The Principles of Public Life: 25 years

On the 25th anniversary of the Committee on Standards in Public life, the @PublicStandards Committee members talk about the Principles and what they mean in practice.

The independent Committee on Standards in Public life was established 25 years ago this month. Its remit has evolved but its role has broadly remained the same – to advise the Prime Minister, national and local government and the public on trends, issues and concerns about standards in public life.

Evidence-based recommendations and reports by the Committee over the years have led to the establishment of many of the standards bodies that exist today.

The Committee doesn’t investigate individual cases but acts as the guardians of the Seven Principles of Public Life – the Nolan Principles. Everyone in public office at all levels – Ministers, civil servants, NHS staff, the police, council officers – all who serve the public or deliver public services should uphold the principles of:


  1. Accountability
  2. Honesty
  3. Integrity
  4. Objectivity
  5. Selflessness
  6. Openness, and
  7. Leadership

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