Quality standards

Tear aims to work to the highest possible standards with integrity and transparency, across all aspects of our work. We have identified a set of corporate Quality Standards in support of our vision and the delivery of our strategy. 

These standards promote good humanitarian and development practise for the people we serve. The eight standards summarise all of the relevant external and internal accountability and quality standards, codes, guidelines and principles to which we are committed. These commitments exist to ensure quality. They are of primary importance in all Tear work and of priority in any work we are doing in cooperation with our implementing partner organisations. 

Who are the Quality Standards for? 

The purpose of Tears Quality Standards is to ensure that those we serve through development or humanitarian assistance benefit from the increased quality, accountability, effectiveness and impact of the work that we undertake, and that make the Quality Standards everybody’s job. Our Quality Standards provide us with a framework for improvement in project design, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, continuous improvement, learning and capacity building. We aim to facilitate and to support partners who share our commitment to good practice and improvement, and to seek to improve the quality of our partnerships. The standards are not intended to be used as a “pass/fail” checklist and the framework recognises that questions of quality rarely involve simple “yes/no” answers, but require analysis, transparency and continual improvement.  

Tearfunds eight quality standards are:

  • Behaviours
    We expect the highest behaviour standards across all of our work. We stand against all forms of exploitation, abuse, fraud, bribery and any other conduct that is incompatible with our values. We strive to transfer power to the people we serve; to transform our own, our partners’ and communities’ attitudes and practices on inclusion, conflict sensitivity, accountability, gender and learning. 
  • Impartiality and Targeting
    We are committed to impartiality, providing assistance to the most vulnerable without regard for race, religion, ethnicity, ability, age, gender, sexuality, or nationality. We target our work on the basis of need alone while remaining sensitive to conflict dynamics, and proactively work to support those who would otherwise be marginalised or excluded, in particular children, the elderly and those living with disability. 
  • Accountability
    We are committed to ensuring that all our work is based upon effective communication with, participation of and feedback from the communities we serve. It is important that all interventions are transparent and based upon continuous learning. We also hold ourselves accountable to our partners, donors, supporters and colleagues, and to all those with whom we relate and interact. 
  • Gender
    In all our programmes we actively seek to challenge gender inequality, harmful beliefs and practices, and work towards gender justice. We are committed to progressing gender equality, the restoration of relationships between men and women, boys and girls, and ensuring their equal value, participation, and decision-making in all aspects of life.
  • Empowerment
    We are committed to community-led and participatory approaches to development and humanitarian response for sustainable impact that is based on root cause analysis. We encourage participation from all members of a community, and strive to support beneficiaries to have control over their own development at all levels, from local development activities through to local, national, and regional advocacy.
  • Resilience
    We are committed to helping people understand, reduce and manage the risks they face as well as to address the drivers of vulnerability. This includes supporting people and communities in developing resilient livelihoods, strengthening social cohesion, improving access to services, stewarding environmental resources, reducing disaster risk and adapting to climate change
  • Protection
    We are committed to restoring relationships and building safe and secure communities. We seek to prioritise the protection of all - especially children and the most marginalised and vulnerable adults - from physical, social and psychological harm. We will take steps to assess risks, including conflict dynamics, to avoid any adverse effects of our work that might expose people to danger or lead to abuse. We believe that community members are the best actors in their own protection and will support their actions to stay safe, find security and restore dignity.  
  • Technical Quality
    We are committed to the high technical quality of all of our work, and the work of partners, through meeting relevant national and international standards aligned with communities’ own priorities. We will continuously learn to improve and identify and replicate good practice that is demonstrated to have relevant and positive impact.

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