Conduct & probity

The Seven Principles of Public Life

All candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to, and an understanding of, the value and importance of the principles of public service. In 1995 the Committee on Standards in Public Life defined seven principles for public service. The Seven Principles of Public Life are: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership and are set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies most recently updated in July 2019 (here).

Conflicts of Interest

Public Appointments require the highest standards of propriety, involving impartiality, integrity, and objectivity, in relation to stewardship of public funds and the oversight and management of all related activities. This means that any private, voluntary, charitable, or political interest that might be material and relevant to the work of the body concerned should be declared. It is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Panel and provide details of the issue(s) in your application. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media. The Panel may explore issues with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Due Diligence

As part of our due diligence checks we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This will include us undertaking searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs, or any other publicly available information. This information may be made available to the Panel, and they may wish to explore issues with you, should you be invited to an interview.

Complaints Procedure

The Commissioner’s primary role is to provide independent assurance that public appointments are made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. The Commissioner also investigates complaints and may conduct an inquiry into the policies and practices followed in relation to appointments processes which he regulates. The Commissioner will not investigate complaints relating to non-selection unless it appears that the appointments process has breached the Governance Code on Public Appointments. You can contact the Commissioner by email at Further information on the role of the Commissioner or the appointments process is available at: