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New RTPI Code of Conduct published

11 February 2016

The RTPI has published its updated Code of Professional Conduct (the Code) which will be effective from today.

Following advice from the Membership & Ethics Committee, the Conduct & Discipline Panel and from wider discussions with Members, the Code has been reviewed and updated. The changes were agreed by the Institute’s Board of Trustees at their February meeting.

The RTPI’s five key principles that govern professional behaviours, ethics and practice of planners remain in place and are strengthened by additional clauses. Importantly, the fundamental requirement for members to “exercise fearlessly and impartially their independent professional judgement to the best of their skill and understanding” remains a central part of the Code.

To help members use the revised Code, the RTPI will provide for the first time consolidated supporting guidance and illustrative case studies on its application. This will be completed by April.

Colin Haycock, Chair of the Membership & Ethics Committee, said: “We work in a profession that must continue to inspire trust and confidence to deliver the ‘public interest’ objective of our Royal Charter.

“As part of its work to ensure members do this the Institute follows good practice and regularly peer-reviews its documentation regarding professional standards and competence. We have just completed streamlining our complaints procedure, and this review of the Code is another vital project to help professionals do their job with clear and helpful support.”

Key changes to the Code

Introduction - A new section explaining the reasons and benefits of a Code of Conduct to our customers, and giving greater prominence to the five core principles: Competence, honesty and integrity; Independent professional judgement; Due care and diligence; Equality and respect; and Professional behaviour

Competence, honesty and integrity - Existing clauses have been reordered and new practice includes: responsibility of managers to support the CPD of other professional employees; undertaking work within scope of competence; and not offering or accepting inducements to influence decisions or professional views.

Independent professional judgement - Existing clauses have been reordered and new practice includes disclosure of RTPI membership as a mark of professional standing. The expectation to act fearlessly and impartially is retained following support from Members during last year’s consultation.  RTPI’s Code is unique amongst professional institutes in this regard.

Due care and diligence - Existing clauses have been reordered for ease of use and terms updated.

Equality and respect - Existing clauses have been reordered for ease of use and terms updated.

Professional behaviour - Existing clauses have been reordered and new practice includes upholding the reputation of the Institute reflecting the requirement in RTPI Bye-laws.

The updated Code can be viewed here.

The updated Complaints procedure can be viewed here.

 The RTPI's professional standards can be viewed here