Members of the Institute must abide by its Code of Professional Conduct, appropriate to all members practising across the breadth of the Institute's range of interests. This code has been approved by the Trustees of the Institute (the Executive Board) and meets the requirements of the Institute's Royal Charter, and of the bodies with which the Institute registers its members.

The IOM3 Code of Professional Conduct and respective Disciplinary and Appeals Procedure (the procedure used to hear allegations of misconduct by IOM3 members) are available in full at the bottom of the page.

Ethical behaviour & its application to members

The duty upon members of the Institute to behave ethically is, in effect, the duty to behave honourably; in other words, ‘to do the right thing’. At its most basic, it means that a member should be truthful and honest in dealings with clients, colleagues, other professionals and anyone else the member comes into contact with in the course of their duties. Being a professional and a member of a professional body, such as the Institute, is a badge of probity and good faith, and members should do nothing that in any way could diminish the high standing of the profession. This includes any aspect of a member’s personal conduct which could give a negative impact upon the profession. The Engineering Council/Royal Academy of Engineering Statement of Ethical Principles, the requirements of the Society for the Environment's Code of Professional Conduct and the Science Council's Model Rules of Conduct are embedded in this IOM3 Code of Professional Conduct.

Members should always be aware of the overriding responsibility to the public good. A member’s obligations to the client can never override this, and members should not enter undertakings which compromise this responsibility. The ‘public good’ encompasses care and respect for the environment, and for humanity’s cultural, historical and archaeological heritage, as well as the primary responsibility members have to protect the health and wellbeing of present and future generations.

The Code of Professional Conduct

To enable members to conduct themselves properly in the performance of their professional duties, the Institute is obliged to provide a Code of Professional Conduct which lays down, both for its members and for the general public, the ethical standards by which its members should abide. The Code will apply to all its members, irrespective of their grade, the professional role they fulfil or the country in which they practise. The Code contains, first of all, the specific rules of conduct to which members must adhere. The rules cover, in plain language, those basic things that members must do. Where appropriate, there are Policy Statements and Guidance Notes which cover the main areas of professional activity that a member is likely to be involved in and to help them interpret and apply the rules.

An act which breaches one of the Policy Statements will probably breach the Rule for Professional Conduct to which it applies. However a member will not beconsidered necessarily to have breached the Rules for Professional Conduct solely because the have not followed a Guidance note.

The Guidance Notes cover the main areas of professional activity in which members are likely to be involved and are published by the Engineering Council and the Institute; the Institute endorses these as being applicable to all practitioners within its membership regardless of whether they are engineers or not. These include a Guide on Whistleblowing and another on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which should be read alongside the Code of Professional Conduct. The latest versions of these guides can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

Many, perhaps most, members will pass through their professional lives without ever having to consider whether their actions are in accordance with the Code of Professional Conduct. However the Institute is anxious that any member who is troubled by an ethical problem, particularly if they are worried about breaching the Rules for Professional Conduct, should be able to discuss their concerns with one or more of the senior members of the Institute. Any member who wishes to do this should contact the Director of Membership and Professional Standards so that arrangements can be made.