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Professional Ethics

Ethics is an important element of being a professional planner.  It is one of the competencies required of practitioners seeking membership of the RTPI through the Assessment of Professional Competence routes.

The RTPI Code of Professional Conduct sets out the required standards of professional conduct and practice expected of RTPI Members. Its purpose is to protect and guide practitioners, and to serve as a tool to maintain public trust in the profession. All members, irrespective of their class of membership, are required to adhere to its five Core Principles:

  • Competence,honesty and integrity

  • Independent professional judgment

  • Due care and diligence

  • Equality and respect

  • Professional behaviour

Planning issues can be complex and practitioners will weigh up and balance often competing needs for the use or development of land.  The following documents should help guide RTPI Members on their professional responsibilities.



Download our Ethics and Professional Standards Practice Advice


The Ethics and Professional Standards practice advice was last updated in December 2017. It updates and cancels the 2016 version. It also supercedes and cancels the advice contained in the following RTPI publications from the publication date of April 2016:


  • GPN2: Consultancy by Current and Former Public Sector Employees (2006)           
  • GPN3: Personal Safety at Work (2006)
  • RTPI Professional Indemnity Insurance Regulations (2000)
  • Dealing with Racist Representations (1996)

Download the RTPI Practice Advice on Starting your own Private Practice

CPD support for Members

The RTPI has published a number of CPD Priorities to assist members in their own personal development plans for training, including the topic of ethics.

Additional advice and information on Ethics CPD can be found here.

Here is an international perspective on why ethics is important.

Seeking advice regarding professional conduct or complaints

The RTPI's Member Conduct Service deals with complaints and queries regarding standards of practice and ethics.  Please note it operates between 9-5pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Members seeking advice should contact the Service by email or phone the RTPI on 020 7929 8194 during the hours of operation.

Further information on making a complaint can be found here.