Skip to content

ICE updates advice on ethical conduct

28 November 2023

Fresh guidance on navigating the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by civil engineers.

ICE updates advice on ethical conduct
The updated guidance aims to make it easier for engineers to make ethical decisions. Image credit: Shutterstock

The ICE has updated its Advice on Ethical Guidance, which sets out considerations its members should make when faced with moral dilemmas. 

The guidance is important as civil engineers have a duty to behave ethically in their professional dealings. 

It was updated following a comprehensive review by the ICE Ethics Committee

The document accompanies the ICE Rules of Professional Conduct

These set out the standards of professional conduct and ethical behaviour by which members should abide.

The revised guidance makes it clear what's expected of members when fulfilling their duties as civil engineer. 

It offers advice on areas including communications with clients, declaring conflicts of interest, respecting and promoting equality and diversity, preventing bribery and corruption, and whistleblowing.

Richard Bayfield, ICE trustee for professional conduct and ethics and chair of the ICE Ethics Committee, said:

"As engineers we face ethical dilemmas as we interpret what our responsibility for doing the ‘public good’ means in practice.

"Which of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Goals do we prioritise? And why? How do we represent the interests of future generations? The events of Grenfell, Carillion and now HS2 put us all under greater public and ethical scrutiny.

"I hope the updated advice will help members navigate these complex issues."

Modern ethical guidance for modern engineers

Last updated in 2012, the ICE Ethics Committee has refreshed the guidance to ensure it meet the needs of modern civil engineers.

In doing so, the committee has included more information on sustainability and disaster prevention.

This echos the issues highlighted by the ICE President, Professor Anusha Shah, who in her Presidential Address pressed the importance of tackling the climate emergency.

The Ethics Committee understands that ethics and conduct is a topic that needs constant and continued discussion.

Members are encouraged to engage with the updated advice, and share thoughts and views with the committee.

Members can share their thoughts via [email protected].

Find out more

  • Natasha Davies, professional services manager at ICE