Ethics Policy

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    Dan standing watch over his kingdom, circa 2018

    The National Space Centre is a complex and growing charity with an increasingly global client base.  It has a wide range of stakeholders across its four business units.  It is the Trustees’ wish that all stakeholders view the National Space Centre in a positive light and trust it to act in an ethical manner at all times.

    The National Space Centre strives to be a trusted organisation creating a stimulating and welcoming environment in which to work, to visit, with whom to do business and as a supplier of information.  Its Ethics Policy sets out the standards that should be expected of its employees, customers and suppliers, and by which all actions should be governed.

National Space Centre: a place to work

Employees will be valued and treated with dignity and respect.  They should feel safe at work and in dealing with customers, and confident that they will not be the subject of bullying, harassment or discrimination.  They will act with professionalism, integrity and within the law.     

The National Space Centre will:

  1. Recruit people through a fair process that ensures that they have the skills and aptitude or else will be provided with adequate training to perform the role for which they are being recruited; ensure that all new starters are DBS-checked and that records are kept up to date.
  2. Pay at least the national living wage; pay what it can afford to pay to recruit and retain good people; set executive pay and annual pay reviews via a non-executive remuneration committee.
  3. Encourage employees to work contracted hours; ensure that longer hours are worked on a voluntary basis, and that the equivalent time off can be offered in lieu of overtime within four weeks of the occasion; have a clear policy for how overtime is compensated should ‘time off in lieu’ be considered impossible.
  4. Give suitable training to allow employees to do their jobs properly; seek to develop their skills to help them perform better; encourage employees to apply for other roles in the organisation should they wish to and should they be considered capable.
  5. Have clear employment guidelines and a clear disciplinary procedure; not tolerate inadequate performance, inappropriate behaviour, theft, fraud, aggression or threatening behaviour to other employees, customers or suppliers.
  6. Ensure that clear health & safety guidelines are visible and understood; that employees working in hazardous areas, with electricity or with tools are well-trained and competent in their handling and use; that access to the building and specific areas within the building is strictly controlled; that the evacuation procedure is understood and practised regularly, and that it is simple to find out instantly who is in the building at any point in time.
  7. Ensure that every employee knows who their line manager is and is able to speak freely and openly to them, yet in a respectful and constructive manner.
  8. Ensure that every employee receives training in how to cope with a difficult customer, and who they can call for help.
  9. Ensure that any employee required to speak to the media has proper media training, knows the subject matter in question and is willing to take part.
  10. Ensure that no individual uses his/her/their position for personal gain or to benefit another at the expense of the National Space Centre or its reputation, and declares any conflict of interest.

National Space Centre: a place to visit

Visitors to the National Space Centre should be confident that they and their group members are safe.  Content should be appropriate for the National Space Centre’s stated target market and be accurate, up-to-date, balanced and a-political. 

The National Space Centre will:

  1. Ensure that all aspects of the visitor attraction are safe before visitors arrive on site each day: ensure the car parks, entrance ramp and courtyard areas are easy to access and navigate; that access for disabled guests is as straightforward as it can be and that all aspects of the exhibition are checked for hazards before the doors open each day, and throughout the day.
  2. Have enough well-trained employees to manage ticket sales, visitor flow and visitor behaviour; to address poor visitor behaviour as soon as it arises; to evacuate the building in an efficient and safe manner should the need arise; to provide a first aid service with well-stocked facilities and simple contact with the emergency services; to provide clean and easily-accessed toilets and baby changing facilities.
  3. Ensure that all hygiene and food-handling standards are understood and adhered to; that a reasonable selection of food and drink is provided for those with specific dietary requirements and that healthy options, including fruit, sandwiches made with wholemeal bread and sandwiches made with low fat fillings, are available.
  4. Ensure that children on site without their parents or guardians are safe and well-supervised, and that safeguarding measures are in place to prevent harm. For more information, please refer to the Safeguarding Policy.
  5. Provide exhibition and live presentation content that is age-appropriate, accurate, up-to-date, balanced and a-political; to address any content that is considered to fall foul of any of these criteria as expediently as possible; to remove graffiti promptly and check regularly for litter and discarded chewing gum.
  6. Maintain strict control of on-line content: regularly monitor Website comments, Facebook and Twitter for abuse, foul language or anything else that might be considered inappropriate for a family audience; remain accurate, balanced and a-political in all postings on both the National Space Centre’s own website and on any other social media outlet; respond fairly and positively to customer comments, and report any postings that may be considered abusive, aggressive or otherwise inappropriate.
  7. Monitor event bookings and ensure that no event could be reasonably considered to cause offence, encourage bad behaviour or negatively influence the National Space Centre’s reputation as a credible science communication centre.
  8. Not lecture visitors to pursue a particular course of action or lifestyle; present matters such as climate change in a factual manner that stimulates debate, but without drawing conclusions that are not scientifically proven.

The National Space Centre: an organisation with whom to do business

Customers and suppliers should be able to trust the National Space Centre to trade in an ethical manner: to select potential suppliers that themselves trade ethically, negotiate in good faith, adhere to contractual obligation, pay what is due and collect debts in a socially acceptable manner.

The National Space Centre will:

  1. Conduct due research into major suppliers and customers (value >£10,000) to ensure that they trade ethically and respectfully, have no credit black-listing, have a track record of honouring contracts and paying when payments fall due, and can be expected to trade in an equitable manner; assess smaller suppliers and customers to a degree commensurate with any concern that may be held.
  2. Work with suppliers and customers in regions of the world that are accredited as suitable for export by the UK government; where it is safe to travel and where employees are in no undue danger; ensure that employees travelling overseas have suitable training in local customs, do nothing to upset or offend their hosts, have access to the funds required to complete the visit and have appropriate contact details should help be needed.
  3. Select at least three potential candidates for the supply of major services (>£10,000) wherever possible, or be able to explain fully if fewer than three candidates are considered; ensure that any employee declares openly any relationship with a potential supplier and acknowledges any potential conflict of interest.
  4. Provide accurate information in all grant-funding submissions; spend grant funding only on the product or service for which the funding is secured and properly acknowledge the contribution of grant funding or sponsoring bodies.
  5. Carry out due diligence on prospective donors and sponsors; provide accurate information in artefact loan submissions; keep artefacts in agreed environmental conditions and keep records of those conditions; keep artefacts out of reach of visitors where necessary and protect them from damage; acknowledge loan bodies where required and do nothing to embarrass a loan body or its reputation.

The National Space Centre: a source of information

The National Space Centre provides information on space, tourism and education both directly to the public and via the media.  Information must be credible and correct.

The National Space Centre will:

  1. Present facts that are known to be correct in a manner that is commensurate with its target audience; provide information on topics that are commensurate with its primary family audience; ensure a high quality of presentation with an excellent standard of written and spoken English, or accurate translation into other languages.
  2. Always conclude that science and scientific discipline is the best way to determine facts; invite opinion, but ensure that matters of opinion are clearly stated as such; permit debate on issues of opinion and provide a balanced platform, as far as is achievable, for different points of view to be aired.
  3. Secure the requisite approval before quoting third parties, and give third parties the right of reply when a potentially damaging news story breaks or where content or information could be considered detrimental to an individual or organisation.
  4. Consider requests for content that is not based on science-fact on their merits; when creating content or hosting events that are wholly or partly based on religion, remain free to declare that the National Space Centre in no way endorses any religious beliefs and that the beliefs are those of the contracting body.
  5. When hosting events based on science fiction or fantasy, ensure that nothing could be misconstrued as being science-fact and that such events occupy a proportionate minority of the National Space Centre’s opening hours.
  6. Present content or events based on military hardware, software or events in a balanced, factual manner; not endorse military activity and remain neutral in all associated matters of debate; present military technology in a factual manner without celebrating its capability or endorsing its use.