Standard 2 – Always provide a high standard of service
Be open and transparent in your dealings. Share the full facts with your clients, making things as plain and intelligible as possible.
Know and act within your limitations. Be aware of the limits of your competence and do not be tempted to work beyond these. Only commit to what you can deliver.
Be objective at all times. Give clear and appropriate advice. Never let sentiment or other interests cloud your judgment.
Maintain your professional competence in areas relevant to your work. Keep yourself informed of changes affecting the profession and broader developments relevant to your work and ensure your knowledge, skills and techniques are up to date. Apply this knowledge to the benefit of society.
In practice this includes, but is not limited to, behaving as follows:
- Be clear about what service your client or employer wants and the service you are providing
- Act within your scope of competence. If it appears that services are required outside that scope then be prepared to do something about it. For example, make it known to your client, obtain expert input or consultation, or if it’s the case that you are unable to meet the service requirements, explain that you are not best placed to act for the client
- Be transparent about fees and any other costs or payments such as referral fees or commissions
- Communicate with your client in a way that will allow them to make informed decisions
- If you use the services of others then ensure that you pay for those services within the timescale agreed
Some of the key questions that you could ask yourself include:
- Do I explain clearly what I promise to do and do I keep to that promise?
- Do I look at ways to improve the service I provide to my clients?
- How can I help my clients better understand the services that I am offering?
- Are my clients interests being served by the advice or service I’m providing?
- Am I providing a professional service for a professional fee?
- Would the client still employ me if they knew more about me and the workload I have? If not, why not?
- Do I put undue pressure on myself and colleagues (especially junior colleagues) to do more than we actually can?