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Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro, Antigua Guatemala

Professional Standards

Published in 2013, the first Code of Conduct and Standards includes best practices for receiving, sorting, repairing, packaging, and shipping new or used medical products. They also provided a foundation for the MSA Accreditation Program requirements. 

Code of Conduct History Published in 2013, the first Code of Conduct and Standards includes best practices for receiving, sorting, repairing, packaging, and shipping new or used medical products. They also provided a foundation for the MSA Accreditation Program requirements.  As the MSA approached its tenth anniversary, it began a two-year process to review and, if necessary, revise the COC.  Medical Gift-In-Kind stakeholders, current and past MSA members, standards, and accreditation professionals provided input.  The MSA Standards and Accreditation Committee provided leadership and oversight.   Lon Berkely, Project Director at Joint Commission (retired), joined the project in 2022 to provide leadership and technical expertise.    The result is not a new or completely revised Code of Conduct.   Instead, the 2023 Code of Conduct builds on the original standards by improving clarity and ensuring that each standard and performance element is currently implementable, relevant, and measurable.

COC Standards and Performance Element Structure

The Code of Conduct is organized into seven sections, each with supporting standards and performance elements used to determine adherence to the standard.

Section 1. Organizational Effectiveness

An effective organization is a legal entity with a governance and operational structure committed to sustainable programming, integrity, excellence, and organizational transparency in serving qualified recipients without discrimination.

 

Standard 1.1 Governance: The organization has an appointed or elected Board of Directors, enabling governance that is fair and impartial, and responsible for overseeing all organizational operations.

 

PE 1.1.1 The organization has a written mission, vision, and/or values statement.

PE 1.1.2 The organization has written bylaws, policies, and procedures that are approved by the Board of Directors.

 

PE 1.1.3 The organization identifies the members of a Board of Directors, and the selection process, duties, and policies of the members are written in bylaws and/or Board policies.

 

Code of Conduct Standards and Performance Elements 
Read the standard description below and click the section link for the
full section content, including standards and performance elements.

An effective organization is a legal entity with a governance and operational structure committed to sustainable programming, integrity, excellence, and organizational transparency in serving qualified recipients without discrimination. Click on the title above to see the complete section. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

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To eliminate unsolicited and unnecessary donations and avoid waste, donations should only be made based on an expressed need at the request of the in-country partner and after a thorough needs assessment confirms that the donation is also appropriate for the setting. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

If the quality of an item is unacceptable in the donor country, it is also unacceptable as a donation. Donated products that do not meet stated quality standards or have been recalled are not to be distributed. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

Through ongoing communications with recipient organizations, the organization can not only effectively coordinate and collaborate with them throughout the donation process, but can partner with them in the organization's process to monitor and evaluate the quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of all their actions. Continuous process evaluations are used to ensure that the organization's actions taken are effective or, if not, lead to an improvement. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

Emergency situations require having an expedited process for vetting an organization's potential new partners and recipient organizations, as well as the recipient organization's requests for products. This is to ensure that donations occur in the same manner as non-emergency shipments for consumables, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

The appropriate method, location, and timing for the disposal of all donated products by both the organization and recipient organization, especially those that are hazardous, minimizes costs, reduces risks, and contributes to responsible environmental practices. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

For effective product shipping and transporting of all products, the following 6 components must be considered: proper packaging; sufficient storage space and access; means of transportation; efficient staging and loading; receiving customs clearance; and product security. Click on the title above to see the complete section.

Resources for Short-Term Aid

Guidelines and tools are available to help medical volunteers ensure that short-term global health activities are conducted ethically and make beneficial contributions to the health and well-being of communities around the world.

Some donations do more harm than good.  Learn More

Inappropriate medical product donations refer to donations of medical supplies or equipment that are either unusable, expired, or not needed in the recipient's context.  

Learn More & Get Started

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