EACD Code of Conduct

Last updated: June 6th, 2024

The European Academy of Childhood-onset Disability (EACD) is dedicated to ensure EACD remains true its values and respected and credible, and to encourage a supportive and inclusive culture amongst the whole organisation. We are committed to promote diversity and eliminate discrimination in the organisation.

Employees and volunteers play an important role in ensuring EACD remains true to its values and respected and credible. This Code sets out the standards and expectations of employees and volunteers in terms of professional ethics, integrity, acting as a representative and safeguarding, which support our vision, mission and values.

This Code of Conduct overarches all of EACD’s policies and procedures which guide conduct and behaviour, all of which are underpinned by EACD’s constitution and principles. This Code of Conduct applies to employees, workers, volunteers, members, consultants and agency workers. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct, EACD policies, employment or placement terms and conditions may result in action under EACD’s disciplinary procedure for employees, member, or a volunteer status review.

Mission, Aims and Values

EACD's mission is: To relieve individuals with disabilities throughout Europe by the promotion of education and research into Childhood-onset Disability. 

EACD's aims are: To promote and extend research in all aspects of childhood-onset disability and publish the useful results of such research; To ensure  regular  teaching and exchange of information bearing on all aspects of childhood-onset disability by means of meetings, symposia, working groups, exhibitions and publications; To support the medical and scientific aspects of research into the care and treatment of childhood-onset disabilities; To foster co-operation and collaboration between those working in the field of childhood-onset disabilities in Europe and elsewhere; To encourage people throughout Europe to work in the field of childhood-onset disabilities; To maintain high ethical and scientific standards in all the activities of the EACD.

EACD's values are: Collaboration, Knowledge, Inclusion and Integrity.

1. Professional ethics and integrity

It is expected that EACD employees and volunteers will:

• Establish, maintain and develop relationships based on trust and respect.

• Exhibit and defend professional and personal integrity and honesty at all times.

• Demonstrate sensitivity for the customs, practices, culture and personal beliefs of others.

• Abide by EACD’s Equality and Diversity Policy, and promote and adhere to practices that promote equality of opportunity, diversity and social inclusion and support human rights and dignity.

• Comply with EACD’s data protection and confidentiality requirements. Any breach is considered a disciplinary offence and appropriate action will be taken.

• Support and challenge others if they suspect unlawful or unethical conduct or behaviour.

• Promptly report any concerns about bribery or corruption.

• Promptly report security or safety concerns.

• Act and present yourself appropriately at all times both within the workplace and when representing the organisation

2. Acting as a representative of EACD

It is expected that EACD employees and volunteers will:

• Always act in a way which supports and upholds the reputation of EACD and behave as a role models to others.

• Be mindful of their responsibilities as professional people towards the wider community.

• Comply with prevailing laws and not encourage, assist or collude with others who may be engaged in unlawful conduct.

• When involved in local political, religious, or community leadership activities, commit to ensure that EACD’s mission and objectives in the country are not compromised.  

• Display a neutral, non-partisan attitude and approach towards political matters not relevant to EACD’s mission and objectives during their work for EACD.

3. Safeguarding

It is expected that EACD employees and volunteers will abide by EACD’s Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy including:

• Not to harm, children, young people, vulnerable adults or anyone they come into contact with during the course of their engagement with EACD, through action or omission.

• Not to expose others to the risk of discrimination, neglect, harm or abuse.

• Not purchase, or coerce, sex acts.

• Work in accordance with health, safety and security guidelines and avoid behaviour that creates unnecessary risk to themselves or others.

It is expected that EACD employees and volunteers will:

• Read, understand and adhere to EACD’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and EACD’s Code of Conduct.

• Strive to promote a zero tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment and abuse in all working environments.

• Strive to develop relationships with all stakeholders which are based on equality, trust, respect and honesty.

• Place the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable people above all other considerations.

• Report any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child or vulnerable person.

• Report any concerns they may have about the behaviour of a EACD representative in relation to safeguarding.

• In a one-to-one situation with a child, young person, or vulnerable adult, where privacy and confidentiality are important, try to make sure that another adult knows the contact is taking place and why. If possible, ensure another adult is in sight and that the child or young person knows another adult is around.

It is expected that EACD employees and volunteers will not:

• Sexually harass, assault or abuse another person.

• Physically harass, assault or abuse another person.

• Emotionally abuse another person, such as engaging in behaviour intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade.

• Condone, or participate in behaviour which is abusive, discriminatory, illegal, or unsafe.

• Develop, encourage or fail to take action of relationships with children or other vulnerable people which could in any way be deemed sexual, exploitative or abusive.

• Act in ways that may be violent, inappropriate or sexually provocative.

• Agree with a child, young person, or vulnerable adult to keep a secret which has implications for their safety or the safety of other children, young people and/or vulnerable adults.

4. Conflict of interest

In the course of their work it is essential that employees and volunteers avoid any suggestion of bias or favouritism in any of their dealings with partners, primary actors, service providers, suppliers, or other employees, volunteers and stakeholders. Any potential conflicts (direct or indirect) must be declared. Conflicts of interest could include, but are not limited to:

• Interests of immediate relatives and extended relatives, friends and acquaintances.

• Any work, paid or unpaid, outside EACD.

• Being a member of an elected body.

• Shareholdings (if this could have an influence on the decision making of a company).

• Relationships with service providers and suppliers, other employees or candidates for employment with EACD.

Offers of Gifts, inducements and hospitality

Any money, gift or favour received by an employee or volunteer from a person or organisation holding or seeking to obtain a contract from EACD will be deemed by EACD to have been received corruptly unless the employee or volunteer proves the contrary. EACD expects all staff and volunteers to abide by local legislation to ensure transparency and ethical practice. Any breach of this policy will be treated as a serious disciplinary matter and/or a criminal offence.

Relationship conflicts

Where a personal relationship exists, has existed or develops between employees or volunteers where one party has a management or supervisory responsibility over the other, the existence or former existence of the relationship should be disclosed to the relevant supervisor (i.e. the person nearest to the respondent in terms of line responsibility).

Supervisors who have, or have had, a personal relationship with an employee or volunteer should not be involved in any recruitment, selection, performance review, promotion or other processes which could be perceived to give unfair advantage or disadvantage to the other person with whom they have or have had such a relationship. It is the responsibility of employees and volunteers involved in recruitment and selection to declare any relationship.

5. Duty to report

• Report immediately any breaches of this Code to a supervisor, either through the established reporting mechanisms or, if not appropriate, to another senior member of staff or the EACD Ethics and Compliance Committee.

• All suspected breaches of the Code will be investigated in line with the appropriate policy. Where it is found that there has been a breach of the Code of Conduct there will be a disciplinary or status review process.

If you have any comments or questions about this Code of Conduct, feel free to contact us at admin@eacd.org. This Code will be reviewed annually.



The European Academy of Childhood-onset Disability (EACD) is an international not-for-profit association founded in 1989, and is an association for anyone with a clinical and/or scientific interest in childhood-onset disabilities in Europe and beyond. EACD's mission is to promote research and education for the benefit of people with childhood-onset disabilities throughout Europe and beyond. 


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