Due to the variety of ways of working within the British Red Cross, the responsibility of procuring, maintaining, reporting, and disposing of assets may lie with different parties.

The standard types of relationships are listed below, indicating respective responsibilities.

Note: HNS refers to Host National Society, PNS to Partner National Society and NS to National Society.

Bilateral GAD
(Grant Agreement
HNS purchases with
BRC funds sent
via a GAD
HNS plans and
HNS submits to
the BRC
HNS submits disposal
plan and sign-off
request to BRC
Indirect GAD*
PNS purchases per
GAD terms (specifies
procurement policy).
PNS owns asset
HNS plans and
HNS submits to
PNS submits disposal
plan and sign-off
request to BRC (unless
GAD specifies otherwise)
BRC procurement
support to (P)NS

No GAD needed
BRC procures with
BRC funds and
donates to NS
NS per internal
NS per internal
(report to BRC
only required,
if specified)
NS per internal
requirements (disposal
plan/sign-off form to BRC
only required, if specified)
BRC asset
for BRC use
BRC UK teamBRC UK teamPer BRC
Can be donated
individually if standalone
items, or via disposal
plan and sign-off request
if at end of programme

*When British Red Cross partners with a PNS who implements with a HNS

Available to download here.

Note: partnerships with IFRC and/or ICRC normally follow IFRC/ICRC asset disposal procedures.

Read the next chapter on Fleet here.

Download the full section here.

When closing down an office, operation or programme, all assets should be allocated a disposal option in an asset disposal plan that forms part of an overall exit plan of action.

The selection of options through the asset disposal plan is the responsibility of the budget holder (programme manager or country manager), implementation of the disposal plan is delegated to Logistics.

In order of preference, assets that need to be disposed of should be:

  1. Donated to the HNS
  2. Donated to another RC Movement partner
  3. Donated to a partner
  4. Donated to another humanitarian organisation
  5. Sold
  6. Destroyed

Separate to these options, the option to export the asset back to the UK for further use should always be considered, based on the type of item, value and relevance in the local context. Consult the Logistics Coordinators to enquire about the relevance of returning an asset to the UK.

The budget holder must select the best option from the above list when creating the asset disposal plan.

The asset manager is responsible for managing the asset disposal process following the RACI matrix in the Donating an asset to other organisations section of Asset donations. However, accountability for the process lies with the budget holder who must initiate the process, make the relevant decisions about each asset’s disposal and ensure all steps are followed properly through to sign-off of the disposal plan.

Designing the disposal plan:


  • Confirm and compile list of assets and high-value stock as part of the exit plan of action (refer to the updated asset register).


  • Physical check.
  • Use the list to update status as the disposal process progresses.
  • Propose list to UKO for validation.
  • The list must include damaged items and those that have already been pledged (which should be marked as such).
  • The list must indicate purchase value, current depreciated value and donor codes.


  • Consider donor/government requirements.


  • Obtain guidance from donor and local government on asset disposal.


  • Consider return, transfer or disposal options.


Committee at UKO to be constituted (can include members from logistics, finance, IT and programme team and donor representation) to agree disposal route:

  • export to return to UK
  • transfer to other programme locally (British Red Cross, HNS, consortium)
  • donation
  • sale
  • destruction
  • committee to consider donor requirements, Value for money, repair options and costs, on-going maintenance/running costs (potentially impacting the HNS adversely) and cost of repatriation (including carbon footprint analysis).

Implementing the disposal plan:


  • Donation to HNS, PNS, IFRC or other NGO. Note: donation to staff is strictly prohibited.


  • Communicate the asset list to organisations to see if anything within the list is needed for their programme.
  • British Red Cross need to ensure that assets will be used and should consider what other PNS will do to reduce the risk of overwhelming the HNS with assets.
  • Confirm with local legal advisor that there is no problem transferring assets under the IFRC Integration Agreement.
  • Donation certificate will be required.


  • Sale.


  • Bill of sale must be raised, signed by each party.
  • Depending on quantity of items to be sold, consider contracting a company to manage the sale.
  • Tax implications of sale must be carefully researched.
  • Proceeds of the sale must adhere to donor requirements.


  • Destruction.


  • Consider local environmental law and associated costs and requirements (especially for dangerous goods and fluids).
  • Consider contracting recycling companies and associated costs and donor requirements.


  • Export back to UK.


  • Costs must be investigated and approved by UKO committee.

Reporting losses: all lost or stolen assets should be recorded on the frauds and losses register as they occur. British Red Cross requires all asset losses to be reported through Datix incident management system.

Damaged assets must be identified as such – logistics must be consulted on repair options and arrange for agreed repairs.

The overall exit plan of action, and the asset disposal plan in particular, must be signed off according to the total value (that is, the purchase value, not the depreciated value) of the portfolio of items/assets being disposed of following the thresholds listed below and signed off in the MPB if there is one.

Donation amountApproved by
Up to £50,000Budget holder (e.g. Programme/Country Manager) + Finance
Up to £100,000Head of department/head of region (LogCo consulted)
Up to £1,000,000Programmes & Partnership Director international
Up to £5,000,000Executive Director International
Above £5,000,000CEO and CFO (ELT informed)

Note: regardless of the total value of the asset disposal plan, it is critical that the budget holder (programme manager or country manager) is informed at all stages of development of the plan.

Note: the sequence of approvals is important for asset disposal plans:

  1. MPB if there is one
  2. BRC per the above table
  3. donor

Once the asset disposal plan has been finalised, it should be circulated to the designated approvers, together with an asset disposal plan sign-off form.

Disposal by donation

The preferred option for disposing of surplus stock and assets is to donate them, so they continue to benefit the needs of the communities they were originally sent to help.

Potential receivers of asset donation (see order of preference to be followed above) should be contacted sequentially with donation offers, with a timeline within which they should respond. Beyond that timeline, the next option can be considered. Dates and offers of donations must be kept in writing.

Do they want them?
A list of the items available should be shared for potential receivers to pick from.

Can they use them?
Sophisticated and specialist equipment may require training before the receiver can autonomously use and maintain it.

Can they maintain them?
Certain items will require maintenance – can the receiver cover the cost?

Disposal by sale

Logistics are responsible for organising the disposal of assets by sale, after all the necessary approvals are obtained.

When selling items, a transparent system must be put in place, with a senior staff member overseeing the process. This could be through sealed-but-publicly-opened bids for higher value items or through a public, live auction with set prices for lower value items.

The following needs to be considered:

  • The estimated sales value of the asset, and the administrative costs involved in a sale.
  • If the exchange of asset in partial or full payment for replacement equipment or supplies is possible.
  • If the destruction of the asset will be more economical or is required by law or by the nature of the property.
  • If the interests of the British Red Cross will be better served by donation of the asset to a National Society or other humanitarian organisation, or transfer to another operational programme.
  • If the asset is part of an operational programme, and if there are restrictions on the use of programme commodities and the desires of the donor.
  • If there are governmental restrictions forbidding the sale of assets imported or requiring import duties to be paid prior to the sale of such goods.
  • The public relations impact of such a sale.
  • Taxes: if an item is brought into the country without paying tax, it must usually be paid if sold onwards within the country.

Sale of fixed assets should be performed on a sealed-bid basis, to obtain market value and ensure that the sale is both transparent and at “arm’s length” (with no possible interpretation of fraud or collusion). This is done by the following:

The sale of items or lots with a total value below £500 does not need to be performed by sealed bidding, and prospective buyers may be approached by telephone, letter or in person as well as through the media. After inspecting the asset, they may submit informal bids by phone, email, in writing or in person.

Competitive bidding. Invitations to bid for the purchase of assets are published in local media and issued to pre-identified prospective purchasers, and it is recommended that advertisements be published in the local media to encourage sales. The invitation to bid must specify whether augmented bids will be accepted after the opening of bids; if this is not specified, bidders should not be allowed to raise their bids after the official bid opening. If raising bids after the bid opening ceremony is allowed, bidders must be encouraged in their invitation to attend the sale in person and it must be made clear in the advertising and bidding documents that this will be an option.

Sale by fixed price may be recommended if the value of the property is known and the fixed price will ensure a fair return to the British Red Cross. However, it may be better to advertise for sealed bids, with the desired fixed price set as a minimum. This minimum set price should not be advertised however to allow opportunity for receipt of higher bids.

Note: the sale of assets to staff is usually not permitted. Should this be allowed as an exception, it must be a transparent process where all staff members have the opportunity to purchase.

Selling process

View and download a flowchart illustrating the selling process here.

Determining fair market value (FMV)

By broad definition, fair market value is the price that would be demanded and paid in a sale involving a willing seller under no compulsion to sell and a willing buyer under no compulsion to buy, assuming both have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts about the asset.

Consult HQ logistics when there is a need to determine fair market value.

There are few options available to determine an asset’s current value:

  • If the asset is insured, the finance team can request an appraisal from the insurance company.
  • If the above is not possible, an independent authorised surveyor can be contracted to provide value of an asset, based on the standard practice in the specific country determined by law.
  • In the case of vehicles or generators, the logistics team can request an appraisal from a vendor of second-hand/used cars/generators (preferably a dealer of the specific vehicle/generator), or from a local mechanic if neither are available. A minor fee is usually required for such appraisals.

Actions subsequent to sale

The asset register must be updated based on the bill of sale, with a copy of the bill of sale kept on file.

The organisation’s Insurance policy should be updated following the sale.

The proceeds of the sale must be reflected in the monthly accounts and incorporated as income to the programme for which the asset was utilised before being sold.

Disposal by public auction

Sales of items or lots of a total value above £500 to third parties are to be conducted by public auction or by submitting sealed bids. Sales are to be made to the highest bidder (subject to the reserve price being met). Exceptionally, local and international staff can bid on items but will have to place the highest bid to win them.

Proceeds from sale:

Income from the sale of assets funded by donors must be used as co-funding or according to donor guidelines.

The money received from the assets’ sale must be recorded in accounts as income and not set against the expenditure account.

Public sale with fixed prices:

Reserve prices should be set by a logistics coordinator, with validation from the head of delegation or country representative.

They should be roughly equal to prices found on the open market.

Disposal by destruction

Destruction of assets/inventory is subject to local environmental law and can be expensive.

Check for special authorisation from government, especially for the disposal of food, chemical items or dangerous goods found in assets (batteries, fluids, etc).

Recycling companies can be contracted to dispose of assets, though some costs may be incurred.

Writing off obsolete assets – UKO assets only

While stored in the UK, pre-positioned assets are largely managed as stock and kept on a balance sheet – items are purchased with logistics budget and reimbursed by users as they request the assets in stock.

When assets are broken or obsolete before they can be deployed, they must be written off and somehow “paid for”.

Logistics have some budget to cover write-off costs, but where assets have been damaged in use, the user’s team’s budget should cover the cost. A stock/asset write-off form must be completed and approved before the asset’s value can be written off the balance sheet.

The destruction or donation of obsolete assets should be budgeted for unless the asset has reached its 0-value due to depreciation.

Note: when an asset has been sold, its value can be offset against the proceedings of the sale without using funds from any other budget.

IT, communications, and data management assets specifics

An IT decommissioning policy does not currently exist within the British Red Cross. However, when disposing of any IT, communication or data management assets (such as computers, tablets, phones, GPS devices, radio sets and satellite phones), all the data stored on the device and all the parameters that were set up on it must be wiped off the device, applicable SIM cards removed and accounts closed.

In case of doubt, please contact the regional logistics coordinators so they can provide any necessary technical support.

Read the next section on Asset management and partners here.

Download the full section here.

Assets require more tracking than regular items (see flowchart of definitions). When an asset is received, some of its details must be captured and periodically updated on an asset register. Maintenance services performed on assets must also be kept on file, in order to monitor the usage of the asset.

When assets are issued, the responsibility to maintain them lies with the person to whom they have been issued. When assets are in storage, they are under the responsibility of the asset manager.

Asset transfers must be recorded on asset transfer forms and the assets’ status must be kept updated on the asset register.

The asset register should be used as an asset report and shared with the project team at an agreed frequency (most commonly monthly), but also with donors when they request it and with the finance team when they require information about the value of assets.

Registering assets

When assets are received, an asset folder must be created and references captured on the asset register, so GRN and PO can easily be traced back.

The asset manager is in charge of tracking the sequence of asset numbers, and of allocating the next available number to the newly received asset following an agreed numbering convention.

Examples of asset numbering conventions:

Name of NS + Country of use + Asset category + Acquisition year + Sequence number

Or more simply:

Name of NS + Sequence number

Note: any numbering convention is acceptable, but it must be used consistently.

The asset number must be captured on the GRN and tagged on the asset as soon as possible.

Make sure that the asset tags used are secure or engrave or paint the asset number on the asset (on generators, vehicles, etc). This becomes the asset’s identification number and must be unique to that asset.

The asset can then be recorded on the asset register, where more details will be listed, such as:

  • asset number
  • category
  • description
  • brand/make
  • model
  • serial number
  • budget codes used to purchase the asset (project code), and donor code (where applicable)
  • date of purchase
  • purchase order reference
  • purchase value
  • current value (provided by finance)
  • GRN reference
  • maintenance plan (where relevant – how often does it need to be serviced?)
  • person responsible (must match the most recent asset transfer form)
  • location (current physical location or point of use)
  • status (for example, OK, damaged, in repair, lost, broken or stolen).

All documents related to a single asset must be kept together in an asset file – this can be a plastic file, for example, with a cover sheet listing the documents on file and the date at which they were added.

Documents related to the maintenance, transfer, receipt, insurance, sale and donation of the asset must be kept in that file.

All asset files should be kept together in an asset management folder.

Note: when an asset is received as a donation from a partner, it must be allocated a new asset number and entered on the asset register as a new asset.

For guidance on asset value, refer to the Determining fair market value section of Asset disposal.

Asset responsiblity

Asset responsibility is allocated through an asset receipt form or asset transfer form (both have the same purpose, but the Red Cross Movement generally uses asset transfer forms). Every time the main user of an asset changes, an asset transfer form must be completed and kept on file, and the asset’s status must be updated on the asset register. When the asset transfer form is complete, the user of the asset assumes responsibility for it and their name must be recorded on the asset register as the current user.

When an asset is not allocated to any specific person, it is the responsibility of the asset manager and must be shown as such on the asset register. It is then the asset manager’s responsibility to ensure the asset is stored safely and securely while not in use and that the necessary maintenance services are performed.

The asset manager should have access to a storage space to hold the unallocated assets, which can be anything from a locked cupboard to a storage room. The assets should be stored by category, with their asset tags or markings easy to read while in storage.

A text box explains that all motor vehicles must be insured in compliance with the country's legal regulations and under the name of a Red Cross partner in the country. Rented or owned buildings must be insured too

Some assets, such as buildings and vehicles, require insurance. Assets must be insured locally unless they are purchased in an organisation that holds global insurance for their assets (always ask your regional logistics coordinator to confirm the status of partners’ asset insurance).

Unless it is a legal or donor requirement, if the insurance cost is higher than the replacement cost (and if this can be shown through quotes), taking out an insurance policy is not mandatory.

Owned buildings, property or land must be captured on the asset register but rented properties may or may not have to be, depending on the duration and financial management of the lease (depreciation can sometimes be applied to long-term rental agreements). Refer to your finance team and/or to the UK-based logistics coordinators to confirm whether a leased building or property should be on the asset register.

Note: some donors may require some categories of assets to be insured. In this case, insurance costs should be covered by the donor requesting the insurance.

Asset checks

Asset checks should be conducted regularly. It is good practice to have five per cent of the asset register, or a minimum of ten assets (whichever is highest) checked against the asset register by finance and logistics staff in each of the country offices on a monthly basis, using the asset spot check form.

All differences must be investigated and reported on the asset spot check form by the staff who conducted the spot check (finance and logistics) and signed:

Locally: by the asset manager’s line manager, programme manager or country manager.

HQ level: by the head of logistics.

The asset spot check form must be signed within a month of being raised, asset checks are required by default, unless otherwise specified in the GAD. The asset spot check form does not need HQ sign-off if it does not identify discrepancies.

A full physical check of all assets must be completed by finance and logistics staff on an annual basis, preferably just before the end of the financial year. All differences must be investigated and reviewed per the same process as for asset spot checks. Following the annual asset check, the asset register must be updated, and the approved investigation report must be attached to the next dissemination of the asset register.

All asset check forms must be kept in the asset management file. The asset manager must keep track of the assets that have been checked during the monthly spot checks to ensure that different assets are checked each month, on a rolling basis.

Following the monthly spot check, the asset register must be updated and the spot check form should be attached to the next dissemination of the asset register.

Reporting on assets

Most donors require regular information about assets purchased with funds they have provided. The details in the asset register should cover all the information they require, but it is good practice to agree beforehand on the information that will be shared.

Whenever new partnerships are designed, it is advisable that the future grant recipient shares their version of an asset register with the donor, to ensure that the level of information is sufficient.

Assets that have not been used for over a year should be reported to senior management by the asset manager, to discuss potentially disposing of them. See the Asset disposal section for more details.

Asset depreciation

The value of assets owned by an organisation sits on its balance sheet. Keeping the balance sheet updated is usually the responsibility of the finance team, but the information required for the process is often shared between logistics and finance. Communication between teams is critical when it comes to recording the right assets at the right value.

In the British Red Cross, see the “Guidance on accounting for fixed assets” (available on Redroom) for information about capitalising assets. Note that in UKO, each team is responsible for their own assets and must maintain an asset register to be shared with the finance team when required (for the end-of-year report for example).

At British Red Cross, assets with a value above £1,000 and with a useful life of more than one year must be capitalised and depreciated. Further details can be found in the policy. Finance should be consulted to understand which assets incur depreciation (not all of them will).

An asset will typically be allocated a life cycle of x years, and its value will decrease by the same amount every year for x years. At the end of x-year life cycle, the asset’s value will be 0. Those 0-value assets still need to be managed as all other assets, and their status must be updated on the asset register.

It is not the responsibility of logistics to apply depreciation to the assets. The asset manager must make sure the depreciated values are computed and shared in due time to report on the total value of assets.

Asset maintenance

Assets that require regular maintenance or inspection services typically include:

  • all fleet, including generators and mechanical handling devices (i.e. forklifts)
  • buildings, whether owned or rented
  • medical equipment
  • IT and comms equipment
  • some household items.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance should be incorporated into the usage cycle of assets. For example, it should be reflected in the fleet plan and the drivers’ allocation plan.

A maintenance planner should be used to visualise all completed, ongoing and upcoming maintenance, and covering all the assets that require maintenance. A maintenance planner is included as a tab in the asset register template. It is important to consider legal requirements that apply to categories of assets: for example, an annual vehicle inspection is required in certain countries, with the renewal of the roadworthiness certificate.

See the Fleet chapter for more details on fleet maintenance and maintenance planning.

See the British Red Cross portable appliances technical guide for details of the maintenance procedures to follow regarding British Red Cross-owned electrical assets in the UK. This guide should inform the maintenance planner for the UK logistics team.

See guideline for maintenance of British Red Cross-owned vehicles in the UK.

Note: Most of the maintenance requirements for buildings in the UK will be covered by British Red Cross’ maintenance service provider. To request a maintenance service, contact SSC, so they can schedule it via the facilities management contractor.

Unplanned maintenance

Unplanned maintenance needs must be identified as such and avoided as far as possible. When they do occur, a maintenance request must be authorised by the asset manager, and the associated costs should be recharged to the budget code of the user requesting the maintenance.

Cost of maintenance

The cost of maintenance associated with an asset should be monitored, with copies of invoices for maintenance services included in the individual asset files kept in the asset management folder.

Looking at the cumulative value of maintenance costs associated to a specific asset can support a decision to dispose of an asset, replace it or to switch to renting rather than owning similar items.

For vehicles, generators and some electrical/medical equipment, maintenance should also be captured in the logbook.

Read the next section on Asset donations here.

Download the full section here.

Assets must be identified as such in the procurement plan and estimated lead times as well as processes (for example, quote-based, national or international tenders) must be defined in the procurement plan, so that the procurement processes can begin in time. If an asset must be procured through an international tender, the delivery lead time will be longer than if it only requires the collection of quotes. The procurement plan should also identify which assets or groups of assets will require procurement waivers, where derogations are required.

Before procuring new assets, make sure there are no existing assets that can fulfil the same role. Sharing assets between projects is a way of achieving value for money, but not all donors will allow it.

Seek advice from your regional logistics coordinator, as they will be aware of the donor requirements and can tell you about assets that could be used for your project (this is particularly true for vehicles).

For details about the different procurement processes and respective requirements, refer to the Procurement chapter.

Read the next section on Registering, tracking and reporting assets, and filing here.

Download the full section here.

Consumables/office supplies

Consumables don’t need to be taken as stock or assets, as their value is usually low. These include cleaning materials, stationery, lightbulbs, and other replacement items.

View and download a diagram illustrating how such items are managed here.


Items that are worth less than £1,000, not powered by electricity, do not incur maintenance costs, have a useful life of less than 3 years, and are not defined as assets by the donor who funded their purchase, are classified as equipment and should be tracked on a property register.

Furniture, unless items worth more than £1,000 should be included on the property register rather than on the asset register.


For the management of stocks, refer to the Warehousing chapter.

Read the next section on Procuring assets here.

Download the full section here.

There are multiple categories of assets and it is important that assets are grouped in the right category, from the project procurement plan (or handover/donation plan) to the asset register and exit plan of action.


  • vehicles
  • motorbikes
  • forklift
  • digger
  • generators
  • solar system set-up.

Communications and IT

  • telephones
  • smartphones
  • satellite phones
  • radio sets
  • radio base stations
  • satellite dish
  • handheld GPS
  • laptops
  • desktops
  • printers
  • scanners
  • CPUs
  • digital tablets.


  • any owned property, built or land
  • includes temporary structures such as Rubb Halls.


  • office safe
  • fridges
  • freezers
  • cookers
  • power stabilisers
  • surge protector
  • fans
  • air conditioning units
  • washing machines
  • TVs.


  • all tools, powered or mechanical.

Medical equipment

  • all specialised equipment
  • all assets falling under other categories but used in medical settings should not be classified as medical
  • e.g.: a fridge used in a hospital is a household asset, not a medical asset. An oxygen concentrator is a medical asset, however.

Intangible assets

  • insurance
  • software licenses
  • patents.

All above items only count as assets within the following criteria:

> £1,000 OR

> 3 years useful life OR

Powered by electricity or fuel, has a serial number OR

Incurs running cost OR

Defined as an asset by donor

Note: it is good practice to track intangible assets on the asset register. Some donors may require tracking intangible assets.

Read the next section on Items that are not to be managed as assets here.

Download the full section here.

To determine whether an item procured or received as Gift in Kind is an asset, stock, supply or piece of equipment, consult this diagram.

The below table defines the British Red Cross’ understanding of assets. Different partners may have different definitions (especially around the minimum value or useful life of an item), which will be stated in their own logistics or financial procedures.

StockOffice suppliesEquipmentAssets
DefinitionConsumable items
tracked and stored
until use/distribution
Temporary or disposable
consumables, food or
cleaning products for
daily use in office or
Not powered by
No running costs
Not defined as asset
by donor
>£1,000 or
> 3 years useful life or
powered by electricity or
incurs running cost or
defined as asset by donor
ExamplesProgramme supplies for
direct distribution
Office supplies for
distribution to
beneficiaries, partners
Vehicle spare parts, fuel
Office cleaning materials
Food for office
Housing equipment
Household items
Owned property
Comms equipment
IT hardware
Large household
Stock reportNoneProperty registerAsset register
WarehouseIn the officeIn use or in
In use or in

*The storeroom is typically a small room in the office where a small stock of office supplies is kept.

Available to download here.

In British Red Cross, asset management requirements are defined in the GAD, together with any other specific requirements, whether they come from British Red Cross or from a donor (Section 6 in the standard GAD). Where it has been agreed that the partner will use their own asset management procedure, this requires prior approval and must be mentioned in the GAD.

One person from either logistics or finance must have operational responsibility for asset management, delegated from a country or programme manager.

In certain operations, assets may be managed at a programme or project level, but it is recommended that someone is allocated the task of centralising asset management (see above RACI matrix for reference).

In large, multi-site operations, an asset manager should be hired to ensure compliant asset management. The task of asset management can be part of an existing role, such as logistics officer or finance officer, or exist as a standalone asset manager role.

Read the next section on Categories of assets here.

Download the full section here.


Assets, stock, equipment: definitions

Learn more in the Definition of an asset, Categories of assets and Items not to be managed as assets sections.

Asset procurement

Learn more in the Procuring assets section.

Asset management

Learn more in the Registering, tracking and reporting assets, and filing section

Asset donations

Learn more in the Asset donations section.

Asset disposal plans

Learn more in the Asset disposal section.

Assets ownership

Learn more in the Note on asset management and partnerships section.

Download the whole Assets chapter here.