Your attitude, actions, words, and conduct reflect not only upon you, but in fact The Entire Guild. It is therefore your responsibility to conduct yourself in such a way that you bring honor and pride to the name of The International Guild of Professional Butlers, its Members and the Private Service profession as a whole.

This Code of Honor outlines the standard of behavior expected of a professional in Private Service. It is designed to help you understand your responsibilities and obligations, and also to provide guidance if you are faced with an ethical dilemma or conflict of interest in your work. Familiarize yourself with this Code and observe its provisions. Members who breach the standards of conduct detailed in this Code may face disciplinary action.

A Code of Honor cannot cover every situation. If you are unsure of the appropriate action to take in a particular situation, discuss the matter with your colleagues directly, in The Forum or with a Director of The Guild.

Personal and Professional Behavior
Since it was founded, one of the keystones of The Guild's success has been integrity in its dealings with people both inside and outside The Guild. The International Guild of Professional Butlers is in a position of trust with respect to many external clients, organizations and others. All Members have a responsibility to The Guild. Ethical conduct has been and continues to be the very foundation of our Profession.

How Should I Serve My Employer?
You have a principal responsibility to implement and administer the policies and programs of your employer. You may hold views on particular matters that differ from those of your employer, but such views must not interfere with the performance of your duties. Always act in the best interests of your employer rather than for the benefit of personal interests.

How Should I Serve The Public?
Treat all people with whom you have contact in the course of your work fairly, and with courtesy and sensitivity. Act with propriety and be able to demonstrate this in relation to any advice or service you give. You must be able to justify any decisions you make.

How Should I Treat Colleagues?
Respect, and seek when necessary, the professional opinions of colleagues in their area of competence, and acknowledge their contribution. Treat your staff fairly, involve them in decisions that affect them, and provide equal opportunity to develop their skills.

What Is Expected Of Me?
Perform your duties diligently, impartially and responsively, to the best of your ability. Only be absent from work with permission. Observe relevant occupational health and safety requirements, and act to remove or bring to the attention of your employer any situation which is, or may be, a health or safety hazard. Your activities outside working hours must not diminish confidence in you or your ability to perform your duties. You must never harass anyone or discriminate on the grounds of sex, sexual preference, age, marital status, pregnancy, the state of being a parent, childless or a de facto spouse, race, color and national extraction, lawful religious or political belief or activity, and impairment.

Use and Release of Information, Can I Make a Public Comment?
Public comment includes public speaking engagements, comments on radio and television and expressing views in letters to the newspapers or in books, journals or notices where it might be expected that the publication or circulation of the comment will spread to the community at large. As a member of the community, you have the right to make public comment and enter into public debate on political and social issues. However, Butling prevents you from making public comment on your employer.

How Should I Treat Private Information?
You may have access to personal information relating to your employer and your staff or supervisors. This information will have been provided to you on the understanding it will only be used for a specific purpose and will remain confidential. You must store this information securely, and not disclose it to any person except in the course of your official duties. You must not use or communicate employer's information for other than official purposes without the permission of your employer (except where such information has already been made available officially to the public). This includes leaking information to the media. You must not take improper advantage of any information gained in the course of your employment. If you release information you may be liable for legal action.

Act and advise with honesty and integrity in all aspects of your official duties. If you believe an aspect of your employer's policy or administration may have unforeseen consequences or otherwise requires review, then bring it to the attention of your employer.

Can I Participate In Seminars and Related Activities?
Obtain the prior approval of your employer before addressing or chairing seminars organized by professional conference organizers.

How Can I Avoid a Conflict Of Interest?
Conflict of interest with official duties may arise for various reasons and, as an individual, you may have private interests that from time to time conflict with those of your employers. However, there is a reasonable expectation that where such conflict occurs it will be resolved in favor of your employer rather than your own. Disclose potential conflicts of interest to your employer when dealing in the course of official duties with relatives, close friends or business acquaintances. You should neither buy nor sell shares in your employer's company at a time when you possess information that could, if publicly disclosed, affect the value of such shares.

It is not possible to define all potential areas of conflict of interest and if you are in doubt as to whether a conflict exists, raise this with your employer. In some circumstances, the appearance of a conflict of interest could itself jeopardize your integrity.

Can I Accept Gifts and Favors?
You should not seek or accept favors or gifts for services performed in connection with your official duties. Included in this category are gifts in kind, such as free accommodation or travel or entertainment vouchers whether for you or members of your family. The general principle to be followed is that you should not seek or accept favors or gifts from anyone who could benefit by influencing you.

Immediately report to your employer any circumstances where an offer of a benefit or gift is made, regardless of whether it is accepted or not, if you feel that such circumstances involve an attempt to induce favored treatment. Where a gift is given without your prior knowledge or consent or where a gift is given as a token of goodwill to your employer, inform your employer as soon as possible. Gifts of more than token value should in all cases remain the property of your employer. It is expected however, that token gifts in the nature of souvenirs, mementos or symbolic items of low material value may be accepted in circumstances approved by your employer.

Outside Employment
You should not engage in outside employment or in the conduct of a business, trade or profession without written authority from your employer. Consideration of requests to engage in outside employment would be concerned to establish whether the outside employment would interfere with the proper performance of official duties and whether it would give rise to a conflict of interest.

Once you leave your employer for other employment you should not use confidential information obtained during your employment to advantage your prospective employer or disadvantage the previous employer.

Treat all people fairly. Base actions, decisions and advice on a consideration of all relevant facts, and implement employer's policy and programs equitably. Maintain your employer's trust by acting in his interest. Achieve results through the best use of the employer's financial, physical and human resources. You must not use your position to obtain a private benefit for someone else. Your decisions must not be improperly influenced by family or other personal relationships. Ensure that in financial matters, including the handling of funds, there is full accountability in relation to any advice or transaction in which you may be involved. Treat everyone fairly and do not discriminate against anyone on grounds such as age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, or national origin.

Access private information on The Guild's Web Site and The Guild's Bulletin Board only when it is necessary in the course of your duties. Maintain the confidentiality of any information to which you may have access. Acknowledge statutory laws governing data privacy such as the Commonwealth Information Privacy Principles. Cooperate with and support your fellow Members. Be honest about your competence and seek help when necessary. When your professional advice is sought, It must be impartial. Avoid conflicts of interest; if they do arise declare them. Continue to update and enhance your Butling knowledge and management skills by training, study, and the sharing of information and experiences with your fellow Members.


If any Member should find that another Member is disregarding the rules, or believes that a Member is being a poor reflection of The Guild, the Board of Directors should be notified of your concerns.

Complaints Received Against A Member
In the event that a complaint should be received by The Guild against a Member, the Member concerned will be notified of details as soon as possible and of the fact that the complaint is being investigated. The Guild shall not find a complaint proved without first affording the Member an adequate opportunity to rebut the complaints made. When a Member is found after an investigation to be at fault, one of the following actions will be taken.

a. Expulsion from The Guild
b. A caution and full report entered into the Members personal file.
c. No further action considered to be taken.

There shall be no refund of a Member's fee in the case of a Member's expulsion or resignation from The Guild at any time during any period of current Membership.

Complaints Received Against An Employer
Complaints in writing received from a current Member relating to any allegation of unfair conduct by their employer(s), will be thoroughly investigated by The Guild in exactly the same way as if the complaint had been made against the Member.

The Guild's Bulletin Board
No messages of an abusive, rude or discriminatory content are allowed. Members are not allowed to give his or her Login and Password for access to The Guild's web site to others. Members are not allowed to let anyone read, or post messages in The Bulletin Board. Members are not allowed to give out e-mail addresses of other Members to anyone, for any reason, without the consent of The Guild or the Member in question.

Any person who does not comply may be liable to criminal prosecution and/or civil claim for damages. All Members should read the Messages posted in The Bulletin Board. Members must post messages in The Bulletin Board using their regular full names, so that they may be easily recognized, "Nick Names" are not allowed. The Bulletin Board moderator will guard messages for improper use.

In The Bulletin Board there will be an open discussion and voting (if necessary) on any topic. Some things can and should be settled without bringing it before The Entire Guild, other things just need to be discussed and thought over prior to posting it in The Bulletin Board.

A Quiz

  • "Well, maybe just this once..."
  • "No one will ever know..."
  • "It doesn't matter how it gets done as long as it gets done."
  • "It sounds too good to be true."
  • "Everyone does it."
  • "Shred that document."
  • "We can hide it."
  • "No one will get hurt."
  • "What's in it for me?"
  • "We didn't have this conversation."

You can probably think of many more phrases that raise warning flags. If you find yourself using any of these expressions, take the Quiz below and make sure you are on solid ethical ground.

When In Doubt, Ask Yourself:..
1. Are my actions legal.
2. Am I being fair and honest.
3. Will my action stand the test of time.
4. How will I feel about myself afterwards.
5. Will I sleep soundly tonight.
6. What would I tell my child to do.

All references to the masculine gender in all pages of The Guild's web site are to be taken as to include the feminine gender, save where the context otherwise admits and states.