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How ethical are you?

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 04 Dec 2020

ethics quiz

How often do you do the right thing when you find yourself in a tricky situation? Put your principles to the test with our quick quiz


A colleague has prepared a report for the team and asked everyone to give feedback, but you have run out of time to get it done before the deadline and it’s a long job. Do you:

  • A Pretend you have read it and that you don’t have any changes
  • B Skim it quickly – you don’t have time for a thorough read
  • C Admit that you haven’t done it yet and ask for a short extension to the deadline


In the canteen you overhear two colleagues discussing confidential information about a client and referring to them by name. Do you:

  • A Ignore it – they might think you were eavesdropping
  • B Let them know you overheard and say you are concerned about confidentiality
  • C Report them to your line manager


An important client habitually makes sexist comments in front of a colleague and you know it’s making her uncomfortable. Do you:

  • A Tell her to ignore it – it’s just harmless banter
  • B Advise her to speak to her line manager
  • C Next time you witness it, speak up and say you don’t feel comfortable


You are working on behalf of a client you find rude and unreasonably demanding. How do you handle it?

  • A Make the minimum of effort – they don’t deserve your A game
  • B Have a good moan to your colleagues – everyone finds them difficult
  • C Ask if you can be moved off the team – you don’t feel you can be objective


You find out your line manager has a close relative in a client’s business. Do you:

  • A Keep quiet – it’s none of your business and you don’t want to get into trouble
  • B Mention it casually to them – people probably already know, but you just want to be sure
  • C Raise it quietly with another senior member of staff


Your line manager is away and you’ve been asked to take on one of their tasks, but you are not sure you are qualified or experienced enough. What do you do?

  • A You can muddle through – it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect
  • B Be honest and say you don’t feel confident enough to complete the task on your own
  • C Complete the bits you can and ask for help from colleagues where you need it


Mostly As
Oh dear – your ethical skills could do with a bit of practice. Help is at hand with our article.

Mostly Bs
You’re showing some professional behaviour, but there’s always room for improvement! Read our article.

Mostly Cs
Congratulations – you’re obviously highly ethical and principled. Find out more in our article.

Caroline Fox, ICAEW Ethics Moderator, says: “The most important result is that you took part! Ethics is often about debating and discussing and sometimes changing position. When out there in the workplace you’ll find that there are not always right and wrong answers – that’s what makes ethical dilemmas tricky. However, always keep a look out for the ethical aspects, both the detail and the bigger picture. The great thing is that there is no seniority when it comes to ethics. If you feel doubtful then speak up – you’re almost certainly right!”