Code of Conduct


The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations is committed to maintaining best practices within the Payroll Giving sector.

Code of Conduct

The member organisations of the Association who are the Payroll Giving Agencies (PGAs), the Professional Fundraising Organisations (PFOs) and the Payroll Donor Management Agencies (PDMAs) agree to adhere to the Code of Conduct, ensuring that all of their employees and contractors are fully conversant with its content and are committed to applying it in practice.

The Association will require its members to adhere to this Code of Conduct when engaging with all stakeholders involved in Payroll Giving, including the employer organisations and their employees, the charities and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

All Members of the Association will:

  •  Adhere to the letter and spirit of this Code of Conduct.
  • Adhere at all times to the legal requirements of the Charities Act 2011, and any amendments made to it from time to time, and any other regulations for Scotland and Northern Ireland in the same manner.
  • Adhere at all times to the legal requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and any amendments made to it from time to time.
  • Ensure that the Code of Conduct is fully understood by their employees and applied in practice.
  • Do nothing which denigrates or brings into disrepute Payroll Giving in general or any of the members of the APGO.
  • When required will cooperate with other members of the APGO in resolving any issues with employers, donors, charities or other organisations.
  • Actively promote and support Payroll Giving, the Payroll Giving Quality Marks and The National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards.

Payroll Giving Agencies (PGA’s) are regulated by HMRC and they are solely responsible for ensuring that donations deducted from employee wages/salaries are paid to the nominated charities. Only the PGA’s handle and manage the funds deducted. PGA’s are registered charities and not-for-profit organisations and their charges are recouped either by deduction from the value of individual donations or by a charge to the employer.

Payroll Giving Agencies will:

  • Pay donations to nominated charities within 35 days of receipt of the funds from the employer and the accompanying deduction information.
  • Adhere at all times to the legal and statutory requirements applicable to Payroll Giving.
  • Give full co-operation in transferring details of donors and charities in the event of a contract being ‘switched’ to another PGA.
  • Work with employers, charities and other members of the APGO to increase the take up of Payroll Giving, the number of donors and the value of donations to charity.
  • Exchange key statistics to enable the Association, Government, the media and charities to develop an accurate picture of Payroll Giving.
  • On all single agreement companies, liaise with the relevant Professional Fundraising Organisation on any administration queries that may arise in the processing of donations.

Professional Fundraising Organisations (PFO’s) are funded by UK charities to promote Payroll Giving on their behalf. PFO’s are paid a fee by their supporting charities only if new donors choose to give to those charities. They are engaged by employer organisations to promote and facilitate Payroll Giving donations to all charities. The PFOs do not handle or process any of the monies deducted.

Professional Fundraising Organisations will:

  • Respect the Single PFO Agreement between a named PFO and an Employer.
    Note – The Single Agreement is an agreement between an employer and a named PFO. This in general allows that PFO access to the employer’s premises under arrangement made with local management, subject to all requirements required by the employer. All other members can request permission to promote within that company but the approach must be made at Head Office/National level.
  • Ensure that their staff and any sub contracted employees, when promoting Payroll Giving: Wear, at all times, in plain sight, the Identity Badge provided by the PFO which contains the statement required under the Charities Act 1992, Part 2 Section 60 (1), and, if asked, describe their role as ‘representing’ or ‘working on behalf’ of client charities
  • Ensure that undue pressure is not placed upon potential donors to sign a pledge for Payroll Giving.
  • Not try to persuade existing donors to change their donation to another charity.
  • Act honestly and in a manner that does not mislead.
  • Not knowingly disseminate misleading or false information in the course of their professional duties.
  • Inform donors that payroll donations are a regular and ongoing contribution.
  • State that they represent their PFO and no other.
  • Make it clear that they are not volunteer fundraisers.
  • Allow donors to select ANY charity to support, even if the charity is not represented by that PFO.
  • Respect the wishes of a donor to remain anonymous and/or not to receive any literature or information.
  • Work together willingly and respectfully to resolve any business misunderstandings or disagreements keeping conversations confidential between those involved.
  • Each PFO and their fundraisers must make the solicitation statement as defined in the Charities Act 2006 before they sign any employee up to Payroll Giving (this includes online sign ups also).

PDMAs will:

  • Remain impartial and treat all commercially sensitive data, such as donor attrition rates as confidential from all third parties with the exception of the charity client.

Download a copy of the APGO Code of Conduct

APGO Disciplinary Procedure

Purpose and scope

This procedure is designed to help and encourage all member organisations of the APGO, their employees and sub-contractors (where appropriate), to achieve and maintain standards of conduct, meeting attendance and business protocols. The APGO Code of Conduct (above) this procedure apply to all APGO members with the aim being to ensure consistent and fair treatment.


Informal action will be considered, where appropriate, to resolve problems.

No disciplinary action will be taken against a member organisation until the case has been fully investigated. The investigation panel will comprise the APGO Chair and at least one other member organisation.

For formal action the organisation will be advised of the nature of the complaint and will be given the opportunity to state its case before any decision is made.

Organisations will be provided, where appropriate, with written copies of evidence and relevant witness statements in advance of an investigation meeting.

No organisation will be removed from the APGO for a first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct, when the penalty will be instant removal with no possibility of rejoining for a minimum of two years.

An organisation will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action.

The procedure

First stage of formal procedure

  • A written warning for business practice or behaviour that does not meet acceptable standards. This will set out the problem, the change that is required, the timescale, any help that may be given and the right of appeal. The organisation will be advised that it constitutes the first stage of the formal procedure. A record of the change note will be kept for 12 months, but will then be considered spent – subject to achieving and sustaining accepted business practice and behaviour.

Final written warning

  • If the offence is sufficiently serious, or if there is further misconduct or a failure to improve practice and behaviour during the period of a prior warning, a final written warning may be given to the organisation. This will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the timescale. It will also warn that failure to improve may lead to immediately removal and will refer to the right of appeal. A copy of this written warning will be kept by the APGO Chair but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after 12 months subject to achieving and sustaining satisfactory conduct and practice.

Removal or other sanction

If there is still further misconduct or failure to improve practice and behaviour the final step in the procedure may be removal from the APGO. Removal decisions can only be taken by the APGO Chair and the organisation will be provided in writing with reasons for their removal, the date on which their removal from the APGO will commence, and the right of appeal.

Gross misconduct

The following list provides some examples of offences which are normally regarded as gross misconduct (this list is not definitive):

  • a deliberate breach of the APGO Code of Conduct
  • physical violence or bullying
  • a serious breach of the pertaining parts of the Charities Acts 1992, 2006 and 2011 and the Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR)
  • a willful breach of the PFO Single Agreement List
  • a willful breach of the APGO Service Level Agreement
  • serious misuse of another organisation’s property or name
  • unlawful discrimination or harassment
  • bringing Payroll Giving or the APGO into serious disrepute
  • causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence
  • deliberate refusal to cooperate with other members of the APGO in resolving any issues with employers, donors, charities or other organisations
  • theft or fraud

If you are accused of an act of gross misconduct, your organisation may be suspended from the APGO, normally for no more than ten working days, while the alleged offence is investigated. If, on completion of the investigation and the full disciplinary procedure, the organisation is satisfied that gross misconduct has occurred, the result will normally be summary removal from the APGO without notice.


An organisation that wishes to appeal against a disciplinary decision must do so within five working days. The APGO Chair will hear all appeals and his/her decision is final. At the appeal any disciplinary penalty imposed will be reviewed.

The procedure may be implemented at any stage if the organisation’s alleged misconduct warrants this.

Download a copy of the APGO Disciplinary Procedure 


The statutes of this Association are:

  • To abide by the laws of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • To abide by the Association’s formal Code of Conduct for operation of the business of Payroll Giving fundraising
  • To abide by the Association’s recognised standard of training for all staff employed in the operation of the business of Payroll Giving fundraising
  • To adopt the procedures as laid down by the Association
  • To abide by the Association’s formal complaints and disciplinary procedure
  • To abide by the Association’s administration procedure