Skip to main content

SBID set and review the standards for ethics as part of its commitment to reinforcing ethical values across all areas of interior design

SBID consulted with industry, consumers and investors to create a code which addresses ethical dilemmas an interior designer, manufacturer or support service must meet to procure their duties. The ethical code sets out a standard of professional obligation and provides a vision of the service the public can expect to receive from SBID stakeholders.

The Code of Ethics is intended to provide guidance in the ethical conduct of interior designers, to help them make ethical decisions in their daily duties. Members who breach the Code of Ethics will be evaluated according to the body’s disciplinary procedures. The fact that a particular misconduct is not mentioned in the code does not prevent it from being unacceptable or discreditable, and therefore, the member is liable to disciplinary action.

The Code provides standards and principles of professional behaviour:











Code of Ethics for Interior Design


1. Integrity Principle 

The integrity of Interior Designers establishes trust and thus provides the basis for reliance on their judgement.

Principle Rules of Conduct for Interior Designers:

1.1 Shall perform their work with integrity, honesty, diligence and responsibility.

1.2 Shall at all times be courteous.

1.3 Shall observe the law, building regulations and health & safety regulations and make disclosures expected by the law and the profession.

1.4 Shall not knowingly be a party to any illegal activity, or engage in acts that are discreditable to the profession of Interior Designers or to the organisation.

1.5 Shall respect and contribute to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the organisation.


2. Objectivity Principle – Responsibility to the Client

Interior Designers exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. Interior designers make a balanced assessment of all the relevant circumstances and are not unduly influenced by their own interests, or by others in forming judgements and making decisions that would negatively impact or incur an unfair levy on a client or third party.

Principle Rules of Conduct for Interior Designers:

2.1 Shall act with integrity and not participate in any activity or relationship that may impair or be presumed to impair their unbiased assessment. This participation includes those activities or relationships that may be in conflict with the interests of the organisation.

2.2 Shall not accept anything that may impair or be presumed to impair their professional judgement.

2.3 Shall act with integrity and will not engage in improper conduct and will bring to the immediate attention of the appropriate departments improper conduct by others.

2.4 Shall disclose all material facts known to them that, if not disclosed, may later cause a material health and safety risk be it the responsibility of the Interior Designer or others.


3. Confidentiality & Competence Principle

Principle interior designers respect the value and ownership of information they receive from clients and do not disclose information without appropriate authority unless there is a legal or professional obligation to do so.

Principle Rules of Conduct for Interior Designers:

3.1. Shall aim to include a diverse and inclusive mix of society from all ethical, gender, ability  and financial backgrounds.

3.2 Shall be prudent in the use and protection of materials and funds received in the course of their duties.

3.3 Shall not use pricing, selecting or specifying for any personal gain or in any manner that would be contrary to the law or detrimental to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the organisation.

3.4 Interior Designers should apply the knowledge, skills and experience needed in the performance of providing an interior design service regardless of geographical location, fee or scale.


4. Principle of Performance

Principle Rules of Conduct for Interior Designers:

4.1 Shall engage only in those services for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience.

4.2 Shall perform interior design services in accordance with the British Standards for the Professional Practice of Interior Designers laid out by the Society of British Interior Designers.

4.3 Shall continually improve their proficiency and the effectiveness and quality of their services.


About the Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics is authoritative guidance for the Interior Design profession provided by the Society of British and International Interior Design. Revised Full Code of Ethics SBID January 2021©️

Ethical Misconduct

SBID take accusations and reports of misconduct seriously. Firstly, a full review of the notification or accusations will be commissioned by the Ethics Committee. If the case relates to a Member of the Board an independent review may also be sought. If the investigation revealed conduct in conflict with the Societies code, the ethics committee or Executive Board may recommend legal advice and action, this process would exclude the member in question. If the complaint is malicious towards a member with the intention of damaging the reputation of an individual member, the SBID will seek advice to protect the members reputation.



SBID will not engage in or endorse anti-competitive conduct against another industry body or competitor. The organisations vision of industry-wide improvement will grow only through a professional approach. The code provides a process to collate evidence, present it to the Societies ethical committee and on the recommendation of the committee, the Executive Board may recommend that the Society severs communication with the offending entity.



As a design organisation, intellectual property is a major component of how members and the organisation earns its income. Theft of intellectual property, business plan, design or commercial idea is unethical. Misconduct jeopardises the future prosperity of members and the Society. The SBID addresses IP theft with extreme seriousness. When necessary if persistent theft occurs, the SBID will commission third party intelligence to obtain evidence and pass it to the Ethics Committee. The Executive Board may seek advice on the individual merits of each case.



The code allows any member to bring to the attention of the ethics committee any issue that is deemed unethical practice. It is entirely against the constitution of SBID to engage in any conduct that would be illegal, immoral or offensive. It is also against the policy of SBID to participate in or witness (but not report) illegal actions in the course of day to day business. Each representative of SBID has sworn a pledge of honesty and compliance, and any reported breach will be addressed quickly and privately unless illegality is suspected when, by virtue of duty, the matter would be reported to the police.



Phishing, like fraud, requires an intent to deceive. It is almost always illegal. If a person or robot sends a website, company, individual or virtual intelligence device an email, a text message, or any other type of digital communication with the intent to deceive, the message is phishing and commits identity theft. SBID has guidelines for staff on how to respond to phishing emails and phone calls from competitors. This misconduct is not only illegal if it’s aim is to gather information to create a commercial advantage, it is also unethical anda forbidden practice for SBID representatives. Any member of staff or agent who engages in this conduct is subject to instant dismissal.

SBID will gather intelligence via its licensed agents (and act on legal advice received) to corroborate appointed licensed personnel should evidence indicate criminal business or identity theft has occurred. Verifying the origin and use of some digital evidence is no different to other evidence, however some digital evidence may need to be interpreted by a specialist and therefore further evidence may be commissioned.

Any partner who fails to meet SBID ethics guidelines will be advised to address the conduct to bring the partnership into alignment with the agreement. Failure to address a matter brought to the attention of a collaborating partner will result in SBID cancelling the collaboration agreement.

It is our practice when reporting any unethical conduct to collate the evidence and pass it to our legal advisors before approaching the offender. After receiving legal advice evidence of misconduct will where it is appropriate to do so be passed to the relevant government departments. Continuous misconduct will be reported to the governing officials of an entity. If the practice continues, SBID will cancel the partnership. Evidence compiled into a report will be submitted for formal complaint to the appropriate governing watchdog.

Reporting Ethical Misconduct

If you wish to register a complaint, please complete the below form or email [email protected]

Send us a message


We want you to be first to know about our news, announcements, offers and industry updates. To stay update with us, please opt in:

I want to receive updates

By signing up, you agree to SBID using your personal data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.



Find out more about our flexible membership structure.

Apply Online