Code of conduct
It is essential that the General Osteopathic Council commands the confidence of the public, the osteopathic profession and other stakeholders. To this end, Council, as its governing body, must adopt and comply with appropriate standards of conduct.
Council members, and anyone else acting on behalf of the GOsC who is not a member of staff, are expected to sign and observe a Code of Conduct, (contained in the Governance Handbook at Annex 1) and any procedures for its enforcement. Its purpose is to provide them with guidance on carrying out the GOsC’s statutory functions in line with currently accepted standards of public service.
Who does the Code of Conduct apply to?
The Code of Conduct applies to:
- members of Council
- members of committees, both statutory and non-statutory
- members of working groups
- any other individuals who may from time to time act on behalf of the GOsC in a non-executive capacity.
General conduct guidelines
Members and other non-executive persons acting on behalf of the GOsC will comply with the following general guidelines at all times:
- act in good faith
- act in accordance with the GOsC’s statutory objective, as individuals and collectively
- act in accordance with the seven principles of public life (set out below)
- treat others equally, fairly and with respect.
The seven principles of public life
The seven principles of public life, as set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (www.public-standards.gov.uk) are:
- Selflessness: holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
- Integrity: holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
- Objectivity: holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
- Accountability: holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
- Openness: holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
- Honesty: holders of public office should be truthful.
- Leadership: holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.