Honesty in the Rules of Conduct

Examples of specific rules that are relevant to the value of honesty.

Below we have identified specific rules from the IET Rules of Conduct which are concerned with aspects of the value of honesty.

10. Members convicted of a criminal offence anywhere in the world are required to inform the Institution promptly, and to provide such information concerning the conviction as the Institution may require, but this rule does not apply to either a conviction for a motoring offence for which no term of imprisonment (either immediate or suspended) is imposed or an offence which is regarded as “spent” within the meaning of the UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 or equivalent legislation elsewhere.

11. Members shall not use designatory letters to which they are not entitled.  Neither shall they use the IET logo, coat of arms, email alias service or the designatory letters to which they are entitled to imply that they are acting on behalf of, or with the authority of, the Institution, except when conducting Institution business in the capacity of an honorary officer.

12. Members who are not registered through the Institution as a Chartered or Incorporated Engineer or Engineering Technician shall not use their entitlement to the suffix TMIET, MIET or FIET to imply that they are so registered.

These three rules are about misrepresentation.  In order to maintain the public’s trust in the profession, it is important that engineers do not claim knowledge, skills or qualifications to which they are not entitled.  It is therefore essential that engineers are always honest about these matters.

16. Members shall not make any public statement in their professional capacity without ensuring that:

         (a)  they are qualified to make such a statement and
         (b)  any association that they may have with any party who may benefit from
               the statement are known to the person or persons to whom it is directed.

Since it will not always be clear what the required qualifications are to make a particular public statement, you may need to exercise judgement in this matter.  This rule is also relevant to the value of competence. The second clause deals with conflicts of interest, which may also threaten objectivity.

18. Members shall inform their employer in writing of any conflict or potential conflict that may exist or arise between their personal interests and the interests of their employer.

Conflicts of interest may not in themselves be enough to threaten ethical behaviour, but it is very important that you are honest and open about any conflicts of interest.  See the objectivity page for a case study illustrating conflicts of interest.

20. Members shall not without their employer’s consent accept any payment or benefit in money or moneys worth from any person other than their employer in connection with professional services rendered to their employer. Neither shall they without such consent receive directly or indirectly any such payment or benefit in respect of any article or process used in or for the purpose of the work in respect of which they are employed.

21. Members shall not offer improper inducement to secure work as independent advisers or consultants, either directly or through an agent. Neither shall they improperly pay any person, whether by commission or otherwise, for the introduction of such work.

22. Members acting as independent advisers or consultants shall not be the medium of payment made on their employer’s behalf unless so requested by their employer. Neither shall they place contracts or orders in connection with work on which they are employed, except with the authority of and on behalf of their employer.

These rules require openness, honesty and integrity in financial dealings.