Lobbying is a discipline within public relations where the general intention is to inform and influence public policy and law. Lobbyists are practitioners who execute planned and sustained efforts to deliver specific objectives within this broad profile of activity.
Where lobbying is carried out as a professional service, it must be conducted within the public interest. Lobbying must be carried out in a way that:
- does not break the law or contravene any relevant regulations
- does not seek to come before the relationship between a legislator and their electors
- is in accordance with an enforceable code of professional conduct
- follows the exercise of reasonable professional judgement
The UKLR currently recognises The CIPR Code of Conduct.
The CIPR’s Code of Conduct includes key requirements that members, when working as lobbyists, should meet. Those adhering to the Code have a duty of care to their clients and employers, and to any staff or employees they may be responsible for. They also have a responsibility, as professionals, to serve the public interest.
Lobbyists who wish to register with UKLR and who are not already bound by a relevant code of conduct are automatically bound by the CIPR Code of Conduct (see Terms and Conditions).
Professionals are “ethically competent”. That is to say, they are bound by a code of conduct and can balance the daily application of their technical competence with the requirements of their code. Resolving the most appropriate manner in which to operate is the responsibility of a professional in any context.
Where a complaint is received about a CIPR member, the CIPR will administer it in accordance with its regulations and the usual sanctions will apply where a breach of the code can be proved.
Where a complaint is received about a registered individual or organisation accountable to a recognised code of conduct (e.g. the CIPR/PRCA), the complaint will be passed to that organisation for action and their sanctions will apply where a breach of a code of conduct can be proved.
Where a complaint is received about a registered individual or organisation which is not accountable through their member of either the CIPR or an organisation with a recognised code of conduct, all other things being equal, the CIPR code of conduct and regulations will apply.
Expulsion from membership (either from the CIPR or from an organisation with a recognised code of conduct) will result in the individual or organisation being struck from the UK Lobbying Register. Where a registered individual or organisation is not a member of the CIPR or an organisation with a recognised code of conduct, should a breach of the CIPR code of conduct be proved and sufficient to merit expulsion, that individual or organisation will be struck from the UK Lobbying Register.
Where a registered individual or organisation is struck from the register, the relevant names will be published on the UKLR website.
The CIPR reserves the right to strike from the UK Lobbying Register, any individual or organisation where, in its own judgement, a sufficient breach of professional standards can be proved.
Further information on professional conduct in lobbying can be found in this guide: