Standard 3: code of conduct

Establish clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children.

Child Safe Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

A child safe code of conduct should spell out what types of behaviour are appropriate and inappropriate. It does not need to be an exhaustive list, but should provide overarching guidelines about behaviour expectations.

Benefits of a code of conduct

A code of conduct plays an important role in protecting children from harm. It can:

  • provide clear written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children
  • detail acceptable and unacceptable behaviours relating to the specific context of an organisation – for example physical contact, personal care, online communication, professional boundaries or complying with organisational policy and procedures
  • educate staff, volunteers, parents and children about the expected standards of behaviour and what will happen if a person does not comply
  • assist organisations to act on concerns or allegations of non-adherence to the code of conduct.

Developing a code of conduct

Having undertaken a risk assessment, the particular risks within your organisation and the children you work with will be clearer– this information will help advise what you need to cover in your code of conduct.

Implementing a code of conduct

The code of conduct must be applied consistently. All breaches must be attended to in line with an organisation’s policy.

It is good practice to require staff and volunteers to sign their agreement to adhere by an organisation’s code of conduct at all times.

The code of conduct should be widely communicated so that everyone in the organisational community understands what is expected of staff and volunteers within the organisation.