Nearly 1 in 4 have “knowingly broken professional guidelines”

Employees’ worrying lack of knowledge about, and respect for, the professional standards they are required to uphold were revealed today, in a new survey commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute. The research, undertaken amongst 1,000 employees, found that nearly 25% have never read their employer’s or professional body’s code of standards or conduct. What’s more, nearly a quarter of employees have knowingly broken professional guidelines at work, with men significantly more likely to do so than their female counterparts (30% vs 19%).

The survey also revealed that of those belonging to a professional body (74%), 21% didn’t know if there was a code of standards or conduct that they were required to follow.

However, despite this lack of knowledge, nearly 60% of those surveyed would think better of a manager if they made an effort to abide by professional guidelines at work, demonstrating that codes of practice provide a helpful basis for company leaders to set an example for others.

The results are released as CMI announces that it is helping its members to do just that, by updating its Code of Conduct and reminding them of the values of abiding by it. Following a review by CMI’s Professional Standards Committee (PSC), CMI’s ‘Code of Professional Conduct and Practice’ has been updated and renamed as the ‘Code of Practice for Professional Managers’.

The new code is more concise, uses more accessible language and focuses on the important place of integrity and trust and the role of responsible leadership. Stronger references are also made to the important areas of diversity and corporate responsibility.

Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of CMI said: “As the only chartered professional body dedicated to raising standards of management and leadership in all sectors of UK commerce and industry, it is imperative that CMI’s own professional guidelines are clear, concise and accessible. Our research shows that managers who make an effort to stick to professional guidelines gain the respect of their teams. By updating our own code we’re therefore helping managers to set a great example and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”

New Members are being asked to sign up to the code when they join and members of the CMI also sign up to the code when they review their memberships annually.

For a full copy of the new CMI Code of Practice for Professional Managers please visit

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For further information about the press release or data:
Harriet Fitzgerald/Lucy Dormandy
Telephone: 020 7010 0828 / 020 7010 0829
Email: /

For further information about the Code of Conduct:
Valerie Hamill
Telephone: 020 7421 2707


  • CMI is the only chartered professional body dedicated to raising standards of management and leadership across all sectors of UK commerce and industry. CMI is the founder of the National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership and sets the standards that others follow.
  • By setting minimum professional standards – built into our qualifications, membership criteria and learning resources – we recognise individual capability and give employers confidence in their managers’ performance.
  • As a membership organisation, CMI has also been providing forward-thinking advice and support to individuals and businesses, for more than 50 years. As the only organisation to offer qualifications from Level 2 (GCSE) to Level 8 (PhD), CMI is committed to equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge to be exceptional managers and leaders.
  • Qualifications and accreditations such as Chartered Manager, combined with products such as CMI’s Continuous Professional Development scheme and the online support resource, ManagementDirect, support the development of management and leadership excellence across the UK.
  • Through in-depth research and policy surveys of its 100,000 individual and 450 corporate members, CMI maintains its position as the premier authority on key management and leadership issues

More about the research conducted

  • The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Chartered Management Institute. 1,000 employees were surveyed online in March 2011