Terms of Reference (2010)

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This page sets out the role and objectives of the UK Public Affairs Council (UKPAC), as they were defined by the implementation team which first planned and established the Council in 2010. The current strategy to which UKPAC is working was published in December 2012 and can be found here

Objectives of the UKPAC

The aim of the UKPAC is to promote public confidence in those who, in a professional capacity, undertake lobbying by encouraging and sustaining high ethical standards, transparency and accountability amongst those whom the Council regulates. It will offer a system of voluntary regulation to ensure that all those involved in lobbying institutions of government can be governed by a clear set of principles, underpinned by enforceable Codes of Conduct. Further, it will assist public confidence by establishing a publicly accessible Register of those involved in lobbying, indicating the organisations on whose behalf they are lobbying.

Key Roles

There are four key roles for the Council, as follows:

  • To hold and review periodically the Guiding Principles covering those who lobby, examining how a common Code of Conduct enshrining the Principles can be established and keeping under review any related Codes of member bodies ;
  • To maintain a Register of those organisations and individuals who provide lobbying services and of the organisations on whose behalf they lobby.
  • To oversee the disciplinary arrangements necessary to enforce the Principles and any common Code; to allocate complaints against individuals or organisations within member bodies to the most appropriate body, ensuring that these are considered under the relevant Codes and procedures; and to review periodically the process through which complaints are considered by member bodies; and
  • To promote with its member bodies high ethical standards in lobbying generally.

The Register

UKPAC will publish a register showing all organisations and individuals engaged in offering lobbying services that are members of one of the member bodies participating in the UKPAC. The Register will record the names of the organisations, the individuals working within them and, where relevant, any clients for whom lobbying services are provided. The Register will be completed quarterly and published as soon as possible thereafter. Each member body will require their members to complete the register accurately and failure to do so will be a disciplinary offence within the relevant member body.

Membership of the Council

UKPAC will be a legal entity with, initially, its members being the member bodies that subscribe to it. UKPAC will consider how direct membership of or affiliation to UKPAC might effectively be developed.

Member bodies wishing to join UKPAC will be required to:

  • Have in membership or regulate individuals or organisations which practice public affairs, providing or being subject to a regulatory mechanism by which those individuals or organisations can be judged against agreed ethical standards, and action can be taken on the basis of such investigations leading to expulsion, suspension, comment, or no action as regards the UKPAC register;
  • Demonstrate agreed standards of ethical conduct in lobbying, based on the guiding principles;
  • Enforce such standards effectively;
  • Show support for effective self-regulation of lobbying; and
  • Enhance the reputation of all those involved in or advising on lobbying through membership of UKPAC.


The definitions of “lobbying” and “lobbyists” to which UKPAC adheres in carrying out its functions can be found here: Definition of Lobbying