Canadian Council for International Co-operation

The Council is a coalition of Canadian voluntary sector organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development.

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The Compliance Process


The purpose of the compliance process of the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards is to promote ethical behaviour within the CCIC membership. The approach used by the Council is “comply or explain”. In other words, an organization is expected to reach full compliance, unless the explanation provided satisfies CCIC that the organization remains committed to ethical conduct but has an adequate reason for not fulfilling a particular standard of practice.

When new members join the Council, they are sent a self-assessment form (Word).  It is a tool to prompt reflection around organizational policies, practices and behaviours as well as to report to peers as part of the accountability mechanism.  The organization’s reflection is an opportunity to understand and decide how current practices match the standards and what improvements may be necessary.  A Guidance Document assists in this process by specifying minimum requirements, and providing examples of both good and poor practice.  Board members are ultimately responsible for setting and maintaining the ethical standards of the organization and so they must discuss the compliance status. The form must then be signed by at least one member of the governing body in addition to the senior management and sent to CCIC. 

Even if an organization is not yet in compliance, it must still complete and submit the form.  The completed form is a written record for organizational use (e.g. for new staff or Board members), plus for CCIC to have access to the record of existing policies and practices that show how the Code is being implemented within the organization.  Organizations are given a three-year grace period from the time they become members until they are expected to be in full compliance. 

Following approval at the CCIC 2015 Annual General Meeting, CCIC Members are now expected to demonstrate compliance at least once to the current Code of Ethics and Operational Standards. Once a member has demonstrated compliance, it needs to provide a signed annual declaration, at the time of membership renewal, which attests that the organization continues to be in conformity with the requirements of the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards. Members may choose to use the self-assessment tool to attest to their continued compliance, but this will be optional and not a membership requirement.  

Compliance, is demonstrated by what the organization does in day-to-day practice; the reporting function is part of being accountable for those actions.   Organizations are also encouraged to continue their dialogue and questioning, and must respond promptly to any questions or concerns raised about their practices as they relate to the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards

The current version of the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards was approved by CCIC members at the Council's 2009 Annual General Meeting. It represents a significant updating and revision of the previous Code, and contains a number of new standards. So, rather than simply undergoing a renewal of compliance, CCIC members are required to complete a full self-assessment of their status of compliance to the revised code at least once. A sample of completed self-assessment forms will be reviewed by the CCIC Secretariat to determine if there are any particular questions or issues arising. However, the Secretariat does not have the resources to review all the self-assessment forms in detail. As always, the onus for compliance rests with member organizations themselves.

The focus of CCIC is not to catch and penalize members that are not in compliance. It is to provide support and guidance, within its resource limitations, to assist members to meet the standards and to improve their development and operational practices within an ethical framework. Resources on this web site are designed to assist members seeking such guidance.

Download the self-certification form: Word

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