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With thanks to the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy for permission to use their materials in preparation of this policy.
a. The aim of this policy is to ensure that we are transparent and open, and that all of those involved in decision-making and influencing policy declare any potential and actual conflicts of interest.
b. The policy is also intended to protect our reputation, and to protect the organisation and individuals involved from any impropriety or appearance of impropriety.
c. This policy sets out our expectations regarding
i. actual and potential conflicts of interest
ii. the process for dealing with a conflict or potential conflict of interest.
d. We are responsible for promoting and setting standards of conduct for Members/Registrants and for making decisions about fitness to practise. We therefore expect the highest standards of our own conduct as a professional organisation and for individuals who work with and for us.
e. We aim to ensure that all BABCP work is free from improper influence, is independent, fair, free from bias and seen to be so.
f. This policy applies to all Trustees, staff, and volunteers including Standing Committee Chairs, Committee members, working party members, Branch and Special Interest Group (SIG) committee members.
g. Trustees, Volunteers and BABCP staff members are required to comply with this policy. We will investigate possible breaches, and non-compliance may result in a complaint; being asked to vacate a role or disciplinary action as appropriate to the circumstances.
a. A conflict of interest arises where you, as a Trustee, member of staff or volunteer have a private interest which might influence, or be perceived to influence, your judgement in carrying out the duties as determined by terms of reference or contract of employment.
b. Conflicts of interests may arise where your personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of the BABCP. Such conflicts may create problems that:
i. inhibit free discussion
ii. may result in decisions or actions that are not in our interests
iii. risk the impression that we have acted improperly.
c. In order to make decisions about conflicts of interest, we use the ‘reasonable person test’, which is that a conflict of interest exists when a reasonable, fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there is a real possibility that a decision maker is or could be biased because of a particular interest they have.
d. This is not a definitive list, but examples of a conflict of interest or potential conflict include:
i. Being on a Hearing Panel and making a decision involving a Member/Registrant where the panel member has a strong personal belief about the nature of that Member/Registrant’s practice.
ii. Being on a Hearing Panel where you have had previous interactions with an individual whose case is being considered. These interactions could be personal or professional. Knowing of the individual would not necessarily be considered a conflict of interest
iii. A past or present interest that could reasonably be thought to cast doubt on your independence or impartiality with regard to your duties
iv. Contributing to a working party or committee which makes decisions that could indirectly lead to financial gain, such as invitations to provide training
v. Membership of or any position within a political party, a pressure/interest group, a voluntary organisation or any association connected directly or indirectly with the wider healthcare sector.
a. You must maintain the highest possible standard of integrity and reject any business practice which may appear improper.
b. You must never use your own authority or position for personal gain, and you should act with impartiality and independence at all times
c. It is your responsibility not to put yourself or the work of BABCP in a position where there is a conflict between duties required and your private interests.
d. You must avoid making decisions or handling matters where you have interests that might influence, or be perceived as influencing your judgement.
e. You must always inform us of new appointments or changes to your personal circumstances which could lead to conflicts of interest.
f. You have a duty of candour to inform us if you become aware of potential conflicts of interest which arise for another Trustee, volunteer or staff member if this has not already been declared.
g. Hearing Panel members, chairs or legal assessors may not appear as advocates or lay representatives for BABCP Members/Registrants during the period of their appointment by BABCP.
a. Trustees have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the BABCP in accordance with BABCP’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, and to avoid situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest. Other volunteers and staff members have similar obligations.
b. As required by the Charities’ Commission, BABCP must act in the best interests of its members and the public as a professional body. As a Company, Limited by Guarantee, it is also bound by Company Law.
c. Trustees must perform a set of duties under the Companies Act 2006. These are set out in the appendices below.
d. Trustees are expected to inform BABCP of any other trustee roles they hold.
a. You are expected to declare their interests regularly. You must also declare any gifts or hospitality (over the value of £10) offered and received in connection with your role in BABCP.
b. If you are unsure of what to declare, or whether/when a declaration be should be updated, you are expected to err on the side of caution and make a declaration.
c. All Board and Committee meetings will include a ‘conflict of interest’ agenda item where any interests not already reported will be recorded. Adherence to this policy will be included in the Terms of Reference for each committee.
d. You must report conflicts, or potential conflicts of interest at the earliest opportunity, and they will be recorded either by the Chair of the relevant committee or line-manager. These will then be reported to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as soon as possible. There will be an annual review of all such records by the Board of Trustees.
e. Under the Code of Conduct, you must make a declaration of any conflict or potential conflict of interest before undertaking activities on our behalf. You must also declare any new interests as they arise. The Declaration form is available to download below.
f. When an actual or potential conflict of interest arises you should:
i. declare it at the earliest opportunity
ii. withdraw from discussions and decisions relating to the interest.
g. The minute-taker or acting secretary for the meeting should take special care to ensure that minutes or other documents relating to the item presenting a conflict are appropriately redacted for anyone who has an interest. Redacted minutes and documents should include enough information about the organisation’s activities for the person with the conflict to participate appropriately, without including sensitive or specific information to the identified interest.
h. Board and committee members, or senior staff who are not affected by the conflict of interest, or potential conflict of interest, will decide what information is sufficient and appropriate to disclose.
i. If a conflict of interest is known to a member of the Board of Trustees, volunteer or member of staff, but has not been declared, then the Trustee, volunteer or staff member must declare that interest.
a. The information provided will be processed in accordance with data protection principles as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018. Data will be processed only to ensure that Trustees, volunteers and staff act in the best interests of BABCP. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose.
a. Decisions where a conflict or potential conflict of interest have been identified will be made using a simple majority vote. Interested parties will not be counted when deciding whether the meeting is quorate.
b. You must not vote on a matter in which affect your own interests.
c. All decisions under a conflict of interest will be recorded and reported in the minutes of the meeting. The report will record:
i. the nature and the extent of the conflict.
ii. an outline of the discussion.
iii. the actions taken to manage the conflict.
d. Where appropriate, this will be reported in the annual report and accounts.
e. You must also report any payments or benefits in kind with a value greater £10. These will be reported in the BABCP accounts and annual report, with amounts for each person listed for the year in question.
f. Staff members who have a connection to a supplier of a product or service to the organisation, this will also be disclosed in the annual report and accounts.
g. Independent external moderation will be used where conflicts cannot be resolved through these procedures.
a. If you have a conflict of interest, you must not be involved in managing or monitoring a contract in which you have an interest. Monitoring arrangements for such contracts will include provisions for an independent challenge of bills and invoices, and termination of the contract if the relationship is unsatisfactory.
Duties of Trustees