Codes of Ethics: resources page

This page will develop into a self-standing resource during the Codes of Ethics Project (2018-2020). It is intended for anyone working on any stage in the development and implementation of a particular code of ethics.

For now it contains links to examples of Codes of Ethics (or Conduct, etc.), plus some other relevant resources that can already be found on the internet, and finally, some academic publications.


Some existing codes (with a UK focus)

This links to the Charity Governance Code, produced not by the Charity Commission but in association with them by an independent Steering Group with membership drawn from across the charities sector.

A ‘statement of ethical principles’ from the UK’s Engineering Council, which forms ‘the core of the codes of conduct published by the professional engineering institutions’ to which members of those institutions are committed.

Estate agency
This, by The Property Ombudsman, is one of several, and applies to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, with links to a similar scheme in Scotland

This one is from a union, the National Union of Journalists

This one is for solicitors, and is a chapter within the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Handbook; for barristers see the Handbook produced by the Bar Standards Board

The International Council of Nursing produced a code in 1953 which has undergone repeated formulations and translated into many languages. This is the latest iteration, from 2012.

Produced by the College of Policing and applies to forces in England and Wales; slightly different codes apply for policing in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A separate set of legal principles is codified in law, in various Policing Acts.

This Code of Ethics is for members of the House of Commons

This is an example of a ‘meta-code’. It is from the European Federation of Psychologists’s Associations, and is a set of guidelines for member institutions to meet in their specific national codes. (The British Psychological Society’s code can be found here.)

A UK government ‘statement of the values and responsibilities of scientists’ drafted in 2007

Social Work
This one is from the Scotland Social Services Council, updated in November 2016

Some other useful internet resources

Human Resources Factsheet
This ‘fact sheet’ by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development describes how HR departments can promote ethical business; viewing of some sections requires (free) registration

The 7 Principles of Public Life
Also known as the Nolan Principles, produced by the Committee for Standards in Public Life

The Say No Toolkit
From the Institute of Business Ethics, a free online guide to ethical behaviour in business with an emphasis of utility

Ethics Codes Collection
Many more examples of Codes of Ethics across a wide range of professions, with a strong North American emphasis (it is hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology; the same site has other useful reflections on and practical insights into Codes of Ethics).

‘Hands up if you can say what your company’s values are’
Short podcast by FT journalist Lucy Kellaway pouring some cold water on company Statements of Values. (No paywall, but preceded by a 40-second advert.) The Maitland report she cites is called The values most valued by UK plc (pdf).


Academic publications on Codes of Ethics

[More to follow]

Davis, Michael, 1999, ‘Writing a Code of Ethics’ in Perspectives on the Professions, volume 19 issue 1 (available here as a pdf). The same bulletin has a brief account of the history of codes of ethics and some case studies.

Kleinig, John, 1996, ‘Ethics and codes of ethics’, Chapter 12 of his The Ethics of Policing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 234-255. (While it leans towards a discussion of policing codes, this chapter offers an informative and critical take on the rise of professional codes of ethics more broadly.)