Frequently asked questions
Below are a selection of common questions and queries about Investing in Integrity. Click on each question to show the answer. If your question is not answered below please do not hesitate to
What is Investing in Integrity (IiI)
Investing in Integrity is an accreditation system designed to enable subscribers to reassure customers, staff and the public that their business has in place appropriate ethical policies, procedures and practices which demonstrate a commitment to act with integrity at all times.
Who is IiI?
Investing in Integrity is a company owned by the Institute of Business Ethics and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, two leading non-profit companies who are well known for the promotion of high standards of ethics and integrity in business and finance.
Why should we subscribe? Our internal audit/compliance team already monitor this under the FSA’s Treating Customer’s Fairly requirements.
Whilst you may already have systems in place, IiI is a two part exercise; firstly self examination on a number of key questions, followed by an external audit, to provide objectivity and to enable you to advertise this to the world at large.
How much does it cost?
The price depends upon the size of your business, measured by the number of employees and each stage is charged separately. There is an annual subscription, based on the number of employees in the unit covered by the accreditation.
Less than 200 employees -
201-2000 Employees -
More than 2000 employees -
The audit stage is charged at a rate of £1250 per auditor per day. It is anticipated that the time/cost for audit will be:
1 audit day for a small business of up to 5 employees
3 audit days (say) for up to 50 employees on one site
5 or more audit days for larger units but dependant upon complexity and geographic dispersion.
Audit Fees are subject to VAT.
How does it work?
You are invited to become a subscriber to IiI which enables you to carry out a comprehensive self assessment of your firm`s ethical policies procedures and practices. This is undertaken via an on-line submission, which generates a response showing your actual score, compared with a benchmark and with other subscribers.
On completion of the self assessment, subscribers are invited to request an independent assessment by a trained assessor(s), which involves site visits, staff interviews and independent verification that the responses that the subscriber gave to the self assessment questions are supported in practice. This must be undertaken within 2 years of the self assessment.
Can we do just a part of it?
Each part of the process is undertaken separately but accreditation is awarded only on completion of the external assessment. This must be completed within 2 years of the self assessment.
How long does it take?
Completion of the self assessment is likely to take several hours from start to finish. The audit is likely to be measured in days, related to the size of the business being audited.
How long does accreditation last?
Full accreditation lasts for a period of 5 years, subject to an annual self certification that there has been no material adverse change in the subscriber’s ethical policies procedures and practices.
Is it only for financial services?
No, this programme is designed to be offered to businesses of all types.
Will it cover our whole group?
The programme can cover individual units, businesses or groups and the cost will depend upon the size of the participating business unit.
Can just one business unit take it?
Yes (see above) but only the unit which has been subject to a satisfactory audit can display the accreditation award.
What happens if we disagree with the findings of an audit?
Complaints about audit decisions will be referred to the IiI accreditation panel, who will take such actions as they feel is appropriate.
Is the audit result a straight pass/fail?
The audit may reveal general compliance but an individual unsatisfactory feature. Subscribers will be given an opportunity to remedy the area subject to criticism before accreditation is achieved. In this circumstance a full re-audit would not be necessary.
Doesn’t the British Standards Institute already provide this service?
Accreditation services which are offered towards meeting ISO standards in many areas, although valuable, are quite different in nature and structure to the Investing in Integrity process. They may be seen as complementary, not competitive.
Have the IBE and CISI themselves submitted to this process? If not, why not and if so, what was the outcome?
Not yet, although it is our intention to do so in due course.
Aren’t you just reacting to the many company scandals and transgressions, particularly in the financial services sector, which have occurred over the last few years, to make a quick buck?
Clearly corporate wrongdoing or weakness encourages the development of systems to identify and prevent repeat occurrences But the IiI review process encourages the company to look at itself before inviting an external assessment to compare the reality. As a professional service IiI, which is owned by two charities (IBE & CISI) is not designed to be a money spinner for the shareholders but as a part of their missions to promote high standards of integrity
Will you be publishing an annual table indicating how the firms subscribing to your process/audit have fared, and, if not, why not?
The information reviewed during the assessment process does not lead to a result which can show that Company A is X% more ethical than company B. Rather the company has in place appropriate policies, procedures and practices which are designed to promote high standards of integrity and that these are being implemented successfully. Companies who are awarded the IiI Chartermark and subscribe, may display the chartermark and are encouraged to do so.
Is the IiI service only for commercial firms or is it available to the UK public sector? And if not the public sector, why not?
Any type of organisation, including the public sector, may subscribe.
Who will be impressed if we subscribe?
The public has a distrustful attitude towards business and financial services and IiI accreditation is intended to provide reassurance to the public that your business does have regard for matters which are important to your customers and the public, and you “practice what you preach”.
Who we are
Investing in Integrity is a not-for-profit company owned by the Institute of Business Ethics and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, two leading non-profit organisations who are well known for the promotion of high standards of ethics and integrity in business and finance.
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Who is IiI
What IiI offers
How IiI works