BCS Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct:

  • sets out the professional standards required by BCS as a condition of membership;
  • applies to all members, irrespective of their membership grade, the role they fulfil, or the jurisdiction where they are employed or discharge their contractual obligations.
  • governs the conduct of the individual, not the nature of the business or ethics of any Relevant Authority*. 

Members are expected to exercise their own judgement (which should be made in such a way as to be reasonably justified) to meet the requirements of the code and seek advice if in doubt.

Annex A to the code sets examples of interpretation of the tenets of professional conduct and form part of this Code of Conduct.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

If a member of BCS should know of, or become aware of, any breach of this Code of Conduct by another member they are under an obligation to notify BCS.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct may also be brought to the attention of BCS by others who are not members of BCS.

Any breach of the Code of Conduct brought to the attention of BCS, or of which BCS becomes aware, will be considered under the Institute’s Disciplinary procedures.

Where BCS receives information that a member has been convicted of a criminal offence, the member, when asked will provide a Standard Disclosure Certificate or certificate of conviction or other similar notice providing evidence of their criminal record (if any) within 28 days. Note that not all convictions are seen as relevant to membership in BCS and each case will be considered individually.

Correspondence in connection with this Code of Conduct should be directed to:

Customer Service Team
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
First Floor, Block D
North Star House
North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1FA
Email: customerservice@hq.bcs.org.uk

The Public Interest
Professional Competence and Integrity
Duty to Relevant Authority
Duty to the Profession

Interpretation of the BCS Code of Conduct

  1. Public Interest

    You shall:

    a) have due regard for public health, privacy, security and wellbeing of others and the environment.
    b) have due regard for the legitimate rights of Third Parties*.
    c) conduct your professional activities without discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, colour, race, ethnic origin, religion, age or disability, or of any other condition or requirement 
    d) promote equal access to the benefits of IT and seek to promote the inclusion of all sectors in society wherever opportunities arise.
  2. Professional Competence and Integrity

    You shall:

    a) only undertake to do work or provide a service that is within your professional competence.
    b) NOT claim any level of competence that you do not possess.
    c) develop your professional knowledge, skills and competence on a continuing basis, maintaining awareness of technological developments, procedures, and standards that are relevant to your field.
    d) ensure that you have the knowledge and understanding of Legislation* and that you comply with such Legislation, in carrying out your professional responsibilities. 
    e) respect and value alternative viewpoints and, seek, accept and offer honest criticisms of work.
    f) avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious or negligent action or inaction.
    g) reject and will not make any offer of bribery or unethical inducement.
  3. Duty to Relevant Authority

    You shall

    a) carry out your professional responsibilities with due care and diligence in accordance with the Relevant Authority’s requirements whilst exercising your professional judgement at all times.
    b) seek to avoid any situation that may give rise to a conflict of interest between you and your Relevant Authority.
    c) accept professional responsibility for your work and for the work of colleagues who are defined in a given context as working under your supervision.
    d) NOT disclose or authorise to be disclosed, or use for personal gain or to benefit a third party, confidential information except with the permission of your Relevant Authority, or as required by Legislation
    e) NOT misrepresent or withhold information on the performance of products, systems or services (unless lawfully bound by a duty of confidentiality not to disclose such information), or take advantage of the lack of relevant knowledge or inexperience of others.
  4. Duty to the Profession

    You shall:

    a) accept your personal duty to uphold the reputation of the profession and not take any action which could bring the profession into disrepute.
    b) seek to improve professional standards through participation in their development, use and enforcement.
    c) uphold the reputation and good standing of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
    d) act with integrity and respect in your professional relationships with all members of BCS and with members of other professions with whom you work in a professional capacity.
    e) notify BCS if convicted of a criminal offence or upon becoming bankrupt or disqualified as a Company Director and in each case give details of the relevant jurisdiction.
    f) encourage and support fellow members in their professional development

* Definitions:

  • Legislation - The term “Legislation” means any applicable laws, statutes and regulations.
  • Third Parties - The term ‘Third Parties’ includes any person or organisation that might be affected by your activities in your professional capacity, irrespective of whether they are directly aware or involved in those activities.
  • Relevant Authority - The term “Relevant Authority” in this document is used to identify the person(s) or organisation(s) which has / have authority over the activity of individuals in their professional capacity. For practising BCS members this is normally an employer or client. For student members, this is normally an academic institution.

PDF fileBCS Code of Conduct