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Code of Ethics and Professional Standards of the Association of British Investigators (v 14/05/2020)

Impartial Investigations is a member of the ABI and is therefore signed up to this Code.

This code, comprising Ten Principles, is endorsed by the Governing Council of the Association of British Investigators (ABI). It is a reflection of the way in which all members should conduct their business according to rigorous ethical and legal standards. It flows from our determination to uphold
professional values and:


  1. Be responsible and accountable
  2. Be honest and operate with integrity
  3. Be cautious and thorough
  4. Be law abiding and challenge improper conduct
  5. Be open and transparent
  6. Be respectful and inclusive
  7. Be professional
  8. Avoid conflicts of interest
  9. Keep data confidential
  10. Lead by example and keep the highest standard of general conduct

Principle 1 — Responsibility and Accountability

All members of The Association of British Investigators are personally responsible and accountable for their actions or omissions, as are their employees and other persons engaged to assist an investigation. It must be ensured that the latter adhere to this Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.

Principle 2 — Honesty and Integrity

All members of The Association of British Investigators are to act with honesty and integrity to ensure that what they say and do is acted upon and that they follow through with written agreements made. Members must not compromise their position, that of this association or any of their clients.

Principle 3 — Caution and Thoroughness

All members of The Association of British Investigators are to complete necessary due diligence to (a) verify the credentials of clients to ensure that they have lawful and ethical reasons to request an investigation and (b) maintain suitable competency and resources to meet the client’s managed
expectations. In addition, members should ensure that relevant contracts/ terms of engagement are put in place after completing Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) to establish the lawful basis for the processing of any personal data in each case.

Principle 4 — Be law abiding and challenge improper conduct

All members of The Association of British Investigators are to obey the law and refrain from carrying out any act that they know, or ought to know, is unlawful, or contrary to The Association’s policy.

All members are expected to challenge and when appropriate, take action and formally report breaches of this code and the improper conduct of other professionals.

Principle 5 — Be open and transparent

All members of The Association of British Investigators, in all dealings with clients and customers, are to be clear, open and transparent. Members should take the appropriate time to listen carefully and accurately record what is required. The approach plan should be focused, concise and form the basis of the terms of engagement. This contract is to be agreed with your client and must be lawful, ethical and realistic. It is the ABI Member’s responsibility to inform the instructing client of any changes to the agreed plan and gain agreement.

Principle 6 — Equality, Diversity, Respect & Inclusion

All members of the The Association of British Investigators are to act with self-control and tolerance, treating everyone with respect and courtesy in every interaction. No member is to abuse their position and must respect the rights of all individuals. Members will not discriminate on the grounds of, nationality, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, family circumstances, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity status, age, property, birth or other status or any other unfair
distinction. The Association will not tolerate bullying, harassment or any type of coercive controlling, or intimidating behaviour.

Principle 7 — Be Professional

All members The Association of British Investigators are to act in a professional manner. They must not behave in a manner which brings, or is likely to bring, discredit upon The Association or any of their clients, or act in a way that undermines or is likely to undermine confidence in The Association or
that of any of their or the members’ clients, or breach or permit a breach of The Association’s Memorandum, Articles of Association, Bye-Laws or Code of Ethics & Professional Standards.

Principle 8 — Conflict of Interest

Any member of The Association of British Investigators that has a personal or conflicting interest in any matter in which they are involved shall disclose that interest, if it is in conflict with the interests of their clients or any stakeholder/s.

Principle 9 — Keep data Confidential

All members of The Association of British Investigators are to treat information (with which they are entrusted) during the course of business with respect and only access or disclose it for the purposes for which it is intended; attending to all instructions within the principles of the prevailing privacy
legislation and in particular if processing or controlling personal data to be registered with the Information Commissioner’ Office (ICO). All ABI members should when processing personal data adhere to, operate and think within the scope of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in
everything they do.

Principle 10 — General Conduct and leading by example

All members of The Association of British Investigators should lead by example, be fair, impartial and consistent. ABI members (at the very least) should not bring the ABI or its members into disrepute. Members are expected to advertise The Association on their promotional material. It is expected that
members support the achievements of the ABI and its members in the spirit in which The Association’s founders intended.

The Association of British Investigators – more details here.

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