Conflict of Interest Policy

1. Rationale

A conflict of interest occurs when the private interests of an officer bearer, staff, volunteer or representative interfere, or appear to interfere with their association with CfA.  While the conflict itself does not amount to misconduct, the decision of a person to place their own interests before the interests of CfA is inappropriate and may amount to misconduct.  Where a conflict exists, actual, potential or perceived, the conflict must be identified be dealt with in a transparent and accountable way.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all office bearers, staff, volunteers and representatives of CfA.

3. Definitions

Conflict of Interest:  a situation in which a person has competing personal and professional interests.  Conflicts of Interest may be:

  • Actual:  involves a direct conflict between current duties and responsibilities and existing private interests.
  • Perceived: conflict exists where it could be perceived, or appears, that private interests could improperly influence the performance of duties, whether or not this is in fact the case.
  • Potential: arises where private interests could conflict with official duties.

4. Guiding Principles


Office bearers, staff, volunteers and other representatives of CfA are obliged to:

  • avoid and disclose ethical, legal, financial or other conflicts of interest, whether actual, potential or perceived;
  • remove themselves from decision-making with respect to any conflict of interest; and
  • take action when a conflict of interest has arisen, or could perceivably arise, as soon as the conflict of interest is identified.

A Board of Management member who has an interest in a matter before CfA must disclose the interest to the Board and the disclosure must be recorded in the Minutes.  If there is doubt as to the materiality of the interest, the Chair will decide whether conflict does or does not exist.  The Board member must not:

  • take part in discussion relating to that matter;
  • remain within hearing distance while that matter is being discussed; or
  • vote in relation to that matter.

Board members have an interest in a matter before CfA if they (or a person closely associated with them*) would  if the matter were decided in a particular manner receive or have a reasonable expectation of receiving a direct or indirect benefit or suffer or have a reasonable expectation of suffering a direct or indirect detriment.

*  A person is deemed to be closely associated if he/she is a spouse, de facto partner or relative, has received or might reasonably be expected to receive a fee, commission or other reward for providing professional or other services, is a proprietary company in which the person is a shareholder, or is a body corporate of which the person is a director a member of the governing body.

5. Interpretation

Where doubt exists as to nature of a perceived or potential conflict of interest officer bearers, staff or volunteers who have an interests in a matter before CfA should make judgements on the basis of the overall spirit and intent of this policy and may make confidential inquiries to the CEO or Chair of the Board of Management concerning the application of this policy without fear of disclosure or repercussion.  If they feel they have been disadvantaged as a result of this policy or believe this policy is not being adhered to, they should contact the CfA CEO or the Chair of the Board of Management.

6. Managing Risks of Conflict

Where staff, office bearers or volunteers have an interest in a matter before CfA and become aware of such a conflict. They must ensure that steps are taken to protect CfA’s interests.  Such steps might include:

  • Ensuring that they are not involved in decisions relating to employment, remuneration, disciplinary action, transfer, promotion or demotion;
  • Ensuring that an event does not give rise to conflicts of interest in the workplace through management/supervisory issues;
  • Ensuring that the conflict of interest does not create disturbances or lead to favouritism or disadvantage to others.

7. Acceptance of Gifts or Benefits

  • Office bearers, staff, volunteers and other representatives of CfA may not solicit any gifts or benefits, or accept any gifts or benefits that might in any way appear to compromise or influence them in their official capacity.  Where a gift or benefit has been offered (whether accepted or not) and the offer could constitute an attempt to induce favoured treatment, this should be reported.  If in any doubt, guidance should be sought.
  • If CfA is engaged in a tender process, no gift, no matter how small or insignificant, should be accepted from the tenderers.
  • Gifts to the organization of more than nominal value (eg a painting or a piece of equipment) are acceptable but should be disclosed to the Board of Management.

8. Examples of Conflict of Interest Activities and Relationships

The following activities illustrate types of potential or actual conflicts of interest that must be avoided and/or disclosed.  The list is not exhaustive and is provided as guidance only.

  • Conflicting duties:  participating in duties that may conflict with CfA’s interests;
  • Self-benefit:  using one’s relationship with CfA to promote one’s own interest or those of your family, including using confidential or privileged information gained in the course of that relationship, or employment at CfA for personal benefit or gain;
  • Conflicting relationships:  a situation in which the relationship between a member of CfA, assessor (or examiner) and a trainee may compromise an unbiased assessment;
  • Influence peddling:  soliciting benefits for yourself or your family from other organisations in exchange for using your influence to advance their interests with CfA;
  • Business relationship:  approving grants or contracts with other organisations in which you or your family have a significant financial or other interest, particularly if you are in a position to influence major decisions, are responsible for review, negotiation and approval of grants or contacts, or otherwise direct CfA’s business dealings;
  • Intellectual property:  unauthorized use of materials developed under the aegis of CfA or potential conflicts relating to the development and use of such material.
  • Property transactions:  directly or indirectly leasing, renting, trading or selling real estate or personal property to CfA.
  • Use of CfA property:  using or taking CfA resources, including facilities, equipment, personnel and supplies, for private use or other unauthorized activities.
  • Recording or reporting false information:  misrepresenting, withholding or falsifying relevant information required to be reported to external parties, or used internally for decision-making purposes, in order to derive personal benefits.

Participation in social or political activities does not constitute a conflict of interest unless an office bearer participates as a representative of CfA.

9. References

9.1. Associated Documents

  • Constitution of Peter Hewitt Care for Africa Foundation Inc
  • Code of Conduct
  • Conflict of Interest Disclosure form (refer Annexure 1 below)

9.2. Acknowledgements

ACFID Conflict of Interest – policy and templates

This policy is based upon the policy adopted by the Australian Doctors for Africa which is in turn adapted from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Conflict of Interest Policy.

CFA-P6.V1 Conflict of Interest Policy – Effective Date: 26 April 2020 Document Approved By: Board of Management.

Controlled Document — Printed Versions are not controlled.