National Physical Laboratory

Corporate Responsibility

Anti-Slavery Policy

NPL is the United Kingdom's national standards laboratory, an internationally respected and independent centre of excellence in research. It is qualified to provide many scientific and technical measurement services because of the skills, experience and reputation of its professional staff and is engaged in the business of research and development and of providing training and consultancy services.

Modern slavery is a criminal offence under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.

NPL has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective measures to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains.

This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, officers, agency workers, seconded workers, students, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.


Ethics Policy

The National Physical Laboratory's management framework and scientific principles are based on rigour, respect and responsibility.

NPL will:

  • Always work within sound scientific principles.
  • Challenge our involvement in scientific work that raises ethical issues.
  • Document our decision making.

NPL's scientific research is built on a foundation of trust and integrity and, as an organisation, we are committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. NPL's research is undertaken in accordance with the highest standards of research methodology.

NPL adheres to the Government Office for Science's Universal Ethical Code for Scientists.

This universal ethical code of the values and responsibilities of scientists, has three main aims:

  1. To encourage ethical research.
  2. To get scientists thinking about the implications and impacts of their work.
  3. To support communication between scientists and the public on complex and challenging issues.

NPL is committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility at NPL

Corporate Social Responsibility at NPL concentrates on the charity and community involvement of the company and forms part of an overall corporate responsibility framework.

NPL actively supports staff who wish to volunteer to work in the community with a system of 'Time off for Volunteering'. Under this system, staff who engage in such work as School Governors, Scout Leadership, St John Ambulance, etc. can request up to five days' time off for volunteering per year.

NPL also supports members of staff who engage in large-scale charity fundraising events, by allowing time off and making a contribution towards minimum sponsorship requirements or by some matched sponsorship.

In recent years, a charitable donation has been made whenever the company has achieved a million working hours without a reportable accident.

NPL organises the annual Water Rocket Challenge, which involves schools from around the country and raises money for a local children's hospice. NPL also holds a number of other events aimed at raising money for charities such as its charity golf days, book sales and other one-off charity activities.

NPL links with the charity Young Enterprise, by providing volunteer facilitators for school events and a member of the local YE Board. NPL has also been sponsoring the Finals Night and Prize Giving Event for the Richmond and Kingston Young Enterprise Companies Programme for more than 10 years.

As well as a dedicated CSR programme, NPL has a General Activities Programme. This outreach programme is aimed at students, educators and the science-interested general public, and generates a high level of community involvement.

NPL's Corporate Assurance Team is responsible for promoting a safe working environment and leads NPL's activities aimed at minimising any negative impact on the environment. More information can be found at Health, Safety and Environment.

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