Ethics code at a glance
CIMA's code of ethics is made up of five fundamental principles: integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour:
- Integrity: being straightforward, honest and truthful in all professional and business relationships. You should not be associated with any information that you believe contains a materially false or misleading statement, or which is misleading by omission.
- Objectivity: not allowing bias, conflict of interest or the influence of other people to override your professional judgement.
- Professional competence and due care: an ongoing commitment to your level of professional knowledge and skill. Base this on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques. Those working under your authority must also have the appropriate training and supervision.
- Confidentiality: You should not disclose professional information unless you have specific permission or a legal or professional duty to do so.
- Professional behaviour: comply with relevant laws and regulations. You must also avoid any action that could negatively affect the reputation of the profession.
The code explains these principles, and gives examples of their use for professional accountants in business (part B) and professional accountants in practice (part C).
The code identifies five categories of common threat to the five principles:
- Self interest threats: commonly called a 'conflict of interest'.
- Self review threats: when you are required to re-evaluate your own previous judgement.
- Familiarity threats: when you become so sympathetic to the interests of others as a result of a close relationship that your professional judgement becomes compromised.
- Intimidation threats: when you are deterred from acting objectively by actual or perceived threats.
- Advocacy threats: can be a problem when you are promoting a position or opinion to the point that your subsequent objectivity is compromised.
Our code has a 'threats and safeguards' approach to resolving ethical issues. This means that if you think there is a threat, you should assess whether the threat is significant. Then, take action to remove or mitigate it.
Employing institutions often have safeguards: whistleblowing or grievance procedures. They can be standards or legislation in a profession.
See our guidance for handling ethical issues.
Please note that this page is a summary of key principles of our code of ethics. The code should be consulted in full for a complete understanding of CIMA's ethical requirements.