News & what's on - Written by on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 13:13 - 1 Comment

Investing in Integrity – a new Chartermark from the Institute of Business Ethics but what about BSI 10500?

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A few days ago the Institute of Business Ethics launched a a new Chartermark ‘Investing in Integrity’.

On the same day they announced the award of accreditation to IMI PLC (which was collected by our very own expert Jo Morgan CCO of IMI PLC) and another accreditation for Balfour Beatty.

The IBE press release records “Organisations are being invited to join a new accreditation system which shows that their businesses have in place appropriate ethical policies, procedures and practices demonstrating a commitment to act with integrity at all times.

Investing in Integrity (IiI) is a new initiative jointly developed by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), two leading non-profit bodies who promote high standards of ethics and integrity in business and finance.”

The investing Investing in Integrity website is here.  The process for obtaining accreditation is described as follows:

“There are two stages to the IiI accreditation process. At Stage 1,the organisation carries out a comprehensive Management Self Assessment Survey of its ethical policies, code, procedures and practices via an on-line submission. This generates a report showing its scores and also benchmarks the organisation against others registered with IiI.

On completion of Stage 1, the organisation is invited to subscribe to IiI and progress to Stage 2. This involves an external assessment by a trained auditor to verify that the responses given in the Management Self Assessment Survey are supported in practice. The assessment will include an onsite audit, policy and system reviews, staff interviews and an Employee Survey. Organisations wishing to progress to Stage 2 must do so within two years of completing Stage 1.

The IiI Charter Mark is awarded after successful completion of Stage 2. Full accreditation lasts for a period of five years, subject to annual self certification, and subscribers are licensed to display and use the IiI Charter Mark. IiI can cover individual units, businesses or groups both in the UK and abroad. The cost of the assessment will depend upon the size of the participating operating units.”

We are firmly in favour of the IiI accreditation scheme.

Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director, Institute of Business Ethics said: “Companies which aim high in everything they do, know the benefits of working ethically. The IBE is asked how an organisation can demonstrate that their code of ethics, policies and procedures are embedded with their employees. With the development of Investing in Integrity, they can do this.”

Interestingly the IiI website includes a useful FAQ section.  One of the questions:

“Question

Doesn’t the British Standards Institute already provide this service?

Answer

Accreditation services which are offered towards meeting ISO standards in many areas, although valuable, are quite different in nature and structure to the Investing in Integrity process. They may be seen as complimentary, not competitive.”

Notwithstanding the fanfare which accompanied the BSI Standard 10500 (Anti Bribery Controls) (a concept which we too favour) we are as yet unaware of any company which has undertaken the BSI accreditation, begging the question, was BSI 10500 really much ado about nothing?

Opinion

It is fair to say that the IiI Chartermark is not in competition with the BSI 10500 – this is partly because at the time of writing the BSI Standard doesn’t appear to be in the race!

 

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