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The Professional Codes of Ethics

General Purpose of Professional Codes of Ethics

Professional ethics underlies all other aspects of professional activity since the morality of a professional group, professional character, is an integral part of the morality of society. Morality is one of the most ancient regulators of behavior and actions, human interaction, and the professional sphere. The Code of professional ethics is a set of ethical norms, a tool for forming corporate culture, and a professional and moral guide for employees. As a rule, it contains the social functions for which the organization exists, and high moral standards carry out these functions. It also considers the requirements for official and off-duty behavior, starting with relationships in the team, professional and ethical standards of anti-corruption conduct, and ending with the dress code.

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The main goal is to achieve a high professional activity by setting ethical standards and rules. Accordingly, this is a means of public control over the moral character and professional behavior. The expansion of self-government bodies and the creation of a code of ethics will contribute to the transparency of relations in the team, strengthen employees’ social protection, and ensure the principle of democratic state-public management (Jarden et al., 2019). Professional ethics is a set of stable norms and rules that an employee should be guided by in their activities.

The Code of Professional Ethics of an employee of the internal affairs bodies is a professional and moral guide addressed to the consciousness and conscience of an employee. The Code, as a set of professional and ethical standards, defines an employee of the internal affairs bodies (Jarden et al., 2019):

  • moral values, obligations, and principles of service in the internal affairs bodies;
  • professional and ethical requirements for official and off-duty behavior, and relationships in the service team;
  • professional and ethical standards of anti-corruption behavior.

Normative Ethical Theories in Deontology, Consequentialism, Virtue Ethics

Professional deontology is the science of the application of general norms of morality, morality in the activities, and everyday behavior of personnel of internal affairs bodies. That is a specific action of both general ethical norms in the field of law enforcement and special norms of professional morality that arise and exist only in this professional group (Jarden et al., 2019). For example, moral relations in the field of operational search activities have characteristic features due to the objective need to act, whether by the public or also by secret methods against criminals’ actions. The ethics of a police officer and deontology are features of policing based on mutual trust between the client and the police officer, to whom the former voluntarily entrusts his well-being and sometimes even his life.

Consequentialism, in the ethical sense, is usually understood in contrast to deontology. Deontology evaluates the correctness or incorrectness of behavior depending on the observance of moral principles, that is, on the motivation of the behavior itself and not on the results of this behavior. It also differs from virtue ethics, which, in determining the morality of an act, focuses on the moral qualities of the subject and not on the consequences of its action or inaction.

These three approaches to morality generally lead to different actions and evaluations, but they can also lead to the same ones. For example, a consequentialist would not lie because lying would have negative consequences. The deontologist will not lie because moral precepts and rules forbid it (Jarden et al., 2019). A virtue ethicist will not lie because deception contradicts his moral nature, which he intends to defend. However, approaches become apparent when reasonable goals are not intelligently achieved, and good intentions lead to negative consequences.

There are also views that consequentialism and deontology need not be mutually exclusive. For example, some researchers put forward the idea that human rights, usually considered a deontological concept, only make sense because of the consequences of having those rights (Jarden et al., 2019). Similarly, others argued for a consequentialist theory but included unbreakable collateral constraints limiting the types of actions allowed, even if their consequences are beneficial.

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Addressing the Code of Ethics

The Code of ethics regulates the interpersonal relations of professional activity and gives moral meaning to the joint activities of people. Creating an ethical code is to form a positive attitude towards an organization or profession in society. Another no less necessary task of such a document is to help each employee understand the correct behavior towards colleagues and clients. Each of the professional codes has the most critical research to strengthen the trust in the profession among clients and increase the status and respect at work. Thus, the principle of ethics includes the formation of standards of conduct aimed at supporting the service provider; and is addressed to patients, clients, and their protectors.

The Codes of Ethics Regarding Collaboration, Interprofessional Collaboration

Cooperation is based on mutual information and special trust between the client and the supplier. The psychological climate of the team and the authority of its leadership significantly depend on the level of development of such cooperation. The unique nature of this type of cooperation requires obligatory personal participation in such partnership of each of them. Rivalry among themselves, as a rule, leads to a split in the team, the appearance of unhealthy tendencies of grouping in it, and assessments by employees or patients that are not of business quality. In partnership with the community, police officers strive to reduce crime and disorder through data-driven, problem-solving policing. Every law enforcement officer works with colleagues, other agencies, and citizens to ensure public safety, improve the quality of life in cities, protect those who cannot defend themselves, and uphold the law.

It is essential to be able to combine different professional interests – health, well-being, or safety – with a common goal and interpretation. Many studies have shown the importance of interprofessional or interdisciplinary training to overcome these language barriers (Notko et al., 2021). The emergence of interprofessional assistance and cooperation in the field of police is of considerable interest to governments, professional organizations, researchers, and clinicians. It is evidenced by a rapidly growing number of research and position papers and the development of interprofessional frameworks describing the various competencies considered necessary for collaboration. Such as communicative competence, client and/or peer orientation, teamwork, clarification role, collaborative leadership, and conflict resolution (Notko et al., 2021). The main goal of interprofessional cooperation, which is to improve the quality of law enforcement care, is clearly at the forefront of interprofessional initiatives.

The Codes of Ethics Related to Social Justice, Culture, and Autonomy

The norms of professional ethics of a police worker are established based on cultural standards, constitutional provisions and legislative acts, and norms of international law. Social and cultural justice is not the last value in the profession (Jarden et al., 2019). They suggest:

  • fair and equitable distribution of resources to meet basic human social needs;
  • ensuring equal rights and opportunities for their implementation in the treatment and protection following the law.

In addition, the duty of a police officer is to preserve his professional independence. An employee of the body, by his behavior, must confirm the incorruptibility and independence of law enforcement. He or she must avoid impropriety in any of his or her activities, and the police officer is obliged to perform his duty impartially and diligently. His or her behavior in off-duty activities should not conflict with official duties (Code of conduct). An employee and his or her family living together are prohibited from receiving any gifts, accepting services, and others. Moreover, he or she must refrain from inappropriate political activities. The policeman is obliged to submit a report about all conflicts, injustices, and violations of the law.


Jarden, A., Rashid, T., Roache, A., & Lomas, T. (2019). Ethical guidelines for positive psychology practice. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9(3), 1–30. Web.

Milwaukee Police Department. Code of conduct. Web.

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Notko, M., Husso, M., Piippo, S., Fagerlund, M., & Houtsonen, J. (2021). Intervening in domestic violence: Interprofessional collaboration among social and health care professionals and the police. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 1–9. Web.

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