Guiding Principles

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These are the Guiding Principles of Conduct which have been jointly adopted by the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR):

It is a fundamental right of all to make representations to holders of public office in pursuit of a change in policy or legislation, to seek information, to plead a case or to set out views. It is however important that all those making representations do so in an appropriate manner consistent with safeguarding standards in public life and trust in the democratic process.

These principles should apply to everyone seeking to influence policy and the institutions of government, whether for their own benefit or on behalf of others, and whether through direct representation, advice to others, or third parties.

The principles are designed to complement, rather than replace, any codes of conduct applicable to specific professions or groups which aim to influence policy.

1 Transparency & Openness

  • Always be clear and precise about your identity and any organisation you represent, either directly or on an advisory basis.
  • Never give a false identity or claim to represent an individual/organisation without express permission.

2 Accuracy & Honesty

  • Never knowingly make false or misleading claims or misrepresent the views of others, and take action to avoid doing so inadvertently.
  • Always provide accurate information.

3 Integrity

  • Never offer financial or any other inducement, including direct or indirect payments, offers of employment or substantial gifts or entertainment, to any holder of public office in an attempt to influence the decision making process.
  • Clearly declare any relevant financial or other links to the public office holder in order to ensure he or she is protected from a potential conflict of interest.

4 Propriety

  • Always seek to follow the rules of the public body to which you are making representations, and where appropriate seek guidance from the public body on any rules of relevance.
  • Ensure that in any dealings with holders of public office, you do not encourage them to break the rules of the institution they represent governing their activities.