Reputation before transparency?

The recent publicity regarding senior officers of charities hiding the 'less than acceptable' activities of its employees and officers, has made me think; what would happen if a professional body or trade association covered up nefarious or improper behaviour by members or officers of that organisation?

Having spent many years in the insurance industry, I am pleased to say that I have heard of very little regarding censure beyond failure to complete the requisite CPD or cheating in exams. But then I thought to myself that the deathly hush might not be the key performance indicator we imagine it to be...

Let me be clear - I have no reason to suppose there are any cases where 'management' has chosen to put reputation before transparency, but I do think a public declaration that nothing has been swept under the carpet would put all our minds at rest.

Could the CEO's of professional bodies and trade associations representing the professions confirm publicly that they have been wholly transparent and public in dealing with cases of complaints relating to the unacceptable conduct of their officers and members, and that there has been no agreement that a complaint should be swept under the carpet to preserve reputations?

I have spoken to many clients about this and the general view seems to be that the CEO's of professional bodies are no different to any other senior people around the globe. Every case has to be considered on its merits, but ultimately, falling on swords has to be a reality in the current climate of corporate and social responsibility.

About the author

Kate is a co-founder and former Chairman of RWA and worked for the company for nearly 20 years. She is a fan of developing practical, workable, business-led policies and procedures. Kate has specialist training experience within the financial services sector, including major general insurers, and the Lloyd’s underwriting and broking market. She has researched and developed numerous training programmes, both for commercial and in-house use. She has extensive experience of developing in-house and public training programmes for business skills, including Diversity, Employment Law, Management and Leadership, Motivation, Coaching and Feedback, Communication Skills and EQ. Kate retired from RWA in 2020.

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