How we developed the Code of Ethics

Milestones in the development of the Code of Ethics

​From April 2013 onwards, the College consulted as widely as possible in order to gain a good idea of what people wanted to see in a Code of Ethics for policing.

The consultation took in every police force, all the main staff associations and trade unions, as well as a wide range of external stakeholders such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, British Transport Police and other non-Home Office forces, academia and, most importantly, the public.

October 2013 - draft published for public consultation

Following the publication of a draft version of the Code, a public consultation between October and December 2013 resulted in over 300 emails and more than 2,200 responses to an online survey. In addition, the College held 38 focus groups around the country.

Most respondents were in favour of a single Code of Ethics for policing in England and Wales. Many strongly welcomed and supported it, seeing it as necessary, timely and of benefit to both the public and those working within policing.

The College will publish a summary of the responses to the consultation on this website soon.

April 2014 - revised draft released to forces

A revised version of the Code was published in April 2014 so that chief officers of forces in England and Wales could begin to embed it as the foundation of their ongoing efforts to review and enhance integrity-related actions.

Meanwhile, the College carried out the necessary steps to have the Code laid before Parliament as a code of practice. This was achieved in July 2014.

Changes to the Code during its development

To see how the Code of Ethics developed between the start of the public consultation and its laying as a code of practice, you can download the following documents:

Our Code of Ethics reading list details the material that we referred to when developing the Code.

More information

A document providing much more detail about how the College went about developing the Code of Ethics will be available here soon.

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