Code of Conduct

Below is the Rochdale Parent Carers Voice Code of Conduct that our members and representatives agree and adhere to.

Code of Conduct

What is a Code of Conduct

The Steering Group has responsibility for all actions carried out by representatives and Steering Group members. As a result, the conduct of individuals acting on Rochdale Parent Carers Voice’s behalf should give our members, partners and stakeholders 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 Steering Group members and representatives 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 Steering Group members and representatives equally.

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 any decisions in terms of Rochdale Parent Carers Voice’s values and missions, and not to gain financial or material benefits for ourselves, our family or friends other than in the case of universal benefit

Integrity: not place ourselves under any 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 within the Rochdale Borough

Accountability: accept accountability for our decisions and actions to Rochdale Parent Carers Voice members, providers and stakeholders and submit ourselves to appropriate scrutiny

Openness: be open about all decisions and actions 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 Rochdale Parent Carers Voice’s reputation, values and missions

Leadership: promote and support these principles by leadership and example

This covers circumstances where an individual (or their close relative) could in theory receive a personal or business benefit (other than honorarium, salary or expenses) as a consequence of Rochdale Parent Carers Voice activity. There are two main examples of where benefit could occur:

A Duality of Interest: where the circumstances could potentially bring about some personal or business gain

A Conflict of Interest: where a Rochdale Parent Carers Voice interest and a personal, business or other voluntary sector interest occurs over the same matter

Both types of interest must be disclosed. The Chair is responsible to ensure that members complete a declaration form annually. These forms will be held in a register that is open to public scrutiny.

Aims and Values
Our work and reputation relies on us upholding and promoting Rochdale Parent Carers Voice’s aims and values.

We should all work to common aims and uphold common values. We are required to incorporate these in our conduct in relation to Rochdale Parent Carers Voice.

A requirement of our representatives is that we all commit a minimum of 5 hours of our time per month and fill in a feedback form following any time spent representing us.

Political Activities
Rochdale Parent Carers Voice’s work may take it into the political arena but we must ensure that we demonstrate tolerance about party politics.

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 Rochdale Parent Carers Voice.

Equality and Diversity
Rochdale Parent Carers Voice 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 Rochdale Parent Carers Voice reflects its members.

Personal Conduct
As a representative of parent carers across Rochdale Borough, the Steering Group member role has clear responsibilities and requirements in relation to personal conduct, and expects any member who represents Rochdale Parent Carers Voice must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of our wider membership, partners and people we work with. 

You must not bring Rochdale Parent Carers Voice into disrepute while acting in your representative capacity. As a Steering Group member, your actions and behaviour are subject to greater scrutiny than that of ordinary members of the community. You should be aware that your actions in both your public and private life might have an adverse impact on your role and Rochdale Parent Carers Voice.

Those who represent Rochdale Parent Carers Voice 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 we come into contact with courtesy, dignity and respect (in person and on social media)

Respect diversity, different cultures and values

Be 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 Steering Group

Are reliable and dependable, or provide clear information to the Chair if they are experiencing challenges which may prevent them from doing so

Honour commitments, agreements and arrangements and when it is not possible to do so let the Chair or appropriate person know as soon as possible

Ensure that the views of parents and carers are fully and accurately represented. Whilst personal experience may inform this, we must not rely entirely on our own experiences, views and judgements, but be fully representative of all others

Declare issues that might create conflicts of interest to the Chair or appropriate person and making sure that they do not influence your judgements or practice

Behave in a way which would not call into question your suitability to be a representative of other parents or carers

Steering Group members and representatives should inform the Chair about any personal difficulties that might pose a conflict for individuals, therefore Rochdale Parent Carers Voice. The following are examples of circumstances that may apply to but are not limited to:

Any allegation that an individual may have committed, or is being investigated in relation to have committing a crime

Any child protection or safeguarding concerns relating to children and/or vulnerable adults

Any significant challenge between individuals and Government agencies 

In these situations, it will be standard practice to ask the Steering Group member to temporarily step back or 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 in hand.

What if the Code of Conduct is not followed?
We should recognise that if the Code of Conduct is not followed it may damage Rochdale Parent Carers Voice and will be discussed with the committee.

Following the discussion, if no resolution can be found, they will seek clarification from out Contact a Family representative and may decide to ask the individual to no longer be a representative at Rochdale Parent Carers Voice.

By signing this declaration, you agree to conduct yourself in accordance with the above: