IOSH Disciplinary Committee Hearing 14 December 2009

Background information 

All IOSH members are required to comply with the Code of Conduct. The purpose of the Code is to set high standards for our members with regard to both ethics and competence. They are expected to act with honesty and integrity at all times, whether or not they consider themselves to be off duty. To justify public trust in its members, IOSH investigates alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct under a disciplinary procedure.

The definition of misconduct in this procedure includes breaches of the Code, conduct below the standards expected in the profession and conduct likely to bring IOSH into disrepute. Investigations under the disciplinary procedure may lead to formal hearings to consider allegations of misconduct against members. If the Disciplinary Committee considering an allegation is satisfied that it is more likely than not to be true, then the allegation of misconduct is upheld.

There is a presumption in favour of publication where an allegation is upheld. The purpose of publication is to demonstrate that compliance with the Code of Conduct is enforced and IOSH members are accountable. Notices of decisions reinforce the Code of Conduct and deter wrongdoing.

The Code of Conduct (including the disciplinary procedure) is available in electronic format.

Case of Anthony Michael Phipps

Point 11 in the Code of Conduct states: “Members shall not improperly use their membership or position within the organisation of the Institution for commercial or personal gain or use or attempt to use qualifications, titles and/or designations to which they are not entitled.”

The single allegation of misconduct presented was that Mr Phipps had used a document purportedly certifying that he was admitted as a Graduate Member of the Institution on 01 August 2008, when in fact he was an Affiliate Member. In doing so he breached point 11 in the Code of Conduct.

Mr Phipps did not appear. The Disciplinary Committee was satisfied that IOSH had complied with its Byelaws and the disciplinary procedure so it proceeded in his absence.  Mr Phipps had passed up several opportunities to provide evidence to support his written denial of misconduct and instead criticised the Institution. The Committee upheld the allegation.

The Committee viewed this breach of Code point 11 as a very serious matter. It decided that the appropriate sanction was to expel Mr Phipps from membership of the Institution. In the interests of fairness it also ordered that Mr Phipps contribute to the Institution’s costs in the sum of £300.