The need for integrity

In a recent meeting, the need for integrity was reiterated and, given that this is so relevant to the NDT industry, I thought that a reminder regarding the definition of integrity would be prudent. Without operator integrity, the results of testing and inspection are of little value and can be extremely dangerous. The recipient of the results should also have the integrity to use the results in the way they were intended. With personal integrity, the integrity of the item being tested can be ascertained. Would you like to take a flight on an aircraft where there has been a lack of personal integrity involved in the inspection and testing, leading to a potential loss of integrity in the aircraft?

The following is a dictionary definition of integrity:
1. Firm adherence to a code of especially moral values; incorruptibility
2. An unimpaired condition; soundness
3. The quality or state of being complete or undivided; completeness
4. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
5. Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty
6. The state of being whole, entire or undiminished
7. A sound, unimpaired or perfect condition; the integrity of a ship’s hull.
Synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honour, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness and trustworthiness.
Examples: ‘I never doubted their integrity’; ‘They are known to be a person of integrity’.

Integrity is a personal quality of fairness that we all aspire to – unless you are a dishonest, immoral scoundrel of course.

Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way. It is a personality trait that we admire, since it means a person has a moral compass that doesn’t waver. It literally means having ‘wholeness’ of character, just as an integer is a whole number with no fractions. Physical objects can display integrity, too – if you are going over a rickety old bridge that sways in the wind, you might question its structural integrity.

There are so many good people involved in NDT and inspection that it is a disgrace when a lack of integrity occurs with potentially deadly results.

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