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CAREER SPOTLIGHT


solidarity because every other person signed up to the same code of practice should give exactly the same answer.”


The fact that many codes of practice include sanctions, including disciplinary action, for those breaching the rules can further reinforce the protection for professionals.


“Some codes incorporate disciplinary procedures, some don’t. Some codes can be partly or entirely aspirational with no sanctions,” Dr Baxter says. “But if sanctions are included, then a professional


can have even more reason to refuse to do something questionable since breaching the code could mean being expelled from their professional body, or even being left unable to practise.” Many codes of practice, like the SET Code of Practice, are brief and concise. But Dr Baxter says that some run to dozens of pages and specify how professionals should respond and behave in many different situations. “Can you really specify every situation that a


professional is likely to encounter?” Dr Baxter says. “I think ultimately there has got to be some element


of professional judgement. Many organisations with shorter, principles-based codes are very successful in holding people to them.”


PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS WE CAN ALL ASPIRE TO By Donna Lucas


I recently reviewed the SET Code of Practice and the aspirational 20 Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers. It occurs to me that they are an excellent framework on which to base our behaviours at work. We all develop a reputation as we journey through


our careers. Developing a good one takes care and is certainly worth protecting. As an HR lead it is highly persuasive when a person comes recommended to a role, particularly if that recommendation indicates a strong reputation for having high professional standards. Key aspects of our reputation will, of course, develop from our knowledge and skills, and our work ethic. There are other aspects, though, that are crucial, and


10.3. If your contract of employment has been terminated due to disciplinary reasons, in line with the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) Code of Practice.


10.4 You are informed that you are under investigation by any professional or regulatory body, or that you will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing by any employer, in this country or abroad.


11. Notify SET of any other information which may have a bearing on your suitability for membership, including anything which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you and in the profession.


12. Not seek to dissuade any person from raising a concern, or act unfairly towards them if they do so.


ASPIRATIONAL PROVISIONS All members of SET are expected to work towards the requirements of the 2014 Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers. Members are encouraged to assess themselves at least annually against the Professional Standards and to build their own professional development programme based on this comparison.


the SET Code neatly sets these out for its members. The Code outlines how we should, as professionals, behave in such a way that we do not diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in us, and in our profession; that we should act honestly and with integrity using our professional judgement. These can be lost with a damaged reputation. Increasingly, I see professionals get into difficulty with social media. Too often an otherwise professional person has made the mistake of posting or sharing material that is inappropriate for public consumption. Care taken with site security settings is time well spent, as is thinking about what we say and the appropriateness of sharing some content publicly. Most organisations will have a social media policy, and that is a sensible place to check for guidance. Finally, as I’m discussing reputation it seems timely to mention Christmas parties. I’d be the first to agree 12 months of hard work deserves a good party. But many a good reputation has been damaged by alcohol-induced absences, drunken shenanigans and offended colleagues. Make sure you don’t end up on the staff naughty list!


Donna Lucas


is group vice-principal, HR and professional development, at the Shrewsbury Colleges Group and chairs the Association of Colleges’ National HR Policy Group. She is a Member of SET and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


In inUITION ISSUE 35 •TUITION ISSUE 38 • WINTER 2019 SPRING 2019 29


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