UKCHIP Code of Conduct

The UKCHIP Code of Conduct

The UKCHIP Code of Conduct sets out the standards of behaviour required of health informatics professionals registered with the United Kingdom Council for Health Informatics Professions.  It deals with all aspects of professional activity including registrants’ duties to patients, the public, employers and colleagues.

Adoption of the Code of Conduct is a mandatory prerequisite for registration with UKCHIP in any category and a registered person who fails to comply with the code will be removed from the UKCHIP registers.

The UKCHIP Code of Conduct requires that a health informatics professional shall:

Work to high professional standards

All health informatics professionals shall exercise their professional skills and judgement to the best of their ability and discharge their duties with integrity by:

  1. Giving professional advice that is objective and reliable.
  2. Ensuring that information systems for which they are responsible are fit for their purpose.
  3. Maintaining a high standard of professional and technical expertise appropriate to their role and discipline, and continuously seeking to develop their knowledge and competence.
  4. Accepting personal responsibility for all work done or advice given by themselves or by others under their supervision or direction.
  5. Ensuring that they, and any persons under their supervision, have the necessary knowledge and competence to undertake their duties, and conversely that no person knowingly works beyond their current competence except as part of a properly supervised training and development programme.
Respect the rights and interests of others

All health informatics professionals shall work to high ethical standards, respecting the legitimate rights and interests of their employer, other professionals, clients, and other relevant authorities by:

  1. Promoting respect for the individual and their rights, and ensuring equal opportunities in all aspects of professional activity, including staff management and recruitment, education development and training, and relationships with clients and colleagues.
  2. Carrying out their duties with diligence and integrity for the benefit of their employer and/or client, refusing any personal inducement in the exercise of their professional judgement, and avoiding any real or apparent conflict of interest
  3. Ensuring that they and their organisation are aware of, and comply with, any relevant legislation or regulations, particularly as regards protecting the security, confidentiality, accuracy and integrity of health information.
  4. Keeping confidential any privileged information obtained in the course of their professional duties regarding the activities of individuals or organisations – except where there is an overriding ethical or legal duty to disclose it.
  5. Taking all reasonable steps to ensure that any undesirable consequence which they believe may result from failure to accept their advice is communicated clearly to any individual overruling or neglecting such advice.
Protect and act in the interests of patients and the public

All health informatics professionals shall, to the best of their ability, protect and promote the interests of patients and the public by:

  1. Ensuring that information systems and equipment for which they are responsible are procured, installed, maintained and operated professionally, efficiently and safely, and provide good value for the public money invested in them.
  2. Ensuring the security, confidentiality, accuracy and integrity of information, and protecting the safety of patients and the public, both directly through their personal actions and indirectly through the design and operation of any information systems for which they are responsible.
  3. Reporting to the proper authorities any improper or misleading use of information, whether accidental or deliberate, or misconduct by any person in connection with the procurement, operation or use of information systems and equipment.
  4. Promoting the appropriate use of information to enhance patient and public involvement and to support patient empowerment, dignity and choice.
  5. Taking all reasonable steps to avoid waste of natural resources, damage to the environment, and wasteful damage or destruction of the products of human skill and industry.
Promote the standards and standing of the profession

All health informatics professionals shall, to the best of their ability, promote the standards and standing of the profession by:

  1. Promoting professionalism in health informatics through all aspects of their work, acting as advocates for high standards in the management of health information in their workplace, and setting an example of high standards to staff and colleagues.
  2. Sharing their knowledge and experience with their peers, participating in professional activities and organisations appropriate to their role and discipline, and encouraging others to do so.
  3. Avoiding personal behaviour, public statements or actions likely to bring the profession as a whole, or individual members of the profession, into disrepute, and notifying the Council promptly of any circumstances that might do so.

Further Reading

This code of conduct is necessarily concise.  For a more detailed discussion of the underlying ethical principles and their application to Health Informatics see A Handbook of Ethics for Health Informatics Professionals, E-H Kluge, British Computer Society, 2003: ISBN 1-902505-52-2.