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Code of Good Practice


The University of Reading strives to provide a supportive and positive environment within which all its members may work or study in spirit of harmony and mutual trust. It aims to recognise and value the contributions of all staff and students. It is committed to ensuring that the rights of individuals are respected and that its members are treated with dignity, respect and courtesy at all times. The Code of Good Practice which follows sets out the standards of behaviour which the University expects of its staff, students, suppliers, providers, contractors and users of facilities and others with whom it comes into contact in the furtherance of its objectives.

Code of Good Practice

It is reasonable to expect that, as a member of the University community, you will behave appropriately towards your colleagues by:

Personal Integrity

  • keeping to agreements and fulfilling commitments; abiding by the University's rules and procedures; dealing with individuals honourably at every opportunity
  • demonstrating confidence and trust in colleagues as they go about their work and study

Respecting and Valuing Others

  • respecting other people's rights to their views and, in so doing, recognising their individuality
  • valuing colleagues' professional judgement and experience in their particular area of expertise
  • valuing colleagues' contribution both as an individual and as a member of a team or group
  • respecting other people's dignity, treating them fairly and behaving appropriately towards them
  • respecting colleagues' work space to ensure confidentiality and avoidance of clutter and hazards
  • respecting colleagues' personal space (e.g. by not standing too close, crowding or touching)
  • respecting other people's property and the property of the University
  • not making jokes or comments which discriminate against particular groups


  • communicating clearly and with consideration
  • listening carefully and with an open mind
  • framing responses in a thoughtful and considered way
  • communicating directly and not speaking in a way that maligns or demeans others
  • not initiating or spreading rumours or gossip that may be detrimental to colleagues
  • using emails appropriately and carefully to ensure that messages do not give offence, either in tone or content
  • not interrupting colleagues who are otherwise engaged (e.g. on a call or with a visitor) unless in an emergency


  • accepting personal and, where appropriate, managerial responsibility and accountability for your actions, including willingness to listen to constructive feedback and offer constructive feedback to others in a caring and appropriate way
  • not hesitating, if in doubt, to request clarification as to where ultimate responsibility for the consequences of a particular course of action lies
  • accepting with grace recognition of your own and colleagues' achievements

Co-operation and Support

  • co-operating with and supporting colleagues, particularly when difficult decisions have to be made, and respecting their knowledge and experience in the decision-making
  • supporting colleagues when they are undertaking particularly heavy workloads or are engaged as a part of their professional life in a period of reflection, creativity or innovation
  • showing understanding towards colleagues when they are facing personal or work-related difficulties and, where appropriate, providing reassurance, guidance and support

Raising Awareness of the Code of Good Practice

Through reference to the Code in material routinely distributed to all staff and students and in its recruitment literature, the University will promote the precepts of the Code to the extent that:

  • all members of the University are made aware of the standards of good practice and behaviour expected of them
  • managers are alert to unacceptable behaviour and ready to deal with any such occurrences promptly and sensitively
  • disputes can be resolved close to source, informally and expeditiously

University Support

The University will take the following steps to support and promote this Code of Good Practice:

  • provide training and development programmes for staff to raise awareness and promote good practice
  • provide training and development programmes for managers to develop and improve appropriate skills
  • publicise the Code as widely as possible in order to ensure that all staff and students are aware of its existence
  • ensure that no policy or procedure relating to staff and students is at variance with the spirit of the Code
  • include a reference to the Code in all induction material
  • review periodically the effectiveness and currency of the Code

The Code is fully in accord with the University's Policy on Equal Opportunities and Diversity which aims to promote fair treatment and equality of opportunity. Any member of the University who feels they have been treated unfairly and seeks conciliation or redress has a range of agencies available to them and can request support from the following sources:


Reading UCU

Staff Forum

Reading University Student’s Union (RUSU)

Employee Assistance Programme

Human Resources


First published: 2010

Reviewed and updated: 2022