New document aims to regulate NGO staff training

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The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) issued a notice on Feb 22, setting out new requirements and restrictions for NGO staff training. 


In recent years, some NGOs in China have used organization funds to conduct staff trips in the name of professional training. This phenomenon is relatively widespread, and in order to combat it, the MCA has issued five new requirements.


The first asks NGOs to establish a strong mindset against fraud and learn from the mistakes made by NGOs found guilty of fraudulence. The second asks organizations to strengthen their management of training programs. Training should be tailored to the development goals of the organization and its staff, with detailed plans containing the content, time frame, trainers, budget, and location.


The third requirement prohibits hosting training programs in high-end hotels and holiday resorts. Besides, NGOs must not give out expensive gifts to trainees, arrange entertainment activities during training programs, or ask trainees to cover the cost of the programs. For training programs conducted with third-party partners, NGOs should conduct rigorous background research on the partners.


The fourth requirement requires NGOs to strengthen the financial management of training activities. All income and expenditure should be recorded in the organization’s statutory bank accounts and not in the accounts of individuals or other organizations, and accounts must be properly audited.


Lastly, the notice encourages NGOs to adhere to the non-profit nature of training programs and guide high-quality training resources to rural, poverty-stricken, and outlying areas.