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, 570 KB) is based on the International Ethics Standards Board of Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics, which CIPFA adopts in full. The IESBA periodically updates its Code; CIPFA’s SOPP is current based on the 2011 version but will be fully updated with the most recent Code of Ethics by 2018, subject to the timetable of the ongoing IESBA restructuring project.

The 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 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 IESBA Code?

CIPFA acknowledges that the IESBA code is a large document. We updated our short guidance document Ethics and You in July 2017 to continue to make it more accessible and relevant to our members: Ethics and You (PDF, 62 KB).

Ethics and You provides additional guidance and focuses on what the IESBA Code means for the public sector workplace.

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, 570 KB). Queries should concern a member's professional conduct in relation to the SOPP on Ethics (PDF, 570 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.