Code of Ethics


The International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Code of Ethics for Public Participation Practitioners supports and reflects IAP2’s Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation. The Core Values define the expectations and aspirations of the public participation process. The Code of Ethics speaks to the actions of practitioners.

As members of IAP2, we recognise the importance of a Code of Ethics, which guides the actions of those who advocate including all affected parties in public decision-making process. In order to fully discharge our duties as public participation practitioners, we define terms used explicitly throughout our Code of Ethics. We define stakeholders as any individual, group of individuals, organisations, or political entity with a stake in the outcome of a decision. We define the public as those stakeholders who are not part of the decision-making entity or entities. We define public participation as any process that involves the public in problem-solving or decision-making and that uses public input to make better decisions.

This Code of Ethics is a set of principles, which guides us in our practice of enhancing the integrity of the public participation process. As practitioners, we hold ourselves accountable for these principles and strive to hold all participants to the same standards.


We support public participation as a process to make better decisions that incorporate the interests and concerns of all affected stakeholders and meet the needs of the decision-making body.

Role of practitioner

We will enhance the public’s participation in the decision-making process and assist decision-makers in being responsive to the public’s concerns and suggestions.


We will undertake and encourage actions that build trust and credibility for the process among all the participants.

Defining the public’s role

We will carefully consider and accurately portray the public’s role in the decision-making process.


We will encourage the disclosure of all information relevant to the public’s understanding and evaluation of a decision.

Access to the process

We will ensure that stakeholders have fair and equal access to the public participation process and the opportunity to influence decisions.

Respect for communities

We will avoid strategies that risk polarising community interests or that appear to “divide and conquer.”


We will advocate for the public participation process and will not advocate for interest, party, or project outcome.


We ensure that all commitments made to the public, including those by the decision-maker, are made in good faith.

Support of the practice

We will mentor new practitioners in the field and educate decision-makers and the public about the value and use of public participation.

Basic ethics and courtesy require that a clear acknowledgement of the International Association for Public Participation – IAP2 International, as the source for this information is required in all cases. To use, copy or reproduce this information, you are required to submit a written request to the IAP2 International Executive Director: iap2hq@iap.org. To facilitate your request, kindly complete the application form and submit it to IAP2HQ for consideration.