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The statement is the result of wide consultation, both within the engineering profession and with other professionals specialising in applied ethics. It contains four fundamental principles and is designed to form the core of the codes of conduct published by the professional engineering institutions. All registered engineers and technicians have committed to working in an ethical and socially responsible manner in accordance with their institution's code of conduct.
The Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) believe that all persons engaged in engineering at any level, from the youngest apprentice and student, should be educated and encouraged to think and work in accordance with these ethical principles. The statement is therefore offered to employers and to education, training and qualification providers to adopt or include in their curricula as they see fit. The aim is for engineering to be seen and recognised by the public as a trusted and ethical profession.
Building on the joint Statement of Ethical Principles, a joint Engineering Ethics Reference Group (EERG) was established in 2019 by the Engineering Council and the RAEng, under the Chairmanship of Professor David Bogle, CEng FREng and previously a trustee of the Engineering Council.
Operating at a strategic level, the group’s overarching objective is to provide advice and a steer to the profession about embedding a culture of ethical behaviour in the profession.
Comprising members from both host organisations and from outside the immediate engineering community, the group reports to the Engineering Council’s Board and the RAEng’s Education and Skills Committee. During Spring 2020, both fora endorsed the group’s baseline Status Report as a reference point for development of strategic priorities and activities, likely to be available in late 2020.
The Statement of Ethical Principles is underpinned by four fundamental principles:
Engineering professionals have a duty to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct including openness, fairness, honesty and integrity.
Engineering professionals have a duty to obey all applicable laws and regulations and give due weight to facts, published standards and guidance and the wider public interest.
Engineering professionals have a duty to acquire and use wisely the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to perform their role.
Engineering professionals have a duty to abide by and promote high standards of leadership and communication.