Upholding Excellence: Introducing the RCSEd Code of Conduct

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25 Jan 2024

As we stride into a future marked by advancements in healthcare, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) recognises the pivotal role its community plays in shaping the landscape of surgical and healthcare practices. Upholding the highest standards of professionalism is not just a responsibility but a commitment that defines our identity as an esteemed membership organisation. It is with great pride that we introduce the College Code of Conduct, a document meticulously crafted to guide our members through the ethical, probity, and behavioural standards expected in the pursuit of excellence.


RCSEd President, Professor Rowan Parks, writes:


In a rapidly evolving healthcare environment and wider world, the need for a unified commitment to professionalism and ethical conduct becomes ever more crucial. As President, I am pleased to introduce this key initiative, a testament to our dedication to maintaining the highest standards within our community. Our Code of Conduct is not merely a set of rules but a reflection of our shared values, a compass that guides us through the complexities of modern healthcare. By upholding this code, we not only protect the reputation of our esteemed College but also contribute to the advancement and well-being of the healthcare community at large.


Outlined below are the key principles of the Code of Conduct:


1. College Values: Upholding the core values of the College is paramount. By acting as leaders and examples, every member is expected to promote and support these values in their professional conduct.


2. Inclusivity: Embracing diversity and fostering a culture of respect are cornerstones of our community. We strive to treat every member with the same level of respect, encouraging inclusive discussions and challenging perspectives appropriately.


3. Integrity: Members are called to act ethically, professionally, and in accordance with the law. Efficient use of resources, avoiding waste, and making decisions in the best interests of the College are integral components of this principle.


4. Respect: A zero-tolerance approach towards bullying, harassment, and inappropriate behaviours is emphasised. Maintaining professional boundaries and treating all colleagues with equal dignity and respect are essential expectations.


5. Professionalism: Adherence to professional regulatory bodies' codes of practice, accountability for actions and decisions, and awareness of power imbalances are crucial components. Members are expected to avoid conduct that may adversely affect performance or safety.


6. Social Media: Recognising the influence of social media, members are reminded that the principles of the Code of Conduct apply in the digital realm. Thoughtful and appropriate representation on social media platforms is essential to maintaining professional integrity.


7. College Brand and Confidentiality: Members are expected to protect the College's intellectual property, including its logo. Maintaining confidentiality in discussions and activities related to the College is essential, emphasising the responsible handling of privileged information.


8. Reporting Concerns: The College encourages a culture that prioritizes the reporting of concerns. Any failure to meet the Code of Conduct will be addressed through appropriate procedures, with sanctions applied when necessary.


As we embark on this journey of enhanced professionalism, let this Code of Conduct be the guiding light that unites us in a shared commitment to excellence. By upholding these principles, we not only protect the reputation of our College but contribute to the advancement and well-being of the healthcare community at large. Together, let us ensure that the values we hold dear are reflected in every action, decision, and interaction, setting a standard that exemplifies the best in surgical and healthcare practices.


You can access the full Code of Conduct document here.


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