Quality standards

Tear is committed to maintaining high levels of quality with integrity and transparency in all its work. Tear fully adopts Tearfund’s Quality Standards in support of our vision and the delivery of our strategy. These are: 

We are committed to living out our core values through our staff and with our partners in relationships with all those with whom we interact.

Impartiality & Targeting
We are committed to reaching the most vulnerable and marginalised, selected on the basis of need alone, regardless of their race, religion or nationality.

We are committed to being accountable to project participants, communities, partners, supporters and donors for the work we undertake and for the resources entrusted to us. As part of this commitment we regularly ask our international partners to review our performance. Read the summary of our 2015 Partnership Performance Review carried out by Keystone.

We are committed to empowering staff and partners and to seeing that the work that we support has a lasting impact, being built on local ownership and using local skills and resources.

We are committed to influencing key decision-makers to make and implement policies and practices that work in favour of people who are poor and vulnerable.

We are committed to seeing transformation through restored relationships between men, women, boys and girls and ensuring equal value, participation and decision making by all.

We are committed to working for an HIV free world by reducing the vulnerability of poor communities to HIV and reducing its subsequent impact.

We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, to assessing vulnerability to climate change and environmental degradation and to working with local communities to ensure that we support, not harm, the natural and socio-economic environment.

Disaster Risk
We are committed to reducing the risk of disaster by strengthening local capacity and reducing vulnerability to hazards.

We are committed to promoting peace and reconciliation, supporting activities which impact positively upon situations of conflict and that safeguard staff and project participants.

Technical Quality
We are committed to supporting projects that reflect the priorities of those we seek to assist and that are guided by relevant technical standards and good practices.

The purpose of Tear’s Quality Standards is to ensure that those we serve benefit from the increased quality, effectiveness and impact of the work that we undertake. Our Quality Standards provide us with a framework serving as:

  • a tool for staff recruitment, induction, training and performance management;
  • a tool for partner capacity development;
  • a reference guide to inform the work of project designers and development practitioners;
  • a critical part of project monitoring, evaluation, learning and continuous improvement.

In supporting our partners, Tear’s approach is to facilitate support to partners who share our commitment to good practice and improvement, and to seek to improve the quality of our partnerships and to encourage a professional community of learning and accountability community for continual improvement.  

Minimum requirement

The Quality Standards framework enables staff and partners with project participants to assess their context and agree which standards are priorities for their situation. Whilst there is always a need to prioritise the following are applicable in all contexts:

  • Values: In upholding our core values we stand against all forms of exploitation and abuse, fraud, bribery and any other conduct which is incompatible with these values.  
  • Impartiality: the provision of assistance must always be provided on the basis of need and not subject to favouritism or discrimination.
  • Accountability: ensuring the full participation of project participants, being transparent and sharing information, and receiving and responding to their feedback.
  • Do no harm requirements, which relate to a number of the Quality Standards, for example: Gender (ensuring projects enhance safety for women and girls); Conflict (ensuring the project design does not heighten people’s vulnerability to violence and conflict), Environment (ensuring projects do not lead to environmental damage).


Quality Assurance Systems

Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS)

Tear is committed to integrating the Core Humanitarian Standards into its work with respect to beneficiaries. We believe that beneficiary participation is vital in enabling us to deliver high-quality assistance to our beneficiaries. Accountability is integrated in our core concept of quality, which emphasises a focus on the beneficiary and on service delivery, learning and transparency. Accountability is one of Tear’s core partnership principles. We address these values in our relationships with partners in the South.


Tear is a signatory of the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief. As such, we believe adherence to and implementation of the RCCC in programme development is of crucial importance in ensuring the quality and security of relief work worldwide. We are committed to implementing the RCCC as an ethical code of conduct in our relief programmes.


Tear is committed to addressing minimum standards in our relief programmes as laid out in the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. Sphere is a standard against which Tear’s professionalism should be benchmarked, with the objective of improving the quality of assistance provided and enhancing accountability in disaster response.


Tear has a CBF Seal of Approval.

The Central Bureau on Fundraising (CBF) is an independent foundation which has been monitoring fundraising by charities in the Netherlands since 1925. The CBF’s task is to promote trustworthy fundraising and expenditure by reviewing fundraising organisations and giving information and advice to government institutions and the public.

When a charity has a CBF Seal of Approval (CBF-Keur), you can be confident that the organisation has been closely scrutinised. An important criterion is that the charity’s fundraising costs must not amount to more than 25 per cent of the revenues from its own fundraising in any one year. Furthermore, the board of trustees must be made up of independent persons, and to ensure transparency in the financial records, every financial report must be drawn up according to the same principles.

Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA)

This certificate allows us to participate in European funding grants from the EU humanitarian council (ECHO).

Accounting standards

Tear meets the requirement of the dutch NGO  accounting standard RJ650.

Directives branch organization  Goede Doelen Nederland

Tear applies several directives of branch organization  Goede Doelen Nederland such as director salary and secure investments.

ISO 9001-Partos and ISO 14001

Tear is ISO 9001-Partos and ISO 14001 certified.

ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards.

ISO 9001-Partos specifies requirements for a quality management system, according to which Tear needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products that meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements, and demonstrate that it aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the quality management system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable regulatory requirements.

The ISO 14001 standard concerns environmental issues. Organisations are responsible for setting their own targets and performance measures, with the standard serving to assist them in meeting objectives and goals and in the subsequent monitoring and measurement of these. The organisation has to work constantly to improve its environmental performance. Tear is the first relief and development organisation in the Netherlands to acquire this certificate.

Every year Tear is externally audited by Kiwa. We also conduct internal audits on various control processes. The internal procedures for financial control are carried out in accordance with Tear’s quality management system, as described in the quality handbook.


Tear uses open data to improve the quality and transparency of our work and to stimulate collaboration and innovation in development. We publish project information in accordance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) guidelines. Click here to access Tear's dataset .

Office systems

Tear uses an integrated automated project management system, in which the decision-making processes and the outcomes of projects are assessed and monitored. This project management system is integrated with a support system for customer service. Tear also uses CRM project system.

Internal audit systems

Our internal organisational monitoring follows the standards required by ISO: Plan, Do, Check, Act. The planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation, and follow-up are all integrated in our operational, financial and quality management cycle and described in various internal procedures.

Tear works with a three-year planning and budgeting system (part of the three-year Strategic Organisation Plan), with an annual budget that is approved by the Board. Significant changes are subject to specific approval. Strategic decisions regarding policy are taken by the Management Team together with the Managing Director and with the approval of the Board. The decision-making process for projects is described in the quality handbook and registered in the project management system.

The Managing Director bears overall responsibility for Tear’s system of internal control. Every year several internal audits are performed according to the three-year audit plan, which is part of the three-year Strategic Organisation Plan and covers all processes of the organisation. Internal audits are reported to and followed up by the Management Team. Tear’s partner organisations are required to submit annual audited accounts.

Every year Tear is externally audited by Kiwa with respect to the ISO certification and by Ernst & Young Accountants with respect to the financial management of the organisation.

Planning, monitoring and evaluation system

The planning, monitoring and evaluation system used in Tear’s relationships with its partner organisations contains the following elements:

  • Criteria for the appraisal of partners and projects.
  • Internal approval of projects as described in the Project Management System.
  • Project agreement signed by both the partner organisation and Tear.
  • General conditions applicable to the project agreement
  • Reports from partner organisations (half-year and annual reports, audit reports).
  • Correspondence with partner organisations.
  • Regular field visits to partner organisations and projects.
  • Internal discussions about progress and development of partner organisations and projects.
  • Evaluations

Ontwerp & realisatie: Nilsson