I. IEEE insists on honest and ethical conduct by all involved parties

IEEE has been built based on the excellence of its technical information and member and customer service. IEEE insists not only on ethical dealings with others, but on the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest.

See the IEEE Staff Policy and Chapter 3 of the Employee Handbook for rules regarding employee conduct (requires user ID and password).

Staff’s certification of compliance with the requirements of the “Principles” also includes acknowledgment of the above policy and employee handbook sections.

Fair dealing

All involved parties are required to deal honestly and fairly with IEEE volunteers, members, customers, vendors/suppliers, competitors, and others.

In dealings with these parties, IEEE:

  • Prohibits bribes, kickbacks, or any other form of improper payment
  • Prohibits gifts, favors, services, payments, or privileges of a character that goes beyond courtesies consistent with ethical and accepted business practices
  • Limits marketing and client entertainment expenditures (see Section 6 of the IEEE Finance Operations Manual (PDF, 344 KB) for allowable expenses)
  • Requires clear and precise communication in contracts, advertising, literature, and other public statements
  • Reflects accurately on all invoices the sale price and terms of sales
  • Protects all proprietary data provided by customers or suppliers
  • Prohibits representatives from otherwise taking unfair advantage of customers, suppliers, or other third parties, through manipulation, concealment, or abuse of confidential information
Conflicts of interest: corporate opportunities

Involved parties should not participate in any activity that creates or gives the appearance of a conflict of interest between their personal interests and the interests of IEEE. Situations that could represent potential conflicts of interest include:

  • Being a consultant to, or a director, officer, or employee of an outside business that:- Markets products or services in competition with or supplies products or services to IEEE
    - Purchases products or services from IEEE
    - Has any financial interest in any entity with which IEEE does business
  • Seeking or accepting any personal loan or services from any entity with which IEEE does business
  • Being a consultant to, or a director, officer, volunteer, or employee of an outside business if the responsibilities of the outside business would be in conflict with the director’s, officer’s, volunteer’s, or employee’s responsibilities for IEEE
  • Accepting any personal loan or guarantee of obligations from IEEE
  • Conducting business on behalf of staff or volunteer family members
Confidentiality and corporate assets

Certain involved parties are entrusted with IEEE’s confidential information and with the confidential information of its suppliers, customers, or other business partners (see the IEEE Policies Section 9.25 - Information Disclosure Policy (PDF, 598 KB) for the categories of information that are considered confidential). Involved parties shall:

  • Not discuss confidential information with or in the presence of any unauthorized persons
  • Use confidential information only for legitimate business purposes
  • Not disclose confidential information to third parties
  • Not use IEEE property or resources for any personal benefit or the personal benefit of anyone else

In addition, any business opportunity that comes to an IEEE volunteer or staff member in his/her capacity as a representative of IEEE belongs to IEEE.

II. IEEE provides full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure

 All involved parties are committed to ensure full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure in reports. To this end, involved parties shall:

  • Not make false or misleading entries in IEEE’s books
  • Not condone the establishment of any undisclosed or unrecorded bank accounts, funds, or other assets for any purpose;
  • Comply with generally accepted accounting principles and applicable IEEE financial reporting and related policies and procedures
  • Notify IEEE Corporate Integrity at corp-integrity@ieee.org if there is an unreported transaction
  • Maintain a system of internal controls that will provide reasonable assurances that material information is made known to management
  • Present information in a clear and orderly manner
  • Notify IEEE Corporate Integrity if presently debarred, suspended, proposed debarment, or excluded by any US Federal government department or agency; or if within the last three years have been convicted or had a civil judgment rendered against you for criminal offense in connection with a public transaction, violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes, commission of fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statement, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, violating federal criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property; or if presently indicted for any of these offenses; or within last three years had one or more public transactions terminated for cause or default; or if any of the foregoing actions occur subsequent to the submission of a compliance certificate; (This is necessary for IEEE's annual certification process with the US federal government; which is required so that US federal agencies can make payments to IEEE for products like IEL and for grants)
  • Not communicate to the public any nonpublic information, except under the direction of the IEEE Executive Director
III. IEEE complies with all laws, rules, and regulations

Specifically, IEEE is committed to:

  • Maintaining a safe and healthy work environment
  • Promoting a workplace that is free from discrimination or harassment
  • Supporting fair competition
  • Conducting our activities in compliance with all applicable laws
  • Keeping political activities separate from our business
  • Prohibiting illegal payments, gifts, or gratuities to any government officials or political party
  • Prohibiting use, reproduction, or distribution of any third party’s trade secrets, copyrighted information, or confidential information
  • Prohibiting the sale or export of our products and services to countries where they may not be sold per all applicable US (federal, state, and local) and foreign laws (see information on the Office of Foreign Asset Control requirements)
IV. Reporting and effect of violations

It is IEEE’s responsibility to provide a process for reporting and access to IEEE Corporate Integrity (corp-integrity@ieee.org), when an individual wishes to report a suspected violation of the Principles or to seek counseling and guidance when his/her immediate supervisor cannot, for whatever reason, be contacted to report suspected or questionable activities.

Conflict of Interest
Involved parties must complete and submit a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement to the Director, Internal Audit, indicating the existence of any actual or potential conflicts of interest between their IEEE responsibilities and their other personal or business involvements via the combined PoBC/COI Form (see the IEEE Bylaws I-300.2 - Conflict of Interest and the IEEE Policies, Section 9.8 - Conflict of Interest, for an explanation of the requirements for Conflict of Interest (COI) reporting; also see the COI form for definitions of situations that could be considered conflicts of interest).

Principles of Business Conduct
A Statement of Exceptions should be submitted to IEEE Corporate Integrity for all other items that individuals consider possible violations of the IEEE Principles of Business Conduct via the combined PoBC/COI Form.


In response to specific requests, IEEE Corporate Integrity (corp-integrity@ieee.org) provides guidance and counseling on reports and handling of reportable conditions to assure compliance with these Principles. The Corporate Integrity Contact Person may conduct investigations and shall report to the IEEE Audit Committee.

IEEE volunteers and staff with decision-making authority must complete the Principles and submit a combined Principles of Business Conduct/Conflict of Interest (PoBC/CoI) Form. IEEE volunteers are complete and submit the Form within 30 days of taking office. IEEE staff shall complete the Form, annually, by 30 January.

Failure to submit a compliance certificate

For volunteers, failure to submit the PoBC/CoI Form within 30 days of assuming his/her position or, in the case of elected positions within 30 days of the acceptance of the nomination, shall result in automatic removal from service on the committee, board, or election slate.

For staff, failure to submit the PoBC/CoI Form may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Statement of exceptions

If an individual feels he/she may be involved in a violation of one or more of the items noted in the Principles and wishes to receive advice and counsel on addressing the issue, he/she may complete the Statement of Exceptions portion of the combined PoBC/CoI Form and submit to IEEE Corporate Integrity.

The statement will be reviewed and a response given, indicating what, if any, action should be taken by the individual to address the issue/concern.

Reporting violations and questions

Reports of any known or suspected violations and questions regarding these Principles are to be directed to IEEE Corporate Integrity.

To Report a Concern:

Inappropriate financial activities, involving IEEE business or Compliance with IEEE Principles of Business Conduct may be reported anonymously using the EthicsPoint service.

Once you are on the Ethics Point site, choose "File a report" and enter IEEE in the organization name field.

IEEE reserves the right to use a third party reporting resource.

IEEE will not allow any retaliation against a director, officer, volunteer/member or employee who acts in good faith in reporting suspected violations

All reports will be treated confidentially to the fullest extent possible. IEEE Corporate Integrit (corp-integrity@ieee.org) will investigate the alleged violation and determine an applicable response, working with the Chair of the IEEE Audit Committee, the IEEE Executive Director, and/or the IEEE Chief Financial Officer, as applicable.

Consequences of a violation

Involved parties that violate any laws, governmental regulations, or these Principles will face appropriate disciplinary action. The disciplinary action will depend on the nature of the violation and the circumstances involved. In the case of employees, the disciplinary action may include termination. In the case of volunteers, the disciplinary action may include removal from office or other proceedings (see IEEE Bylaw I-110 (PDF, 598 KB)).

References to international laws, rules, and regulations that apply to transactions under US law
For further information, please see the Laws, Rules, and Regulations Relating to International Business page.                 
Report a Concern

To make an anonymous report of inappropriate financial activities involving IEEE business or compliance with IEEE principles of business conduct, file a report at Ethics Point.