By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Ethics Advisor

Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-08

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS is committed to fostering an organizational culture of ethics and a harmonious and inclusive work environment, anchored in the values of integrity, accountability, transparency, respect and professionalism. 

The Ethics and Compliance Office (ECO) is integral to this effort, and it has an overall mandate to act as an independent office pursuant to SGB (2007/11). More specifically, the role of the ECO is to cultivate and nurture an organizational  culture of ethics, integrity and accountability, and thereby enhance the trust in, and the credibility of UNOPS, both internally and externally. It is also to reinforce  a culture of transparency, respect and professionalism, to support a harmonious and inclusive work environment. The ECO’s purpose is to grow an organizational culture where individuals understand how to perform their functions consistently and with the highest standards of integrity, how to do the right thing and go beyond compliance with rules - abiding by the spirit not just the wording of UNOPS policies. The ECO is set up in two interconnected functions:

  • Ethics function - responsible for developing standards, training and education on ethical issues, providing independent, impartial and confidential ethics advice to individuals and management, identifying key ethical risks and developing, implementing and monitoring policies and procedures, for ethical risk management and prevention of unethical behaviors as well as safeguarding personnel by providing protection against retaliation.

  • Compliance function - responsible for managing compliance expectations, providing compliance management advice and potential compliance management mechanisms/advice to policyholders. Coordinating the overview of non-compliance as well as recommending systemic (cross-functional)  solutions for minimizing non-compliance.

Functional Responsibilities

The Ethics Advisor reports to the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer who leads the Ethics & Compliance Office and who in turn reports to the Executive Director. Ethics Advisor   also works in close collaboration with the Ethics & Compliance Advisor and the Compliance Officer.

The Ethics Advisor is instrumental to an effective running of the Ethics function, with the focus on:

  • Operational management and coordination of all Ethics & Compliance Office  activities. 

  • Supervision of the Ethics Helpline ensuring cases are received and responded to in a timely, accurate, constructive and professional manner. 

  • Providing independent, impartial and confidential ethics advice to individuals..

  • Management of ethics cases and making decisions on cases where delegated by Director - in particular with respect to protection against retaliation, outside activities and conflicts of interest. 

  • Management of the UNOPS protection against retaliation programmed.

  • Supervising the financial disclosure programmed for UNOPS.

  • Contribute to improving the Ethics and Compliance policies and procedures.

  • Manage compliance efforts for ethics compliance policies and programmed.

  • Developing/ inputting to relevant training materials and culture initiatives.

  • Support on activities related to other areas when necessary.

Functions / Key Results Expected
  1. Operational management and ethics advice
  • Support the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer with the development and delivery of the annual work plan with a special focus on  operations supervision, management and coordination of the ECO activities.

  • Supervise the Ethics Helpline processes with responsibility for ensuring they are effectively managed by the ECO team and that all cases are addressed in a timely, accurate, constructive and professional manner.

  • Provide independent, impartial and confidential ethics advice to individuals and management; escalating the more complex/sensitive cases for action/final decision.

  • As delegated, accountable for decision making  on ethics cases.

  • Manage outside activities and conflicts of interest advice and approval processes, supervising the Ethics & Compliance Officer on less complex cases and providing advice directly in more complex cases.

  • Manage requests for protection against retaliation, supervise the conducting of preliminary investigations and preparation of draft determinations and recommendations for review and approval by the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer. In more complex cases conduct the investigations and prepare the draft determinations directly.

  • Supervise the Financial Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest (FDCOI) programme within UNOPS including overseeing the annual financial disclosure and new joiner exercises, selective verification of statements and providing advice to personnel on preventing or taking remedial action on conflicts of interest arising from financial interests and outside affiliations. 

  • Collaborate with the Ethics & Compliance Advisor by developing and inputting to relevant training materials and culture initiatives.

  • Support the Ethics & Compliance Advisor in the roll-out of the Global Ethics Risk Assessments.

  • Foster a positive work environment and promote teamwork and collaboration.

      2.  Policy management and compliance
  • Lead the effort of identifying the ethics and compliance policy needs and the development/updates to the applicable standards, frameworks, policies, procedures and tools relating to core ECO activities including, for example, conflicts of interest, protection against retaliation, financial disclosure and gifts and hospitality.

  • Develop and manage activities to ensure material compliance with respect to ethics compliance policies and programs and provide assurance to the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and management.

      3.  Business partnering and advisory
  • Build and maintain day-to-day relationships with colleagues in other relevant functions across UNOPS, to ensure a collaborative approach supporting the effectiveness of the ethics and compliance program.

  • Collaborate with key stakeholders on corporate initiatives and efforts focused on growing and embedding an organizational culture where individuals understand how to perform their functions consistently and with the highest standards of integrity, how to do the right thing and go beyond compliance with rules - abiding by the spirit not just the wording of UNOPS policies

  • Proactively engage with policy holders. Provide specialist advice to relevant stakeholders/units on  ethics implications with respect to their policies.

  • Provide guidance on UN code of conduct (as outlined in the relevant staff regulations and rules, the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service, and applicable administrative issuance).

       4. Representation and Networking
  • Establish effective relationships at peer level with external organizations and other UN agencies

  • When delegated to, represent UNOPS externally on matters relating to ethics and compliance management

       5. Knowledge management and innovation
  • Together with the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, lead on the Ethics & Compliance thought leadership.

  • Contribute to the implementation of programs and activities that are part of UNOPS Knowledge Management strategy.

  • Facilitate the exchange of lessons learnt and best practice for proactive compliance management, between all functions within UNOPS.

Impact of Results
The effective and successful achievement of results by the Ethics Advisor directly impacts on the perceptions of UNOPS, by enhancing the trust in and building the overall credibility of UNOPS, both internally and externally.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field such as law, criminology, relevant social sciences, relevant humanities, business administration, psychology, corporate ethics or related field is required.

  • A combination of a Bachelor’s degree with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.

  • Minimum 7 years of experience in ethics and compliance is required.

  • Extensive working experience in organizational ethics and compliance with an international organization

  • Proven ability to collaborate with and oversee diverse teams.

  • Strong track record in ethics operations management and process oversight, as well as decision making processes. 

  • Specific experience in providing ethics advice under the UN system is desirable

  • Recognized relevant certification and knowledge of current industry best practices relating to ethics or compliance management would be an asset.

Language Requirements
  • Fluency in English is required
  • Knowledge of French and/or Spanish would be an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contract Agreement  Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration: Open ended, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability
Location: Copenhagen

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.