Transferring the compact principle? Exploring the emergence of a code of practice between the private and third sector
Murdock, Alex (2012)

by Alex Murdock, London South Bank University

The history of compacts in the UK has been somewhat chequered. Both conspicuous by their ubiquity yet also challenged as having little impact and lacking teeth such compacts have nevertheless not been discarded as part of government policy with the third sector. Indeed the coalition government has ‘renewed’ the compact in a shorter form.

The emergence of issues between private sector primes and their third sector ‘partners’ has been the subject of a recent NCVO report. This perhaps highlights the need for a form of code of practice ( akin to the compact) to set out expectations and appropriate behaviour between the private sector and third sector. This has been associated with the development of a draft code of practice as a result of discussions between Serco, a major prime contractor, and NCVO, representing the third sector.

This paper explores this draft code of practice using the experience of the compact as a lens. The author was invited to join in aspects of the process and has previously been involved in research on the compact. The code builds upon existing advice and compliance requirements in addition to the compact: The paper will explore the possibilities that this code may enjoy a greater impact than that of the preceding compact and also the barriers and challenges it may confront in implementation.


Alex Murdock is Professor of Not for Profit Management and Leadership and Head of Centre for Government and Charity Management at London South Bank University

Alex is interested in the intersection of the public, private and third sectors. He has written on social enterprise, the voluntary sector and partnership and stakeholder approaches to organisational strategy. He is actively involved in charities and social enterprises as a trustee and board member. He has worked at The University of Paris (Sorbonne), Copenhagen Business School and Brunel University.

He qualified as a Probation Officer and worked in Social Work for 11 years . He has an MBA from the London Business School and Masters degrees in Public Administration from the USA and in Medical Sociology from the UK.

Download Presentation (pdf)

Presented at