Integrity in the IET rules of conduct

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

29. Persons in any category of membership shall at all times uphold the dignity and reputation of their profession, act with fairness and integrity towards everyone with whom their work is connected, and towards other members and safeguard the public interest in matters of health, safety, the environment and otherwise.

Professional engineers need to be aware of the many and varied stakeholders in their work. Acting with integrity involves considering these stakeholders as far as possible in all decisions.

30. Persons in any category of membership shall, in addition, exercise their professional skill and judgement to the best of their ability and discharge their professional responsibilities with integrity. They shall encourage the vocational progress of those in their professional charge.

Being a professional means being a member of a professional community. Subordinates and those for whom you have line management responsibility are also members of that community, and so should be encouraged in their professional development.

3. Members shall not undertake professional tasks and responsibilities that they do not believe themselves competent to discharge.

An important part of integrity is being honest with yourself about the limits of your ability, and not taking on work which you are not capable of carrying out.

4. Members shall accept personal responsibility for all work done by them or under their supervision or direction. Members shall also take all reasonable steps to ensure that persons working under their authority are both suitably equipped and competent to carry out the tasks assigned to them.

The concepts of integrity and responsibility are closely related. This rule argues that you should take personal responsibility for your work, and for the ability of those to whom you assign tasks.

6. Members shall not either advertise or write articles for publication in any manner that is derogatory to the Institution or to the dignity of their profession. Neither shall they authorise any such advertisement or article to be written or published by others.

7. Members shall not recklessly or maliciously injure or attempt to injure, whether directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects or business of any other person.

As a member of a profession, you should not aim to damage the reputation of the profession or of your fellow professionals. However, this does not mean that you should not point out unethical or unprofessional behaviour when you see it. Personal judgement is required here.

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.

As well as a requirement of honesty, being open about conflicts of interest, when it may be easier or more convenient to keep quiet about them, is also an example of integrity.

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.