Ensuring quality and accountability begins with our members; from our criteria for those looking to become or remain a part of the DEC, to assessment processes throughout membership to make sure that everyone is both meeting those requirements and conforming to the DEC’s agreed ways of working. 

Our membership criteria

The DEC has formal criteria for membership which apply to both prospective and existing members.  The criteria are set and judged by the membership and nominations committee of the DEC board which is always led by an independent trustee.

Trustees have established that the DEC will have a maximum membership of 15 so that it remains manageable and cost effective. The purpose of the membership criteria is to help the trustees to ensure that the DEC consists of the UK’s leading aid agencies. 

To qualify as a member, organisations must meet strict governance, financial and programme quality requirements, including signing up to the highest external international aid standards. They must also show what diversity they can add to the DEC in addition to current members, in order to extend the reach of a DEC appeal and in providing global humanitarian aid.

Membership is reviewed every three years and up to 15 organisations which meet the criteria and make the strongest case for furthering the DEC’s objectives are selected.

Download our membership criteria here (PDF).

DEC ways of working

As part of membership, member agencies are also regularly reviewed to check they have the processes and systems in place to meet the criteria and commitments they have agreed to, and are conforming to the DEC ways of working.

It is by checking processes, and not only delivery of results, that we make certain that lessons learnt get locked into the way we work in the future, allowing for continuous improvements in the way we deliver aid. 

To monitor these systems, members conduct self assessments to examine their ways of working, which are then subject to peer challenge and external validation.



DEC accountability self-assessment validation 2012-13