We are part of the world’s largest independent humanitarian organisation, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. We place great importance on providing quality services that have a positive impact on people who are vulnerable to crises.
We have been helping some of the world’s most vulnerable people for nearly 140 years. Our volunteers and staff provide care and emergency help in almost every community in the UK and many countries around the world.
We are accountable to the people who use our services, both in the UK and overseas. We are also accountable to the people who run those services, and those who fund them. Our accountability stems from our fundamental principles and values, which underpin all we do and say.
Our service users
We hold ourselves accountable to the people we help through our internal policies, as well as by signing up to international voluntary standards and codes of conduct.
Our internal policies
We have developed a framework through which we put our commitment into action. We strive to be transparent. We monitor and evaluate our programmes, and encourage our service users to participate in programme design and delivery.
Evidence shows that accountability to the people we help enhances the quality and impact of assistance. It also helps strengthen the resilience of the individuals and communities we support.
As part of this framework, the British Red Cross complaints policy outlines our commitment to effective complaints management. It also embeds how we learn from complaints to improve services, as well as ensuring that our complaints process is open and transparent to all.
Commitment to international standards and codes of conduct
We have signed up to a range of voluntary standards to protect service users, including:
- The Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Response: a voluntary code for organisations working in emergency assistance. It comprises ten principles, including that the humanitarian imperative comes first, and that we hold ourselves accountable to both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources.
- The Sphere Project: an operational framework for accountability in disaster assistance efforts. It comprises a humanitarian charter and a set of minimum standards, key indicators and guidance in applying the standards.
- Press Complaints Commission (PCC) Code of Practice: the code sets the benchmark for ethical standards around public interest. It aims to protect both the rights of the individual and the public's right to know. It covers 16 areas including accuracy, privacy and the opportunity to reply.
- European Voluntary Service (EVS) Charter: the charter sets out a range of principles and quality standards, including ensuring volunteers are involved in the full training cycle (including mid-term meetings and the final evaluation). Organisations that sign up to the charter have to adhere to its provisions.
Staff and volunteers
The Movement has a worldwide reputation for the provision of high-quality service. This is thanks to the strengths and diversity of our people.
We want to build a stronger learning culture within the British Red Cross. This means valuing, using and celebrating individual and collective experience; capturing and sharing what we have learned from our work within the organisation and beyond; and ensuring that it fully informs our programme development.
We are members of the Fundraising Regulator. The Regulator works to ensure that organisations raising money from the public do so honestly and properly.
We have signed an undertaking with the Information Commissioner’s Office committing the Red Cross to best practice in fundraising calls.
We also publish a section on our website with answers to questions about donations and prominently display our supporter care phone number.
In the interest of transparency, we also make our staff and volunteer expense reimbursement policy available to download in PDF and Word documents. You can download this information from the right-hand-side of this page.