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College Ethics Policy


Approved by Board on 11 November 2009

Policy Statement

The College shall conduct its business in compliance with national, European and all applicable international legislation, agreements, treaties and protocols.

The College and its suppliers shall conduct their affairs to the highest ethical standards in keeping with the College’s commitment to the principles of natural justice, due process and to the protection of civil and human rights.


The College values …

  • The university as an interactive, multidisciplinary community with a passion for ideas and a love of learning;
  • Opportunities to achieve excellence in a challenging, yet nurturing environment;
  • The inclusivity of our community, which offers equality of access and opportunity to all, seeking out and recognising talent wherever it exists;
  • International recognition for our research and the building of academic strengths through teamwork and collegiality;
  • The interdependence of teaching and research, and the diversity of our research and teaching methods;
  • Creativity and innovation, including the development of an entrepreneurial spirit among staff and students, to deliver the widest benefit to society;
  • National and international collaborations forged by students, staff, alumni and friends;
  • The engagement of staff and students in public discourse;
  • Our role as a creative hub for Ireland in the heart of Dublin city;
  • Our use of the most effective instruments to apply our values, including:
    • autonomy in the management of resources, matched by clear and transparent accountability to society; and
    • academic freedom to pursue all avenues of enquiry and to disseminate the results of research and scholarship.


The legislative context within which Trinity operates is circumscribed by its Charter and Letters Patentas presented in its Statutes,the government legislation described in the Universities Act (1997),and by the private legislation relating to the College: the Trinity College, Dublin (Charters and Letters Patent Amendment)Act (2000),as well as by the general legislative context in Ireland. The autonomy of the institution is provided for within this context of accountability.

The College is fully committed to adherence to the standards set out in the Ethics in Public Office Acts.

Trinity College Dublin has a written Code of Governance for members of the Board and employees. The Code has been approved by the Board, taking into account the implications of all the relevant provisions of the Universities Act 1997as well as the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and Standards in Public Office Act 2001.

Conduct of College Affairs

1. Compliance

The College shall conduct its business in compliance with national, European and all applicable international legislation, agreements, treaties and protocols. College employees shall familiarise themselves with any legal obligation arising out of activities undertaken by or on behalf of the College. All College policies shall be written and enforced in keeping with the College’s legislative obligations.

2. Ethical Standards

The College shall conduct its business in accordance with the following principles:

2.1 Public interest

Decisions shall be made solely in terms of the public interest, in the context of College policies, without any intention of financial or other material benefit for employees, their family or their friends.

2.2 Integrity

All members of the College community shall be mindful, in soliciting or receiving any form of financial or other assistance towards the performance of their scholarly, administrative or other duties, of the necessity to avoid placing themselves under any improper influence or obligations which could compromise the integrity of their activities and shall, as appropriate, declare all potential conflicts of interest.

2.3 Objectivity

In carrying out College business, including making appointments and awarding contracts, choices shall be made on merit.

2.4 Accountability

College employees shall be accountability for their decisions and actions to the public and shall submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

2.5 Openness

College employees shall be as open as possible about all decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

2.6 Honesty

College employees shall declare any private interests relating to their College duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

3. Funding

The College shall not knowingly receive funding from organisations/institutions whose activities include practices which directly pose a risk of serious harm to individuals or groups or whose activities are inconsistent with the mission and values of the College.

4. Fraud

The College's Fraud Policy addresses the responsibility of employees and management in the detection and reporting of fraud or suspected fraud.

5. Confidential Information

The College shall deal with confidential information in an appropriate and professional manner. College employees who have access to confidential information shall not make any unauthorised use or disclosure of such information, either during or after employment.

6. Freedom of Expression

The College promotes an environment of freedom of expression and intellectual enquiry and is committed to ensuring it is exercised in such a way as shall not interfere with the rights of others, or breach national legislation.

7. Teaching and Assessment

The College strives to become a world leader in teaching and is dedicated to the provision of ethical teaching practices by all staff and students involved in teaching and assessment of students.

8. Research

Research activities undertaken by staff and students of the College and by others in collaboration with the College shall adhere to the Board-approvedGood Research Practice Guidelines.

9. Business Relationships

The College is committed to engaging in business only with suppliers and subcontractors whose work practices comply with national and international legislation and standards.