Common Purpose Behaviour code

For anyone involved with Common Purpose programmes when working with young people

For anyone involved with Common Purpose programmes when working with young people


This code of behaviour outlines what is expected from anyone (participants, contributors, staff, volunteers, interns and trustees) who participates in Common Purpose programmes, when working with young people to ensure everyone involved feels safe, respected and valued.

Common Purpose will make sure that anyone taking part in our programmes has seen, understood and agreed to follow the code of behaviour outlined here, and that they understand the consequences of inappropriate behaviour. We expect anyone who takes part in our programmes to display appropriate behaviour at all times. This includes behaviour that takes place outside our organization and behaviour that takes place online.

Definition of a Young Person at Common Purpose

Anyone aged between 18-35 years old.

Basic principles

This code of behaviour aims to:

  • identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
  • encourage cooperation, honesty, fairness and respect
  • encourage you to recognize and respect the rights of others
  • encourage you to take responsibility for your own behaviour
  • help resolve conflicts and make it clear what will happen if the code is not followed

The following core principles apply where programmes are delivered for, or are connecting with, young people:

  • The welfare, safety and interests of young people are paramount in all circumstances.
  • Common Purpose staff, participants, contributors, trustees, volunteers and interns acknowledge their duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of any young people taking part in Common Purpose activities and programmes.
  • Common Purpose is committed to ensuring their safeguarding practice and policies
    reflect relevant statutory responsibilities, government guidance and best practice in their territory.
  • Regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all young people are protected from abuse whilst
    participating in any activity provided by Common Purpose.
  • Common Purpose acknowledge that some young people, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare whilst participating in any activity provided by Common Purpose.
  • Common Purpose is aware of the need to prevent the employment/deployment of
    unsuitable individuals working with young people on any activity provided by Common Purpose.
  • Common Purpose staff and our external contributors and coaches will not act or behave in a way that could be perceived as threatening or intrusive, or in a way that patronizes or belittles young people.

Common Purpose staff/volunteers/contributors and coaches working with young people will:

  • be subject to successful police checks, where required, (or equivalent checks applicable within the territory) for working with young people, valid before the start and for the duration of the programme. This is dependent on the type of programme and is to be decided by the People & Operations Director.
  • understand their roles and responsibilities and be given appropriate learning opportunities to recognize, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to young people
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support will be provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
  • not socialize or make personal contact with anyone considered to be a vulnerable adult outside the programme


Anyone who is involved in a Common Purpose programme should

  • Follow the core principles outlined here
  • Prioritize the welfare of young people
  • Provide a safe environment of learning for young people
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report any breaches of the behaviour code to David O'Connor, Director, Learning and Innovation
  • Report any concerns about abusive behaviour, following our safeguarding policy / procedure


Anyone with any involvement in a Common Purpose programme must always follow this behavioural code.

If any member of staff is seen to be behaving inappropriately, they will be subjected to our
disciplinary procedures. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, we may also report to statutory agencies such as the police

Any breaches of this code must be reported to David O'Connor, Director, Learning and Innovation, Common Purpose Charitable Trust. If required, individuals should follow our whistleblowing procedure and safeguarding policy/procedure.

You can also download a copy of this policy here