Code of Ethics And Code of Conduct

Topics Covered

  • What Is Code Of Ethics?
  • Values Guiding Code Of Ethics
  • Recommendations Of Second Arc
  • What Are Codes Of Conduct?
  • Code Of Ethics Viz-A-Viz Code Of Conduct
  • Conclusion


What Is Code Of Ethics?

  • It is a set of guidelines issued by an organization, to guide the conduct in accordance with organisational primary values and ethical standards.
  • It includes values and principles like integrity, impartiality, accountability, devotion to duty, exemplary behavior, commitment to public service etc.
  • It ensures that individuals belonging to an organization have a consistent approach.

Values Guiding Code Of Ethics

Public Service Bill, 2006 suggests a Code of Ethics for public services. The main values guiding them are

  • Ideals enshrined in the preamble.
  • Apolitical Functioning.
  • Good Governance.
  • Accountability and transparency.
  • Maintenance of highest ethical standards.
  • Merit should be the criteria for recruiting civil servants.
  • Ensuring economy and avoidance of wasteful expenditure.
  • Provision of healthy and congenial work environment.
  • Discharge functions with due regard to diversity of the nation and community.
  • Provide honest, impartial and frank advice to political executive.

Recommendations of Second ARC

  • Partial State funding of elections.
  • Tightening of anti-defection law.
  • Provision of code of ethics for ministers, legislatures, judiciary and civil servants.
  • Strengthening the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • Making corrupt public servants liable.
  • Confiscation of illegally acquired property.
  • Speedy trails.
  • Creation of lokpal or ombudsman at national, State and local level.
  • Civil Service Values, to which all public servants should aspire, should be defined and made applicable to all tiers of government and organizations.
  • ARC recommended that Code of Ethics include: integrity, impartiality, commitment to public service, open accountability, devotion to duty and exemplary behavior.
  • ARC also recommended deletion of Article 311 of the Constitution.

What are Codes of Conduct?

  • Code of Conduct is a document that expresses the practices and behaviour of a person, required or restricted as a condition for becoming a member of the organisation or profession.
  • The code sets out the actual rules, so it lays down the do’s and doesn’t s of an employee.
  • The members are responsible for its adherence and held accountable for its violation.
  • Every organisation has its code of conduct issued by the Board of Directors (BOD) that determines the social norms, regulations and responsibilities.
  • It is in the form of written statement; that contains rules for behaviour, which are supposed to be followed by the employees of the company.
  • The document directs and guides the employees in various matters.

Code of Ethics viz-a-viz Code of Conduct


  • Both attempt to encourage specific behavior by employees.
  • In both cases, the organization’s desire is to obtain a narrow range of acceptable behaviors from employees.


Code Of Ethics Code Of Conduct
It is a set of guidelines. It is a set of rules.
It is developed more in the form of statement of values and beliefs. It enlists acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in a precise manner.
Enables employees to acquire most appropriate course of action. Provides a fairly clear set of expectations.
It covers broad guiding principles. It generally requires little judgment: obey or incur a penalty.
It contains the organisational values. It translates those values into specific behavioural standards.
It is subjective. It is objective.


  • Code of Conduct is actually extracted from the Code of Ethics.
  • Therefore, the latter concept is wider than the former.
  • Moreover, these codes are beneficial for businesses of any size and nature as the codes lays down direction which is helpful for employees, to behave in a particular manner and also making a public image of ethical behaviour.