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Compact agreement

What is the Compact?

The Compact is an agreement between the government and the voluntary and community sector. It sets out key principles and establishes a way of working that improves their relationship for mutual advantage. It was made in November 1998, and renewed in 2010.

It considers areas such as involvement in policy design and consultation, funding arrangements (including grants and contracts), promoting equality, ensuring better involvement in delivering services, and strengthening independence.

The Compact agreement plays a key role in cross sector working and ensuring that organisations are better able to influence and deliver services and policies which will have the most positive impact within their community.

For resources and best practice examples on embedding the Compact into your work visit the Compact Voice website.

Working with government

The way the voluntary sector organisations work with government is changing. Contracting with government is increasing, consortia and partnership arrangements are on the up. As relationships develop it is increasingly important to make sure that it does so on a fair and equitable basis. This includes:

  • proper notice being given for funding decisions
  • reasonable contract terms being agreed and entered into
  • the independence of voluntary sector organisations being respected and upheld.

Working with statutory bodies

If you think that a statutory body has not followed Compact principles you should try and raise this with them, along with constructive suggestions for how they can improve. Challenging bad practice can often lead to a better relationship and better outcomes for your organisation.

Read our factsheet, Effective dispute resolution tactics, and find out how we've worked with organisations to successfully overcome these common issues such as full cost recovery, compromised independence, funding issues and many more. 

Our full range of guides show how we have worked with organisations to overcome many issues using the Compact agreement.

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