Every three years, the Code of Conduct Committee (CCC) selects specific principles in the Code as focus areas. These are selected based on the following criteria:

  • actual or perceived risk to the sector
  • identified areas of low Code compliance
  • in response to the needs of members, and
  • in response to wider sector or external issues that may arise.

The purpose of choosing focus areas is to improve compliance with the Code and enhance good practice by providing additional support and verification for members. The CCC also uses the focus area process to review the Code standards and guidance to ensure they remain relevant and effective.


The CCC agreed to the following focus areas for 2020-23:


Environmental sustainability


Quality Principle 3 with a focus on:

  • Commitment 3.3 - We promote environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • Commitment 3.1 - We seek durable and lasting improvements in the circumstances and capacities of primary stakeholders.

Quality Principle 3 focuses not only on understanding and reducing negative environmental impacts but also promoting environmental sustainability and improved environmental outcomes. This responds to the sector’s increased recognition of the linkages between the environment and sustainable development and, in particular, the recognition within the sector on the need to address climate change.


Currently, there is no requirement to submit any documentation related to this focus area.


Focus area activities will concentrate on enhancing guidance, tools and resources to support members.


Prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (PSEAH)


Quality Principle 1 with a focus on:

  • Commitment 1.5 - We advance the safeguarding of those who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse.

This focus area builds on work begun in 2018-19 to strengthen members’ policies and processes in relation to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.


The changes to the Code and Quality Assurance Framework in 2019 require members to have a PSEA or Safeguarding policy and to integrate other elements associated with PSEAH into their organisational activities, including complaints handling, human resources, partnerships and programming.


Through focus area activities, members will continue to be supported to strengthen their own PSEAH processes and meet the good practice requirements in the Code. Detailed guidance on developing a PSEA policy and an overview of the PSEAH changes to the Quality Assurance Framework can be found in the online Good Practice Toolkit.


As part of their Code Self-Assessment members will be required to submit their:

  • Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Policy or Safeguarding Policy which meets the requirements of Compliance Indicator 1.5.1.
  • Complaints handling policy which meets the requirements of Compliance Indicator 7.3.3. The focus will be on reviewing the new PSEA-related requirements.

Disability-inclusive development


Quality Principle 2 with a focus on:

  • Commitment 2.4 We promote the empowerment of people with disabilities.
  • Commitment 1.2 We respect and respond to the needs, rights and inclusion of those who are vulnerable and those who are affected by marginalisation and exclusion.


All members are required to promote the empowerment of people with disabilities through their organisational policies, programming, and monitoring and evaluation processes. Drawing on existing expertise across the sector, this focus area aims to share good practice, promote learning opportunities that address specific areas of need, and monitor compliance with the Code.


As part of their Code Self-Assessment members will be required to submit their: