The CIPR is both required and empowered by its Royal Charter to exert discipline in the public interest over members’ conduct. Maintaining a visible and well-run regulatory system is also in the interest of the CIPR itself and of the profession it represents.
The Code of Conduct requires members to act with honesty, integrity and fairness. If they do not, they take the risk that their behaviour will be investigated and that they may be admonished or penalised.
The CIPR’s Regulatory Consultant is responsible for managing complaints to the CIPR concerning possible breaches of the code. The Consultant is also responsible for the CIPR’s ethics hotline.
The Regulatory Consultant does not make judgements on complaints. That is the role of the Professional Standards Panel. The Consultant attends PSP hearings but is not a member of the panel and has no vote on it.
The role of the Regulatory Consultant is:
- Giving impartial advice on the complaints procedure to both parties (complainant and respondent) in a dispute.
- Identifying the clause(s) in the CIPR Code of Conduct to which the complaint applies.
- Establishing that there is prima facie evidence to support the complaint.
- When possible, acting as a mediator to prevent the need for a formal complaint.
Note that all parties are required to keep details of the complaint confidential, including that it exists.
Terms and Conditions
The Regulatory Consultant reports quarterly to the CIPR’s Professional Practices Committee. The consultant can draw on the support of both the CIPR’s solicitor, and the chair of the PSP. The post attracts a quarterly honorarium of £2,000.
The Regulatory Consultant draws upon the following for guidance and support: (link)
By-Laws of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Regulations of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Appendix A: Code of Conduct
Appendix B: Regulations Governing the Complaints Procedure