Code of Conduct
Mercy Ships is an international faith-based charity whose foundation rests on an integrated biblical worldview of service to others and a personal relationship with Jesus. As such, all employees and volunteers (staff/crew) are expected to respect these spiritual values and in no case undermine the values directly or indirectly in their interactions with others.
The purpose of the following Code of Conduct is to ensure all staff/crew’s safety as well as protect the reputation of both Mercy Ships and our staff/crew. The following is not intended to be “all inclusive”. All staff/crew are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct. Violation of the Code of Conduct could result in dismissal.
Alcohol & Drug Abuse
For the health and safety of our staff/crew and volunteers, Mercy Ships has adopted an alcohol free environment on all ships and operating locations. When appropriate, exceptions may be made for special occasions and/or events by the location director.
Additionally, the ship has specific regulations related to the consumption of alcohol.
Mercy Ships will not reimburse staff/crew for alcohol purchased while traveling or for business meals. Mercy Ships will not dictate the use of alcohol in private homes, yet encourages responsibility and sensitivity.
Mercy Ships is a drug-free organization and has a zero tolerance policy relating to the possession and/or abuse of drugs, including prescription drugs. Periodic drug testing may be conducted on ship at the discretion of the Captain.
Mercy Ships will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment, pornography, or immoral act (defined as any sexual contact between individuals who are not a legally married man and woman).
Fighting or attempting bodily harm or injury will not be tolerated.
Betting and Gambling
Betting and gambling for individual monetary gain on Mercy Ships premises is strictly prohibited.
Modest apparel is essential to community life. All staff/crew are required to honor each other in their choice of attire. Additionally, the ship has specific dress code requirements depending on the location.
All Mercy Ships facilities are tobacco-free.
During your time with us you will have many opportunities to meet together with other staff/crew for community, small group and other meetings and prayer and devotion times. Although these meetings are not mandatory, you are strongly encouraged to attend. Your attendance is an important way for you to stay informed as well as stay integrated into the community. Additionally, there may be meetings scheduled that are mandatory. Your attendance at these meetings is required.
Other offenses which will lead to discipline, including possible dismissal are;
- Destroying or defacing Mercy Ships property
- Unauthorized use of Mercy Ships property, finances, telephones, or other communication equipment
- Theft or dishonesty
- Violation of safety rules or common safety practices
- Misuse of confidential information
Ship Specific Adaptations
While serving aboard a Mercy Ship, staff/crew are not to visit bars, nightclubs, discos or similar establishments as many Christians, members of the Islamic community and the general populace do not view these establishments in a positive light. While ashore at a restaurant having a meal, consuming beer or wine in moderation is generally acceptable. Excessive drinking will not be tolerated and staff/crew members suspected of being intoxicated will be challenged to take a breathalyzer test. A test result of 0.08 BAC (blood/alcohol content) will result in the initiation of disciplinary measures. Failure to co-operate will result in dismissal. Operating a Mercy Ships vehicle is a serious responsibility and therefore no alcohol is to be consumed prior to driving.
In a desire to honor all staff/crew, a staff/crew member is not allowed to meet in a cabin alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not their spouse after 10pm. A man and woman who are not married should not travel alone together overnight, or share a hotel room, nor should a group of men and women share a hotel room. Although these practices are considered acceptable in some western nations, in many cultures such behavior is closely associated with sexual immorality.
Continual Application of the Code of Conduct:
There is no such thing as “Time Off” from the code of conduct. Should you observe a fellow staff/crew member acting contrary to our Core Values, please follow the principles that Jesus taught. Following Matthew 18: 15-17, lovingly confront the fellow staff/crew member encouraging them to observe Mercy Ships’ values. Should the loving confrontation be ignored or discarded, ask someone from Chaplains Department to accompany you with a second approach.