Raleigh Participant Code of Conduct

Last updated June 2018

1. Introduction

We require all participants to accept and live up to this Code of Conduct from the start and we will provide training and support to you to ensure this is achieved. The aim of this Code of Conduct is to let you know what is expected of you, so you can work alongside each other to achieve both yours and the programme’s aims in a positive and safe environment.

For participants who apply via the UK, you should read this document in conjunction with Raleigh’s Terms and Conditions when you apply to join our programmes. You will then sign to confirm you understand and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct either before you leave your home country or at in-country induction training. For participants who apply via the in-country Raleigh office, you will be trained on the Code of Conduct during your induction, and will be required to sign to confirm you understand and agree to abide by it… The signed copy will be kept for the duration of your time on a Raleigh programme. This document is not a legally binding contract.

Withdrawing from the programme not only has a financial cost to you, but can cause disruption to your team, the host community and your placement. You will put a lot of time and effort into preparing for your programme, so it is therefore extremely important that you read through the following agreement carefully before signing and committing yourself to this programme.

The programme will be a fantastic opportunity for you to be an ambassador for your country and Raleigh. We look forward to working with you and hope you make the most of the opportunity.

2. Participant Dimensions

We do not ask for any specific hard skills or experience in our participants. We do, however, look for people who show the potential to learn and to become Active Global Citizens. The 7 areas that we focus on are included below:

Positive and Realistic Commitment

A positive approach and drive to work as a volunteer based on realistic expectations.

Commitment to Learning

The continuing desire to discover new things and learn; and the humility to share, learn and develop with others.

Practical Problem-Solving Ability

The ability to solve practical problems using available resources. An inventive and positive approach, making decisions where necessary.

Flexibility and Adaptability

An adaptable approach to dealing with new and demanding situations.


The self-confidence and courage to be sufficiently independent and to deal with people and circumstances with calmness and humour.

Working with Others

The social skills to work with others and to enable others to solve problems. Integrity when persuading others to implement plans.

Sensitivity to the Needs of Others

An open and non-judgmental approach, which respects other people and cultures. Good listening skills and empathy. Non-offensive behaviour.

Throughout your involvement with Raleigh, it is very important that you demonstrate commitment to developing and using these dimensions. Failure to do so can be considered in the same way as any other breach of the Code of Conduct and is outlined in section 5.

3. What you can expect from Raleigh

As this programme requires such a large degree of commitment from you, and significant financial investment from us, it is only fair to set out exactly what you can expect of us:

3.1 Before the programme, we undertake to provide you with:

  • Documentation and access to online resources to explain the programme and associated risks you may face while in your placement or expedition country.
  • Ongoing guidance, support and advice from the Volunteer Journey Team at Head Office or the in-country staff team.

3.2 During the programme we will:

  • Provide accommodation, food, transport and support in keeping with the values of the programme. We will monitor changing risks that may affect the programme; however, you must recognise the limitations of Raleigh to control many of the risks inherent in each programme.
  • Provide insurance as detailed in the pre-departure information.
  • Provide support (both resources and training) for your learning.
  • Provide you with welfare support throughout.

3.3 After the overseas programme we will:

  • Provide you with a post placement report.
  • Provide ICS participants with a Returned Volunteer day.
  • Enrol you, with your consent, in our Alumni network of over 43,000 and send you details of our alumni programme.

4. What Raleigh expects from you

4.1 Before the programme you will:

  • Read & understand the information and training Raleigh provides for you and carry out the required actions in this information by appropriate deadlines.
  • Make an informed decision, on the basis of the information provided by Raleigh, and gathered by your own efforts, regarding the risks of participating in the programme. In spite of these potential risks, and after consideration of the conditions under which you will be living and working, you will have decided to participate in the programme and do so at your own risk.
  • Make every effort to fundraise and donate to Raleigh. This money is non-refundable if you are withdrawn or leave the programme of your own initiative.
  • Be able to act self-sufficiently with regards to cooking, basic health and hygiene awareness, and domestic chores. You will be required to help with tasks and chores in your placement accommodation.

4.2. As an ambassador for Raleigh and your country we expect that during the programme you will live up to the ‘Raleigh International Behaviours’. If you fail to do so, Raleigh will take action – see section 5.

Raleigh International Behaviours

No alcohol – The environment in-country can be a hazardous one. Raleigh teams are also ambassadors for their own countries and many participants will be guests in the host country. It is important that participants are at all times able to behave appropriately, make sound judgements and control their actions to keep themselves and others safe. Therefore, consumption of alcohol during the programme is prohibited for all participants, regardless of age or position.

No illegal activities, including drug taking – In most of the countries in which we operate, the buying, selling or taking of drugs, including marijuana, is punishable by severe penalties; up to and including the death penalty. Participation in any illegal activity including, but not limited to, consumption or procurement of illegal substances is not tolerated and can result in the involvement of local authorities and/or immediate removal from the programme. If you break the law of the country you are in, you risk facing the local legal system.

No acts of violence –Teams working together must learn to respect and trust each other, therefore any acts of violence (which includes serious verbal threats of violence or bullying) between participants, or participants and others in the community or staff will not be tolerated.

Don’t put others at risk – Your behaviour during the programme must not prejudice the safety and wellbeing of any member of the group, or the progress of projects. Raleigh has a strict set of Health & Safety Guidelines that inform every activity we do – these are based on over 30 years of experience running programmes and making us a leader in safety standards of British organisations working abroad in remote areas. Everyone participating on a Raleigh programme is expected to adhere to these guidelines. At its worst, illness or injury occurring as a result of flagrantly ignoring safety considerations could result in legal claims of negligence against individuals.

No inappropriate relationships during Programmes – There is a requirement of oversight and guidance from Volunteer Managers / Team Leaders to Volunteers as role models and mentors; as a result, no intimate relationships between Volunteer Managers / Team Leaders / Duty Operations Managers / Country Office Volunteers and Volunteers (regardless of age) are allowed during the programme. Nor are intimate relationships between any Raleigh participants (Volunteer Managers / Team Leaders / Duty Operations Managers / Country Office Volunteers and Volunteers) and community members, project partners and service providers permitted. Whether or not it is illegal in the country you work in, purchasing or coercing sexual acts is prohibited.

Respect local traditions and customs – All participants should seek to be discreet and sensitive in how we operate and should show respect for the way of life of those who accept us into their country and communities. We have much to learn from each other’s cultures and, as an ambassador for your own country, it is important to understand local traditions and behaviours and be sensitive to them at all times.

Take only photographs, leave only footprints – The potential impact of a project group, both environmentally and socially, is very high. It is important to minimise any detrimental effect that we might have on the environment by respecting and protecting the environment for its own sake and for future inhabitants and visitors.

Safeguarding and Welfare – Raleigh is committed to working inclusively to overcome discrimination and social exclusion, bringing people together from different backgrounds to promote and celebrate diversity. All participants who take part in projects organised by Raleigh or who are influenced by our work should do so without the fear of any physical, sexual or emotional harm or neglect. Some participants on Raleigh programmes are under 18 years of age and there are frequently children in the local community with whom Raleigh programme participants have regular contact. Raleigh International recognises that vulnerability is a complex concept, and that anybody of any age could also be in a position where they are vulnerable, particularly in an unfamiliar environment. Participants should, at all times, show respect and understanding for people’s rights and their safety and welfare, and should conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of Raleigh and helps protect themselves and others from harm. We have a detailed and proactive Safeguarding Policy and have appointed a Safeguarding team in the UK and in every country where we work. Safeguarding Officers act to protect people from harm, and to ensure swift, decisive action to counteract any risk of danger to an individual. All participants on a Raleigh programme are expected to abide by this policy, which includes the requirement to act in a way which protects themselves from potential allegation, and always confidentially report any Safeguarding concerns to a member of Raleigh staff.

Equal Opportunities – Raleigh strives to conduct all its activities within an equal opportunities framework and is committed to taking every measure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all young people with whom we work regardless of gender, age, stage of development, disability, sexual orientation, religion, culture, or ethnicity.

Photographs – Raleigh reserves the right to use any photographic material or video that you send to any staff member during or after the course of the programme on our website or other marketing materials. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the permission of any person featuring in a photograph or video sent to us.

Communication Technology – Raleigh requires participants to be sensitive when taking personal mobile phones or laptops on community projects. The communities we work with are generally remote and economically disadvantaged. Although not always evident at the outset, your separation from the outside world vastly enhances the experience you can achieve in such communities and environments. In addition, your ability to keep such costly items safe and protected is vastly reduced in such contexts and the insurance we provide may not cover a personal loss in such situations. This does not mean there will be no ability to communicate with home. We also ask you not to post on social media when you are on placement. Your posts might be interpreted and used in a way that it was intended, or in a way which does not align with Raleigh’s external communications policy,..Your programme staff will advise you on how you can gain access to communications technology for emergencies or non-emergency contact at the start of your placement.

In addition to these fundamental principles, by signing the code of conduct you agree to:

  • Participate fully in the programme, but at the same time, recognise that the nature of these aspects varies in each placement and there is no experience guaranteed by the programme
  • Not take part in activities that may be incompatible with the objectives of the programme
  • Not participate in any activity or work for personal monetary gain
  • Not hitch-hike during the programme
  • Not drive any motorised vehicle unless specifically authorised to do so by Raleigh
  • Not ride on any motorbikes, motorised scooters, mopeds or bicycles as driver or passenger
  • Not to get a tattoo or piecing of any sorts
  • Not use any computer or download anything or use external devices such as memory sticks without the express permission of the owner and not download any inappropriate programmes or material to the computer.
  • Not possess or circulate any offensive or pornographic material
  • Not take leave from the programme, unless to attend a family emergency, and only then with the permission of the country management team.
  • Return to the UK on the flight provided by Raleigh International (UK ICS volunteers only). This might not be able to be accommodated and is reviewed as and when it happens.

5. If you fail to live up to the Code of Conduct

If you breach this code, there is a process for initial warnings and guidance to prevent recurrence. There is a three-step warning system;

  • Verbal Warning
  • Written Warning
  • Removal from programme.

The final decision on how we will respond to infringements of the Code of Conduct rests with our Country Staff in consultation with Raleigh’s Head Office in London. If you are required to leave the programme you will be responsible for any additional costs incurred by you for your onward travel.

6. Conclusion

The success of the programme depends on participants treating each other, and all members of host communities, with respect. The repercussions of inappropriate behaviour in a cross-cultural exchange are often impossible for participants to foresee, or even to understand during their quite short involvement. Decisions that may seem sensible to one person, or to a small group of people, can sometimes put an entire programme at risk. To help guard against these problems, all participants must conform to this code of conduct. In our experience, this forms the foundation for a successful programme.

7. Agreement

I have read and fully accept the above. The information I have provided to Raleigh International to date is, to the best of my knowledge true and accurate.

In signing this agreement, I confirm my acceptance of a place on a Raleigh International Programme.