SET Code of Practice

The Society for Education and Training (SET) Code of Practice sets out the professional behaviour and conduct expected of members of SET.

Updated September 2020


The Code is divided into two sections:

  1. Mandatory, actionable provisions – all members of SET must comply with these provisions in order to become and remain a member. If a member does not comply with these requirements, then SET reserves the right to refuse or cancel membership.
  2. Aspirational provisions – all members of SET are expected to work towards these requirements as part of their professional practice. We encourage members to follow these standards but will not refuse or cancel membership on this basis.


Mandatory, actionable provisions

All members of SET must:

  1. Uphold the reputation of the profession – you must not behave in such a way that is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you and in the profession.
  2. Act honestly and with integrity in the educational setting.
  3. Use reasonable(1) professional judgement when discharging your responsibilities and obligations to learners, colleagues, institutions and the wider profession.
  4. Take reasonable care to ensure the safety and welfare of learners and comply with relevant statutory provisions to support their wellbeing and development.
  5. Respect the rights of learners and colleagues in accordance with relevant legislation and organisation requirements.
  6. Act in such a way which recognises diversity as an asset and does not discriminate unfairly.
  7. Act in accordance with the conditions of membership which may be subject to change from time to time.
  8. Comply with all reasonable requests for information from SET (including all reasonable requests that you consent to the disclosure of information held by third parties about you).
  9. Cooperate with any investigation in your capacity as a further education professional and in accordance with the law.
  10. Notify SET within 21 days of any of the following occurring:
    • 10.1 You are made the subject of a bar, partial bar, warning or any other action by the Secretary of State or the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in relation to misconduct or working with children, young people or vulnerable adults.
    • 10.2. You are charged with, convicted of, or cautioned for a criminal offence.
    • 10.3. Your contract of employment has been terminated due to disciplinary reasons, in line with the ACAS Code of Practice.
    • 10.4. You are informed that you are under investigation by any professional or regulatory body, or that you will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing by any employer, in this country or abroad.
  11. Notify SET of any other information which may have a bearing on your suitability for membership, including anything which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you and in the profession.
  12. Not seek to dissuade any person from raising a concern, or act unfairly towards them if they do.


Aspirational provisions

The Professional Standards require you to demonstrate commitment to:

  1. Reflect on what works best in your teaching and learning to meet the diverse needs of learners.
  2. Evaluate and challenge your practice, values and beliefs.
  3. Inspire, motivate and raise aspirations of learners through your enthusiasm and knowledge.
  4. Be creative and innovative in selecting and adapting strategies to help learners to learn.
  5. Value and promote social and cultural diversity, equality of opportunity and inclusion.
  6. Build positive and collaborative relationships with colleagues and learners.
  7. Maintain and update knowledge of your subject and/or vocational area.
  8. Maintain and update your knowledge of educational research to develop evidence-based practice.
  9. Apply theoretical understanding of effective practice in teaching, learning and assessment drawing on research and other evidence.
  10. Evaluate your practice with others and assess its impact on learning.
  11. Manage and promote positive learner behaviour.
  12. Understand the teaching and professional role and your responsibilities.
  13. Motivate and inspire learners to promote achievement and develop their skills to enable progression.
  14. Plan and deliver effective learning programmes for diverse groups or individuals in a safe and inclusive environment.
  15. Promote the benefits of technology and support learners in its use.
  16. Address the mathematics and English needs of learners and work creatively to overcome individual barriers to learning.
  17. Enable learners to share responsibility for their own learning and assessment, setting goals that stretch and challenge.
  18. Apply appropriate and fair methods of assessment and provide constructive and timely feedback to support progression and achievement.
  19. Maintain and update your teaching and training expertise and vocational skills through collaboration with employers.
  20. Contribute to organisational development and quality improvement through collaboration with others.


(1) Whether or not something is reasonable will depend on an objective assessment in light of all the circumstances that exist, including the standards and practices in place throughout the profession at the time. If no reasonable member of the profession would have acted in a particular way given the circumstances that exist, that conduct will be unreasonable.