Preliminary study: Teaching Professional Ethics, Shaping Civil Servants

University-level programmes in public administration in the Netherlands are not making sufficient efforts for civil service ethics education. It is more sideshow than purposive moral shaping of future civil servants. This is shown by interviews which BIOS held with thirteen representatives of eight university-level bachelor programmes and eight master programmes in public administration in the Netherlands.

Practical objections and other priorities play a role here. However, the main obstacle is the resistance to a more normative, practical and developing content of ethics education. Students are therefore insufficiently prepared to begin a career in public service with a basic qualification in ethics.

There is much room for improvement. There is actually a great willingness, and there are many initiatives, to make improvements. Therefore BIOS is submitting several recommendations to educational institutions, policy-makers and government employers.

Free download available: Preliminary study Teaching Professional Ethics, Shaping Civil Servants