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Professional ethics and the IET

An introduction to professional ethics.

  • How do you balance the commercial pressures of the business environment with the need to treat people fairly and act with integrity?
  • Is it ever acceptable to disclose confidential information?
  • What do you do when the rules of conduct don't tell you exactly how to act?

Being a professional engineer means that the wider public trust you to be competent and to adhere to certain ethical standards. The trust you derive from being seen as a professional is one of the advantages of being a member of the IET, but it also means you have certain ethical responsibilities. 

Like the Royal Academy of Engineering with its engineering Ethics and Principles and most other professional bodies, the IET has a number of  Rules of Conduct which set out the standards of behaviour expected of its members. However, a list of rules will never cover every situation that may arise, and there will always be a role for individual judgement in deciding how to apply these rules.

This section of the site is designed to help you to interpret the Rules of Conduct, and to understand the demands of professional behaviour in your own life. You will also find a set of interactive case studies, designed to help you practice exercising your judgement in ethically challenging situations. These cases are based on the experiences of real engineers, and reflect real-life situations where the right thing to do is not always obvious.

You can either get started on one of the two case studies about environmental issues in procurement, or  look at the full range of case studies available.

Having a life: engineering ethics

Where does an engineer’s responsibility end, when a project reaches its conclusion or is it a lifestyle issue? asks IET member Nick Hales.
Member News, issue 25, October 2010

E&T Magazine - Debate

Should we use technology to monitor social media?

Andrea Kates, for, and Guy Clapperton, against, in the E&T Magazine debate.
E&T Magazine, March 2014.

Would you swear an engineering oath?

By Jason Goodyer.
E&T Magazine, February 2012.

This house believes that politicians pay enough attention to research from the SET sector.

Join Nigel Platt, for, and Richard Northcote, against, in the E&T Magazine debate.
E&T Magazine, May, 2011.