Public Information

The British Origami Society acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children while they are a member of the Society or at any BOS event, and is committed to ensuring its safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount. It aims to ensure that all children have a positive and enjoyable experience of origami in a safe and friendly environment, regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background and any other factors. The Society aims to ensure children are protected from abuse of any kind whilst participating in origami.

Children and other Vulnerable Persons at Conventions and Mini-meetings
The British Origami Society promotes the use of origami in education and therapy in accordance with its constitution and as part of its charitable objectives. It welcomes all people to its meetings and conventions. For the wellbeing and safety of children under the age of 16 and vulnerable adults, the British Origami Society requests that they are accompanied at all times by a responsible adult who has a duty of care to that person.

Members of the British Origami Society are neither qualified nor properly insured to care for children under the age of 16, or for other vulnerable persons. Even where a member might be qualified to do so in their usual line of work, the British Origami Society expects members convening meetings of the society to adhere to this policy for their own sake and the reputation of the British Origami Society.
As part of our safeguarding policy, the Society will: 

  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored

The policy will be reviewed every three years, or in the following circumstances:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.

Prepared by BOS Council December 2019
Adopted by the BOS at the AGM 12th September 2020

This policy applies to trustees
This policy is based on the model policy produced by ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators). It should be read in conjunction with other guidance: at the time of writing this is the Charity Commission’s address

Why we have a Policy
Trustees have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the British Origami Society, and in accordance with the British Origami Society’s constitution, and to avoid situations where there may be a potential

conflict of interest. Members and volunteers have similar obligations. Conflicts of interests may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of the British Origami Society.

Such conflicts may create problems; they can:

  • inhibit free discussion;
  • result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of the British Origami Society; and
  • risk the impression that the British Origami Society has acted improperly.

The aim of this policy is to protect both the organisation and the individuals involved from any appearance of impropriety.

The Declaration of Interests
Accordingly, we are asking trustees to declare their interests, and any gifts or hospitality received in connection with their role in the British Origami Society. Payments of fees between trustees or joint payments to trustees should be declared. A declaration of interests form is provided for this purpose, listing
the types of interest you should declare. To be effective, the declaration of interests needs to be updated at least annually, and also when any changes occur.

If you are not sure what to declare, or whether/when your declaration needs to be updated, please err on the side of caution. If you would like to discuss this issue, please contact the Secretary for confidential guidance.

This register of interests shall also be used to record all gifts of a value over £25 received by the trustees and staff. Interests and gifts will be recorded on the charity’s register of interests, which will be maintained by the Secretary. The register will be accessible to members of the Society on request.

Data Protection
The information provided will be processed in accordance with data protection principles as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. Data will be processed only to ensure that trustees and members act in the best interests of the British Origami Society. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose.

What to do if you face a Conflict of Interest
You should not be involved in decisions that directly affect the service that you, or your associates, receive.
You should declare your interest at the earliest opportunity and withdraw from any subsequent discussion.

The same applies if you face a conflict for any other reason.

You may, however, participate in discussions from which you may indirectly benefit, for example where the benefits are universal to all users, or where your benefit is minimal. If you fail to declare an interest that is known to the Secretary and/or the Chair, the Secretary or Chair will declare that interest.

Decisions taken where a Trustee or Member has an Interest
In the event of the council having to decide upon a question in which a trustee or member has an interest, all decisions will be made by vote, with a simple majority required. A quorum must be present for the discussion and decision; interested parties will not be counted when deciding whether the meeting is quorate. Interested council members may not vote on matters affecting their own interests

Policy prepared by Tung Ken Lam, 2013. Adopted 15th February 2014

Code of Conduct Aims
• The British Origami Society (BOS) is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion or nationality.

• As a Society we aim to hold all our events in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, where people are free to enjoy themselves. However, we also recognise the importance of ensuring that all attendees feel safe, respected, and valued.

As an overarching principle, attendees at an event should be aware that offense is not about intent: it’s not about whether someone is trying to cause offense, it’s about whether offense is taken. The BOS has members all over the world and may have differing expectations of what is offensive. It is important to be aware of the impact of one’s words and actions on others, and to take responsibility for addressing any harm caused.
Here is a list of what is expected, although this list can never be exhaustive, and the above principle applies at all times:

• Do not use any form of harassment, discrimination, or offensive behaviour on BOS communication channels, social media, or at our events – whether they are held online or in person. These will not be tolerated.

• Respect personal boundaries: Do not touch anyone without their consent.

• Always ask before taking photos or recording audio/video. If someone asks you to stop, please respect their wishes.

• Remember that no means no: If someone declines an invitation or request, do not pressure them further.

• Use respectful language: Do not use hate speech, slurs, inappropriate jokes, derogatory or discriminatory terms.

• Be inclusive: Do not engage in discriminatory behaviour: Do not discriminate against others based on their age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, physical appearance, race, religion or nationality.

• Do not engage in discrimination by association: treating someone differently because of who their friends or family are, is still discrimination.

• Be polite and respectful: Avoid belittling or humiliating someone or using offensive language.

• Respect others’ views even if they differ to your own.

• Report any concerns: If you witness or experience any behaviour that violates this code of conduct, please report it to member of the BOS Council, or an event organiser immediately, or as soon as you feel safe and comfortable to do so. All complaints received will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Consequences of Violating the Code of Conduct
• The BOS Council takes all reported violations of this code very seriously. There is a formal complaints procedure that will be followed and appropriate action taken at the discretion of the Council.

• Anyone who violates this code at an event may be asked to leave the event, and in severe cases, maybe banned from future events or have their membership suspended / withdrawn. The BOS Council reserves the right to take appropriate legal action if necessary.

We welcome requests from organisations for its members to teach or demonstrate origami.  Sometimes the BOS has been asked to provide Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for members. (DBS checks are required for individuals who may work have regular contact with, or take sole responsibility for, children or vulnerable adults). A DBS check (or the Scottish, Welsh or NI equivalent) is not required where an individual is accompanied at all times by the client, or client’s representative).  If the event is at an organisation such as a youth club, school, hospital, etc. where children or vulnerable adults are present then the usual responsible adult should be present e.g. youth leader, teacher, nurse, etc.

The BOS is unable to provide DBS checks for members and therefore advises that members do not accept commissions where a DBS check might be deemed necessary.

Clients are reminded that BOS makes no recommendations as to the abilities of its members, nor does BOS accept any responsibility for their work.

For further information visit these websites: –

England and Wales
Northern Ireland
Southern Ireland

The issue of how the laws of copyright affect origami diagrams and models is an important one. Groups such as the Origami Artists and Creators are working towards an internationally agreed set of guidelines. Dr. Robert Lang has presented his interpretation on his website. Until a common statement is agreed, we refer people to the terms in our constitution.

(1) The Society and its Members shall respect all copyrights, registered trademarks and registered designs in all models, designs, diagrams, photographs, books and writings and shall observe the laws of copyright, registered trademarks, registered designs and patents and all other provisions relating to intellectual property which are applicable in all the separate countries throughout the World.

(2) This article shall apply to all models, designs, diagrams, photographs, books and writings, whether existing in writing or print on paper or any other hard copy or existing in electronic form, photocopy or microfiche in libraries, public or private archives or on the internet or on recorded discs or tapes of any kind or in any other kind of electronic record and whether made commercially or otherwise publicly or made privately.

(3) Before reproducing any model, drawing, photograph or text contained in any publication, a member of the Society shall obtain the consent of the copyright owner before publication.

(4) As a matter of courtesy, whether or not required to do so by law, the Society and its Members shall give proper acknowledgement to the original author of any model, design or diagram demonstrated or reproduced in any manner.

(Extract from the revised draft constitution of the British Origami Society)

The “Robert Harbin Fund” is a fund with the specific purpose of helping people financially to participate in origami. It is of course named after our first President and founder member Robert Harbin (pictured).

This assistance could take the form of helping with the costs of joining or re-joining the Society (for you or a nominated person), or attending a convention or origami event. We can also make donations or gifts of books or paper from the fund to community organisations e.g. hospitals or school origami club etc.

If cost is an issue, please get in touch as we may be able to provide some assistance. Requests will be treated in the strictest confidence. Don’t hesitate to contact us to make an application. The application form can be found here which should be completed and emailed to the Chair at or use the contact page on this site. Please consider it.

If you wish to make a donation to be used as set out above – please use the button below and select “Robert Harbin fund” from the “use this donation for” options.

Thank you

Click here for a pdf file of the Constitution

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Rabbit by Stephen O'Hanlon