got a Code of Conduct - So whats next?
organisations have now formulated Codes of Conduct and Ethics. The
question is what is next?
staff do not see the Code then they cannot be expected to act in
accordance with it. It is therefore important that a copy of the Code is
distributed to every staff member.
addition a summary version may be distributed that staff can keep as a
some organisations there are a significant number of staff who are unaware
of the existence of their organisation's Code, and far more who may be
aware that their organisation has a Code but are unaware of its contents.
Code of Conduct is often easy to spot in an office. It is the document in
the file that has gathered the most dust and is on the highest, most
inaccessible shelf. It is usually next to the manual for D Base 1.
a Code of Conduct and Ethics and distributing it to staff does not ensure
that all staff will read it, or if they do read it that they will
are many organisations with a wide range of staff, including those with
poor literacy skills and those from an ethnic background with poor English
skills. In these organisations education and awareness is the only method
for ensuring that the contents of the Code are understood by all the
of Conduct and Ethics typically contain many complex subjects of ethics,
which are often grey, as opposed to black and white. These subjects are
invariably, of necessity, briefly covered in the Code.
that staff understand the complex issues can only be achieved through
education and training.
and awareness can be done through formal training courses, informal
workshops, discussion groups, as part of routine training and meetings,
articles in internal publications, special newsletters, posters, videos,
least effective method is writing and distributing memos. Memos can
however be combined with other methods.
Your Code Current
get to be out of date as circumstances change. It is important that they
are revisited and updated to meet the challenges of changed circumstances.
auditors can have a significant role in helping organisation's improve
their ethical culture. Internal auditors are extremely well placed to take
a leading role.
auditors see their organisations from "grass roots" level as
well as senior managements' perspectives.
should be more in touch with ethical issues than anyone else in the
On the other hand, if auditors ignore this opportunity they may find their roles in organisations further diminished.
auditors should assist in providing ethics advice, training and
infringements of the Code are not dealt with appropriately then there
should not be any expectation that the Code will be complied with.
Suspected infringements should be investigated and dealt with fairly and in accordance with established procedures.
For more tips, advice and practical pointers see Fraudproof Your Business Manual.