The Ethics of Inclusion
As part of the Statement of Ethical Principles 2017, all registered Professional Engineers have a duty to comply with the guidance issued by the Engineering Council. For the first time, the requirement to promote equality, diversity and inclusion has been added to this statement:
Leadership and communication
Engineering professionals have a duty to abide by and promote
high standards of leadership and communication. They should:
• be aware of the issues that engineering and technology raise for
society, and listen to the aspirations and concerns of others
• promote equality, diversity and inclusion
• promote public awareness and understanding of the impact and
benefits of engineering achievements
• be objective and truthful in any statement made in their
• challenge statements or policies that cause them professional
Inclusion in UK-SPEC
UK SPEC is the Standard for Professional Engineering Competence which sets out the competence and commitment required for registration as a Professional engineer.
The revised fourth edition of UK-SPEC was published on 31 August 2020 and will be implemented by 31 December 2021. It contains a new requirement for Inclusive Design along with the requirement to demonstrate personal and social skills and awareness of diverity and inclusion issues.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 is the UK legislation which legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It ensures consistency in what employers and employees need to do to make their workplaces a fair environment and comply with the law. The protected characteristics include age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity. New measures from April 2017 stem from the introduction Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. Read more from EqualEngineers here.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
The public sector Equality Duty ( PSED ) requires public bodies, and others carrying out public functions, to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities. Read more here.
In the engineering sector, any organisation who provides services or products to the public must comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Example of Meeting Code of Conduct Guidelines
The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:
Positive Action is when an employer takes steps to help or encourage certain groups of people with different needs, or who are disadvantaged in some way, access work or training. Positive action is lawful under the Equality Act.
Positive Discrimination is unlawful.
Find out more.