Professional Ethics Training

IDEA CETL - SHUTTERSTOCK

Traditional continuing professional development (CPD) in ethics gives trainees a set of rules, and then urges compliance with the rules, relying on the ‘carrot and stick’ to bring behaviour into line. Such an approach is no longer sufficient on its own. Professionals work in a complex and rapidly changing environment, and today's leaders recognise the importance of empowering and supporting individuals as decision-makers with professional autonomy.  More than ever, today’s professionals need good judgment and the ability to make good decisions for the right reasons.

We specialise in ethics CPD, providing training with an understanding of what skills people need to make good ethical decisions. We don't ask trainees to learn a code of ethics by rote, or set them simple cases with straightforward right or wrong answers. Instead, we give trainees the ability to navigate more complex scenarios, understanding the principles involved, resolving tension between principles and exercising judgment. With these abilities, they can address real world issues with confidence, have clear and productive discussions with colleagues, and make decisions based on good reasons rather than simply relying on ‘gut feeling’.

We work closely with clients to develop bespoke training courses which combine depth of learning with an engaging and stimulating delivery style.

Our services

  • Face-to-face training, from short sessions to longer courses.
  • Facilitated online learning, using webinars or asynchronous discussion forums.
  • Interactive e-learning design.
  • Written guidance and thought leadership.
  • Articles for professional and trade magazines.
  • Conference presentations, panels and workshops.

To find out more about our consultancy and training activities, please contact Dr Jim Baxter.

Examples of our work

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)

Our online Professional Skills Course is taken by all professional actuaries in the UK and overseas who are members of the IFoA (around 20,000 members in total). We designed the course in partnership with the IFoA and co-facilitate it alongside experienced actuaries.

“The course surpassed my expectations by far. Its structure made it easy to follow the material and I leave with a much better understanding of how an actuary should behave in a professional environment. Thanks!”

“Thanks to the facilitators for your comments and interesting insights throughout the course.”

Course participants

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

IET members benefit from our training services in three ways:

· A set of interactive case studies based around the IET’s Rules of Ethical Conduct: the ‘Professional Ethics Webzone’.

· A face-to-face one-day course in Professional Ethics for Engineers.

· Two complete online modules delivered through the ‘IET Academy’, in Professional Ethics and the Ethics of Computing.

“We are absolutely delighted with the case studies and judging by the web stats our members also greatly appreciate the resource.”

Anne Fitzsimons, Membership Manager, the IET

The Chartered Banker Institute

Our online ethics toolkit, developed for the Chartered Banker Institute and hosted on their website, incorporates e-learning ‘discovery sessions’ and interactive case studies, covering topics including Professional Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Ethical Reasoning and Banking and Society.

We have also developed an innovative online ethical assessment tool for the Chartered Banker Institute, which will be taken by all of their members, beginning next year.

The Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg)

IPReg is the regulator for intellectual property attorneys in the UK. We have worked with IPReg to develop an introductory course in Professional Ethics for Intellectual Property Attorneys. The course takes the form of three webinar-based discussion sessions, led by an IDEA Ethicist, with pre-reading and reflective exercises in preparation for each session. It covers subjects including Professionalism, Ethical Reasoning, Conflicts of Interest, Integrity, Competence and Confidentiality.

“It was a great opportunity to think in more detail about some issues which are of course relevant in what we do but not bread-and-butter. It was good to think more broadly about professional ethics rather than simply about our profession or just about conflicts of interest.”

Course participant

The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng)

In 2010, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) commissioned us to produce an innovative guide to professional ethics for engineers. Engineering Ethics in Practice  is designed to supplement The Royal Academy’s Statement of Ethical Principles with illustrative case studies that identify and analyse the ethical dilemmas that engineers face in their professional lives. The guide contains eighteen in-depth case studies, illustrating different aspects of the RAE’s four top-level principles.

"The IDEA CETL team has produced an extremely useful set of case studies which illustrate the pertinence to engineering of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineering Council's Statement of Ethical Principles. These cases show that the principles can help in guiding the choices and decisions of practicing engineers, and are useful exercises for the engineer to work through to test their ethical reasoning and their application of the principles. Professional engineers at all stages of their career have found them thought provoking and important, especially in the education and training of young engineers."

Natasha McCarthy, Head of Policy, the Royal Academy of Engineering

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

In 2009 we developed and delivered a face-to-face course for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Our course in Professional Ethics, which ran successfully in locations around the UK, helped the CII’s members to explore the particular ethical issues inherent in their roles, as well as the overarching themes of professionalism, creating value and the role of values in decision-making. A mixture of real-life case studies and exploration of ethical concepts made for a dynamic, interactive half-day course.

"It made me think about the subject very clearly"

"Thought provoking and well presented"

Course participants

"IDEA have worked with us to present ethics in an interesting, personal and dynamic way to our members. They have helped us bring ethics to life".

David Thomson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, CII