Clear language provides no hiding place for ‘sticky traps’ in the small print!
Clear language provides no hiding place for ‘sticky traps’ in the small print!

Code of Conduct

Freelance professionals work in collaboration with, but independently from their clients. This allows flexibility, but demands reliability, trust and honesty.

I belong to a freelance clinical research group, whose membership depends on adherence to its Code of Conduct. We

I also find the Nolan Principles of Public Life helpful for my business and governance work. I’ve adapted them for my own Code (below), but please let me know if I should change anything.

Many thanks: Jane Lamprill, Please Read Carefully TM

 
 

Code of Conduct

Principle

Nolan Definition
How applied to Please Read CarefullyTM
1
Selflessness
To act solely in the public interest

I turn down work if it is unethical, in conflict of interest or I don't have time to do it properly.

2
Honesty
To act truthfully
I don't falsify time sheets/expenses. I calculate time in 5, not 15 minute blocks. I say straight away if I have messed up.
3,4
Integrity & objectivity
(1) To avoid inappropriate influence (2) Not to act or make decisions for financial gain, but with impartially, fairly and on merit. (3) To use the best evidence without bias or discrimination.
Governance roles (UK & EU) I work with other committee members to make fact-based decisions. I have regular unconscious bias updates. I withdraw from discussions about people or organisations if I have (or might appear to have) a connection with them.
5,6
Accountability & openness
To submit decisions and actions to the scrutiny of others, in an open and transparent manner.
Governance roles (UK & EU) I am accountable to: regulatory authorities, senior managers, independent observers and other committee members. Accountabiliy to clients: I provide weekly time/task logs, request & implement feedback and keep CPD records available.
7
Leadership
To promote and support all the Nolan principles, and to challenge poor behaviour.
I try to lead by example, and have spoken at several conferences about best ethical practice in paediatric clinical trials.
Confidentiality
Surprisingly, this is not a Nolan Principle.
Confidentiality is sacrosanct to all my work. Except where required by law, I respect client confidentiality even where there is no non-disclosure agreement.
Training
Not a Nolan principle but essential to maintain competence.
I invest heavily in committee and pharmaceutical industry related training. e.g. ICH Good Clinical Practice, EU/UK Clinical Trial Regulations and Plain Language updates. I also train others as required, and have spoken at over 50 conferences.
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