1: Purposes and not-for-profit nature of a registered entity
Charities must be not-for-profit and work towards their charitable purpose. They must be able to demonstrate this and provide information about their purpose to the public.

Log in to the Charity Portal to upload your governing document (under change charity details).

C.1.1  Transparency
Signatory organisations are committed to accurate and transparent communication with their stakeholders.

C.2.1 Transparency
Signatory organisations will use their annual report as a key part of their accountability to all stakeholders.

D.1.1 Public benefit
Signatory organisations are not-for-profit and formed voluntarily by a group of interested people for a common purpose that serves a public benefit and is not carried on for the profit and gain of individual members.

D.3.1 Governing instrument
Signatory organisations will have written documentation (called a governing instrument in the Code) that sets out the goals and purpose of the organisation and defines how it operates.

E.2.3 Annual reporting
Signatory organisations will provide copies of their annual reports and financial statements to the Code of Conduct Committee.

Standard 2: Accountability to members
Charities that have members must take reasonable steps to be accountable to their members and provide their members adequate opportunity to raise concerns about how the charity is governed.

Log in to the Charity Portal to submit your Annual Information Statement and financial reports if required.

B.1.1 Accountability to primary stakeholders
Signatory organisations will ensure that their purpose and processes are shaped by stakeholders and that their work is open to review and comment by partners and participants alike. In all instances those directly affected by aid and development activities are considered the primary stakeholders and their views are afforded the highest priority.

C.1.1  Transparency
Signatory organisations are committed to accurate and transparent communication with their stakeholders.

C.2.1 Transparency
Signatory organisations will use their annual report as a key part of their accountability to all stakeholders.

C.2.3 Access to full financial reports
Signatory organisations will ensure that in any references to financial performance,
stakeholders are made aware of their right to access the full financial reports.

D.3.1 Governing instrument
Signatory organisations will have written documentation (called governing instrument in the Code) that sets out the goals and purpose of the organisation and defines how it operates.

D.3.2 Governing body
Each signatory organisation will have a governing body that has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the organisation and to whom the organisation is accountable.

D.3.3 Annual general meeting
Signatory organisations will hold an annual general meeting (AGM) of their members as defined in the governing instrument.

Standard 3: Compliance with Australian laws
Charities must not commit a serious offence (such as fraud) under any Australian law or breach a law that may result in a penalty of 60 penalty units (currently $10 200) or more.

B.2.3 Control of funds and resources
Signatory organisations will make every reasonable effort to ensure that funds or
resources disbursed to partners or third parties are applied lawfully, in accordance
with the promise to the donor, for a proper purpose and with proper controls and risk management in place. (Australian Government legislative requirement).

B.5.1 International standards
Signatory organisations commit to providing humanitarian assistance in times of disaster, armed conflict, internal displacement and protracted crisis according to internationally agreed standards and principles of ethical practice.

C.3.1 Legal obligations and ethical principles
Signatory organisations will abide by applicable fundraising legislation and will be aware of best practice standards in fundraising.

C.3.4 Protection for donors
In all fundraising activities conducted by or authorised by signatory organisations, there will be policies and procedures in place to protect the rights of donors.

D.2.3 Anti-fraud and anti-corruption
Signatory organisations will minimise any risk of wrongdoing, corruption, fraud, bribery or other financial impropriety among its governing body, paid staff, contractors, volunteers and partner organisations.

D.2.1 Legal requirements
It is the responsibility of each signatory organisation to ensure that they are meeting the range of legal obligations that are applicable to them in each jurisdiction in which they work.

D.5.4 Human rights and anti-discrimination
Signatory organisations will apply human rights principles to their own organisations.

Standard 4: Suitability of responsible persons
Charities must check that their responsible persons (such as board or committee members or trustees – called ‘responsible entities’ under the ACNC Act) are not disqualified from managing a corporation under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) or disqualified from being a responsible person of a registered charity by the ACNC Commissioner. Charities must take reasonable steps to remove any responsible person who does not meet these requirements.

Log in to the Charity Portal to update your responsible persons’ details (under change responsible person).

Search the ASIC Disqualified Persons Register

Search the ACNC Register of Disqualified Persons, available at acnc.gov.au – the ACNC only commenced on 3 December 2012 and has not yet disqualified anyone.

Ask all responsible persons to sign a declaration relating to disqualifying offences. View the ACNC’s suggested declaration.

D.2.3 Anti-fraud and anti-corruption
Signatory organisations will minimise any risk of wrongdoing, corruption, fraud, bribery or other financial impropriety among its governing body, paid staff, contractors, volunteers and partner organisations.

D.2.4 Conflicts of interest
The governing body of signatory organisations will ensure that their organisations manage any real or perceived conflicts of interest for their governing body, paid staff, volunteers and partners.

D.3.1 Governing instrument
Signatory organisations will have written documentation (called governing instrument in the Code) that sets out the goals and purpose of the organisation and defines how it operates.

D.3.2 Governing body
Each signatory organisation will have a governing body that has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the organisation and to whom the organisation is accountable.

D.3.4 Governing body policies
Signatory organisations will have written policies covering appointment, induction, termination and, where applicable, remuneration of members of the governing body for their work as governors, including reimbursement for expenses and any loans.

D.5.2 Professional conduct
Signatory organisations will clearly communicate their expectations that professional conduct of staff, volunteers and members of the governing body will be consistent with the requirements of this Code.

Standard 5: Duties of responsible persons
Charities must take reasonable steps to make sure that responsible persons understand and carry out the duties set out in this standard.

D.2.4 Conflicts of interest
The governing body of signatory organisations will ensure that their organisations manage any real or perceived conflicts of interest for their governing body, paid staff, volunteers and partners.

D.3.2 Governing body
Each signatory organisation will have a governing body that has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the organisation and to whom the organisation is accountable.

D.5.1 Human resources
Signatory organisations will protect the human rights and safety of personnel, including paid and volunteer staff, working in Australia or overseas.

D.5.2 Professional conduct
Signatory organisations will clearly communicate their expectations that professional conduct of staff, volunteers and members of the governing body will be consistent with the requirements of this Code.

D.5.4 Human rights and anti-discrimination
Signatory organisations will apply human rights principles to their own organisations.

Read the factsheet about the mapping of the ACFID code to the ACNC governance standards.