Standard A11 Explained

What are codes of ethics / conduct and why are they important? Codes of ethics or codes of conduct present the ethical principles that guide behaviour and decision-making within an organization. The purpose of the policy is to provide staff, volunteers and other interested persons with guidelines for making ethical choices in the conduct of their work. It may also outline how the organization intends to treat its volunteers, employees and clients. Principles may include, for example, acting with honesty, accuracy and integrity and respecting privacy and confidentiality.1

The benefits of creating codes of ethics / conduct include:2

  • Establishing clear expectations for behaviour
  • Building a reputation for credibility
  • Strengthening organizational values
  • Discouraging unethical behaviour
  • Mitigating risks related to conflicts of interest and legal liability

From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section A: Board Governance,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

  1. “Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
  2. “Ethics and Nonprofits,” Deborah L. Rhode and Amanda K. Packel, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2009.


Standards Reference Guide



Share this resource