Journal Article

Integrity in Professional Life: Issues of Conduct, Commitment and Capacity

Sarah Banks

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 7, pages 2168-2184
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Integrity in Professional Life: Issues of Conduct, Commitment and Capacity

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This article explores the nature of professional integrity, considering the questions ‘what is professional integrity?’ and ‘how do social welfare practitioners perform as people of integrity in the course of their professional work?’ The focus is on social welfare work, with a particular emphasis on social work as practised in England. Three versions of professional integrity are identified as: morally right conduct; commitment to a set of deeply held values; and a capacity for reflexive sense-making and reliable accountability. These are explored through examples from professional misconduct cases in social care and accounts from professional practitioners about their working lives. Key elements of professional integrity are identified and implications for policy, practice and education are considered.

Keywords: Professional integrity; codes of conduct; professional values; virtue ethics

Journal Article.  6880 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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