EIWH Code of Conduct for Board members.

This provides and outlines standards of behaviour expected of our Board members.

Board Members of the European Institute of Women’s Health
Code of Conduct

The members of the Board of the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) have a responsibility to observe the highest standards of propriety and act in the best interests of the EIWH.

This code outlines the standards of behaviour expected of board members and the consequences if these standards are not met.

Members of the Board of the European Institute of Women’s Health have a duty to comply with our constitutional and legal requirements and to preserve confidence in the organisation. Members are accountable to staff, stakeholders, beneficiaries and members of the EIWH for the effectiveness of the board and performance of the organisation.

The aim of the Code of Conduct is to ensure that the organisation is:

Effective in achieving its objectives and goals
Operating with integrity and responsibility
Productive and supportive of staff and its advisers

Each board member is asked to abide by the Code of Conduct and to sign their declaration accordingly.

Equality and Diversity

Board members’ behaviour and attitudes must be consistent with the values of the EIWH. The EIWH promotes equal opportunities and diversity at board level and members are expected to respect and support these aims. The board should reflect a mix of member representatives, beneficiaries and 16 external representatives.

While board members may be nominated by a particular group, they should act in an individual capacity and must not as representative of that group while acting as a board member.


The members of the Board of the EIWH should conduct themselves in a manner which does not damage or undermine the reputation of organisation, its staff or fellow board members.

Board members are required to use their knowledge, expertise and experience to make the best decisions they can in the interest of the EIWH. Board members should take decisions solely in terms of the EIWH’s interest and not for their personal or material benefit. Members are equally responsible for all decisions made. Board members should act as champions for the EIWH at all times and promote its work and reputation.


Board members must treat each other, members of staff and others they encounter when working in their role with respect and courtesy at all times.


Board members must dedicate sufficient time to preparing for and attending board meetings to ensure they can add value and effectively contribute to the work of the EIWH and the needs of its members.

Openness and Accountability

Board members must be open, responsive and accountable to each other, members of staff and other stakeholders about their decisions and actions. Members must disclose anything in their past that could cause potential risk to the reputation of the EIWH – such as removal from any previous governance role or membership of organisations which may conflict with the objectives of the EIWH.

Board members should copy the secretariat when externally communicating on behalf of the EIWH and only use their Eurohealth email address for any official communications.

Conflicts of Interest

The European Institute of Women’s Health has a register of interests in relation to board members. Board members must therefore notify the board of any relevant changes in their interests. Board members should identify and promptly declare any actual, potential or perceived conflicts affecting them. They must make known any danger of bias and, if required, absent themselves from any discussion where any such conflict could arise..


In carrying out their role, including making appointments, awarding contracts, recommending individuals for rewards and benefits or making business transactions, members should ensure that decisions are made solely on merit.

If members do not have expertise themselves to make an objective decision, appropriate professional advice should be sought.

Board members must respect the status of the confidential issues they read and discuss and maintain the confidentiality of board meetings. Members must at all times respect the Data Protection Policy of the EIWH.

Gifts and Hospitality

Members should avoid accepting gifts and hospitality that might reasonably be thought to influence their judgement or compromise the neutrality of the EIWH. Any gift or hospitality received over the value of €50 should be declared to the Board.

Breaches of the Code

In cases where there is a concern that a board member has breached this code, the matter will be reviewed by the Chair and another board member (or two) appointed by the Chair, who will make a recommendation to the board. The board can decide whether to discuss the recommendation in closed session. The board member in question will accept the decision of the board, including a requirement to resign.