In search of Professional Identity: a descriptive study of New Zealand “Professional” bodies’ codes of ethics
“Professional” representative bodies are increasingly turning to codes of ethics in order to define acceptable standards of behaviour. This study addresses a gap in academic literature by focusing on the codes of New Zealand professional bodies. The term profession has a number of different conceptualisations, which are explored along with the role of codes within the professions. Definitions of codes of ethics are reviewed. Codes from four New Zealand bodies are content analysed according to Cressey and Moore’s (1983) three-point typology: Policy area, Authority and Compliance. A number of differences are noted between the four codes, including area of focus, length, detail, sanctions and the overall utility of the codes in guiding behaviour. Implications for the bodies are discussed, most notably that some of the codes appear not to meet adequate professional standards for guiding ethical behaviour.