Code of Practice

ISPA Code of Practice

Companies who choose to become members of ISPA agree to abide by the ISPA Code of Practice. ISPA members' allegiance to the Code means that consumers can view the ISPA UK logo as a mark of commitment to good business practice. The Code applies uniformly to all Members of ISPA.

Please find here an overview of the regulatory environment affecting ISPs broken down by different category areas. This is further broken down into regulations and laws which are mandatory though not all ISPs will be in scope and voluntary measures such as codes of practice.

Table of Contents


2. Interpretation

3. General

4. Honesty

5. Legality

6. Customer Service, Contracts and Complaints

6.1 Transparency

6.2 Customer Complaints

7. Online Safety & Security

8. Best Common Practice Statements

9. Breaches of the Code and Sanctions


a) The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) brings together Internet Services Providers operating in the UK and represents the interests of its members in regulatory, political, media and public discussions.

b) ISPA is committed to establishing and furthering best practice among its members and the wider industry.

c) A list of mandatory and voluntary legal and regulatory requirements for Internet Services Providers is can be found on the ISPA website. All ISPA Members are required to familiarise themselves with these requirements.

1. Interpretation

1.1. Unless otherwise stated, capitalised terms in this document shall have the following meanings:

Articles Articles of Association of ISPA
Council ISPA Council
Customer Any customer of a Member
Complaints Procedure The complaints procedure set out in clause 5.2
ISP An Internet Service Provider
IWF Internet Watch Foundation
Members Voting and non-voting full members of ISPA, i.e. those members which have the right to participate fully in activities of ISPA (except, for non-voting full members, to receive notice of, attend, and vote at any general meeting of
ISPA, and to nominate candidates in any election for the Council)
Secretariat ISPA Secretariat
Terms and Conditions Any Member's standard terms and conditions governing the provision of Services to its Customers
2. General

2.1. Members shall always act in the best interests of the Internet Services Provider industry and will not act in a way likely to bring the industry into disrepute.

2.2. Members agree to communicate the existence of ISPA Membership and this code of practice within the Member company.

2.3. Members are required to provide the Secretariat with core information on their business to help determine membership levels and provide a level of industry data.

2.3.1. The information that should be provided includes but is not limited to: annual turnover, staff numbers, number of subscribers and end user data consumption

3. Honesty

3.1. Members will act honestly, fairly and reasonably in all dealings with current and potential customers, other ISPs (both ISPA members and non-members), and others.

4. Legality

4.1. Members shall use their reasonable endeavours to ensure that their services or promotional material do not contain or encourage anything which is in breach of UK law.

5. Customer Service, Contracts and Complaints

5.1. Transparency

5.1.1. Members shall ensure that their terms and conditions, promotional material and pricing information is easy to understand and presented in an accurate, up to date, legible, and suitably prominent way.

5.2. Customer Complaints

5.2.1.  Members shall use their best endeavours to resolve complaints from their customers as quickly as possible.

5.2.2. Members agree to abide by the ISPA Complaints Procedure as set out on the ISPA website here which provides Members’ customers with an additional avenue of engagement and complaint resolution.

5.2.3. Members will notify ISPA of a single point of Contact ("Contact") for the Member who is authorised to deal with ISPA complaints. The Contact shall be familiar with the ISPA Complaints Procedure.

6. Online Safety & Security

6.1. Members should help their customers with protecting themselves and their devices online, include through guidance and advice and making available technical tools.

6.2. Members shall use their best endeavours to adopt network and information security best practice.

6.3. ISPA membership does not automatically confer membership of the IWF but Members are encouraged to consider direct IWF membership, to take careful consideration of all other IWF notices and recommendations, and to provide ISPA with a point of contact to receive notices from the IWF.

7. Best Common Practice Statements

7.1. The ISPA Council may issue Best Common Practice (BCP) statements which complement the Code and set out ISPA’s expectations on how Members can go beyond what is required of them by law to enhance and protect the reputation of the ISP industry in the UK.  

7.2. Members are required to take due consideration of the BCP statements and report to the ISPA Secretariat on an annual basis, whether they comply with the BCP statements, and if not, how they plan to become compliant.

8. Breaches of the Code and Sanctions

8.1. Breaches of the Code should be notified to the Secretariat.

8.2. The Secretariat will forward the complaint to the Council and, if the Council deems that a further investigation is appropriate, the Member who is alleged to have breached the Code.

8.3. After providing the Member with an opportunity to respond, the Council will issue a decision on whether an actual breach of the Code has taken place and, after having taken all relevant circumstances into account, can:

  • require the Member to remedy the breach; and/or
  • require an assurance from the Member, or any associated individual, relating to future behaviour, in terms determined by the Council; and/or
  • suspend the Member from ISPA without any reimbursement of membership fees in whole or in part; and/or
  • convene a General Meeting of ISPA for the purpose of considering an extraordinary resolution for the expulsion of the Member, in accordance with Article 2-9 of the Articles;
  • At its absolute discretion publish part or all of its decision.