Reviewing the Code: what happens next

Priya Warner, former Head of Policy, Fundraising Regulator

I joined the Fundraising Regulator a few weeks in to the consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s safe to say that two things always run through my mind when I’m asking for views in a consultation - ‘will anyone read this?’ and ‘I really hope people respond’.

I’ve worked in regulation, setting standards and writing codes for many years, and can honestly say that there’s no such thing as “bad” feedback when it comes to a consultation. Each response can give a different perspective. Hearing about the impact of our proposals and whether we’ve got them right is critical to making sure that the standards we set are the right ones.

Our recent consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice focused on making the code easier to use and navigate. It closed in November 2018, so here’s a quick update on what we’ve been doing, what will happen next and how to stay involved.

The response

We received 114 responses, which we’ve been carefully considering. Your views on our approach and the detailed comments you gave us have been incredibly helpful.

Most of you supported our work to improve the code, but some suggested there is more we can do on issues like:

  • using ‘you’ in the code and who the code applies to
  • the scope of some rules
  • legal referencing and the use of asterisks
  • the rule referencing system (GR, FM and WO).

It’s also important that we’re open about the changes we make, so we’ll publish a report that summarises what we heard, what we’ve done (or not), and why.

What happens next?

As you can imagine, we’ve still got a lot to do. As well as making changes to the code, we’ve also got to make sure it’s legally accurate and written in plain English. Will it be possible to do both? Of course it will. We love a challenge!

We’ll publish the new code in summer 2019, but it won’t come in to effect until 3 months later. This allows you time to become familiar with it and to update your materials.

To help you find your way around the new code, we’ll speak to you and sector organisations to find out what support you need. Whether that’s a webinar, an event we speak at or additional guides to using the code.

In the autumn of 2019 we'll bring the new code to life on the web in a version that we hope will make it easier to navigate and search. If you haven’t already, please sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date on the latest developments.

Finally, I’m looking forward to meeting you all at conferences and events, and working with you in the future.