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- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 02 Oct 2020
Code of conduct
A code of conduct is a policy document produced by a company or organisation which sets out the principles that it intends to abide by. It is generally produced voluntarily (there is no legal requirement to do so), and helps to enshrine and clarify the values and principles of the particular organisation.
By committing to a set of principles, the code of conduct can be used internally as a guideline for employees to follow (often linked to standards of professional conduct), as well as externally as a statement of values and commitments. The code can provide benchmarks against which the performance of the company and its individual employees can be measured.
Issues that the code of conduct can cover might include:
- The operations of the organisation with respect to national and international laws.
- Anti-corruption, labour regulations, environmental standards, and so on.
- Guidelines for appropriate workplace behaviour.
- Examples of actions or behaviour that would constitute misconduct.
- Legal and ethical guidelines for relationships and interactions between employees, suppliers, clients, subcontractors, members of the public, and so on.
- Principles relating to harassment, conflicts of interest, waste management and recycling, sourcing, diversity, etc.
In the construction industry, many professionals will also be bound by professional or regulatory codes of conduct. For example, architects are bound by the ARB Code of Conduct, which lays down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of persons registered as architects under the Architects Act. In addition, if they are members of the RIBA, they will be subject to the requirements of the RIBA Code of Professional Conduct.
See also: Code of practice.
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