6. The Framework

Step two: are the fundamental principles threatened?

You already know the fundamental principles of:

  • Integrity

  • Objectivity

  • Professional competence and due care

  • Confidentiality, and

  • Professional behaviour

Is one or more of these principles being compromised, and in what manner?

Sources of threats
The threats to these principles can come from a number of different directions.

Self-interest threats

These come about if you or a close family member stands to gain (or not lose) something from the incident. Usually your integrity or objectivity would be at risk.

Self-review threats

These may be significant when you are in a position of having to review your own work. This could put your objectivity at risk.

Advocacy threats

These threats exist if you are promoting a position that compromises your integrity, or promoting a position or opinion to the point that subsequent objectivity may be compromised.

Familiarity threats

These can arise if you have a close personal relationship with someone and cannot be objective. Several of the fundamental principles may be threatened.

Intimidation threats

These can become significant if you put yourself in a position where you could be pressurised by physical or verbal threats, or if there is an implied threat to your career or prospects. For example, you may be bullied into doing work which you are not competent to perform. Any of the principles could suffer under this type of threat.