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Statement of Ethical Principles

All professionally registered engineers and technicians have committed to working in an ethical and socially responsible manner according to their professional engineering institution’s code of conduct, issued in line with guidance from the Engineering Council.

Together with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Engineering Council has produced a statement of ethical principles to guide engineering practice. This statement summarises the fundamental principles and is designed to supplement the codes of conduct published by the engineering institutions.

The statement draws on discussions with engineers from a range of engineering institutions and philosophers specialising in applied ethics. It is underpinned by four fundamental principles to guide engineers and technicians in achieving the high ideas of professional life:

1. Accuracy and rigour

Professional engineers and technicians have a duty to ensure that they acquire and use wisely and faithfully the knowledge that is relevant to the engineering skills needed in their work in the service of others. They should:

  • Always act with care and competence

  • Perform services only in areas of current competence

  • Keep their knowledge and skills up to date and assist the development of engineering knowledge and skills in others

  • Not knowingly mislead or allow others to be misled about engineering matters

  • Present and review engineering evidence, theory and interpretation honestly, accurately and without bias

  • Identify and evaluate and, where possible, quantify risks

2. Honesty and integrity

Professional engineers and technicians should adopt the highest standards of professional conduct, openness, fairness and honesty. They should:

  • Be alert to the ways in which their work might affect others and duly respect the rights and reputations of other parties

  • Avoid deceptive acts, take steps to prevent corrupt practices or professional misconduct, and declare conflicts of interest

  • Reject bribery or improper influence

  • Act for each employer or client in a reliable and trustworthy manner

3. Respect for life, law and the public good

Professional engineers and technicians should give due weight to all relevant law, facts and published guidance, and the wider public interest. They should:

  • Ensure that all work is lawful and justified

  • Minimise and justify any adverse effect on society or on the natural environment for their own and succeeding generations

  • Take due account of the limited availability of natural and human resources

  • Hold paramount the health and safety of others

  • Act honourably, responsibly and lawfully and uphold the reputation, standing and dignity of the profession

4. Responsible leadership: listening and informing

Professional engineers and technicians should aspire to high standards of leadership in the exploitation and management of technology. 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 aspirations and concerns 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

Download the Statement of Ethical Principles

The Statement of Ethical Principles has been designed to be read alongside your institution’s code of conduct

… (Read more)

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