[Translate to Englisch:] Viele Menschen bilden Rotes Kreuz vor dem Brandenburger Tor

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance plays an important role for the German Red Cross. The focus here is on the transparency of internal processes and ensuring compliance with legal requirements, internal guidelines, and ethical standards with the aim of maintaining and continually rebuilding trust in the German Red Cross. In the GRC National Headquarters, the departments of Compliance, Internal Audit, Risk Management and Controlling are providing support in this regard. In addition, the GRC National Headquarters is regularly monitored by third-party auditors.



At the GRC National Headquarters, we understand compliance to mean adherence to legal and internal requirements and the promotion of a strong culture of trust. It is a preventive measure to avoid damage to our reputation and liability risks and serves to protect the German Red Cross, all employees and especially the people we aim to assist. To this end, we have set up a comprehensive compliance management system, which is continuously being developed.

Our explanatory film provides a good overview of compliance in the German Red Cross

Anti-corruption guideline in the German Red Cross

The German Red Cross has a clear position against any form of corruption. All employees may not use their own position or function to offer, grant, demand, be promised or accept benefits or advantages. All decisions must be made in such a way that they are within the framework of legal and internal requirements and are also externally justifiable. Further details are regulated in the Anti-corruption guideline of the German Red Cross. This is binding for all GRC societies. In addition to the fundamental prohibition of corruption, it includes various preventive measures, some of which are mandatory, e.g., the role model function of the top management on the topic of anti-corruption as well as the sensitization and education of employees in this regard. In addition, the general handling of suspected and confirmed cases of corruption is described.

Download: Anti-corruption guideline in the German Red Cross

Integrity Guideline of the GRC National Headquarters

The Integrity Guideline is intended to provide orientation for all employees of the GRC National Headquarters in their daily work for the German Red Cross and to sensitize them to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules.

Our mission is to provide effective assistance while consistently implementing the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The principles represent a special obligation for all of us and significantly shape our organizational culture in the German Red Cross. At the same time, these Red Cross principles form the basis for the very high level of identification of voluntary and full-time staff with the German Red Cross.

Based on the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as well as the resolutions and position papers of the Movement, the Integrity Guideline of the GRC National Headquarters addresses particularly important legal provisions and internal guidelines that regulate our behavior towards each other as well as towards external parties, e.g., business contacts, and society.

Download: Integrity Guideline of the GRC National Headquarters

Whistle-blower protection

A whistle-blower system has been set up in the GRC National Headquarters so that compliance incidents can be uncovered at an early stage and possible damage can be averted or mitigated. It is primarily concerned with information on possible compliance violations such as corruption, i.e., criminal offences or other serious breaches of rules with potentially considerable financial or reputational damage for the German Red Cross or the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in general.

Information can be submitted by employees and external parties to all managers of the GRC National Headquarters and to the internal Compliance Officer. In addition, an ombudsman's office with independent lawyers of trust (see below for contact details) was established in 2017 as an external component of the whistle-blower system. Based on their mandate, the ombudspersons are in regular contact with the Compliance Officer. They receive information on possible compliance violations in connection with the GRC National Headquarters.

Information within the international context of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can also be reported to the ‘Integrity Line’ of the IFRC (www.ifrc.org/report-concern).

All incoming information is treated strictly confidentially. At the GRC National Headquarters, no actions are tolerated that are directed against persons who have reported indications of possible compliance violations in good faith. The established whistle-blower system thus focuses on the protection of whistle-blowers.

Ombudswoman: Dr. Caroline Jacob, lawyer
Ombudsman: Dr. Rainer Buchert, lawyer

Phone: 069/71033330 (Sekretariat) or 06105/921355 (direct contact)
Website: www.ombudsperson-frankfurt.de
E-Mail: dr-buchert(at)dr-buchert.de or dr-jacob(at)dr-buchert.de

Encrypted communication: www.ombudsperson-frankfurt.de/en/contactform/

In the case of violations of sexual self-determination, those affected and whistle-blowers can also contact Ms Marion Menzel, a qualified psychologist.
Phone: 08092/3019055
E-Mail: Praxis-Menzel(at)online.de

Internal Audit

The internal audit department of the GRC National Headquarters is tasked with optimizing the business processes and checking compliance with all legal and operational requirements. For this purpose, the internal audit department develops a risk-oriented multi-year audit plan, which is coordinated with the GRC-Presidential Board. The basis of the audits is the control of business transactions for regularity and efficiency. Also integrated is the preliminary audit office, which is responsible for auditing the proof of use of funds from various donors of the GRC National Headquarters.

Risk Management and Controlling

The GRC National Headquarters has a risk management system in which risks are identified, assessed, and controlled on an ongoing basis in accordance with current standards and applicable laws. Linking with compliance risks is ensured. All employees are obliged to report identified risks immediately. The department managers, in consultation with the GRC-Presidential Board, must take suitable measures to avert possible damage to the German Red Cross or to limit it to a minimum. A report is submitted annually to the Chief Executive Officer and the GRC-Presidential Board containing the status of risk management and an assessment of existing risks.

For the proper management of the business, the controlling department continuously provides all decision-makers with the required information from the finance/accounting system. In addition to the annual business planning, the most important task of Controlling is to prepare regular decision-making bases for all divisions. Together with the Chief Executive Officer, the department managers use this information to derive the necessary control measures in the short term. The results are presented to the GRC-Governing Board on a regular basis.

Third-party auditors

The GRC National Headquarters has its annual financial statements, notes and management report audited by an auditing company in accordance with the provisions of the German Commercial Code and the principles of proper business management. Projects financed with public funds are subject to regular audits by the funding agencies (in particular the responsible federal ministries and the European Commission) or by external auditors commissioned by them. In the case of projects abroad, the GRC National Headquarters complies with special requirements imposed by the funding agencies, also in the case of joint projects with other sister societies, with the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, with the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as with external partners. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) regularly examines the financial and organizational structures as well as the internal control systems. In the process, the GRC National Headquarters has regularly been classified as a reliable ECHO partner.


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