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Code of Conduct for Members of The British Au Pair Agencies Association, BAPAA

The BAPAA Code of Conduct aims to set standards for "Au Pairing", including basic criteria for the selection of both Au Pairs and families. It is expected that every member of BAPAA will abide by the BAPAA Code of Conduct and will operate the BAPAA Au Pair Programme in a manner which enhances the reputation of the Association.

It is a requirement of the Association that BAPAA member agencies adhere to the following:

Compliance with Au Pair Regulations
Member agencies must ensure that their business is carried out in compliance with all current UK and EU regulations that are relevant to Au Pair and Employment Agencies.

Agency Requirements
Member agencies shall:-

Operate thorough screening procedures of Au Pairs and Host Families
• Provide courteous and efficient handling of customers
• Provide on-going support
• Provide guidance on how to welcome your Au Pair
• Provide guidance to Au Pairs on how to make the most of the Au Pair experience
• Be a financially sound business
• Have a capability to support Au Pairs across the UK
• Ensure that their paperwork and website are kept up to date and are always consistent with the BAPAA Au Pair Programme
• Be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for data protection

Screening Procedures - Host Families
Member agencies shall:-

• Ensure that Host Families complete a Registration Form
• Ensure that all Host Families are interviewed in person or by telephone
• Ensure that Host Families are informed about the nature of the cultural exchange programme and their responsibilities within it
• Provide Host Families with written Terms of Business, including details of fees and Replacement Policy, as soon as their enquiry is received
• Fully inform Host Families about potential candidates and the agency’s placement procedures
• Provide Host Families with comprehensive applications for all Au Pairs to include application form, 2 written references (minimum of 1 childcare), ‘dear family letter’, up to date police check and medical report

Screening Procedures - Au Pairs
Member agencies shall:-

• Either interview Au Pairs themselves or ensure they are interviewed by partner agencies
• Ensure that Au Pairs are supplied with full written details of the host family and expected duties prior to arrival
• Ensure that all Au Pairs are fully aware of the BAPAA Au Pair Programme
• Provide Au Pairs with appropriate orientation materials, including how to contact other Au Pairs in the UK (e.g. BAPAA’s Friends website) and an emergency contact number
• Contact newly arrived Au Pairs to ensure they have settled with their host family

Support Services
Member agencies shall:-

• Offer both Host Families and Au Pairs support services throughout the Au Pair stay, including acting as mediator when appropriate
• Provide Au Pairs and Host Families with an emergency telephone number for out-of-hours use; this can be either the BAPAA Helpline or a number provided by the member agency

Use of BAPAA Logo

• All agencies, who are full members of BAPAA, are welcome to use the BAPAA logo on stationery, promotional materials and advertisements. The BAPAA logo is a mark of quality and prestige; it should not be displayed more prominently than the agency’s own logo.
• Where a particular group of BAPAA agencies choose to advertise together, the logo must not indicate that such group constitutes the complete membership of the association.

Maintenance of BAPAA Reputation

• Agencies must value the reputation of BAPAA and must conduct their business in a manner that endeavours to enhance the reputation of Au Pair Agencies.
• BAPAA members must endeavour to maintain professional integrity in their dealings with one another.

BAPAA Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure


BAPAA is the only recognised Trade Association for the British Au Pair Industry and was formed with the sole purpose of setting and promoting standards for the Au Pair industry. BAPAA members are required to adhere to the BAPAA code of conduct. Member agencies must also ensure that their business is carried out in compliance with all current UK and EU regulations that are relevant to Au Pair and Employment Agencies.

Making a Complaint

A complaint against a BAPAA member agency should be addressed to the BAPAA Executive Committee in writing (or by email). The complaint must be made within 6 weeks of the
a) incident happening
b) court, legal judgement against the agency
The BAPAA Executive Committee will acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

Complaints we will investigate

BAPAA will investigate complaints of non-compliance by a BAPAA Agency to the BAPAA Code of Conduct.
If the complaint warrants further investigation, the member agency concerned will be contacted and invited to respond within 21 days and, if necessary, will be required to attend a meeting with the committee to discuss the complaint. After full examination of the complaint, the Committee will inform both parties of the results of their investigation.
If a complaint has resulted in court or legal judgements against an agency then we will investigate the outcome once informed.

Complaints we will not investigate

BAPAA does not have a statutory or legal authority to investigate and/or adjudicate an alleged complaint against our member agencies for the following types of complaint:
• any which relate to an Agency’s Terms of Business
• whether a refund is due
• any which are already subject to investigation by a regulatory authority

In these circumstances, the member agency concerned will be contacted by the Executive Committee with the details of the complaint and be asked to respond directly to the complainant to resolve the problem.
The complainant is advised to seek guidance from Legal Authority or Trading Standards to resolve the complaint if it cannot be resolved satisfactorily directly with the agency concerned.

In the event that BAPAA receives 3 complaints or more in one year against one Agency that are found to be in contravention of the BAPAA Code of Conduct, the agency will be disassociated. The three complaints must be independent, unrelated and from unconnected parties. Disassociated agencies who want to be BAPAA members again in the future, will be required to submit a completely new application.

Revised 2015