Code of Conduct

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Code of Conduct
of the International Association of Physics Students


The aims of the International Association of Physics Students (IAPS) include, amongst others, the promotion of peaceful relations among physics students around the world (IAPS Charter Article 3.2). Additionally, IAPS does not pursue any profitable, political or religious objectives, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, gender, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation or disability (IAPS Charter Article 2.2).

This Code of Conduct has taken inspiration, and in some cases exact wording, from the United Kingdom Sexual Offences Act 2003, Protection of harassment act 1997, and Public Order Act 1986; as indicated in the text with the appropriate articles cited. Links to the legislature can be found at the end of this document.

Consistent with such statements, it is the purpose of this document to outline acceptable conduct to which will create a safe environment for all. This Code of Conduct was ratified by the [YEAR] IAPS AGM in [PLACE].

Statement of Policy

All participants of activities and events related to IAPS will enjoy an environment without any form of discrimination, intentional harassment or retaliation. IAPS is committed to helping physics students from around the world to build professional relations and foster a collaborative attitude built upon at IAPS events while encouraging them in their academic and professional ventures. In order for this to be achieved, IAPS provides equal treatment and opportunities regardless of race, colour, gender, gender identity or expression, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, political opinion, age, sexual orientation, disability or any other reason which is not directly related to scientific merit.

Intentional harassment, sexual or otherwise, as defined below is strictly forbidden under any circumstances and will not tolerated.

All participants when requested should provide IAPS, the organisers of IAPS events and, if necessary, relevant law enforcement any data or information about a breach of
this code of conduct; in purpose to establish a fair and clear understanding of said breach and appropriate outcomes.

Violation of this Code of Conduct will not be tolerated and may result in the expulsion from IAPS or an IAPS event.

In the case of action being taken forward after investigation to the IAPS AGM for the intention of expelling the perpetrator, a written response from both parties will be allowed. It will not be expected nor allowed for either side to make statements in person. Confidentiality of all involved will be maintained during the AGM and the whole process as much is feasible possible.

Definition of Harassment

A person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another, and which one knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other. Harassment of a person includes an act that induces alarm or distress in another person. The person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it amounts to harassment of another if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment of the other.

Articles 1 , 2 and 7-2 of protection of harassment act 1997, United Kingdom

This includes but is not limited to:

  • any use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
  • Displaying any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

Article 5.1 a and b of the Public Order Act 1986, United Kingdom

Definition of Sexual Harassment

It is deemed Sexual Harassment if a reasonable person would consider that the activity whatever its circumstances or any person’s purpose in relation to have caused alarm or distress of another person due to its sexual nature.

Article 78 of Sexual Offences Act 2003, United Kingdom

This activity can include, but is not limited to unwanted sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature, sexually degrading words aimed at an individual, a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, sexually explicit jokes, requests for sexual favours, or any other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. If an act of sexual harassment constituted an offence under the law in force in the country concerned it will be notified and dealt with by the relevant authorities.

Article 99 of Sexual Offences Act 2003, United Kingdom


Consent is defined as a person agreeing by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

It is assumed that consent was not given to the relevant act unless unless sufficient evidence is raised and if the defendant is to be taken not to have reasonably believed
that the complainant consented unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he reasonably believed it.

Article 75 of Sexual Offences Act 2003, United Kingdom

Language and/or behaviour which may be welcome and/or acceptable to one person may well be unwelcome and offensive to others. Individuals must therefore use their own discretion to ensure that they are respecting the wishes of other people, and immediately stop once aware if this is not the case.


It will be considered sexual harassment if a person intentionally exposes one’s genitals in a way that is intended that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.

Article 66 of Sexual Offences Act 2003

Reporting of an Incident

Should an incident which violates this code of conduct occur, a report should be made to either the President of IAPS, the Secretary of IAPS, or the organising committee of the IAPS event which the incident occurred. Should there be reason for concern regarding reporting to the aforementioned officers, a report can be made to any member of the executive committee. Such officers will not be expected to communicate with the alleged offender regarding the situation but rather the complaint will be treated seriously and investigated promptly by the appropriate people. Prior to reporting, it is advised that times, places, nature of the incident and any comments made are written down and any evidence (emails, notes etc.) is saved. It is also advised that the appropriate advice is sought before, during and after the reporting process. Confidentiality will be honoured to the extent desired by the reporter unless the rights of others may be compromised, or be required by law in the respective country.


UK Legislation can be found here:
Sexual Offences Act 2003:
Protection of harassment act 1997:
Public Order Act 1986: