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Our Ethics Statement of Principles

We could hardly offer our own services to others in relation to ethical issues without making our own position clear.

In the course of our learning we have identified, read, critically reviewed, and fastidiously un-picked the ethics statements of many large and small enterprises. It may perhaps be surprising then that we have followed the lead of another and adopted, with only minor modification, what is probably the shortest of those we found.

There is good reason for this, going well beyond the simple fact that we agree with words which reflect our own views. Its brevity and the simplicity of its wording makes it easy to understand, not just by clients or customers, but by employees and all representatives of business at all levels.

Acknowledgement is due to the original author, Professor John Uff, who under the auspices of the Society of Construction Law, took the ground-breaking initiative to devise the original principles and promote them across the construction industry. In our view they remain equally appropriate to all business sectors.

Ethical conduct is the compliance with the following ethical principles.

Honesty - act with honesty and avoid conduct likely to result, directly or indirectly, in the deception of others.
Fairness - do not seek to obtain a benefit which arises directly or indirectly from the unfair treatment of other people.
Fair reward - avoid acts which are likely to result in another party being deprived of a fair reward for their work.
Reliability - maintain up to date skills and provide services only within your area of competence.
Integrity - have regard for the interests of the public, particularly people who will make use of or obtain an interest in the project in the future.
Objectivity - identify any potential conflicts of interest and disclose the conflict to any person who would be adversely affected by it.
Accountability - provide information and warning of matters within your knowledge which are of potential detriment to others who may be adversely affected by them. Warning must be given in sufficient time to allow the taking of effective action to avoid detriment.

These principles apply to the work of all, whatever their qualifications, regardless of any professional or personal affiliation.

Guidance on ethical principles

Application of statement
The statement of ethical principles applies to persons as individuals, whether they work as an independent professional or as a partner, associate, director or employee of a firm or company. Persons who work on behalf of a firm or company have additional responsibility to ensure that this statement of good practice is complied with by the firm or company to the extent of their authority.

Legal and other duties
The statement of good practice is in addition to any legal requirement or other professional code that may apply. In all cases where there may be some doubt, it is the standard of the highest behavioural denominator, based upon the interpretation that a reasonable person in society might make, which should take precedence.

The statement of good practice is part of, and additional to, all contractual and other duties taken on under civil law. The statement of good practice applies independently of any requirement imposed by or breach of criminal law.

Unethical conduct
Unethical conduct is the deliberate or reckless disregard for the ethical principles, as they would apply to the ordinary standards applicable to the activity being undertaken – the recognised practice in that profession. Such professional or industrial standard shall in no way to undermine or reduce the standard that a reasonable person might reasonably expect to operate in a society which adhered diligently to the ethical principles.