Ethics

As a CIPR Corporate Affiliate we are bound by the working practices and ethics outlined by our industry body in the CIPR Code of Conduct. Full details are outlined at https://www.cipr.co.uk/content/our-organisation/charter-regulations-and-code-conduct and you can see our Code of Conduct below.

Appendix A – Chartered Institute of Public Relations Code of Conduct

As approved in March 2012

Note: The CIPR code of Conduct and regulations governing the complaints procedure can be accessed in one document via the CIPR website at http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/about-us/aboutcipr/code-conduct

For further information: Contact Martin Horrox, Regulatory Consultant, at martinh@cipr.co.uk, on 07974 964639, or by letter to Chartered Institute of Public Relations, 52-53 Russell Square, London, WC1B 4HP

Principles

1. Members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations agree to:

a) maintain the highest standards of professional endeavour, integrity, confidentiality, financial propriety and personal conduct;

b) deal honestly and fairly in business with employers, employees, clients, fellow professionals, other professions and the public;

c) respect, in their dealings with other people, the legal and regulatory frameworks and codes of all countries where they practise;

d) uphold the reputation of, and do nothing that would bring into disrepute, the public relations profession or the Chartered Institute of Public Relations;

e) respect and abide by this Code and related Notes of Guidance issued by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and ensure that others who are accountable to them (e.g. subordinates and sub-contractors) do the same;

f) encourage professional training and development among members of the profession in order to raise and maintain professional standards generally.

Putting the principles into practice

2. Examples of good public relations practice include:

Integrity and honesty

• Ensuring that clients, employers, employees, colleagues and fellow professionals are fully informed about the nature of representation, what can be delivered and achieved, and what other parties must do in order to enable the desired result.

• Never deliberately concealing the practitioner’s role as representative of a client or employer, even if the client or employer remains anonymous: e.g. by promoting a cause in the guise of a disinterested party or member of the public.

• Checking the reliability and accuracy of information before dissemination.

• Supporting the CIPR Principles by bringing to the attention of the CIPR examples of malpractice and unprofessional conduct.

Capacity, capability and competence

• Delivering work competently: that is, in a timely, cost-effective, appropriate and thoughtful manner, according to the actual or implied contract; applying due professional judgement and experience; taking necessary steps to resolve problems; and ensuring that clients and other interested parties are informed, advised and consulted as necessary.

• Being aware of the limitations of professional capacity and capability: without limiting realistic scope for development, being willing to accept or delegate only that work for which practitioners are suitably skilled and experienced and which they have the resources to undertake.

• Where appropriate, collaborating on projects to ensure the necessary skill base.

Transparency and avoiding conflicts of interest

• Disclosing to employers, clients or potential clients any financial interest in a supplier being recommended or engaged.

• Declaring conflicts of interest (or circumstances which may give rise to them) in writing to clients, potential clients and employers as soon as they arise.

• Ensuring that services provided are costed, delivered and accounted for in a manner that conforms to accepted business practice and ethics.

Confidentiality

• Safeguarding confidences, e.g. of present and former clients and employers.

• Never using confidential and ‘insider’ information to the disadvantage or prejudice of others, e.g. clients and employers, or to self-advantage of any kind.

• Not disclosing confidential information unless specific permission has been granted or if required or covered by law.

Interpreting the Code

3. In the interpretation of this code, the Laws of the Land shall apply. With that proviso, the code will be implemented according to the decision at the time of the Professional Practices Committee.

Maintaining professional standards

CIPR Members are encouraged to

a) raise and maintain their own professional standards by, for example:

• identifying and closing professional skills gaps through the Institute’s Continuing

Professional Development programme;

• participating in the work of the Institute through the committee structure, special interest and vocational groups, training and networking events;

• evaluating the practice of public relations through use of recognised tools and other quality management and quality assurance systems (e.g. ISO standards);

• constantly striving to improve the quality of business performance;

• sharing information on good practice with Members and, equally, referring perceived examples of poor practice to the Institute.

b) raise the professional standards of other public relations practitioners to the level of CIPR

Members by, for example:

• offering work experience to students interested in pursuing a career in public relations;

• encouraging employees and colleagues to join and support the CIPR;

• specifying a preference for CIPR applicants for staff positions advertised.

c) spread awareness of the CIPR’s role as guardian of standards for the public relations profession by, for example:

• displaying the CIPR designatory letters on business stationery;

• referring to the CIPR Code of Conduct in every contract.