Engineering Ethics

Purpose Statement

This action group will investigate the common infractions made by NC licensed engineers and develop methods of prevention. The group will also develop a strategy to encourage licensure within firms and industry as a risk prevention measure.

If you have questions about this Action Group or would like more information about becoming involved, please contact Tommy Sherard Monica Fulkerson


The ethical practice of engineering is not only imperative for the public health, safety and welfare but also elevates the respect and trust of the profession in society. In order to be effective leaders, Professional Engineers must be aware of their responsibility to the public and to their profession and abide by the NSPE Code of Ethics:

  1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.
  3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
  4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
  5. Avoid deceptive acts.
  6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.


Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

Action Group Mission(s)

  • Using data from the NCBELS, determine the common infractions made by NC licensed engineers
  • Develop prevention strategies for common offenses to NCBELS rules
  • Review the NSPE Board of Ethical Review mission and determine if PENC should establish a state level BER
  • Provide resources and training for engineers to develop understanding of ethics (examples below)
  • Provide training
  • New Engineer webinars
  • Brown Bag Lunches
  • Conference/workshop tracks
  • Educate firm principals and management on how to promote ethical culture in the workplace
  • Educate government engineers on NSPE Code of Ethics and responsibilities of PEs in Government
  • Recognition Ceremonies for new PES
  • Order of Engineer Ceremonies at Chapter meetings and other events
  • Promote PE licensure to engineering firms by providing tools and resources to share with their employees

Success Measures

  • Decline in common board infractions by NC Engineers
  • Increase in firms promoting licensure