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Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM)

106-109 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QS  
Tel: 020 7831 3110   Fax: 020 7405 4967

Professional Ethics

Code of Ethics

CIWEM members are expected to comply with the following code of ethics.

At a time when many people are worried about doing the right thing to balance the need for a healthy, thriving and content society with those of a flourishing natural environment; and when experts have to demonstrate that they are worthy of public trust, CIWEM has taken this major initiative.

Initially approved by the Council of CIWEM at its meeting on 6th April 2001, with amendments approved by the Trustee Board on the 29th September 2010, and a new code approved by the Trustee Board on the 5th December 2014.

The Code of Ethics is a set of twelve principles with which members are expected to comply. The first six relate to environmental behaviour and the following six to professional behaviour.

Members of the Institution should acknowledge the environment is rich in diversity which includes natural, human, social, physical and biological interests and use their best endeavours to achieve and maintain an equitable and sustainable environment. In particular members are expected to: 

1. take account of the interaction between the natural, man made and socio-cultural environment and promote enhancement wherever practicable

2. understand that ecosystem services provide an essential contribution to human well-being and apply this in their work.

3. promote the use of integrated solutions to the management of the wider environment

4. take all reasonable steps to avoid causing environmental damage, degradation or nuisance

5. avoid knowingly or deliberately over-exploiting natural resources

6. take into consideration the needs of the community

Furthermore, when engaged in professional activities, Members should -

7. act honestly, objectively and impartially and maintain confidentiality when required to do so

8. accept responsibility for their personal decisions and actions

9. never act illegally, fraudulently, deceitfully or dishonestly

10. avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any which may arise

11. advance their learning and competence and encourage others to do the same; recognize the limits of their competence

12. uphold the reputation of CIWEM and avoid damaging the reputation of any of its members   

Professional Conduct

Bye-Law 29 states that each member shall:

(a) order their conduct pursuant to the Code of Ethics and so as to uphold and enhance the dignity, standing and reputation of the Institution and profession; and

(b) exercise their professional skills and judgement to the best of their ability and discharge their professional responsibilities with integrity; and

(c) have due regard to the public interest and protection and enhancement of the environment in the discharge of their duties; and

(d) shall not maliciously or recklessly injure or attempt to injure whether directly or indirectly the professional reputation of another member.

Disciplinary Powers and Procedures

Bye-Law 30 states that:

(a) In the event of a complaint being made that any member has been or is in breach of the foregoing rules of professional conduct the Trustee Board shall delegate the investigation thereof to an Investigating Committee consisting of at least three members of the Trustee Board in accordance with such rules as the Trustee Board shall from time to time prescribe.

PROVIDED THAT no member of the Investigating Committee shall sit on a Professional Conduct Committee or on an Appeal Board in respect of the same case.

(b) If on such investigation as aforesaid it shall be determined by a majority of the Investigating Committee that there is a prima facie case, the Trustee Board shall direct that a hearing of the complaint be held by a Professional Conduct Committee of at least five members of the Trustee Board and at least one suitable person who is not a member of the Institution, in accordance with such rules as the Trustee Board shall from time to time prescribe, and subject as hereinafter provided the Professional Conduct Committee shall if satisfied that the complaint is justified have power to warn, admonish, reprimand, suspend or expel such member from the Institution.

(c) Such member shall have seven clear days' notice in writing of the hearing before such Professional Conduct Committee, may attend the hearing, may make representation thereat in person or through a representative, may call and cross-examine witnesses and, if expelled from the Institution, may within seven days after notice of such expulsion appeal against the penalty, but not against the finding of the Professional Conduct Committee, and such appeal shall be delegated by the Trustee Board to an Appeal Board of at least three members of the Trustee Board and such Board shall have power to annul the expulsion or to annul it subject to the performance of any conditions which the Appeal Board may think fit to impose.

PROVIDED THAT no member of the Trustee Board shall sit on both the Professional Conduct Committee and the Appeal Board in respect of the same case.

(d) Subject as aforesaid a member so expelled shall forfeit all claim to a return of any money paid by him to the Institution and shall cease to be a member thereof.

(e) All findings and decisions of the Investigating Committee, of the Professional Conduct Committee and of the Appeal Board shall be reported to the Trustee Board and duly recorded and the Trustee Board may order that any penalty with such particulars of the misconduct as it shall think desirable shall be published in any Institution publication.


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Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM)

106-109 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QS  
Tel: 020 7831 3110   Fax: 020 7405 4967