The Code of Ethics

In the course of engineering practice, professional engineers will:

Demonstrate integrity

1.1 Refrain from fraudulent, corrupt or criminal practices
1.2 Be objective and truthful
1.3 Practise fairly and with good faith towards clients, colleagues and others

Practise competently

2.1 Practise in a careful and diligent manner in accordance with their areas of competence
2.2 Practise in accordance with accepted engineering practices, standards and codes
2.3 Maintain and strive to enhance the body of knowledge in which they practise

Exercise leadership

3.1 Practise so as to enhance the quality of life in society
3.2 Strive to contribute to the advancement of the body of knowledge within which they practise, and to the profession in general
3.3 Foster the public’s understanding of technical issues and the role of engineering

Protect the natural and built environment

4.1 Create and implement engineering solutions for a sustainable future
4.2 Be mindful of the economic, societal and environmental consequences of actions or projects
4.3 Promote and protect the health, safety and well being of the community and the environment

Updates on the WFEO Model Code of Ethics

As the previous version of the WFEO Model Code of Ethics was released in 2011, a task group was established in November 2022 to update it.

The previous version consisted of three parts, the preamble, the code and the guidelines. This model code has been promoted to WFEO member organizations to mobilize engineers across the world to conduct their engineering practices in an ethical and responsible manner.

However, in the past decade, emerging innovative technologies such as digital technology and biotechnology have been posing many new challenges to engineering ethics, and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda has set higher requirements on engineering ethics.

In viewing of the importance to update the Model Code of Ethics to guide member organizations and global engineering society to behave more responsibly and ethically in the wave of Fourth Industrial Revolution and align with the requirements of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Executive Board decided to set up an AdHoc task group, consisting of members from different continents and chaired by immediate past president Gong Ke, to revise the WFEO Model Code of Ethics.

The revision was carried out in following phases:

  • Phase 1.

Based on previous discussions, especially the webinar organized by WFEO CEIT on the WFEO Model Code of Ethics, a Zero draft was prepared and shared with group members as well as invited international experts. About 40 specific suggestions were received and further discussed within the task group.

After the discussion, the first version of the updated Code was worked out. This version kept the structure of the current Model Code and most of the contents for continuity, while making necessary amendments in response to the new requirements from the UN Sustainable Development Agenda and the challenges of the new industrial revolution.

  • Phase 2.

The first version was reported to the WFEO Executive Council on 1st March 2023, and gained wide agreement as well as good suggestions. Then, the Special Meeting for Updating WFEO Model Code of Ethics was convened in Madrid, to reach further consensus on the revision of the Model Code. It is agreed that the further revision emphasized the six core values and principles approved by the WFEO Executive Council on 1 March 2023.

In line with the latest WFEO Values and Operating Principles
(in page 59) adopted by the WFEO Executive Council, clear requirements were given to WFEO member organizations to develop their own ethical code referring to the WFEO Model Code, to promote ethics training and effectively punish violations. With these and other amendments, the second version was submitted to the Executive Board and was agreed by the Board to use this version for further consultation to member organizations.

  • Phase 3.

Consultation webinars were convened in July and August 2023 in different parts of the world. With careful consideration of the comments and suggestions from these webinars, the final version will be summitted to the Executive Council for final approval and then the updated WFEO Model Code of Ethics will be officially released in the General Assembly in October 2023.

Regional Presentation of WFEO’s revised Code of Ethics chaired by WFEO Past President Gong Ke, 2 August 2023