LONDON - CIPR, the 8000-member Chartered Institute of Public Relations, has amended its regulatory "Code of Conduct" enabling it now to examine proactively allegations of its members’ poor practice and/or misconduct.
The original code allowed the Institute to investigate malpractice only after a formal complaint had been lodged. With the amended code the Institute can investigate a member if there is any information alleging inappropriate conduct.
However, not all allegations will be pursued. Incidents will be handled on a case-by-case basic and if the Director General or President considers investigation to be in the public interest.
CIPR Director General Colin Farrington, said: "This amendment will allow us to act proactively in tackling apparent professional wrong doing by one of our members. As leaders of the industry the Chartered Institute must be able to act when a member’s actions seem to call the profession into disrepute.
"Our Code of Conduct is concerned with professionalism. All of our members sign up to it and by doing so demonstrate that they will adhere to the highest levels of integrity and are prepared to be held accountable for their work."
The key is "if the Director General or President considers investigation to be in the public interest." As PR is loathe to admit its failings publicly, this might just be window dressing. It's antithetical to what we do for a living. But an association's self-policing is always a precursor to laws. We do it ONLY because we have to.