Standards in Public Life


The Committee on Standards of Public Life established a set of seven principles for anyone working in public life. These were later developed further into a set of 10 principles:


Members should serve only the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.


Honesty and integrity

Members should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly, and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.



Members should make decisions on merit, including when making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits.



Members should be accountable to the public for their actions and the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, and should co-operate fully and honestly with any scrutiny appropriate to their particular office.



Members should be as open as possible about their actions and those of their authority, and should be prepared to give reasons for those actions.


Personal judgement 

Members may take account of the views of others, including their political groups, but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions.


Respect for others 

Members should promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person, and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. They should respect the impartiality and integrity of the authority’s statutory officers and its other employees.


Duty to uphold the law 

Members should uphold the law and, on all occasions, act in accordance with the trust the public is entitled to place in them.



Members should do whatever they are able to do to ensure that their authorities use resources prudently, and in accordance with the law.



Members should promote and support these principles by leadership, and by example, and should act in a way that secures or preserves public confidence.