Ethics e-Learning Module

Developed (and free of charge) for all CIPFA members and students, this e-learning module offers a practical insight into how ethics can impact public finance professionals and includes essential reference materials.

About the e-learning

In 2018, CIPFA surveyed nearly 500 UK-based public sector accountants. More than half of the respondents (57%) indicated that they had come under pressure to act in a professionally unethical way during their career.

In the same year we became the first professional accountancy body in the UK to adopt the International Ethical Standards Board of Accountants Code as its own Standard of Professional Practice on Ethics (SOPP on Ethics).

As part of our commitment to supporting members, students and the wider public finance profession on ethics, we have developed this short, accessible e-learning module. It is both an invaluable resource bank on ethics and a practical insight into how ethics can impact public finance professionals.

Who is it for?

The e-learning has been developed for CIPFA members and students and refers to the UK public sector, but it will be of interest and value to all public sector finance professionals.

What does it cover?

Using videos, Q&As, case studies and background reading on ethics, the e-learning covers:

  • the five fundamental principles of ethics: integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour
  • compliance threats
  • safeguards
  • sources of pressure to breach the fundamental principles
  • key findings from CIPFA's 2018 ethics survey
  • to what extent you need to be aware of, and prepared for, ethical challenges every day
  • how to check your conduct and report potential violations

Learning outcomes

The e-learning will:

  • enable you to demonstrate that you have addressed professional ethics
  • provide a modern understanding of the principles of ethics
  • provide a practical insight into how ethics can impact public finance professionals
  • signpost you to additional support on ethics from CIPFA
  • give you the confidence to follow the behaviours aligned with the SOPP throughout your career as a finance professional


The e-learning takes around 40 minutes to complete.


The e-learning costs £49 +VAT per person (non-CIPFA members).

CIPFA members and students can access the e-learning for free. Please contact customer services on (0)20 7543 5600 or

This e-learning carries one CPD hour

All CIPFA training counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). If you are a CIPFA Chartered Member, you are required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of relevant CPD activity each year as part of maintaining your professional competence and to develop skills and knowledge.