careerFOCUS SET’s Code of Practice

In common with other professional bodies, the Society for Education and Training (SET) provides a Code of Practice to which members are expected to adhere, and uphold, in their practice. The SET Code of Practice is vital in a high-trust

profession like teaching where teachers and trainers are expected to work to the very highest professional standards in their daily interactions with learners from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. The Code of Practice applies equally to the ways in which professional teachers and trainers are expected to engage and collaborate with colleagues in order to maintain supportive and enriching working environments. professional-practice/

By Alan Thomson

Codes of practice not only help to underpin the standards expected of entire professions, but also play an important role in protecting professionals themselves, according to ethics expert Dr Jim Baxter. Workplace demands can sometimes mean that practitioners are asked to do things that conflict with the ethical values they hold as professionals and believe ought to guide their work.

But without a written code of practice an employee potentially has nothing concrete to back their position should they decide to refuse a particular request, says Dr Baxter of the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre at the University of Leeds. “If there is a code of ethics or practice, then a

professional can point out that they are bound by it,” says Dr Baxter who leads the Professional Ethics Consultancy team at the centre. “It is therefore clear that it is not just that they don’t

want to do what was asked of them, but that their professional standing would be at risk if they complied with the request.


The Society for Education and Training Code of Practice is divided into two sections: 1. Mandatory, actionable provisions – all members of SET must comply with these provisions in order to become and remain a member. SET reserves the right to refuse or cancel membership if provisions are breached.


Aspirational provisions – all members of SET are expected to work towards these requirements, but will not refuse or cancel membership on this basis.

MANDATORY, ACTIONABLE PROVISIONS All members of SET must: 1. Uphold the reputation of the profession – you must not behave in such a way that is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you and in the profession.

2. Act honestly and with integrity in the educational setting.

3. Use reasonable professional judgement when discharging your responsibilities and obligations to learners, colleagues, institutions and the wider profession.

4. Take reasonable care to ensure the safety and welfare of learners and comply with relevant


“In this sense codes of practice and professional conduct act as bulwarks protecting professionals. “There is also an enhanced level of professional

statutory provisions to support their well-being and development.

5. Respect the rights of learners and colleagues in accordance with relevant legislation and organisation requirements.

6. Act in such a way which recognises diversity as an asset and does not discriminate unfairly.

7. Act in accordance with the conditions of membership which may be subject to change from time to time.

8. Comply with all reasonable requests for information from SET (including all reasonable requests that you consent to the disclosure of information held by third parties about you).

9. Co-operate with any investigation in your capacity as a further educational professional and in accordance with the law.

10. Notify SET within 21 days of any of the following occurring:

10.1. You are made the subject of a bar, partial bar, warning or other action by the Secretary of State or the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in relation to misconduct or working with children, young people or vulnerable adults.

10.2. You are charged with, convicted of, or cautioned for a criminal offence.

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