Guidance Notes on the ILP Code of Professional Conduct

The duty to behave ethically

The duty upon members of the ILP to behave ethically means that members shall be truthful and honest in dealings with clients, colleagues, other professionals, and anyone else they come into contact with in the course of their duties. Members shall do nothing that in any way could diminish the high standing of the profession. This includes any aspect of a member’s personal conduct, which could have a negative impact upon the profession.

Members of the ILP shall always be aware of their responsibility to the public good. A member’s obligations to the client can never override this, and members shall not enter undertakings that compromise this responsibility. The ‘public good’ encompasses care and respect for the environment, as well as the primary responsibility members have to protect the health and wellbeing of present and future generations.

Engineers and technicians should understand their professional obligations with respect to whistleblowing and know where to go for guidance and advice.  information can be found by visiting: or

Health, Safety and Sustainability

Members shall take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of members of the public and of those engaged in the project, during the construction and the operation and maintenance stages. ‘Reasonable steps’ will include complying with all legislation relating to health and safety but may extend beyond that to all situations in which there is inadequate statutory provision. Members must not enter into any contracts which compromise this overall responsibility.

Any member with responsibility for a project, or any part of it, must, by maintaining awareness in their discipline, be aware of the risks and their causes and where the responsibility for them lies. No member can be expected to eliminate all risk. But members have an ethical responsibility to take all appropriate measures to limit risk, in particular by ensuring that there is adequate risk analysis/assessment, and an effective management process both during the construction and post-construction phases in any project.

Members shall promote the use of recycled or reusable materials wherever practicable and shall make use of energy-efficient solutions in the design and life maintenance of projects. Members shall, as far as practicable, use their influence to minimise the production of waste and shall maximise environment-friendly reuse, recycling or disposal. Members shall minimise the environmental impact of any lighting design e.g. by following the ILP guidance notes for the reduction of light pollution. 


The ILP promotes Continuing Professional Development, and provides guidance and opportunities for members to keep abreast of new and emerging technologies and trends.


All members shall discharge their professional duties with integrity. The manner in which members could breach this Rule might include the following:

• failing to carry out their professional duties with complete objectivity and impartiality

• failing to have due regard to their duty of care to clients, especially lay clients in domestic or small works engagements

• failing to put the terms of an engagement in writing and failing to state the fees to be charged; whenever practicable, these shall be issued to the client before the project is begun

• members who do not carry appropriate insurance, either personally or through their employers, failing to advise their clients of the position before accepting the engagement

• failing to show due consideration for other colleagues and for other persons with whom they have dealings in the course of their professional duties. Members must treat all persons without bias and with respect

• members must not, directly or indirectly, improperly attempt to supplant another person, and shall take all reasonable steps to establish that any previous engagement in relation to the project they are to enter into has been terminated

• when commenting on another person’s work, members must advise that person of their involvement, except for routine or statutory checks or where the member’s client or employer requires confidentiality

• when competing with other professionals, and when taking actions likely to adversely affect the professional or business interests of another person, members must not act maliciously or recklessly

• members who are responsible for the work of others or who have a management responsibility for other persons failing to take responsibility for the work produced. Members shall ensure that they have the knowledge and expertise to effectively oversee the work for which they are accountable

• having any form of involvement, whether direct or indirect, and whether for the benefit of the member, the member’s employer, or a third party, in bribery, fraud, deception and corruption. Members shall be especially rigorous when operating in countries where the offering and accepting of inducements and favours, or the inflation and falsification of claims, is endemic

• when acting as expert witnesses, failing to ensure that the testimony they give is both independent and impartial. In such a role, members must be mindful that their prime duty is to the Court or Tribunal, not to the client who engaged them to give evidence, and they shall not give any professional opinion that does not accurately reflect their honest professional judgement or belief. To do otherwise would not only place members in danger of perjury but would clearly breach the requirement in the Rules of Professional Conduct to discharge their professional duties with integrity.

Conflict of Interest

The Code of Professional Conduct states that members must declare conflicts of interest and to avoid, wherever possible, any conflict of interest and to consider carefully before entering into any engagement where this may arise. Members shall in all cases make full disclosure of any conflict of interest, or possible conflict of interest, to all the relevant parties.

Members shall familiarise themselves with, and comply with, the relevant anti-corruption laws of the countries in which they work or of which they are citizens or residents. Members, particularly those in senior management positions shall make positive efforts to ensure that, as far as reasonably possible, bribery and corruption does not exist, and cannot occur, in the organisations for which they work.

Professional Conduct

The Institution expects its members to carry out their duties to their employer, colleagues and the public in a professional manner at all times.

From time to time a member may be alleged to be guilty of unprofessional conduct. If such an allegation is made to the Institution, it will investigate the matter in a fair and unbiased manner, and take appropriate action all in accordance with its Disciplinary Code which is available from the Institution.