We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Sarah Banks

Banks, S. (2010). Integrity in professional life: issues of conduct, commitment and capacity. British Journal of Social Work 40(7): 2168-2184.

Author(s) from Durham


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.