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Transparency and accountability

"Across all the countries where Tree Aid works, our top priority is ensuring that our staff and the people we work with are safe, supported and treated with dignity and respect. I am proud of our organisation’s professional standards and our commitment to safeguarding at all levels, from our office spaces to the communities we work in partnership with."
Tom Skirrow, Tree Aid CEO

Our policies

At Tree Aid, we are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and our policies describe how we plan on achieving that. They are key in understanding Tree Aid’s workplace culture. 

To ensure a safe workplace culture, we deliver regular briefings and training sessions on Tree Aid ways of working, policies and procedures.

Internal control and audits

We continuously learn and adapt our approach. This involves listening and learning from our experience, the experience of people we work with on our projects, our partners and best practice.  

We use internal control and audits to assess how well we are doing throughout the organisation. The outcomes of these audits are reported to senior management and our board of trustees. This cycle of training and assessment ensures a culture of continuous improvement.  

Living our values

Everything that we do at Tree Aid is guided by our values. They help us to be unified, mission-driven and to deliver the best impact we can for the communities we work with. Tree Aid’s staff are our most important resource and together we ensure a safe and sound workplace.

Policies Summary

Below is a summary of some of Tree Aid’s key policies. If you would like to read the full version of a policy or have a question please email us at  

  • Safeguarding is a vital part of working at Tree Aid and we have zero-tolerance approach to safeguarding incidents. Our safeguarding policy is in place to ensure we prevent and respond to issues of safeguarding quickly and effectively. Tree Aid is committed to safeguarding anyone who comes into contact with Tree Aid through our activity. Our safeguarding programme ensures that we prevent harm and promote the health, wellbeing and human rights of children, young people and adults. We work together to prevent and effectively respond to safeguarding incidents. 

    Tree Aid recognises that safeguarding must be the responsibility of the whole organisation, and therefore our safeguarding policy covers all Trustees, staff, volunteers and partners working for or with Tree Aid, even those not required to regularly come into contact with vulnerable groups.  

    If you have a concern related to safeguarding and our work, please email

    What are the key elements of the policy? 

    Prevention and reporting procedures in place: including training and awareness sessions for staff, partners and project participants. All staff take part in training on the policy and how to report incidents during their induction. Safeguarding statements are included in all Tree Aid recruitment.  

    Our partners: Tree Aid staff and partners have a responsibility to ensure that they feel confident working in this context and are aware of safeguarding issues.  

    • Tree Aid works with our partners to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure good safeguarding throughout project delivery 
    • To ensure proper understanding and awareness, Tree Aid provides training annually to country teams and partners.  
    • The safeguarding policy is included in all Tree Aid’s partners and suppliers / service provider contractual agreements.  
    • Tree Aid regularly checks the safeguarding arrangements of partners as part of monitoring visits.  
    • Safeguarding is a fixed agenda item on all partnership reporting meetings. 

    Reporting safeguarding issues: Tree Aid has the following designated contacts for safeguarding: the CEO in UK, the chair of the board, the vice-chair, the Director of West Africa Operations, the Compliance & Risk Manager and the Ethiopia Country Manager. 

    Responding to safeguarding issues: Tree Aid’s Senior Management team is committed to taking all appropriate corrective actions, including disciplinary, legal or other actions in response to any violation of the safeguarding policy.  

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email the following address: 

  • This policy sets out Tree Aid’s approach to avoiding conflicts of interest, either through trustees or staff. It aims to ensure that those acting on Tree Aid’s behalf act in a transparent manner, identifying and declaring any potential conflicts of interest. 

    Trustees and the Senior Management Team (SMT) have an obligation to act in the best interests of Tree Aid, and in accordance with the Charity’s Articles, to avoid situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest.  

    Trustees and the SMT are asked to declare their financial and pecuniary interests (that might conflict with the interests of Tree Aid). All staff must declare any gifts or hospitality received in connection with their role in Tree Aid. These declarations are entered in a register and this is updated periodically or as circumstances change. Trustees are asked to declare any changes to their interests at each Board meeting. 

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email us at 

  • Tree Aid is committed to conducting activities in accordance with the ethical and legal standards required by UK law. This includes the Employment Rights Act 1996, which provides protection for workers who ‘blow the whistle’ where they reasonably believe that some form of illegality, injustice or breach of health and safety has occurred or is likely to occur. 

    This policy aims to provide a supportive process that encourages and enables employees or workers to raise concerns about misconduct within Tree Aid without repercussion and will give them confidence that their concerns will be properly investigated and resolved in a timely manner. 

    The Tree Aid Whistleblowing Policy sets out our responsibilities to those working for us and provides a channel for people to raise concerns that they may have about the organisation. 

    What are the key elements of the policy? 

    This policy outlines how and when employees are protected if they make disclosures about Tree AidEmployees are encouraged to use the procedure to raise any such concerns, knowing they can do so anonymously.  

    The disclosure has to be “in the public interest” and shows that the organisation has committed a “relevant failure”, including: 

    • committing a criminal offence 
    • failing to comply with a legal obligation 
    • a miscarriage of justice 
    • endangering the health and safety of an individual 
    • environmental damage 
    • concealing any information relating to the above 

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy please download it here.

    If you have a concern related to whistleblowing, please email
  • We believe that the identification, management and mitigation of risks is integral to Tree Aid’s accountability. Good risk management ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, sharing and learning from best practice, and the prevention of disaster. It also identifies opportunities for innovation that supports Tree Aid to achieve its objectives and maximise its potential.  

    Tree Aid maintains and regularly reviews a range of risk management tools. Risk assessments are performed across the organisation, both at an entity level and for specific projects. The steps undertaken by the Tree Aid Risk Management system include: 

    • Identifying, classifying and rating a full range of risks. 
    • Assessing existing mitigation, controls and opportunities that protect Tree Aid from these risks. 
    • Senior Management and the Board of Trustees reviewing findings.  

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email us at

  • Tree Aid has a zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption of any type or in any circumstances. It is not acceptable for our staff, volunteers, Board of Trustees, suppliers or program participants to engage in bribery or any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy. 

    This policy extends to individuals and companies who, whilst not directly employed by Tree Aid, are acting on our behalf. The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption are the responsibility of all those working for us or with us. 

    Tree Aid’s approach to bribery and corruption is communicated to all suppliers, contractors and partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and as appropriate thereafter. This policy forms part of our Partnership Agreement. Tree Aid regularly undertakes necessary due diligence on business partners before entering into agreements and contracts with them. 

    It is critical that staff, volunteers or Trustees report any concerns as soon as possible if they believe or suspect that a conflict with this Policy has occurred, or may occur in the future. 

    Employees must notify their line manager, staff representative or the Director Finance and Resources. Volunteers should notify their supervisor and trustees should notify the Chair.  

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question or if you have a concern related to this policy and our work, please email

  • Tree Aid’s Procurement Policy aims to:  

    • Achieve value for money, for high quality goods and services for the organisation. 
    • Maintain high ethical standards.  
    • Ensure good procurement practice is applied consistently across the organisation. 
    • Promote sustainable development. 
    • Promote an awareness of ethical practice throughout procurement matters. 
    • Act fairly towards suppliers. 

    This policy applies to all staff working for Tree Aid. It sets out how we aim to ensure good procurement practice, achieve value for money and maintain high ethical standards. The procedures to be followed are determined by the amount of and the nature of the commitment for the proposed purchase. The policy covers all Tree Aid purchases and should be read in conjunction with the requirements of Tree Aid’s Delegation of Authority policy. 

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email us at

  • Tree Aid does not tolerate any form of fraud or dishonesty. Fraud reduces our ability to help people who need our support.  

    We are determined to prevent fraud and ensure that we are not used to assist in money laundering or any terrorist activity. Tree Aid will always investigate when any fraudulent activities are suspected or discovered.  

    The policy details fraud prevention activities undertaken by Tree Aid exist in order to prevent and deter fraud: 

    • Fraud risks are assessed and recorded in the Tree Aid risk management system. 
    • Training is provided for trustees, staff, volunteers and implementing partners. 
    • Regular internal audits are carried out. 
    • Audit reports are produced with a supporting Anti-fraud Response Plan.  
    • Detailed fraud prevention procedures exist for activities such as recruitment procedures, physical security of assets, budgetary and other financial reports, etc.  

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question  or if you have a concern related to this policy and our work, please email

  • This policy provides a set of principles used to guide Tree Aid’s decisions and is aligned with the Code of Fundraising Practice published by the Institute of Fundraising in the United Kingdom. 

    Our principles: 

    • The donation or grant should contribute towards Tree Aid’s overall mission and strategy.  
    • The overall budget for restricted donations and grants should cover the full costs of delivery.  
    • Tree Aid should be able to successfully deliver the agreed activity and advance its mission under the conditions tied to the donation or grant.  
    • The donor’s objectives or activities must not appear to be incompatible with Tree Aid’s vision, mission and values, particularly if this risks causing significant damage to Tree Aid’s integrity, public image or professional reputation.  

    Tree Aid will refuse donations and/or grants in the following situations:  

    • Where it is clear that the activities of a donor are directly incompatible with the objectives of Tree Aid, the agreed policies of Tree Aid or to the beneficiaries of Tree Aid.   
    • Where it can be clearly shown that the cost to Tree Aid of accepting a donation will be greater than the value of the donation itself. 
    • From companies or individuals whose wealth is known to result from illegal activities or where there are indications of corruption and related economic crime.  

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email us at

  • Volunteers give their time generously and bring valuable expertise, skills and experience to the charity. They champion our cause and often challenge opinions and perspectives whilst demonstrating loyalty and commitment to Tree Aid’s overall objectives. 

    Our volunteering policy aims to reflect the importance of Tree Aid volunteers and their contribution. Volunteering is an important and crucial activity that is supported and encouraged by Tree Aid but it is not intended to be a substitute for paid employment.  

    Tree Aid recognises that volunteering must benefit the individual as well as the charity and we aim to provide an environment that is inclusive, stimulating, friendly and supportive. 

    We expect all Tree Aid volunteers to adhere to our organisational values, which can be found at the top of this page.  

    If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email us at

  • Your privacy and security is important to us and we promise to protect all personal data you share with us. This Privacy Policy sets out how and why we collect, use and protect any information that you give to us. The policy explains why we collect information and when. You can read our full privacy policy here.

    To change your mind about how you would like to be contacted or for any other enquiry relating to the personal information we hold about you, please contact the fundraising team at or you can call us on 0117 909 6363. 

    Alternatively, you can write to us at Tree Aid, Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE. Please note it may take up to six weeks for your request to take effect as we update our systems accordingly.