Guidelines of the Code of Conduct

The Guidelines of the Code of Conduct is a self-certification model for voluntary organisations (VOs) to demonstrate their accountability, legitimacy and effectiveness.

IndiaVoluntary Action Network India (VANI)

Over the years, there has been a structured voice from the sector about the lack of support for systematising internal governance mechanisms, which are accountable and transparent. The crucial gap identified is that there are no self-certification mechanisms in India for genuine small and medium sized organisations to demonstrate their credibility.

The self-certification model is required as a response to increasing pressure and scrutiny of the quality and legitimacy of VOs from donors, beneficiaries, the media and government. It is an expression of commitment of voluntary organisations to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct and accountability.

VANI has been making efforts to strengthen the internal governance mechanism of voluntary organisations (VOs) from over two decades, and the indicators in the Guidelines were developed in 2015.

VANI is the apex body of VOs in India. It was formed in the year 1988 with an objective to safeguard the interests of the voluntary sector in India. Since then, it has been instrumental in advocating on behalf of the sector. VANI acts as a mid-point for voluntary organisations and the government of India. The prime mandate of VANI is to ensure the stability and sustainability of the voluntary sector.

Year established


Participating organizations

VANI’s network covers 500 VOs in India, with a strong network of over 8000 organisations. Since our self-certification process has been recently adopted in an indicator based format, VANI’s members are in the process of adopting the Code of Conduct.

Intended Users

Small and medium size organizations

List of sections/components of the tool/system
  • Organisational Commitment Standards
  • Governance and Administrative Standards
  • Financial Resource Management
  • Communication to the Public
  • Programme Standards
URL (English)
URL of the Tool/System

Guidelines of the Code of Conduct VANI (PDF)

Is it intended to serve as a “code of conduct/ethics”?


It is intended to serve as a code of conduct and a self-regulation mechanism.

Is it intended to be a self-regulation mechanism?


Is this a certification/accreditation system?


It is a self-certification system, which includes the following benefits.

If yes, what is the benefit of certification/accreditation?
  • To improve the image and credibility of the voluntary sector.
  • Low cost and easy to administer process for small and medium VOs for whom accreditation process is not a financially viable option.
  • This process will give opportunity to VOs to streamline their processes and systems in an accountable and transparent manner.
  • For the donors, this process is an opportunity to identify genuine and transparent organisations.
Does it involve any award?


Does it involve a rating system?



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