Code of ethics
We seek to promote the highest standards of scientific and professional integrity and to give due consideration to the ethical, social and environmental issues arising from our activities.
Our strategy is to establish structures, procedures and guidelines sufficient to ensure that any ethical issues arising from its teaching and research activities and institutional practice are given due consideration.
We aim to develop a culture of institutional practice in which consideration of ethical, social and environmental issues becomes embedded in its decision-making activities. In reaching difficult ethical judgements, we will be guided by application of the ultimate test of reasonableness.
We seek to raise awareness of ethical issues amongst our staff and students and to provide such procedures, guidelines and codes as are necessary to ensure that good practice is adopted across the breadth of our activities. The development and review of these procedures, guidelines and codes of practice is an ongoing process.
The institutional code of ethics also extends to, and underpins, our interactions with external organisations and individuals.
Corporate responsibility for ethics
The University's Council, as governing body of the institution, has corporate responsibility for the approval and development of its institutional code of ethics. In approving such a code, Council furthers the our aim to strive for the highest standards of professional integrity.
Corporate responsibility for addressing the ethical, social and environmental issues arising from our teaching and research activities and institutional practice is discharged by key committees or officers, including, inter alia:
- teaching, research and related activities by Senate, with recommendations from the Ethics Committee
- ethical investment by the Investment Committee reporting to Council
- business ethics by the Audit Committee/Finance and General Purposes Committee reporting to Council
- personal and professional relationships by the Director of Human Resources reporting to the Executive Committee
- ethical purchasing policy by the Head of Purchasing Services reporting to the Executive Committee
- environmental impacts of energy use by the Energy Committee reporting to the Executive Committee via the Estates Committee
- environmental audit by the University's Environmental Management Co-ordinator reporting to the Executive Committee via the Vice-Chancellor.
All formal committees of the University, in discharging their routine business, will seek to raise awareness of ethical considerations and to disseminate best practice appropriate to their terms of reference.
Implementation of the institutional strategy
Through the conduct of its own business, and that of its sub-committees, Council seeks to promote the highest standards of ethical, social and environmental responsibility.
Senate is responsible for the development and implementation of the institutional ethics strategy as it relates to the University's teaching, research and other related institutional activities.
The Ethics Committee is responsible for advising Senate on the development of appropriate procedures and guidelines and for responding to requests for guidance on ethical issues from academics, Departments/Schools and Faculties.
Responsibility of Departments/Schools for implementation
Each School/Department is responsible for formulating a local code of ethics to articulate how the institutional code of ethics and codes of practice are implemented within the department and to identify how ethical issues specific to its discipline-base are addressed.
Responsibilities of members of staff
Individual members of academic staff are responsible for ensuring that any ethical issues arising from their research, teaching, professional practice and consultancy activities are considered in accordance with their Department's/School's code of ethics. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that ethical issues are given due consideration as they arise naturally during the delivery of the taught curriculum. In particular, academic staff should ensure that undergraduates and postgraduates are made aware of issues surrounding professional ethics.
All members of staff are responsible for ensuring that they implement such guidelines, codes of practice and procedures relating to ethical issues as are relevant to the nature of their employment.