NMBI’s Customer Service Charter
This Customer Service Charter sets out the values, standards and principles of behaviour which apply to anyone working in NMBI or involved in its activities. The requirements outlined in this document apply to:
- All staff (i.e: employees), whether full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, and to staff on special leave such as career breaks, except where specific requirements only apply to staff at work.
- Consultants or individuals engaged by the Board under contract or an employee of such a consultant or individuals.
- Persons engaged by the Board in any other capacity.
As it is not possible for a set of rules or guidelines to provide for all situations which may arise, this Charter provides only a frame of reference against which staff and consultants must measure their behaviour.
The object of the Board is to protect the public in its dealings with nurses and midwives; and the integrity of the nursing and midwifery practice through the promotion of high standards of professional education, training and practice, and professional conduct among nurses and midwives.
In fulfilling its duties to Irish society, the Board of NMBI requires that the activities of Board members and staff are conducted with professional integrity, high standards of service and appropriate behaviours at work.
3. Principles underpinning the customer service charter
3.1. Improper influence
Members of NMBI staff and consultants must not:
- Be guided by any outside influences of whatever kind - including political, commercial or stakeholder influences - or by personal interests.
- Be involved in taking a decision on a matter concerning their own beneficial interests or those of their family members, partners or close friends.
3.2. Conflicts of interest
Guidance on conflicts of interest is derived from:
- The Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011.
- The Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995, the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001.
- The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2001; updated in 2009).
All NMBI staff and consultants contributing to the activities of the NMBI must declare any possible conflict of interest through the appropriate channel before undertaking any activity.
Gifts and hospitality must not be solicited, either directly or indirectly, for personal use, gain or benefit. The offer of any unsolicited gift or hospitality which could affect, or could be considered to affect, the ability of NMBI staff and consultants to perform their activities with independence and impartiality must be refused. However, gifts or hospitality of a modest nature may be retained provided the offer is declared to the individual’s manager.
3.3. Disclosure of information
All staff are required to comply with Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation. Any queries or concerns should be brought to the attention of the designated officer in the Corporate Services Directorate.
As the regulator of nurses and midwives in Ireland, NMBI holds information of a personal and confidential nature pertaining to individuals. This information must be treated with respect and in accordance with the relevant legislation. Any member of staff who receives a request for disclosure of information pertaining to an individual nurse or midwife should seek assistance through the appropriate channels.
NMBI staff and consultants are prohibited under section 17(1) of the Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011 from disclosing any confidential information obtained in their capacity or while performing duties on behalf of the NMBI. This does not apply to information in the public domain or in the possession of the person prior to undertaking the activities. Furthermore, it does not apply to information that may relate to the commission of an offence triable on indictment or in circumstances referred to in section 35(2) of the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995.
The disclosure of information to certain prescribed bodies with which the NMBI has co-operation agreements, or to parties with whom there is a legitimate requirement to share information is not prevented.
3.4. Financial integrity
All persons engaged in purchasing goods or services on behalf of the NMBI have a duty to act in the interests of the financial integrity of the NMBI and to seek value for money.
Customers of NMBI have a right to expect to be treated in a fair, courteous and respectful manner. NMBI staff have a right to expect to be treated in a similar manner by customers.