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Collaborative Working Agreement Template Name ___________________________ 1. Agreement This Agreement is made on [date] between Organisation 1 – name and address Organisation 2 – name and address Organisation 3 – and so on………. 2. Context The parties hereto intend by this Agreement to enter into a collaborative working agreement to be known as [name], the purpose of which is to deliver the contract [briefly set out purpose of the contract and name)]. 3. Period covered This Agreement will be from [insert start date to insert end date (if there is one)] unless extended by mutual agreement or terminated in accordance with section 6 OR This Agreement will start on [insert start date] and will continue indefinitely or until terminated by mutual consent or in accordance with section 6 4. Relationships 4.1 Principles of the Agreement All organisations agree to adhere to the principles of the agreement set out at Annex A. 4.2 Chair The (name) shall initially be chaired by [insert organisationr who will chair]. The chair will be elected annually by the organisations party to this agreement. 4.3 Lead Body and Additional Member Organisations The lead organisationis insert name. [Explain consequences of being the lead body/organisation to the extent practicable.] New organisations may be brought into the Agreement [explain how] 4.4 Communications The Name shall meet [give frequency] and meetings shall be attended by the nominated representative of each organisation or by any substitute representative whose identity has been notified to the other lead organisation in writing prior to the meeting. A draft agenda for meetings will be sent out a week in advance [by whom – who is generally responsible for admin?] and each organisation shall let the chair know whether or not they have additional items. Notes of meetings will be sent out [state how soon after] the meeting by [insert who is responsible]. [How many people needed to make a meeting quorate?] Outside of these meetings the presumption is that organisations will primarily communicate by email and by telephone. [Explain if there are to be any reports sent between meetings and by whom]. 4.5 Decision making Where possible organisations party to the agreement shall try to achieve a consensus when making any decisions. In the event that it is necessary to vote on any issue the decision will be carried by a majority vote save that the lead organisation shall be entitled to make the final decision regardless of the views of the majority in circumstances where acting in accordance with the views of the majority would (or, in reasonable opinion of the lead organisation, could) cause the lead organisation to be in breach of its obligations under the contract referred to in clause 2 or to incur any significant additional liabilities. Sub-groups [If there are to be any sub-groups, explain who they are and why, their role in decision-making and generally] 4.6 Resolving problems Where there is a conflict, dispute or difference within the Agreement, in the first place all organisations shall try to resolve the matter through senior managers of the parties concerned. If there is still no resolution then the parties shall involve a third party. [This will be another member party to the Agreement / the lead body / the funding body / an independent body.] tIf there is still no resolution then any party to the agreement shall be entitled to refer the dispute to arbitration, the arbitrator to be chosen by agreement or (failing agreement) by [ ] who shall also set the arbitrator’s terms of reference in the absence of any agreement on this point. 5. Roles and responsibilities 5.1 Range of services Each organisation r will deliver the services as set out in Annex B 5.2 Attendance at meetings & sub groups All organisations are expected to attend meetings dealing with the affairs of ( Name) through their nominated representatives and shall where possible send the same representative each time to ensure continuity. If an organisation is unable to attend then the onus is on it to find out what was discussed and agreed at the meeting. 5.3 Quality standards The (Name) will adopt the following quality standards and all organisations are expected to comply with these:- [ ] 5.4 Sub contracting (if relevant) [State whether or not sub-contracting is allowed and, if so, on what basis] 5.5 Insurance requirements Each organisation is responsible for maintaining its own insurance policies including public liability, employer’s liability and professional indemnity. [Specify a minimum type and level of cover that has to be in place?] 5.6 Health and safety Each organisation is responsible for the health and safety of its staff, volunteers and beneficiaries (where relevant) in accordance with its health and safety policy and must have suitable risk assessment systems in place. 5.7 Data protection All organisations must comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 5.8 Equal opportunities All organisations must have a written Equality & Diversity policy that outlines the arrangements that are in place to ensure staff; volunteers and customers are treated fairly and protected from bullying and harassment and in accordance with equality legislation. 5.9 Other legislation All organisations must comply with any other legislative requirements from time to time applicable to them and to the services to be delivered by them. 6. Financial arrangements 6.1 Details of funding [Explain how much money the (Name) has and where it comes from] 6.2 Payments and claims [Explain the process for making claims and payments (if applicable). This could mirror what the funder expects] 6.3 Overpayments [Explain what will happen if too much is paid in error] 7. Terminating this agreement 7.1 Giving notice Any organisation party to the Agreement may terminate its membership of the Agreement by [explain how and explain consequences in relation to any existing commitments, what happens if this makes the Agreement unworkableand what happens if this has implications for relations with third parties] 7.2 Breach of agreement If there is a breach of this Agreement the lead organisation (or the other organisations that are party to the agreement, if the lead organisation is in breach) will endeavour to resolve the matter swiftly and in writing. The organisation in breach may have its membership of the Agreement suspended during this time if the other organisations consider it appropriate, in which case it will not be able to act on behalf of (Name) during that time. If the breach cannot be rectified or is not rectified within a reasonable period, the other parties shall be entitled (if unanimous amongst themselves) to require the organisation in breach to leave the (Name). [Set out consequences if an organisationr leaves (or is forced out of) the Agreement, e.g. does it get paid for work already done? Make it clear that if an organisation is forced out because in breach of the Agreement it is not entitled to any compensation? What if an organisation that is forced out does not believe that the other organisations have reasonable grounds – refer dispute to a third party?] [8. Indemnity Each organisation r shall if demanded indemnify the other organisations in respect of any loss or damage suffered by them as a result of any breach by it of this Agreement.] [The concept of an indemnity may not seem ‘user-friendly’ and therefore not in the spirit of partnership. Alternatively, it could be argued that this indemnity does not go far enough as it is limited to breaches of the Agreement rather than other actions or omissions which could cause loss to the other partners.] Signed and delivered as a deed by each Partner on the date in clause 1 above [NOTE: it may have to be signed formally as a deed, otherwise there may be no ‘consideration’ and therefore the obligations may not be enforceable unless phrased very differently, e.g. “in consideration of A and B agreeing to observe and perform their respective obligations under this Agreement, C agrees to observe and perform its own obligations under this Agreement etc”] Annex A Guiding Principles for the Collaborative Agreement As parties to this Collaborative Agreement we agree individually and collectively to adopt the following guiding principles which we believe will improve our services. Openness and transparency We will adopt the principles of openness and transparency in all aspects of our operation and communication. This means that we will share information in a timely and accurate manner, that we will raise issues and problems as soon as possible and work creatively and constructively to find a resolution, and that we will raise questions and queries promptly and share knowledge and expertise. Sharing good and best practice We recognise that each of us has something to give to the Agreement and that equally we have something to get from it. We will share learning through identifying good and best practice. Each organisation will be encouraged to adopt best practice that it sees elsewhere and to share examples widely within the Agreement for the benefit of everyone. Commitment to high standards and continuous quality improvement We are committed to delivering high quality services and will work to ensure continuous quality improvement of our service provision. This means that we will set and expect high standards which we will monitor. We will support each other to develop our collective standards and where appropriate we will set challenging but realistic quality improvement targets. We will welcome external inspection as an opportunity to verify our internal quality assurance and quality improvement standards. Operate sound business practices We start off from the premise that we are all successful organisations with a need to generate income and receive fair financial recompense for our contributions. We will work hard to ensure that (Name) resources are distributed fairly and reflect the input that we each make. We will be efficient in how the Agreement operates. For example we will use technology where we can, we will supplement face to face meetings with on-line communication and we will keep paperwork and bureaucracy to a minimum. Commitment to flexibility As a new Collaborative Agreement we acknowledge that we have much to learn from each other and that there may be times when things do not go according to plan or to expectation. We will therefore be flexible in terms of how we operate and be prepared to make changes, often at short notice. We will also demonstrate our commitment to flexibility in terms of our relationships with each other and will endeavour to learn about the different constraints placed on each of our organisations and how these affect how we operate. Annex B Individual Organisation’s Responsibilities Partner: Detail the outputs and outcomes of the organisation Detail any specific roles that they have that are different to the other organisations It is a good idea to give each organisation a copy of all of these pages so that everyone is clear what each other is doing.
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