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Professional values

A set of interactive case studies based around professional values, developed by the IDEA CETL, a centre for Excellence in applied ethics teaching and research.

Each of our case studies below are designed to illustrate a particular value associated with being a professional engineer. These are also the values which are highlighted in the IET's Rules of Conduct

Each case study is designed so that it highlights issues which will be relevant to engineers working in a wide variety of different fields. They are also interactive, and should hopefully be enjoyable as well as challenging.

You can either get started straight away on one of the two case studies about environmental issues in procurement, or try one of the cases below (please note that access to these is restricted to IET members):

A case study on Competence

How do you know whether you, as an engineer, are competent to make a particular decision which might have important personal consequences for people?

A case study on Confidentiality

In what situations can a claim of "whistle-blowing" justify the disclosure of confidential information?

Case studies on Fairness

What is the fairest way to approach the allocation of a resource such as radio bandwidth? How do you deal with cultural difference where local staff are refusing to work with one of your engineering staff because of her gender?

Case studies on Honesty

How do you take advantage of business opportunities whilst making sure you are as honest as possible with your customers? What action might you take to make a "facilitation payment" to win a contract?

Case studies on Integrity

To what extent should your own moral views about war and warfare affect your professional judgement as an engineer in the defence industry?

A case study on Objectivity

How do you give objective professional advice, whilst making sure that you don't disclose confidential information?

A case study on Health, safety and risk

How do you ensure the safety of a workforce whilst respecting the autonomy of workers and maintaining a comfortable working environment?

A case study on Sustainability

How do you handle public and commercial pressures when called upon to provide expert advice?



These case studies were developed by the IDEA CETL, a Centre for Excellence in applied ethics teaching and research.