Common sense codified

At CERN, people of more than a hundred different nationalities and hundreds of different professions work together towards a common goal. The new Code of Conduct is a tool that has been designed to help us keep our workplace pleasant and productive through common standards of behaviour. Its basic principle is mutual respect and common sense. This is only natural, but not trivial… 

The Director-General announced it in his speech at the beginning of the year, and the Bulletin wrote about it immediately afterwards. "It" is the new Code of Conduct, the document that lists our Organization's values and describes the basic standards of behaviour that we should both adopt and expect from others. "The Code of Conduct is not going to establish new rights or new obligations," explains Anne-Sylvie Catherin, Head of the Human Resources Department (HR). But what it will do is provide a framework for our existing rights and obligations."

The aim of a common code is to provide a reference point for shared dialogue, thereby creating an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. "The Code of Conduct is a practical guide based on common sense," confirms Director-General Rolf Heuer. And, as Catherin adds, "Setting down common standards in black and white helps to improve reciprocal understanding and dialogue."

The Code, which was presented to the Council this week and will enter into force in July, was drawn up by HR in collaboration with external consultants and working groups representative of all the Organization's different members. "The Code is not just for CERN staff but also for users and anyone associated with achieving the Organization's mission," says Catherin.

The starting point of the Code of Conduct is the five values with which everyone at CERN can identify. "Integrity, commitment, professionalism, creativity and diversity are the values of this Organization and the basic ingredients of the Code of Conduct," confirms Rolf Heuer.

The Code of Conduct is available here.

The HR Department and the Management have organised an information session to present the details of the new Code on

Friday, 25 June at 9.30 a.m. in the Main Auditorium.

You are all invited to take part. The meeting will be screened live in the BE Auditorium on the Prévessin site (Building 864) and you can also watch the webcast at the following address:

Watch the Spotlight on CERN video with interviews with Rolf Heuer, Anne-Sylvie Catherin and Vincent Vuillemin.

by CERN Bulletin