29 June 2016

Media release: Engineers subject to new Code of Ethical Conduct

Code of Ethical Conduct

A new Code of Ethical Conduct for engineering professionals comes into force on 1 July.

Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says the Code sets out engineering professionals’ duty to the public and to each other.

“This Code has new obligations that raise the bar for engineering professionals.

“Engineers’ work affects all New Zealanders, every day. We need a robust and clear professional framework that everyone can trust.”

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission recommended that IPENZ should clarify its code of ethics, in relation to reporting risks to public health and safety.

“Under the new Code, engineers have a new obligation to report potential adverse consequences for people’s health and safety and for the environment,” Ms Freeman-Greene says.

“Engineers must take action if they observe something of concern. For example, if they become aware of potential design flaws in a building under construction, or poor construction practices that threaten health and safety.

Another change is that if an engineer suspects another engineer has significantly breached the Code, they must report this.

“The new Code also makes explicit engineers’ obligation to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, and to treat others with respect and courtesy.

“We have spent three years developing and consulting the new Code, and it has support from the wider engineering profession.

“We have also changed our rules so that members cannot avoid our disciplinary processes by resigning their membership. This is part of a suite of changes we are currently making to our complaints process to ensure it is robust, transparent and fair.

The new Code covers Chartered Professional Engineers and all members of the Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ), which includes professional engineers, technologists and technicians.

Read our frequently asked questions about the new Code

View our resources to help you put the Code into practice