Ethical Principles

The Council of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland subscribes to the following Statement of Ethical Principles, adapted from the corresponding statements published by The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Council [1].

IES Council considers it to be the professional and moral duty of every member to understand and accept these obligations and the specific interpretation of them as defined in the Statement. A member should apply the IES Ethical Principles diligently.

IES Statement of Ethical Principles

This Statement of Ethical Principles sets a standard to which members of IES should aspire in their working habits and relationships. The values on which it is based should apply in every situation in which IES members exercise their professional judgement.

The statement is based on fundamental principles for ethical behaviour and decision-making which are presented here in four groups.

Accuracy, Competence and Rigour

IES members have a duty to acquire and use wisely the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to perform their role. They should:

• always act with care and competence;
• perform services only in areas in which they are currently competent or under competent supervision
• keep their knowledge and skills up to date and provide evidence if requested
• assist the development of engineering knowledge and skills in others
• present and review theory, evidence and interpretation honestly, accurately, objectively and without bias, while respecting reasoned alternative views
• identify, evaluate, quantify, mitigate and manage risks
• not knowingly mislead or allow others to be misled

Honesty and Integrity

IES members have a duty to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct including openness, fairness, honesty and integrity. They should:

- act in a reliable and trustworthy manner
- be alert to the ways in which their work and behaviour might affect others and respect the privacy, rights and reputations of other parties and individuals
- respect confidentiality
- declare any conflicts of interest
- reject and report instances of bribery and improper influence
- avoid deception and take steps to prevent or report corrupt practices or professional misconduct

    Respect for Life, Law and the Public Good

    IES members have a duty to obey all applicable laws and regulations and give due weight to facts, published standards and guidance and the wider public interest. They should:

    • hold paramount the health and safety of others and draw attention to hazards 
    •  ensure their work is lawful and justified 
    • recognise the importance of physical and cyber security and data protection 
    • respect and protect yours and others personal information and intellectual property
    • protect, and where possible improve, the quality of built and natural environments 
    • maximise the public good and minimise both actual and potential adverse effects for their own and succeeding generations 
    • take due account of the limited availability of natural resources 
    • uphold the reputation and standing of the engineering profession

    Leadership and communication

    IES members should aspire to high standards in leadership and communication They hold a privileged and trusted position in society and are expected to demonstrate that they are seeking to serve wider society and to be sensitive to public concerns. They should:

    • be aware of the issues that engineering and technology raise for society, and listen to the views, concerns and aspirations of others;
    • actively promote public awareness and understanding of the impact and benefits of engineering achievements;
    • be objective and truthful in any statement made in their professional capacity.
    • promote equality, diversity and inclusion
    • challenge statements or policies that cause them professional concern

    [1] Statement of Ethical Principles. The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Council.


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