V4CE’s Compact Journey

The Compact was developed from recommendations made by the Deakin Commission Report on the Future of the Voluntary Sector, in 1996, and from the policy document Building the Future Together, in 1997.

The Deakin Commission concluded that Government should recognise the legitimacy of the voluntary and community sector's diverse roles and its own responsibility to promote a healthy sector. It proposed a 'concordat' drawn up between representatives of government and the sector, laying down basic principles for future relations. Building the Future Together concluded that a Compact, underpinned by a set of principles, was necessary as the basis for a partnership between government and the voluntary and community sector.

The Compact Timeline

1996   Deakin Commission calls for government/sector formal agreement through Future of the Voluntary Sector.

1997   Labour Party publishes Building the Future Together.

1998   National Compact launched.

2000   Funding Code published.

2000   Consultation and Policy Appraisal Code published.

2001   Black and Minority Ethnic Groups Code published.*

2001   Volunteering Code published (revised 2005).

2003   Community Groups Code published.

2007   Commission for the Compact established.

2008   Legal review of the BME Compact Code of Practice recommends that the BME Code should be strengthened as to ensure it properly reflects the legal obligations of the statutory sector.

2008   Voice4Change England (V4CE) responds to the Compact debate around the future of the Compact. In our response we recommended that the Commission for the Compact undertake an Equality Impact Assessment on proposed changes to the Compact; the BME Code remain as a distinct section; and any proposed changes give the Compact ‘teeth’.

2009   V4CE responds to the consultation on the review of the BME Compact Code of Practice. In our response we recommended that the BME Code should remain as a distinct section; equalities more broadly should underpin the entire Compact; any revised BME Code needs an implementation plan with clear, measurable targets.

2009   V4CE recruits a BME Compact Officer.

2009   V4CE responds to the consultation on the refresh of the Compact. In our response we recommended that the six essential commitments of the BME Code should be included in the refreshed Compact; references to public law remedies should be made; clear references to BME and other equality groups’ specialist services should be given through out the new equality section as examples, case studies and action point checklists.

2009   Refreshed national Compact published.

2010   Coalition Government comes into power.

2010   Coalition Government announces renewal of national Compact.

2010   V4CE involved in negotiations with Compact Voice, Office for Civil Society and Government Equalities Office over content of the equalities section in the renewed Compact.

2010   V4CE responds to the consultation on the renewed Compact. In our response we recommended that there was a clear alignment with the Equality Act 2010; the role and need for infrastructure support is recognised; and a national and local Ombudsman was put in place to deal with Compact non-compliance.

2010   Renewed Compact published along with accountability measures.

*Voice4Change England was forged from the BME sub-group on the Compact.