Operating ethically

We aim to maintain the highest standards of integrity in everything we do. To achieve this, we:

Comply with anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws

Provide an environment where employees and business partners feel able to report ethical concerns both safely and confidently

Promote a culture of integrity that extends to everyone we work with

The Group Ethics and Compliance team supports our global business operations, working centrally and within each area of the business.

Oxford University Press’s Ethics and Compliance Programme is designed to foster an organizational culture that is committed to ethical conduct and compliance with all applicable laws where Oxford University Press operates.

  • Our Anti-Bribery and Fraud Standards are publicly available, reaffirming our zero tolerance of bribery and fraud
  • Available in 16 languages, our Code of Conduct sets out a way of working that is consistent with our values and helps employees to make good decisions. We review, revise, and reissue it every year
  • We work with thousands of business partners worldwide, including suppliers, authors, customers, agents, and government officials—all of which are chosen with great care.
  • Our Partner Code of Conduct is available in 20 languages, outlining how we expect business partners to work in ways that align with our mission and core principles
  • Oxford University Press’s zero tolerance approach to modern slavery within our operations and supply chain is laid out in the Modern Slavery Act Statement

With many of our employees working remotely for most of 2020, ethics and compliance training continued to be rolled out for staff at the time of hire and on an annual basis, with approximately 5,100 employees and contingent workers completing the training activities.

The mandatory training at Oxford University Press includes:

  • Anti-bribery and Corruption (ABC) training
  • Review and certification of understanding and compliance with Oxford University Press’s Code of Conduct and Ethical Policies
  • Completion of a Conflicts of Interest Declaration

Additional training is provided for any other role that may be exposed to a greater risk of encountering bribery or unethical practices, or for senior positions that are critical to maintain zero tolerance with unethical behaviour.

5,529

employees and contingent workers completed the annual ISDP training in 2020

1,762

employees attended global briefings hosted by the group ethics and compliance leadership team and group legal that outlined new, specific risks in the COVID-19 environment

Employees are also required annually to complete Information Security and Data Privacy (ISDP) training to review and certify their understanding and compliance with Oxford University Press’s ISDP policies. In 2020, 5,529 employees and contingent workers completed the annual ISDP training.

In May 2020, 1,762 employees attended global briefings hosted by the group ethics and compliance leadership team and group legal that outlined new, specific risks in the COVID-19 environment.

Employees and business partners can report ethical concerns through the Speak Up channel, which is managed by an independent third party. We ensure that no retaliatory action is taken against employees who report ethical concerns in good faith.

All suspicions of unethical conduct are addressed and investigated, as appropriate, under the supervision of an Investigations Manager. We measure resilience against unethical conduct using a suite of indicators related to deterrence, prevention, detection, and response.

In 2020, in line with local COVID-19 restrictions, formal visits to suppliers in jurisdictions and industries considered to pose a greater risk of modern slavery continued, to ensure no modern slavery is present and better understand how suppliers are managing and mitigating risks within their operations and supply chains.