In2scienceUK Code of Conduct for Volunteers and Staff

May 2023

Downloadable PDF version (Signable)

In2scienceUK Code of Conduct for Volunteers and Staff

  1. Purpose 

This Code of Conduct sets out the conduct In2scienceUK expects from all of our staff and volunteers. This includes trustees, agency staff, interns, volunteers and anyone undertaking duties for the organisation, whether paid or unpaid. 

The Code of Conduct outlines our expectations and helps us to protect both the participants on the programme from abuse as well as staff and volunteers from unfounded allegations. 

In2scienceUK is responsible for making sure that everyone taking part in our programme – whether in person or online – has read, understood and signed up to abide by the Code of Conduct and that they understand the consequences of inappropriate behaviour. 

  1. The Role of Staff and Volunteers 

Your role, either as a member of staff or volunteer, places you in a position of trust and authority and as such you have a duty of care towards the people you work with.  You are likely to be seen as a role model and are expected to act appropriately. 

  1. Your Responsibility 

You are responsible for:

  • Ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for all participants both in person and online, and challenging any form of harassment, discrimination or abuse. 
  • Challenging unacceptable behaviour and breaches of student code of conduct, and reporting this to a safeguarding officer or In2scienceUK point of contact.
  • Prioritising the safeguarding of ​all participants on our programmes.
  • Ensuring you read and adhere to our principles, policies and procedures, including our policies on safeguarding and whistleblowing, and attend any training about your role and your safeguarding responsibilities. 
  • Reporting all safeguarding concerns, no matter how small to a safeguarding officer or In2scienceUK point of contact.
  • Ensuring you have made all relevant persons aware of any In2scienceUK activity taking place at a non-in2scienceUK venue and abiding by the health & safety, risk assessment and safeguarding policies of these organisations.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of all information related to other staff, volunteers or participants obtained in the course of your role at In2scienceUK (except where safeguarding requires you to do so)
  • Ensuring that you always obtain parental/guardian consent before any child, young person, or vulnerable adult is photographed, filmed or images published.
  • Behaving lawfully at all times. 
  1. Professional Conduct

You are expected to:

  • Understand that, when working with students, you are in a position of trust and should therefore be an excellent role model.
  • Ensure that language is professional and appropriate at all times.
  • Maintain professional boundaries with participants appropriate to your position and always consider whether your actions are warranted, proportionate, safe and applied equitably. 
  • Act in an open and transparent way that would not lead any reasonable person to question your actions or intent. 
  • Think carefully about your conduct so that misinterpretations are minimised.
  • Ensure that all interactions are of a professional nature only and not establish or seek to establish any social contact with participants for the purpose of securing a friendship/relationship outside of professional settings. Any ongoing interactions outside of the programme should be kept on work emails and may need to involve parental notification and consent. 
  • Ensure that any social media activity which relates to In2ScienceUK or that can associate you with In2ScienceUK remains professional and lawful.  Be aware that participants may easily be able to identify and follow staff and volunteers on social media and thus should be professional at all times.
  • Be aware of Section 16 of The Sexual Offences Act 2002 which deems an inappropriate relationship between a person in a position of trust with a participant as a criminal offence.
  • Never make sexual remarks to a participant or discuss your own sexual relationships with, or in the presence of a participant. 
  • Exercise caution when you are discussing sensitive issues.
  • Never offer a programme participant a lift in your vehicle or invite them to your home.
  • Ensure, wherever possible, that in-person activities with programme participants will be in a public place with another adult present.
  • Ensure that any online meetings with participants or students under the age of 18 are kept within the In2scienceUK Virtual Platform and recorded at all times in case of safeguarding review.
  • Ensure your contact with participants is appropriate and relevant to the work of the project you are involved in.
  • Make notes of any interactions between people you deem to have acted inappropriately and inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately. 
  1. Respect

You are expected to: 

  • Treat all individuals with dignity and respect.
  • Listen to and respect programme participants at all times.
  • Value and take participant’s contributions seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible.
  • Always act and dress in a professional manner.
  • Not smoke, drink alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol in the presence of participants.
  • Respect a participant’s right to personal privacy as far as possible. 

6. Equal Rights 

You are expected to: 

  • Treat everyone fairly and without prejudice or discrimination. 
  • Understand that people are individuals with individual needs.
  • Respect differences in gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, ethnicity, disability and religious belief systems, and appreciate that all participants bring something valuable and different to the group/organisation. 
  • Challenge discrimination and prejudice. 
  • Encourage people to speak out about attitudes or behaviour that makes them uncomfortable. 

7. Upholding this Code of Conduct 

You should always follow this Code of Conduct and never rely on your reputation or that of our organisation to protect you. Any action that breaches this Code of Conduct or failure to take action mandated by it will be subject to disciplinary procedures. Any dismissal for safeguarding concerns will be reported to the Local Authority and the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

If you become aware of any breaches of this code, or have any concerns by something you have witnessed, you must report them to In2scienceUK.

I have read carefully and understand In2scienceUK’s Code of Conduct and hereby declare that I agree to abide by its requirements and commit to upholding the standards of conduct required to support the organisation’s aims, values and mission.

Key contacts

Designated Safeguarding Lead –  Stephen Hancock, [email protected],  07436923304

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead – Anishta Shegobin, [email protected], 07895873857

Trustee Safeguarding Lead – Paul Topping – [email protected]