Edge Draft Model Code of Conduct

In response to recommendation A-1 in the Edge Commission of Inquiry report, Collaboration for Chnage, the Edge has produced a draft model Code of Conduct exploring the potential for an effective code that could be widely used across the construction industry professional institutions.

    The Model joint Code:

    • is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive
    • is drawn and adapted from other codes, including: Society of Construction law, RIBA, ARB, EC-RAE, ICE, RICS, CIAT, CIBSE, CIOB, IStructE, LI, RTPI, International Ethics Standard, Nolan, Deloitte, Atkins and Arup - plus the new professionalism code prepared by Edge member, Bill Bordass.
    • is based on whom duties are owed to. This came out of the findings of the Edge Commission, which identified the high levels of confusion on whom or what professionals should be responsible to/for. It is intended to bring greater clarity although it does mean a certain degree of repetition
    • should be accompanied by guidance notes and examples that will be particular to each institution
    • doesn’t include institutional housekeeping items or disciplinary procedures, which should be located in individual institution’s regulations, by-laws or guidance notes

    See also the accompanying draft proposed Professional Compact

    Comments on both these documents are welcome and should be sent to contact@edgedebate.com

    DRAFT MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT

    Duties towards the wider world

    The environment: to minimise any adverse effect on the natural environment now and into the future
    Use of resources: to take into account the limited availability of natural and human resources
    Future proofing: to allow for the needs of future generations taking into account any reasonably predictable circumstances, including the effects of climate and demographic change
    Accounting: to demonstrate for each project, by an appropriate audit trail, that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the above issues have been adequately addressed
    Feedback: to evaluate and reflect upon the performance in-use of projects and feed back the findings

    Duties toward society

    Public interest: to act consistently in the public interest and take the interests of all stakeholders in any project properly into account, including future generations.
    Integrity: to act with objectivity, responsibility and truthfulness at all times
    Impartiality: to exercise impartial and independent professional judgement
    Use of evidence: to base professional advice on relevant, valid and objective evidence and the best quality knowledge that can be reasonably accessed
    Impact: to consider the broader impact of projects on society, the industry and government
    Health and safety: to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of occupants, users and members of the public affected by projects over their full lifecycle.
    Responsibility: to provide timely information and warning of matters, which may adversely affect others, when they become apparent,
    Disclosure: to disclose accurate and truthful information on project intentions and outcomes in accordance with industry-wide methodologies and metrics
    Fairness: to treat all persons fairly and with respect and to embrace equality of opportunity, diversity and the elimination of discrimination
    Users: to have a proper concern and due regard for the impact that projects may have on both users and local communities
    Bribery: to reject bribery and all forms of corrupt behaviour and make positive efforts to ensure others do likewise.
    Value: to create lasting value and keep options open for the future.

    Duties towards those commissioning services

    Honesty: to act for each and every one commissioning services in a reliable and trustworthy manner
    Duty of Care: to discharge professional duties with fidelity and probity
    Transparency: to keep identified and relevant individuals informed of the progress of projects and any key decisions made
    Conflicts of interest: to identify and declare any potential bias, conflict of interest or undue influence, whether real or perceived
    Competence: to be competent to carry out the professional work undertaken, and if others are engaged, to ensure that their work is also competent and adequately supervised
    Diligence: to apply high standards of skill, knowledge and care in all work undertaken
    Knowledge and skills: to maintain and develop new knowledge and skills to ensure services are kept up to date and effective
    Service improvement: to foster new ideas and service development to improve the value and performance of services over time
    Targets: to use best endeavours to meet agreed time, cost and quality requests
    Accountability: to take full responsibility for services provided
    Appointment: to ensure that terms of appointment, the scope of work and the essential project requirements are clear and recorded in writing, and to explain to service commissioners the implications of any conditions of engagement and the way their fees are to be calculated and charged
    Quality systems: to have systems in place to ensure that projects are run professionally, and are regularly monitored and reviewed
    Communications: to be open and share (as appropriate and necessary) information with service commissioners and/or others in a way that is readily understood.
    Confidentiality: to ensure that appropriate security is in place for all records in accordance with the service commissioner’s requirements for confidentiality and to ensure compliance with data protection legislation
    Money: to keep proper records of all money held for service commissioners and other parties and be able to account for it whenever required
    Insurance: to maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance
    Follow through: to provide project follow-through and aftercare when required
    Post project evaluation: to carry out post-project evaluation, to learn from the evidence gathered and the project experience and to share understanding and admit mistakes
    Complaints: to have in place (or have access to) effective procedures for dealing promptly and appropriately with disputes and complaints

    Duties towards those in the workplace

    Respect: to show consideration for colleagues and for all other persons encountered in the course of professional duties. All persons are to be treated with respect and without bias
    Equal Opportunities: to avoid discrimination against anyone for whatever reason and ensure that issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, size, religion, country of origin or disability have no place in any dealings with other people or business decisions
    Employment practice: to comply with good employment practice both as employer and employee
    Payment: to pay a fair and commensurate reward to all employees and others in the workplace for work carried out
    Working hours: to ensure hours worked are reasonable and allow for a healthy work/life balance
    Training: to provide the training, advice and information necessary for employees and others to operate effectively, gain new skills and progress
    Work environment: to provide a safe working environment
    Health and safety: to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of all those in the workplace and engaged in delivering projects
    Collaboration: to cooperate and integrate proactively and with other professionals and to develop trusting relationships with open and honest collaboration
    Competition: to avoid acting maliciously or recklessly when competing with another person or when taking actions likely to adversely affect the professional, business or other interests of another person
    Supply chain: to avoid acts which, directly or indirectly, are likely to result in the unfair treatment of other people or deprive them of a fair reward for their work
    Modern day slavery: to proactively counteract and report abusive labour practices in connection with any projects undertaken
    Challenge: to challenge assumptions and standards. Be honest about what you don’t know
    Plagiarism: to respect the intellectual property rights of others and not collude with any form of plagiarism
    Risk: to identify and evaluate and, where possible, quantify risks and to share any concerns with appropriate parties
    Whistleblowing: to report dangerous situations and suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible, to take seriously and investigate any concerns, respect confidentiality and to protect those fairly raising concerns from any repercussions
    Dispute resolution: to encourage, if appropriate, alternative methods of dispute resolution, including mediation or conciliation

    Duties towards the profession

    Behaviour: to act in a way that promotes trust in the profession:
    - Promoting the highest standards globally
    - Understanding that being a professional is more than just about how you behave at work; it is also, about how you behave in your private life
    - Fulfilling your obligations. Doing what you say you wil
    - Always trying to meet the spirit of your professional standards and not just the letter of the standards
    Notify: to notify the professional body if convicted of a criminal offence or disqualified as a company director
    Disclose: to report, in confidence, to the professional body and subject to any restrictions imposed by law, issues, problems and ‘near-misses’ that could aid better and more informed future practice and the avoidance of preventable disasters
    Professional knowledge: to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession through sharing appropriate project information and data with accredited research bodies and fellow professionals
    Acting on behalf: to accurately represent the views of the professional body or other organisations when speaking on their behalf and to refrain from promoting personal, employers’ or others’ interests
    Reporting on others: to report, in confidence, to the professional body and subject to any restrictions imposed by law, any alleged breach of this Code and assist the professional body in its investigations

    Duties to oneself

    Integrity: to fearlessly do the right thing, beyond any obligation to whosoever is paying you
    Truthfulness: to decline to be a party to any statement you know to be untrue, misleading, unfair to others or contrary to your own professional knowledge
    Leadership: to actively promote and robustly support the principles of professionalism and to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs
    Accountability: to be personally accountable for decisions and actions you take and submit to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this
    Confidentiality: to avoid taking personal advantage of confidential information or allowing others connected with you to do so
    Openness: to take decisions in an open and transparent manner and not withhold information from the public unless there are clear reasons for doing so
    Keeping up to date: to actively maintain, and where possible encourage others to maintain, professional competence through systematic improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill
    CPD: to maintain, record and provide evidence of your continuing professional development (CPD)
    Evaluate & reflect: to evaluate and reflect on the quality and impact of work carried out and the possibilities for improvement and potential for wider benefit.

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