Employees at all levels will need to know why ethics and integrity are important to their organisation, and why and how ethical conduct is relevant to their jobs.

The main purpose of ethics training is awareness raising around the code, what is acceptable business practice and where support can be found.

Ethics training might also aim to raise the ethical sensitivity of staff so that they know when a decision they are faced with involves an ethical choice. It might provide them with the skills for working through a situation for which the right thing to do is unclear. Some companies provide training on specific ethics challenges viewed as a risk to the business such as Human Rights and Bribery and Corruption.

Consider embedding ethical challenges and standards into all training programmes in the organisation.

  1. Ensure that all levels of staff, including the Board, are trained to understand the importance of ethical values, the ethics code and how it works.
  2. Scenarios are an effective training mechanism because they link learning to real life and the experiences of the participants. This connection is the key to creating the motivation to learn and embed the message of the training. See Developing & Using Business Ethics Scenarios, IBE (2012)

  3. E-learning can be the most cost effective way to train a large number of staff in the shortest available time. However, face-to-face has the biggest impact on behaviours. In-person training provides the opportunity to delve deeply into the issues and participants can share what the scenarios really mean for them.
    See IBE's E-learning tool

How to ...

Ethical values & codes

The core element of an ethics programme will be a Code of Ethics.

Nine steps to preparing a code

The process for drawing up a code of ethics is critical in maximising its effectiveness.

Communicating ethical values

A communications strategy for the ethics programme aims to raise awareness of the organisation’s values.


Ethics training raises awareness around the code, what is acceptable business practice and where support can be found.

More elements of an effective ethics programme

Additional tools and mechanisms to keep the code alive and support staff to apply ethical values to the work they do.

Monitoring & accountability

The board needs to establish a programme of assurance to understand whether the organisation is living up to its ethical values.

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