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Code of Conduct

For those affiliated to Scottish Book Trust and its programmes


Thank you for working with us to share the joy of books, stories, reading and writing. Since 1998, our mission at Scottish Book Trust has been to bring the joy of reading, writing and books to everyone in Scotland.

We believe that reading and writing for pleasure have the power to transform lives. We also believe that the spirit and manner in which our programmes are delivered, and our relationships are conducted, managed and developed, are also of the highest importance.

To ensure that our programmes are delivered to the highest standards we ask all those affiliated with our programmes to agree to the Code of Conduct below.

Other related documents include Scottish Book Trust's Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Intent, Child Protection policy, Vulnerable Adult policy and our social media guidelines.

Our commitment to equalities, diversity and inclusion

Expected standards of behaviour

We expect that all those affiliated with our programmes will act in a way that upholds the standards indicated above. Please note that:

At all times we would expect that affiliates act in a way that is professional, respectful and appropriate. We require the same of representatives from partner and host organisations, and from Scottish Book Trust itself and employees.

An affiliate's conduct outside the ambit of Scottish Book Trust programme activities is normally a matter for the individual. Scottish Book Trust is not an adjudicatory body for such matters. However, when presented with clear and unambiguous evidence of serious public misconduct, we reserve the right to address that misconduct, even if not committed on Scottish Book Trust time, if in our view that misconduct:

Scottish Book Trust does not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind. Scottish Book Trust has expected behaviours that underpin its values see our Scottish Book Trust Values. These seek to convey not just what people do, but how they do it. These behaviours include the need to be respectful and to preserve another person's dignity. Any interactions that take place in person or online, must be cognizant of this regardless of the other person's opinion or behaviour. Our Bullying and Harassment policy is available from your Scottish Book Trust contact.

Child and vulnerable adult protection

We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults to keep them safe, and we are committed to carrying out our activities in a way that protects them. The majority of Scottish Book Trust work happens in community settings such as schools and libraries, where children or vulnerable adults are in groups and accompanied by teachers/librarians and/or carers and support workers, as well as our staff. Staff members or freelancers should never be left alone with, or in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. In these circumstances, if you have a concern about a child's or vulnerable adult's safety or welfare, you should speak to the 'named person' or responsible adult in the school, library or other community venue you are working in. The issue should also be reported to your Scottish Book Trust staff contact as soon as possible. If the host organisation informs you of health and safety, child protection or public liability insurance policies and/or procedures that apply during your visit, you must follow them.

Affiliates must respect information gained in the course of professional practice, e.g. creative writing workshops, unless risks to the wellbeing of an individual require disclosure to the host organisation or school. Please read our child protection policy. If you would like to be listed as available to deliver events for audiences including vulnerable adults, you must also review our our vulnerable adult policy.

Social media

We really appreciate your support in spreading the power and joy of books, reading and writing. Social media can be a powerful tool for doing this.

Please be aware that our Code of Conduct applies to both online and offline behaviour e.g. online bullying and harassment. If you reference your affiliation with us online, for example in your Twitter biography or any other biography or content, we require you to agree to the Good Practice Social Media guidelines that are included as an addendum to this Code of Conduct. You can read our social media guidelines here.


Defining misconduct

Misconduct is when the behaviour, actions or conduct of an event organizer, author, or affiliate does not meet the expected standards:

While this Code of Conduct sets out expected standards of behaviour, it also seeks to convey not just what people do, but how they do it, while representing or supported by Scottish Book Trust. These standards emphasise the need to be respectful and professional at all times. If it is clear that an event organizer, author or affiliate has not been respectful or professional, this is misconduct.

Appendix 1 lays out our approach to reporting and investigation misconduct.

Appendix 1 Reporting and investigating misconduct

Reporting misconduct

Investigating misconduct

We will ask to see evidence e.g. emails or other written communication relating to possible misconduct. We may request to meet you, or the organisation in person, or contact you by phone to ask further questions about the alleged misconduct. We will keep a confidential record that a complaint has been made and any actions arising from that complaint.

Please note that we cannot respond to, act on, or make decisions based solely on information that has been posted or shared online e.g. social media, website comment, blog entry or on information relayed indirectly e.g. rumour.

The appropriate Head of Programme, or member of staff will submit a report outlining a potential breach of this Code of Conduct to the Senior Management team at Scottish Book Trust. The Senior Management Team will then review the evidence submitted and make a decision on whether further action is necessary.

If you are listed as a storyteller on the author directory and an accredited storyteller on the Directory of Storytellers (TRACS)(this link will open in a new window), you should also read our page on investigating misconduct in the storytelling community.

Addressing misconduct

If misconduct by an affiliate has occurred in person or online, we may take some, or all, of the following steps, as appropriate: