Annex A

Interpretation of the BCS Code of Conduct

The explanatory notes below are offered for guidance only. The examples are not, and not intended to be, exhaustive.

If you are in a leadership position and especially if you hold an executive position you are expected to:

  • encourage and facilitate colleagues to develop as professionals.
  • seek to ensure that no one is penalised for raising areas of concern or conflicts of interest.
  • encourage colleagues to follow this code of conduct.


  • 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.

Public Interest

  • Acting in the public interest may be governed by Legislation..
  • Legitimate rights of third parties include protecting personal identifiable data to prevent unlawful disclosure and identity theft, and also respect for copyright, patents and other intellectual property.

Professional Competence and Integrity

  • All members are required to undertake professional development activities as a condition of membership. Continuing professional development activities should broaden your knowledge of the IT profession and maintain your competence in your area of specialism.
  • You should seek out and observe good practice exemplified by rules, standards, conventions or protocols that are relevant in your area of specialism
  • You should only claim current competence where you can demonstrate you have the required expertise e.g. through recognised competencies, qualifications or experience.
  • Legislation that may apply in carrying out your professional responsibilities might include that applicable to:
    • your Relevant Authority,
    • the geographic area in which you are carrying out your professional responsibilities,
    • the geographic area in which your responsibilities will be discharged.
    You may need to seek guidance from your Relevant Authority.
  • Where you are leading a first of kind project you will ensure that you make use of peer review and support where appropriate.

Duty to Relevant Authority

  • Exercising of your professional judgement:
    • Where there is conflict between full and committed compliance with the Relevant Authority’s instructions and the independent and considered exercise of your professional judgement, you will indicate the likely risks and consequences.
    • If any conflict is likely to occur or be seen by a third party as likely to occur you will make full and immediate disclosure to your Relevant Authority
    • If for any reason you are unable to complete any assigned tasks in accordance with their requirements (e.g. on time or within budget) you will advise the Relevant Authority as soon as practicable

Duty to the Profession

  • As a member of BCS you have a responsibility to:
    • share knowledge and understanding of IT and support inclusion of every sector of society.
    • encourage and support fellow members in their professional development.
    • In circumstances where a member is also a member of another professional body the clauses of any other applicable code of conduct cannot be employed to diminish or negate the clauses of the BCS Code of Conduct.
    • You will not make any statement on behalf of BCS or purport to represent BCS through any public medium, including digital social media, unless authorised to do so by BCS.