Explaining the IET's Rules of Conduct

Explores the professional values of the IET's Rules of Conduct with interactive case studies for each value.


In joining the IET, all members must agree to abide by the Rules of Conduct. Members re-affirm their commitment to the rules through the annual renewal of their membership. The Rules of Conduct are defined by members for members and are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain relevant. Suggestions that a member's conduct has contravened the rules are reviewed under the IET's investigation and disciplinary procedures.

You can view the Rules of Conduct here, but listed below you can see the rules with links to the pages exploring the professional values which underpin that rule. You will also be able to try an interactive case study for each value.

The relevant extract from the IET Bye-laws

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.

This Bye-law relates to the values of integrity, fairness, health, safety and risk, and environmental sustainability.

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.

This Bye-law relates to the values of integrity and competence.

Rules of Conduct

Readers will note that a number of the rules are not listed below. Rule 1 sets the framework for the other rules: rule 6 is about the member's obligation to promote the IET in a favourable light: rule 15 is about members actively promoting public awareness of the engineering and technology: and 17 is about not canvassing in relation to elections to Boards and Committees of the IET.

2. Members shall keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date through planned professional development and seek to broaden and deepen that knowledge throughout their working life. Members shall also encourage persons working under their supervision to do the same.
Value: competence

3. Members shall not undertake professional tasks and responsibilities that they do not believe themselves competent to discharge.
Values: competence, integrity

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.
Values:  integrity, competence

5. Members whose professional advice is not accepted shall take all reasonable steps:

(a) to ensure that the person overruling or neglecting that advice is aware of any danger or loss which may ensue; and
(b) in appropriate cases, to inform that person’s employers of the potential risks involved.

Values: health, safety and risk, honesty 

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.
Value: integrity

8. Members shall at all times take all reasonable care to limit any danger of death, injury or ill health to any person that may result from their work and the products of their work.
Value: health, safety and risk

9. Members shall take all reasonable steps to avoid waste of natural resources, damage to the environment, and damage or destruction of man-made products. Lawful work undertaken by members in connection with equipment intended for the defence of a nation will not infringe this Rule or Rule 8.
Value: environmental sustainability

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. 
Value: honesty

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.
Value: honesty

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.
Value: honesty

13. Members shall exemplify professional behaviour generally and specifically in their relationships with the Institution, its employees and their fellow members.
Value: fairness

14. Members who are called upon to give an opinion in their professional capacity shall, to the best of their ability, give an opinion that is objective and based upon the best available knowledge and information.
Value: objectivity

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.

Values: honesty, competence and 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.
Values: integrity, honesty and objectivity

19. Members shall not without proper authority disclose any confidential information concerning the business of their employer or any past employer.
Value: confidentiality

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.
Values: integrity, objectivity and honesty

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.
Values: integrity, objectivity and honesty

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.
Values: integrity, objectivity and honesty


Further information relating to the IET's Rules of Conduct