Our Standard of Professional Practice on Ethics (SOPP on Ethics) applies to all CIPFA members and registered students.

Our Standard of Professional Practice on Ethics (SOPP on Ethics) applies to all CIPFA members and registered students.

The SOPP on Ethics (PDF, 569 KB) is based on the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Code of Ethics, which CIPFA has adopted in full. IFAC periodically updates its code; the latest version, dated July 2009 which replaces the 2006 version, was adopted by CIPFA with effect from 1 January 2011.

The new code is based on five principles. They are:

  1. Integrity
  2. Objectivity
  3. Professional competence and due care
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Professional behaviours.

The code is split into three sections:

Part A – applies to all CIFPA members

  • Part A - applies to all CIPFA members
  • Part B – accountants employed in practice; for CIPFA members this includes members who are employed in the national audit agencies and framework contract firms
  • Part C – accountants in business, which includes members employed in public sector organisations, charities and in industry

Has CIPFA produced any supporting guidance for the IFAC Code?

CIPFA acknowledges that the IFAC code is a large document. To make it more accessible and relevant to our members, we have prepared a short guidance document: Ethics and You (PDF, 200 KB).

Ethics and You provides additional guidance and focuses on what the IFAC Code means for the public sector workplace. It includes 10 case studies, covering various sectors and CIPFA members at different stages of their careers.

The CCAB has produced some helpful case studies for professional accountants working as non-executive directors.

What do you do if you have an ethical dilemma?

If you encounter an ethical dilemma whilst at work, you should refer to the full SOPP on Ethics (PDF, 569 KB). Queries should concern a member's professional conduct in relation to the SOPP on Ethics (PDF, 569 KB). A member of CIPFA staff will be available to respond to a query in the first instance. Send your query to   

Conversations on ethical queries are totally confidential and aimed at assisting members explore the full range of options open to them in respect of professional dilemmas. However, the Institute cannot give legal advice. Any comments made during the conversation are made on a personal basis, and must not be assumed to represent CIPFA.


Whistleblowing is governed by the Provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.