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Terms & conditions

ACEVO is a membership organisation and members must pay an annual fee, in addition to a joining fee, to belong.

Members have certain constitutional rights as set out in the Articles of Association.

The specific benefits of membership (other than those provided in the Articles) are at the discretion of ACEVO and may be varied from time to time without prior notice.

Members are entitled to benefits (subject to a qualifying period for certain services) from the date on which they join/renew until the earlier of (a) the anniversary of their joining/renewing and (b) the date on which ACEVO ceases operations.

ACEVO membership applies to the individual who joins as a member and not to their organisation (irrespective of who pays for the membership).

Members will be issued with a membership ID number which may be requested when a member seeks to access member benefits.

Code of conduct

ACEVO strives to create a warm and welcoming environment for all. Our code of conduct applies to staff, trustees and other volunteers, service providers and also to ACEVO members and guests attending our events or accessing our services. Read more about our code of conduct.


The annual membership fee is based on an organisation’s most recently reported annual turnover.

Membership applies for a term of either 1 or 3 years starting on the day of joining. Membership payment must be made in total before the benefits of membership with ACEVO can be received.

Payment can be made by credit card, cheque, BACS or Direct Debit. Direct Debit payments attract a 10% discount on an annual membership. 3 year memberships attract a 15% discount.

If membership payment remains outstanding we will notify you by telephone, email or letter.

Membership applies from the first day of the month nearest to the date on which a member joins.

Membership fees paid are not refundable, including in the event that ACEVO ceases operations.

Multiple discounts cannot be used in conjunction with each other.

VAT is not chargeable on membership or joining fee.

Personal details

All information provided by you to us must be true and accurate at the point of applying. In the event of a change of circumstances such as moving jobs, change of contact details or any other change that will affect your profile, a member should update their profile through your account on the ACEVO website.


Members of ACEVO will be able to access a range of services and benefits, each of which may have more specific terms and conditions separately. Member benefits are only accessible if membership is active. Member benefits change from time to time without prior notice.  

Transfer of membership

ACEVO membership is for an individual but if the individual leaves their organisation they must update ACEVO as soon as possible. If the individual has paid for the membership themselves, they may take it with them to their new organisation. If the organisation has paid for the membership, the membership will be transferred to the individual’s successor / interim successor. If a third party has paid for the membership, then the membership must remain within the organisation and transferred to the individual’s successor / interim successor.

If you know of their successor or interim successor, please can you ask them to complete our online membership transfer form with their details, which will create their profile (account) and enable us to set up their login so that they can then make use of the membership which has been paid for.

Please, note if you have permission to complete the form on their behalf you must use their details throughout, and not your own.


Membership is for the term of 1 or 3 years.

For members who pay by direct debit, an email notification will be sent four weeks prior to the renewal date indicating the cost of the renewed membership and the date the payment will be taken. Payment is usually taken on the first day of the renewal month or last working day of the previous month.

For members who pay by credit card, cheque or BACS, email renewal reminders will be sent before the membership expires.

If you would like to renew via direct debit please submit the form located here.

If membership lapses, the former member will not be able to access the members area of the website or other member benefits until the membership is renewed. If the membership is reactivated within three months of lapsing, the joining fee will not be charged, and the membership will be retrospectively reactivated to the day following the original date of expiry.

The member should apply for membership within the turnover band most recently reported. In the event that the organisation for which member works has grown (or reduced) since the members joined/last renewed, the membership will be renewed in the turnover band most recently reported. Adjustments will not be made (in either direction) during a year.

We base your renewal category price on the last reported actual income that is available. We are unable to change a category based on estimations or assumptions for the end of the financial current year. Once the actual income is confirmed in your published annual report you will be able to renew at this rate the following year as we check the figure before sending out renewal notifications.


Membership services commence as soon as an application is processed. A member may cancel their membership at any time, but the membership fee (and joining fee if applicable) will not be refunded.

Members must notify ACEVO in writing if they wish to cancel membership either by email at

Data protection

By applying for membership of ACEVO, each member agrees that ACEVO may use their data for the following purposes:

  • ACEVO may use a member’s contact details to send promotional information relating to member benefits and potentially relevant opportunities
  • ACEVO may send information and briefing material about potentially relevant sector issues
  • ACEVO may provide a member’s contact details (including name, job title, and organisation) to other members who are expected to attend or participate in events and services which the member is expected to attend/participate in.
  • ACEVO may store a member’s details electronically in order to process applications, invoices and otherwise administer membership services

Except in connection with the activities described above or where required to do so by law, we will not share your data with third parties without your permission.

Intellectual Property Rights

Copyright and all intellectual property rights in all material supplied by ACEVO to its members rests with ACEVO to the fullest extent possible.

Members may not reproduce, sell, hire or copy ACEVO materials without consent.

Limitation of Liability

To the extent permitted by law, ACEVO will not be liable by reason of breach of contract, negligence or otherwise for any loss or consequential loss occasioned to any person acting omitting to act or refraining from acting in reliance upon materials, information or opinion supplied by ACEVO. Consequential loss includes, but is not limited to, any loss of profits or anticipated profits, damage to reputation or goodwill, loss of business or anticipated business, damages, costs, expenses incurred or payable to any third party or any other indirect or consequential losses.

Force Majeure

ACEVO shall not be liable for any delays or failures in performance or breach of contract due to events or circumstances beyond its reasonable control.

Changes to terms and conditions

ACEVO reserves the right to change or update the terms and conditions without prior notice

These terms and conditions apply to all ACEVO staff, trustees, volunteers, members, guests, service providers and corporate partners.


  • ACEVO will confirm via email when they receive an online booking. One week prior to the event you will receive detailed event information. If you do not receive your event booking confirmation and detailed event information, please contact us at   
  • All stakeholders are expected to abide by ACEVO’s code of conduct. By registering for or agreeing to take part in an ACEVO event, you agree to meet the expectations set out in that code of conduct. We also expect all stakeholders attending events to comply with the terms and conditions of host venues.
  • ACEVO will not be responsible for any expenses or other liabilities incurred as a result of attending any ACEVO event or programme. 
  • Materials given to participants during an event are the intellectual property of ACEVO and the contents cannot be used reproduced, in full or part, without our prior written consent.
  • Bookings are non transferrable.
  • Many of our events are member-only, but we are pleased to open a number up to non-members. Where non-members are welcomed to ACEVO events, we ask that you are:

    • an aspiring CEO
    • a retired chief executives, not operating as a sole trader
    • an out of post chief executives, who are between jobs
    • a member of a partner organisation we are delivering the event with

    More details on ACEVO membership

Fees, costs and membership

  • For member-only events we expect the attendee to be a current ACEVO member, both at the date of booking and the date of the event itself. 
  • If ACEVO cancels or postpones a paid-for event you will receive a full refund. However, we will not be responsible for travel, accommodation or any other related expenses incurred.
  • Cancellations for workshops must be received in writing to Cancellations received one month or more before the event are eligible for a 50% refund. Cancellations received less than one month before the event are not eligible for a refund. Refunds are not available on early bird tickets.
  • Cancellations for Action Learning Sets must be received in writing to Cancellations received two months or more before the Action Learning Sets commence are eligible for a 50% refund. Cancellations received less than two months before the start of the Action Learning Sets are not eligible for a refund.
  • We are not able to offer refunds for cancellations arising from events outside of our control, including adverse weather conditions, flooding, or industrial action.
  • We reserve the right to change the venue of the event to another venue in close proximity.
  • If you are no longer able to attend a pre-booked paid for event, it may be possible for you to transfer the place to another person within your organisation, subject to ACEVO’s approval. However, if this person is not an ACEVO member, a non-member fee will be charged.

Limitation of liability 

As far as legally permitted, ACEVO will not be liable for breach of contract, negligence, consequential loss, or otherwise as a result of action taken or not taken on the basis of information or advice provided in an ACEVO event or programme. 

Data protection

ACEVO is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. If you have any queries relating to the use of your data, email

If taking part in an ACEVO event, you are agreeing that we may use your data for the following purposes: 

  • We will use your contact details to send you information relating to the event you have booked and to request feedback.
  • We may publish your name, job title, organisation and event attended within the participant group and as part of our promotional materials.
  • We may use your contact details to send you information about other courses, events and activities we offer.

Except in connection with the activities described above or where required to do so by law, we will not share your data to third parties without your permission.

Filming and photography

Some of our events are photographed and/or filmed. Attendees’ images may be used on our website and in marketing materials. If you do not want to be filmed or photographed, or you do not give permission for your image to be used please email

The ACEVO mentoring scheme is a free service available to full and associate members.
It is intended to provide confidential space for reflection and discussion. Requesting an ACEVO mentor indicates acceptance of our terms and conditions.


We aim to find a match for mentees within 8 weeks, but we cannot guarantee the length of time it will take to make a match.

We also cannot guarantee a mentoring match. We will endeavour to find a suitable mentor within the ACEVO network however this may not always be possible. We will inform you as soon as possible if this is the case.


The mentoring scheme is able to be free to members because our mentors generously give their time voluntarily. The majority of our mentors are chief executives and senior leaders within the ACEVO network.

As a mentee you will:

  • Be respectful of your mentors time
  • Be responsible for scheduling and arranging the meetings with your mentor
  • Use your first meeting to draw up clear objectives for the partnership as well as practical details. You will be sent a mentoring agreement to complete together in the first meeting.
  • Be punctual and prepare for your sessions to make the best use of your opportunity
  • Listen to your mentor’s opinion but take responsibility for making your own choices
  • Read ACEVO’s mentoring guide

As a mentor you will:

  • Listen and keep in confidence the issues your mentee shares
  • Draw on your own experience to provide insight
  • Use your first meeting to draw up clear objectives for the partnership as well as practical details. You will be sent a mentoring agreement to complete together in the first meeting.
  • Seek ACEVO’s advice if you are unable to support your mentee
  • Read ACEVO’s mentoring guide

Application form

Details on your application form will be shared with potential mentors/mentees. All information you provide will be held securely on our database.


While the mentoring process will support the professional development of both mentor and mentee, the mentoring scheme should not be considered a substitute for professional judgment. The final responsibility for judgments and decisions made by participants on the ACEVO mentoring scheme, and the actions that flow from them, lie with participants.

Supplying mentoring services does not represent financial, management or consultancy advice. The mentor is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any information provided to the mentee. The mentee is advised to take suitable independent professional advice before acting on any information, suggestion, or guidance given by the mentor. ACEVO and the mentor will not, in any circumstances, be liable to the mentee or to any third party for any loss, damage, cost or other liability which occurs as a result of, or in connection with providing mentoring services to the Mentee.


The mentee or mentor may get in touch with ACEVO at any point during the partnership, simply email

Mentee – ACEVO asks that you email when the first meeting has taken place. If you do not write to confirm within two months, we will presume the partnership is not going ahead and will discontinue the match.

ACEVO will email you six months and 12 months into the partnership. We expect you to respond to both emails. This information is crucial in steering the future of the programme and helps us to monitor the impact of the scheme. Giving feedback is a requirement of the mentoring scheme.

Mentor – ACEVO will check in at six and 12 months. We ask that you let us know how the partnership is going.

Time commitment

Mentoring partnerships are set up to last for 12 months, although you may find you need less/more time to meet your objectives. Most partnerships meet every 6 to 8 weeks. Therefore, over the course of the programme we ask you to commit to a minimum of ten hours to the scheme.

When things don’t work out

Sometimes things don’t work out. This can be to do with circumstances changing, practicalities or a lack of connection. If the fit doesn’t feel right, circumstances have changed or there is a conflict of interest you should agree to end the partnership and inform ACEVO immediately. We will then look to re-match you with someone else.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the mentoring relationship.

  1. The purpose of the CEO in Crisis service is to support ACEVO members through a time in their CEO role where they feel their job may be under threat. The service consists of a safe space for members to discuss their specific situation in confidence and discuss strategies to work through and resolve the problem. This will involve coaching members through their challenge with the aim of achieving the best possible solution for the CEO under the circumstances. The advice given does not constitute actual legal advice unless the member is referred to a lawyer as part of the service (see 6).

2. Members accessing the service are required to be in full membership.

3. Members needing to be referred to third parties for legal advice and emotional support must have been in full ACEVO membership for a minimum of three months.

4. Full membership of ACEVO must be retained while support is received through the CEO in Crisis service until the situation is resolved.

5. Members can access this service once in a 12 month period.

6. Members must complete a referral form before accessing the service.

7. The advice and support service is provided virtually via telephone, email or digitally.

8. ACEVO membership also provides access to limited legal advice, when appropriate and as agreed by ACEVO. This is currently provided by BDB Pitmans and Freeths. Details of these arrangements will be confirmed with the referral.

9. As part of the service, and with your permission, ACEVO may refer you to other external providers.

9.1. You may be referred to Bird for resilience coaching and training. This will include up to two 45 minute telephone sessions to help you reconnect with your strengths and skills, and re-build your self-belief and energy. ACEVO will pay for this support as part of the CEO in Crisis service. Any additional support you need from these suppliers will be at your own expense and agreed directly with the supplier.

9.2 Referrals to other third party providers for support will be at the expense of the member accessing the service and is not covered as part of the CEO in Crisis service.

These third parties may include:

  • Get2thepoint for crisis coaching and emotional support
  • TCM Group for mediation services
  • Joy Allen at Leading Governance for governance advice

10. ACEVO reserves the right to withdraw the service from any member where it considers the support is being misused and also to alter terms and conditions with one month’s notice.

11. We may ask if you would like to be contacted in future to provide feedback about our service. This is to enable us to evaluate the service to find out whether members are satisfied with the support we offer, to understand the impact the service has had on members’ experiences and to identify how the service might be improved. We will always seek your permission to do this.

12. Member support from ACEVO’s CEO in Crisis service will be offered for a maximum of up to six months from the date of referral. Further support required beyond this time period may be arranged but will be charged at an hourly rate.

13. Members accessing the service should be aware of ACEVO’s confidentiality policy.

At ACEVO, we believe in creating a safe space for you to seek information and advice, and share your feelings, without the fear of this information being shared outside of our service. This is why the information you share with us, whether in writing or by phone, is kept confidential wherever possible (please see below for the exceptions to this policy).

Confidentiality offered is between yourself and the service. By ‘service’, we mean ACEVO as an organisation, not individual team members. This is because we may sometimes pass details onto colleagues within ACEVO or, with your permission, to third party suppliers who may offer legal, emotional or other support. 

What does confidentiality mean in practice?

  • We will not share the information you provide to us with other people outside of our service, unless with your explicit permission or at your request (eg if you ask to be referred for legal or other external support).
  • Electronic information we hold about you will be stored securely on our database. Information on paper will be kept securely.
  • We will not take third party requests for this service. We will not contact you by phone or send you information without first having direct contact from you
  • General information will be collected for monitoring purposes. This is so we can understand the needs of our members using our service, report on this, and make improvements to our service. This information may also be used to identify trends in issues/concerns affecting our members which may be used to inform our leadership development and member learning activity.
  • We may ask if you would like to be contacted in future to provide feedback about our service. This is to enable us to evaluate the service to find out whether members are satisfied with the support we offer, to understand the impact the service has had on members’ experiences and to identify how the service might be improved. We will always seek your permission to do this.
  • Sometimes calls may be monitored for quality control and training.
  • We work in line with the Data Protection Act and GDPR.

Breaking confidentiality – exceptions to our policy

There are some exceptional circumstances where we may break confidentiality; usually due to a legal obligation, or to ensure your safety, or the safety of others. These are:

  • In the event that terrorism, money laundering or bomb threats are disclosed
  • If we receive a statute or court order requesting that we share information
  • If we are instructed to by the police
  • Where there is risk of abuse to an adult or a child
  • Where there is a serious risk to the safety of yourself or others
  • In the event that staff and volunteers are threatened or abused
  • In the event that the service is abused, preventing others from accessing the support they need
  • In the event that someone is taking steps to end their life and we feel sure they do not have the mental capacity to make that decision.

In many of the cases listed the most appropriate response would be to contact the emergency services. If contacting emergency services does not seem suitable a decision to break confidentiality will be reconsidered. Where possible the member using any one to one member support service will be informed of our consideration about passing details to third parties. We will always attempt to collect information openly and honestly.

Reviewed November 2022

  1. Introduction 

At ACEVO we are committed to providing high quality services to everyone who comes into contact with us. We are delighted to hear from those who use our services and find them helpful. However, we’re always looking to improve, and we know that sometimes things might happen which make an experience at ACEVO less positive. If you feel we have not reached the standards you expect; you have felt discriminated against or unsafe; or you have any other feedback this policy explains what you can do and what will happen in such a case.

This complaints process is for ACEVO staff, trustees, volunteers, members, guests, service providers and corporate partners (ACEVO’s ‘stakeholders’). If you are a member of staff you can also refer to the staff handbook for guidance.

  1. How do I complain?

Complaints will likely relate to either our member benefits and services or the behaviour, language or conduct of an ACEVO stakeholder. To raise any kind of complaint, please make contact with in the first instance. Please make sure you provide your email address and phone number so that we can keep you updated on the progress of your complaint. Your complaint will then be assigned to an appropriate member of ACEVO’s senior management team (SMT), depending on the nature of your complaint and any other relevant factors.

For all kinds of complaints, the first step of our response will be to arrange an initial conversation between you and the assigned member of SMT. In this meeting they will discuss what happened with you, and form a summary of your complaint which will be circulated to you to check we have covered your concerns. If appropriate, the next step in our process will be to arrange a 1-1 conversation with our chief executive, another appropriate member of the SMT, or our board, to help us understand why this was unacceptable, and what we could do to avoid this happening in the future.

In some cases further action may be necessary to identify the accountability mechanisms necessary to resolve it. We have aimed to make this process proportionate to the small number of complaints we receive, and transparent to ensure that everyone knows what to expect if something goes wrong.

  1. Complaints against an ACEVO stakeholder
  • Our principles

At ACEVO we believe that harm is complex, and accountability for the harm we cause others is a vital part of good leadership. While all of us have the capacity to harm others, most of us will also have experienced harm. We start from the principle of believing the complainant and making their safety while using ACEVO services a priority. At the same time we know that being the subject of a complaint can also be stressful, and that information about how the complaint is being investigated and progressed is often not accessible or withheld. We will aim to be transparent with both parties and where the subject of the complaint is an ACEVO member, we will offer support if appropriate and possible, depending on the nature of the complaint.

We want to encourage members to learn, develop and change their behaviours. As such this policy does not set out a list of punitive measures, but seeks to provide an adaptable framework for leaders who are willing to develop an understanding of their behaviour and be accountable for the harm we can cause others. Where this willingness is not demonstrated, it may be appropriate to terminate an individual’s membership or relationship with ACEVO. This course of action will be a last resort, but we accept that it may be necessary in very serious cases.

Sometimes it will be challenging to establish exactly what has happened (for example, if an incident was not witnessed or recorded). Please be patient while we try to gather the evidence necessary. We will make sure to review anything relevant to your complaint.

  • Our process

We might not need to use all of these steps, and they may not need to happen in this order, but in the case of complaints against an individual we will use the following framework:



1-1 conversation with member of SMT

Outlining the key details of your complaint and forming a summary for your and our records

1-1 conversation with chief executive/trustee/another member of SMT (if appropriate)

Identifying any further information we need to understand your complaint; identifying any individual/s as the subject of your complaint; identifying what the complainant would like to see happen to feel safe and that their concerns have been resolved; referring the complainant for further support if necessary or desired

Reviewing additional material

Exploring other materials such as social media records; emails; digital event recordings/chats; speaking to any witnesses of an occurrence

1-1 meeting between chief executive/member of SMT and subject of the complaint (if applicable)

Establishing acceptance or denial of having caused harm; exploring whether they would like to learn about their behaviour and may benefit from referral to training on a specific issue (eg language, discrimination, relationship management); exploring the option of an apology or acceptance of fault, and next steps to improve; ensuring the subject of the complaint feels they have been given all the appropriate information and informed of how they will be kept updated. If allegations are substantiated and redress cannot be reached, the termination of an individual’s membership, partnership or working relationship may be proposed to the board to be considered in line with our Articles of Association

Meeting arranged between complainant and subject of complaint (with an external facilitator if requested)

Opportunity to explore accountability and apologise; understanding how to avoid causing harm again

Check in points agreed (eg three months later; annually; after attending training course)

If necessary/appropriate, agreeing when we will check in with people involved and check they are happy with the resolution we reached.

  1. Complaints about our member benefits and services

In cases where are member benefits and services do not meet the standard you expect, we will use the following framework to understand your complaint and improve our outputs.



1-1 conversation with member of SMT

Outlining the key details of your complaint and forming a summary for your and our records

1-1 conversation with chief executive/trustee/another member of SMT (if appropriate)

Identifying any further information we can review to understand how our member benefits and services did not meet expectations; discussing what we can do differently in the future to change and improve our services

Reviewing additional material and ACEVO processes

Exploring other materials such as event planning processes; the content in question and how it was produced or commissioned; discussing with staff members how we can plan to avoid the incident recurring

Check in points agreed (eg after next event; content review points)

If appropriate, agreeing when we will check in with the complainant and review changes we have made to confirm that they feel their complaint has been adequately responded to and a resolution reached.

  1. If you are still not satisfied

If we cannot resolve your complaint by using some/all of the mechanisms above, we will refer your complaint to the code of conduct breach sub-committee of our board of trustees. This committee is chaired by the vice-chair of the board, and other members will be convened at the time based on capacity, the details of your complaint, and any other relevant factors. They will explore the nature of your complaint; why a resolution could not be reached; and set out further proposals to resolve it. These will be discussed with you.

Finally, as a charity we are regulated by the Charity Commission, so you can also use the Commission’s complaints procedure if appropriate.

  1. Timelines

After your initial contact we aim to get back to you within two working days to confirm that we have received your complaint, and to organise an initial meeting within 10 working days. Beyond this initial timeframe we will deal with complaints on a case-by-case basis but always strive to be prompt and keep you fully updated. We aim to resolve all complaints within 12 weeks of receiving them, but in cases where the complexity of the complaint means that we expect it to take longer we will let you know.

If we cannot resolve your complaint and need to refer it to our board of trustees for discussion, we will let you know the date of the meeting when it will be discussed. We will come back to you within 10 working days of that meeting to update you on the discussion. Clear minutes will be taken  as to the procedures to be carried out and you will receive full details of discussions relevant to your complaints. At all stages along the process, if any deadlines cannot be met you will be kept fully informed as to what is happening. Proceedings and records relating to complaints, will as far as practical, be kept confidential.

  1. What we can’t do

As part of our commitment to transparency, it is important to explain our approach and why we cannot act in certain situations. ACEVO is run by a small team and while we will always take your complaints seriously, we want to be realistic about our capacity to carry out (for example) significant vetting, information gathering or interviewing. In the extremely rare cases where this might be necessary ACEVO would likely seek independent external support.

Some examples of where we will not be able to act include:

  • Banning individuals from joining ACEVO: we want to support those who join our network to improve their leadership practice and reflect on where they can change. As such we do not assess the historical behaviour of members, but ask all members to abide by our code of conduct. Any ACEVO stakeholder is subject to this complaints policy from the moment they join our network and any discriminatory or inappropriate behaviour should be reported.
  • Behaviour that has occurred outside of our events or network: ACEVO advocates for an inclusive sector where bullying and discrimination do not happen. However, this complaints policy only applies to events that take place within our network. We cannot respond to complaints about other occurrences across the charity sector.
  • Complaints that make allegations about opinions but not behaviours: ACEVO cannot police thoughts and we want to create an environment in which a range of opinions can co-exist respectfully and professionally. If personal beliefs are enacted in discriminatory comments, behaviours or correspondence we will act in line with this policy.
  1. How we will act on the outcome of your complaint

Part of our process will be to internally review how our processes allowed this to happen, and set out changes we will make to prevent it recurring. We will let you know how we are planning to change our processes and welcome feedback on how this is working, and whether it has been clearly communicated.


Not an ACEVO member?

If you have any queries please email or call 020 7014 4600.

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