Operating ethically

Maintaining the highest standards of integrity in all our work is critical and extends to our tens of thousands of carefully chosen business partners.

Our Ethics and Compliance Programme is designed to foster an organizational culture committed to ethical conduct and compliance with all applicable laws, wherever we operate around the globe.

Our Anti-Bribery and Fraud Standards reaffirm our zero tolerance of bribery and fraud, as well as our belief that the fight against bribery and fraud is in the broader interests of business and civil society. We actively participate in UK anti-bribery initiatives, such as Transparency International’s Business Forum and the UK Publishers Association’s Compliance Forum.

We work with business partners worldwide including suppliers, authors, customers, and agents—all of which are selected with great care. Our Partner Code of Conduct sets out how we expect these partners to work—in a way that is consistent with our mission, values, and principles.

Ethics and compliance training is key to our success, so all our colleagues engage in a series of regular training activities, including:

  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC) training
  • Review and certification of understanding and compliance with our Code of Conduct and Ethical Policies

Our Code of Conduct sets out a way of working that is consistent with our values, helping colleagues to make good decisions every day. We review, revise, and reissue this every year.

To uphold our principles further...

  • We regularly conduct visits to suppliers in jurisdictions and industries considered to pose a greater risk of modern slavery. During the pandemic, we continued these visits virtually.
  • Our colleagues and business partners can report ethical concerns safely and confidentially directly to members of the Ethics and Compliance team or via the Speak Up channel, which is managed by an independent third party.
'Acting ethically goes to the heart of our culture and underpins our mission. We expect every colleague to be an ethical leader.'

Susan Armour Group Ethics and Compliance Officer

Case studies

Taking a firm stance on modern slavery