Report says that industry’s professional institutions need to share ethical code and ‘robust’ enforcement procedure

Construction professional

The UK’s professional institutions need to develop a shared code of ethics with robust enforcement if they are to remain relevant, according to the Edge commission report on the future of the professions.

The report, authored by former chief construction adviser Paul Morrell, will say that while each individual professional institution has its own code of ethics, what these codes contain varies, meaning there is no common sense of what conduct clients and the wider public can expect from individual professionals.

In particular, different institutions have a hugely varied understanding of the extent that professionals have a duty of care to the wider public interest, as well as the specific client that is paying their fees.

The report will say: “Institutions should resolve the confusion between ethics and the public interest, by clarifying and codifying a rigorous, shared understanding of expectations.”

It will add that transparent processes for sanctioning professionals that fail to live up to the standards and ethics expected by their institution are needed “to secure increased client and public confidence”.