People and communities Working Together: A Compact for Manchester

Compact for Manchester

About the Compact

The Compact is an agreed framework within which statutory, voluntary and community organisations may work together. Although neither legally or contractually binding, it takes authority from the fact it has widespread support and endorsement from the sectors involved.

The Manchester Compact applies to all partnerships between the sectors, whether formal, casual, voluntary or contractual. The guidelines it sets for good working practice will assist voluntary and community groups in their dealings with the statutory sector and in turn benefit the way public sector agencies relate to and communicate with the voluntary and community sectors.

Why is the Manchester Compact important?

The Compact between the Council and the local voluntary sector was signed in September 2003. It is not legally binding but it can improve all partnerships between the sectors.  Our Compact sets out the principles and promises between the Council and its voluntary and community sector partners who are jointly committed to providing good services for Manchester residents. The Compact also aims to promote good practice in the way we work together through the codes of practice.  All Manchester voluntary or community sector groups in a funding or working relationship with the City Council should use the Compact to improve the way we work together for the benefit of Manchester residents.  This simply involves getting a copy of the Compact, discussing it with management committee members, workers and volunteers, and thinking about how it might improve your work.

Any Manchester organisation can use the following words on printed documents: (name of group) is committed to the principles of Working Together: A Compact for Manchester.

What is the Compact Conciliation process?

The Manchester Compact has been developed to provide a positive framework for partnership working and sets out agreed principles and standards. If problems or disagreements arise related to non-compliance with the Compact codes of practice, which cannot be resolved informally by the people involved, the Compact conciliation process can be used.

What are the codes of practice?

The codes of practice provide standards for voluntary, community sector and local authority good practice.


This code of practice clarifies funding relationships between the council and the voluntary and community sectors. It recognises:

  • The sector's desire for greater security.
  • The council's desire for genuine accountability.
  • The users' desire for good quality services.


This code of practice is to ensure that decisions affecting the voluntary and community sectors take into account the views of voluntary and community groups and their members and users.


This code of practice:

  • Provides a framework of good practice for recruiting and managing volunteers that will benefit both service users and the volunteers alike.
  • Promotes volunteering as a valued contribution to service delivery, as well as an important community activity and opportunity for personal development.


The aims of this code of practice are to:

  • Ensure that delivery of services has maximum benefit for people who suffer social and economic exclusion.
  • Ensure that policies and practices encourage the active involvement of people at risk of social exclusion.
  • Help achieve equality of opportunity through working in a way that is open, accessible, accountable and inclusive.

Who are the partners of the Compact?

As part of the Manchester Partnership, the Community Engagement Partnership Working Group is overseeing how the Compact is put into practice.  The partners of the Compact are Manchester City Council and:

  • Any voluntary or community organisation in Manchester that has a relationship with the Council and agrees with the Compact principles.
  • The Community Network for Manchester, which supports the participation of voluntary, and community groups in the Manchester Partnership.
  • Manchester Community Central, which provides information and support to build the capacity of voluntary and community groups across Manchester.
Download the supporting documents for the Manchester Compact.

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