Schools operating overseas – proposed External Conduct Standards

Schools operating overseas may find themselves subject to new standards of governance, called External Conduct Standards.

This week, the proposed External Conduct Standards were tabled in Parliament. Unless they are disallowed, the External Conduct Standards will come into effect on 1 July 2019 and operate in addition to the existing ACNC Governance Standards.

These standards will cover a range of activities – including sending funds overseas from Australia – and are intended to provide a minimum level of assurance that charities meet appropriate standards of governance and behaviour when operating outside Australia.

The proposed standards cover:

  • Activities and control of resources (including funds)
  • Annual review of overseas activities and record keeping
  • Anti fraud and anti corruption
  • Protection of vulnerable individuals

Until the proposed standards come into effect, Schools and charities affected are not required to take any action.

To maximise the time available for planning, however, schools may choose to review the proposed standards and consider them within the context of their own overseas activities.  The ACNC will be providing further advice over coming months.