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What HR needs to know about the new CIPD code of conduct

The CIPD has released its new code of conduct and ethics for the HR profession, which will come into effect from 1 January 2023.

The current code has been in place since 2012, and will expire on 31 December 2022. It was built around principles of professional competence and behaviour, ethical standards and integrity being representative of the profession and stewardship. 

From 2023 the core values will include positive and active impact on working lives, civic virtue and stewardship, good character, professional service and competence, and personal responsibility.

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Nebel Crowhurst, HR Most Influential practitioner and global HR director at Reward Gateway, said the added focus on environmental and social governance (ESG) in the new code of conduct is and important step forward for the profession.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: "The new CIPD code of conduct and ethics are a welcome evolution of the people profession. The addition of the civic virtue and stewardship element calling out the expectation for the profession to be socially responsible should drive a greater awareness on the need for organisations to dedicate energy to their ESG agendas, with people professionals playing a key role in leading this.

"We have a greater societal responsibility in today's world, not only must we ensure our workplace environments are the best they can be for our employees, we also need to look beyond our organisations to the communities in which we live and work.

"I am keen to see how people professionals build this into their people strategies in future, and how we showcase the positive impact we have."

The CIPD wants practitioners to make a positive and active impact on working lives for current and future generations by promoting people-centred practice, developing people and championing employee experience.

Practitioners are also encouraged to ensure self-interest does not stand in the way of what is good for HR, and to always be looking to develop their skills and experience, while being able to take accountability for their actions.

Tina Russell, professional conduct and ethics lead at the CIPD, said the code of conduct had to be adapted as HR is faced with new challenges.

She told HR magazine: "The Code of Conduct and Ethics (formerly known as the Code of Professional Conduct) should be updated regularly to make sure that it stays relevant to the challenges that our members are facing on a day-to-day basis.

The last major update of the code was over 10 years ago so there are some aspects of it that needed to be looked at again and brought up to date.

"With the new clauses that have been added, the scope of the code is broader. Members of the profession can use the ethical principles and clauses of the code to guide their decision-making and practice.

"Treating people fairly and professionally is essential for a people centred profession, people’s sense of justice and supports the building of trust and respectful relationships. This in turn leads to more positive, productive work environments supporting our purpose of championing better work and working lives."

The organisation has encouraged all its members to familiarise themselves with the new code before it comes into effect at the start of next year.

The CIPD's 2023 full Code of Conduct and Ethics can be found here