Guidance on acceptable behaviour

 

This note amplifies what is meant by the term "acceptable behaviour" and explains the context within which we have used the term in Member Group rules.

  1. The Institute is keen to promote vigorous discussion of the widest range of topics relevant to IT both within the Institute and in the public media. The Institute’s Policy Hub which is open to all members is the prime focus for evolving policy statements.
  2. It is important for the Institute to promote itself as a source of authoritative opinion in its field. All parts of the Institute benefit from a strong public image and it is therefore incumbent on all parts of the Institute to enhance its standing and especially to avoid inadvertently damaging it.
  3. Comments should always be expressed in a professional manner including on social media. Inappropriate statements could be deemed to bring the Institute into disrepute and leave a member subject to disciplinary action.
  4. Care always needs to be taken when making a statement on behalf of an Institute Member Group or as an officer of a group. Well known individuals should remember that the media may not distinguish a personal comment from a one made in the name of the Institute. This is especially important on social media.
  5. To enhance the Institute’s image it is important that groups ensure that any public statements do not conflict with the Institute’s existing policy statements. This can be checked through the Policy Hub.
  6. It is important to avoid commenting on subjects outside the expertise of those making the comments.
  7. Group committees and individual office holders should avoid public disagreements with other parts of the Institute or individual members. This could bring the Institute into disrepute and even if less serious could damage its image. Discussions should be held in private or raised more widely via through the Policy Hub and always in a professional manner.
  8. Comments on issues in local and regional media are a good way to maintain local awareness of a group’s activities. Communications via local and regional media need to be handled carefully. Provided a check is made to ensure that any policy comment does not conflict with established Institute policy no formal authorisation is needed. If there is time, guidance can be sought from the Policy Hub staff.
  9. Communication in national media needs greater care because of the greater visibility. Guidance should be sought from the Policy Hub and draft written statements can be submitted to the Institute’s Press Office if time permits.
  10. Member Groups should not make submissions to UK government and similar consultations without obtaining express permission via the Policy Hub. Where time permits the Policy Hub will seek opinions from all interested parties within the Institute and Member Group members can be invited to take a major role in drafting the submission.