Our member agencies engage with a number of initiatives designed to define good practice as part of their commitment to aim for the highest international standards.

Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)

DEC Trustees have adopted the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) as the key quality standard for DEC member charities and their programmes. In practice this means that all DEC members are externally verified against the nine commitments in the CHS through the CHS Verification Scheme and report their assessment results to the DEC Secretariat.

Full audit reports must be made accessible to the DEC Secretariat in order that a summary report can be prepared for the Membership and Accountability Committee in November each year and analysis undertaken to support learning activities amongst members.


The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.

Our members adhere to the Red Cross Code of Conduct which seeks to maintain high standards of behaviour among aid agencies providing disaster relief.


The Sphere Project defines minimum standards for aid work, covering areas such as the provision of shelter, food and the supply of water and healthcare, by which the global community responds to the plight of people affected by disasters and conflict.

The Sphere handbook sets out detailed guidance on how good programmes work across humanitarian aid sectors.