Professional Conduct – Standard 1

Standard 1 – Act with integrity

Always put the interests of your clients or others to whom you have a professional responsibility above your own and respect their confidentiality. Always consider the wider interests of society when making your judgments.

Always be honest. Be trustworthy in all that you do – do not deliberately mislead, whether by withholding or distorting information.

In practice this includes, but is not limited to, behaving as follows:

  • Share appropriate and necessary information with your clients and/or others to conduct business and do so in a way so they can understand that information
  • Respect confidential information from your clients and potential clients
  • Don’t divulge information to others unless it is appropriate to do so
  • Don’t take advantage of a client, a colleague, a third party or anyone to whom you owe a duty of care
  • Don’t allow bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others to override your professional or business judgments and obligations
  • Make clear to all interested parties where a conflict of interest, or even a potential conflict of interest, arises between you or your employer and your client
  • Don’t offer or accept gifts, hospitality or services, which might suggest an improper obligation
  • Act consistently in the public interest when it comes to making decisions or providing advice

Some of the key questions that you could ask yourself include:

  • What would an independent person think of my actions?
  • Would I be happy to read about my actions in the press?
  • How would my actions look to ICF?
  • How would my actions look to my peers?
  • Do people trust me? If not, why not?
  • How often do I question what I do, not just in relation to meeting technical requirements but also in terms of acting professionally and ethically?
  • Is this in the interest of my client, my interest, or the interest of someone else?
  • Would I like to be treated this way if I were a client?
  • Do I promote professional and ethical standards in all that I do?


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