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Integrity in professional life: issues of conduct, commitment and capacity

Banks, S.

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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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2010
Deposit Date Jan 18, 2010
Publicly Available Date Aug 5, 2010
Journal British Journal of Social Work
Print ISSN 0045-3102
Electronic ISSN 1468-263X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 7
Pages 2168-2184
Keywords Professional integrity, Codes of conduct, Professional values, Virtue ethics.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (447 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copy-editing author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in 'British journal of social work' following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Banks, S. J. (2009) 'Integrity in professional life : issues of conduct, commitment and capacity.', British journal of social work. . pp. 1-17 is available online at:

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