NDNA Code of Conduct for Members – Policy

NDNA Vision

For all children and families to flourish through high quality early childhood education and care.

NDNA Mission

To lead and empower the sector so that nurseries and the early years workforce deliver sustainable, high quality early childhood education and care.

The reputation of NDNA is vital in enabling achievement of its mission and vision for the early years sector. As a membership body, members have a duty to one another to uphold high standards of professional conduct that maintain and enhance the reputation of NDNA.  By committing to the code of conduct themselves in this way, members benefit one another by promoting NDNA as an organisation of good standing, enabling it to maximise its influence in the promotion and support of day nurseries and the vital service they deliver to children and families.

Members’ Commitments

When members join NDNA, they make the following commitments to the charity and to one another:

  • To support NDNA’s mission and vision 
  • To aim to provide high quality care and early learning 
  • To conduct themselves in a professional manner when representing NDNA and fellow members 
  • To uphold the good name of NDNA 
  • To deal honestly and fairly in business with fellow members, employees, competitors, parents, partner organisations and the public 
  • Not to make detrimental public statements about fellow members or NDNA and its staff 
  • Not to hold an official position within NDNA whilst holding an official position in an organisation where their objectives and/or terms of reference conflict or compete with those of NDNA 
  • To comply with the data protection standards in the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) and outlined in our own Data Protection Policy. 
  • If members are approached by the media on sector issues, the NDNA Policy and PR Team will be able to support and advise. Any comments regarding NDNA and its activities in the media or on social media must be kept professional, constructive and avoid any personal criticisms.
  • To behave in a way that shows respect to all our staff. Aggressive/abusive behaviour, either in person or online will not be tolerated. Failure to comply with this will be considered a contravention of the Members’ Commitments under this Code of Conduct and will be dealt with as outlined in this Code of Conduct.

NDNA’s Commitments

  • Our vision, mission, Memorandum and Articles of Association and Customer Charter inform NDNA’s commitments to members. 
  • In all our work with and on behalf of members we commit: 
  • To promote NDNA’s mission 
  • To deliver services that support members to provide high quality care and early learning 
  • To conduct ourselves in a professional manner when representing members 
  • To uphold the good name of NDNA 
  • To deal honestly and fairly with members, employees, competitors, parents, partner organisations and the public. 


NDNA will notify existing members of the introduction of this Code [and will make available a copy of this Code of Conduct on the NDNA website]. The Strategic Board has approved the final wording and adoption of the Code of Conduct. Existing members are deemed to accept this Code of Conduct from the date of implementation of 1 April 2010 in accordance with article 75 of the Articles of Association.

New members will be made aware of this Code of Conduct and required to commit to it when they join NDNA.

This Code of Conduct will be binding on all members throughout the term of their membership, and non-compliance with this Code of Conduct may lead to expulsion as a member, without the refund of membership fees.

The Code of Conduct may be amended by NDNA from time to time in accordance with the Articles of Association.

Monitoring, Investigations and Sanctions

All NDNA members and staff will be responsible for monitoring this Code of Conduct and investigations into allegations that members have broken the code and any sanctions will be made following the NDNA Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure.​​

NDNA Code of Conduct for Members – Complaints Procedure

This Code of Conduct is intended to clarify the procedure to be followed in circumstances where the Strategic Board is considering the exercising of its right to sanction a member for conduct prejudicial to NDNA the Articles of Association.


Complainant – person making a formal complaint about a member.

Defendant – member about whom a formal complaint has been made.

Misconduct – any action that is contrary to the standards expected of a member which are outlined in the NDNA Code of Conduct.


  • To ensure that this Code of Conduct is upheld, from time to time it may be necessary to conduct investigations into instances of misconduct or complaints against NDNA members. These investigations: 
  • Will uphold the principle that defendants are innocent of all allegations until the formal process has been concluded and a decision reached 
  • Will ensure a fair hearing for the defendant through a committee process with the right to appeal 
  • Will be conducted as quickly, confidentially and professionally as possible to minimise distress to all concerned 
  • Complainants will be identified to defendants, except in the most extreme circumstances where the Chief Executive of NDNA judges that to do so might endanger the complainant 
  • Complaints judged to be vexatious, for example if they are not substantiated in writing or with evidence, will not be considered, and members found to be making vexatious complaints are themselves considered to be in breach of this Code of Conduct 
  • Wherever reasonable NDNA will seek to conciliate to resolve any possible complaint before pursuing the formal complaints procedure 
  • Legal responsibility – NDNA shall have no liability to any member or third party for any member’s non-compliance with the law. All members agree to abide by the law, in particular not to defame anyone or commit libel. Members indemnify NDNA against any damage, costs, expenses or other claims for compensation arising from any material supplied by members which is indecent, untrue, defamatory, libelous or otherwise contrary to the legal rights of other members or third parties 
  • Members who have been expelled or otherwise sanctioned under this Code of Conduct shall have no claim against NDNA (whether in contract or in tort, including negligence) in the absence of manifest error on the part of NDNA in applying this Code of Conduct to the case in question. 
  • The Code of Conduct Committee’s decision is final.

Making complaints

  • Any NDNA member may bring a complaint against an NDNA member who they believe to be in breach of this Code of Conduct 
  • It will be the duty of members to bring to the attention of Membership Services Manager a complaint against a member who they believe to be in breach of the Code of Conduct. 

Complaints process

  • A person wishing to make a complaint will be sent a copy of this Code of Conduct and procedure by the Membership Services Manager and asked to confirm that they wish to make a formal complaint 
  • Complaints must be sent confidentially in writing to the Membership Services Manager and include full details and evidence of the alleged breach of this Code of Conduct 
  • Provided the complaint does fall within the scope of this Code of Conduct, the Membership Services Manager will send details of the complaint to the defendant and invite him or her to respond in writing within 10 working days 
  • A meeting of the Code of Conduct Committee will take place. The evidence from both the complainant and defendant will be examined and both parties will be invited to attend in person according to the Committee procedure below 
  • The Code of Conduct Committee may dismiss the complaint or may uphold or partially uphold the complaint and sanction the defendant 
  • If the defendant does not agree with the decision of the Committee, they may appeal within 10 working days to the Strategic Board by letter to the Chair of Trustees stating the reasons for appeal and providing relevant evidence 
  • The appeal will be heard at the next scheduled Strategic Board meeting. The Strategic Board may decide to uphold or overturn the decision of the Code of Conduct committee and the decision of the Board is final. The defendant will be notified of the Board’s decision within five working days of the meeting 
  • Complainants and defendants commit to recognise the sensitive nature of complaints under this process and will keep details confidential and not discuss publicly 
  • The Membership Services Manager will ensure that a record of any complaints, subsequent action and related correspondence is kept in a confidential central file at Head Office. 

Code of conduct committee

The Code of Conduct Committee will comprise of:

  • NDNA Trustee Chief Executive (Chair) 
  • Director of Business Development 
  • Membership Services Manager (Secretary)

Any Code of Conduct Committee members who have personal relationship with the defendant or complainant that represents a conflict of interest will be exempt from the process on the grounds of that conflict of interest and a substitute will be sought. If any committee members are unable to attend the meeting, the chair may appoint a suitable substitute, subject to the agreement of the defendant and complainant.​​

Procedure for Code of Conduct Committee Meeting

  • Introductions and confirmation that the Code of Conduct Committee members have no conflict of interest 
  • Defendant may be accompanied by one family member, staff member, friend or fellow NDNA member 
  • Procedure outlined and complaint summarised 
  • Complaint summary read and defendant’s written answer considered 
  • Complainant invited to present their grievance and defendant invited to respond followed by questions from the committee 
  • Complainant and defendant invited to call, by prior arrangement, any witnesses to give evidence and respond to questions from the Code of Conduct Committee 
  • Complainant, defendant, any companion and witnesses asked to withdraw whilst committee considers case 
  • Complainant, defendant and representative recalled and advised of judgement and any sanction verbally, confirmed in writing by Chair within five working days 
  • Chair of the Code of Conduct Committee writes to complainant within 10 working days (if not present at the meeting) to advise whether the complaint is upheld 
  • Minutes will be taken by the secretary and signed by the Chair on behalf of all Code of Conduct Committee members 
  • The Code of Conduct Committee may consider any evidence, whether oral or written 
  • Decisions will be taken by the Code of Conduct Committee on the basis of what is reasonable on the balance of probabilities 
  • If the Code of Conduct Committee is not unanimous the decision can be taken on a majority of over 50 per cent of those Code of Conduct Committee members in attendance.


The Code of Conduct Committee may make one or more of the following sanctions according to the severity of the breach:

  • A written reprimand 
  • Suspension of membership for up to three years 
  • Exclusion from holding an official post such as network officer or Trustee or from representing NDNA at any external event or occasion for up to one year 
  • Permanent exclusion from membership 

No refund of paid membership fees will be made in the event of the above sanctions.

Within 21 days of being expelled or suspended as a member, the defendant must stop using the NDNA logo, the name NDNA or any trademarks associated with NDNA. They should take down any signage and stop using any stationery etc. incorporating the logo or the name.

Where the complainant is NDNA

Where the complainant is NDNA regarding member conduct which has been witnessed and/or directly experienced by staff and/or Trustees, this can be dealt with outside of the Complaints Procedure and in line with 8.1(iii) of the Membership Terms and Conditions. However, wherever possible, NDNA will in the first instance, request that the defendant rectify or cease their contravening conduct before taking action. If they fail to do so within 7 working days [If this is intended to be a normal week, should stipulate 5 working days, if say a fortnight state 10 working days], evidence will be gathered, presented to and considered by the Code of Conduct Committee, a sanction given and communicated to the Member concerned. The Code of Conduct Committee’s decision is final.


* ‘members’ are members of NDNA’s National Membership Council as defined by the charity’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. 

Nothing in this Code of Conduct shall affect the statutory rights of consumers, or the liability of NDNA for death or personal injury caused by its negligence, or its liability for fraud.

Approved by Board March 2024