We expect you to make informed and reasonable decisions about your conduct to make sure you abide by The Code. That might include seeking advice from colleagues or a professional body.
In some cases, you might find parts of The Code come into conflict. In those cases, you will have to make a judgement about what to do. The important thing is you must be able to justify your decisions.
If you are not sure what to do, you might want to consult a colleague or contact us for advice.
The Code says you must keep information you gain access to as a result of an assignment confidential.
Sometimes you might have to reveal that information because the law says you must, or the law allows you to. For example, you might need to talk to someone about it to stop someone being harmed.
The confidentiality clause doesn’t prohibit you from talking to other communication and language professionals so you can improve your practice. For example, you might need to talk to a colleague about how they would have dealt with a situation.
You are also allowed to talk to people involved in assignments so you can prepare for them. For example, if you are going to interpret or take notes at a doctor’s appointment, you might meet with the doctor first to make sure you know any medical words that will be used or understand a medical process.
What you must not do is reveal private information that you would not have known if you had not been working at that assignment.
The Code of Conduct is based on the ethical principles that you should:
- do no harm or, in rare circumstances where causing harm is unavoidable, the least amount of harm
- strive to do good
- act justly and fairly
- be honest
- keep your word
- respect the personal choices of service users.
The Code of Conduct
We have used ‘must’ where you have to meet the standard in all circumstances. We have used ‘should’ to indicate how the standard can be met or where it might not be possible to meet the standard in every situation.
1. You must act in the best interests of the people and organisations that use your services.
1.1. You must treat service users with respect.
1.2. You must not unfairly discriminate against service users by allowing your personal views to affect the services you provide, including your views about a service user’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
1.3. You must be open and honest with service users about any mistakes you make and take action where possible to put matters right.
2. You must treat information as confidential.
2.1. If you gain access to information as the result of an assignment you must only share it with someone else if you have the service user’s consent or the law requires or allows you to, such as when it is necessary to prevent harm.
3. You must work within the limits of your training, skills and experience.
3.1. You must only carry out work for which you have the appropriate training, skills and experience.
3.2. You should seek appropriate advice when you are unsure whether you have the appropriate training, skills and experience for an assignment.
3.3. You should refer a service user to another practitioner when necessary.
4. You must maintain and develop your practice in line with the recognised standards of your profession.
4.1. You must have up-to-date knowledge of practice theory and its application, including any relevant practice guidelines published by professional associations. You must incorporate that knowledge into your practice where appropriate.
4.2. You should adopt a reflective practice approach to developing your practice and pursue relevant educational opportunities.
5. You must not allow your health to interfere with your work.
5.1. You must limit your work or stop practising if your ability to practice could be negatively affected by your mental or physical health.
6. You must behave with professionalism and integrity.
6.1. You must make sure your behaviour justifies public trust and confidence in you and your profession.
6.2. You must not abuse your professional position for your own benefit.
6.3. You must declare potential conflicts of interest to the service user and make sure they do not influence your judgement or practice. You should refer a service user to another practitioner when necessary.
6.4. You must make sure any advertising you do is fair and accurate.
7. You must provide important information about conduct and competence
7.1. You must inform NRCPD if you accept a police caution or if you are found guilty of a criminal offence.
7.2. You must take appropriate action if you have concerns about the conduct or competence of a communication and language professional you work with.
7.3. You must give a constructive and honest response to anyone who complains about your services.
7.4. You should cooperate with any investigation about your conduct or competence, or that of others.
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