Code of Ethics (2003)


American Institute of Professional Geologists


Code of Ethics

Date Approved: 

October 5, 2003

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AIPG Code of Ethics

(Adopted December 11, 1989, with modifications,
adopted October 5, 2003)


Members of The American Institute of Professional Geologists are dedicated to the highest standards of personal integrity and professional conduct. The Institute's Code of Ethics comprises three parts: the Canons, which are broad principles of conduct; the Ethical Standards, which are goals to which Members aspire; and the Rules of Conduct. Compliance with the Rules of Conduct is mandatory and violation of any Rule will be grounds for disciplinary action by the Institute. Under the Bylaws, the Institute may also impose discipline for legal violations and because of the suspension or revocation of registration or licensure, among other grounds. Disciplinary action may take the form of private admonition, public reprimand, suspension of membership, or termination. The Code of Ethics applies to all professional activities of Members and Adjuncts, wherever and whenever they occur. The title “Member” where used in this Code of Ethics shall include Adjuncts. A Member shall not be relieved of an ethical responsibility by virtue of his or her employment, because the Member has delegated an assignment to a subordinate, or because the Member was not involved in performing services for compensation.

CANON 1. General Obligations
Members should be guided by the highest standards of personal integrity and professional conduct.

Members should pursue honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, impartiality, candor, fidelity to trust, inviolability of confidence, and honorable conduct as a way of life.

Rule 1.1.1 By applying for or by continuing Membership in the Institute, a Member agrees to comply with and uphold this Code of Ethics.

CANON 2. Obligations To The Public
Members should uphold the public health, safety, and welfare in the performance of professional services, and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

Members should observe and comply with the requirements and intent of all applicable laws, codes, and regulations.

Rule 2.1.1 A Member shall not knowingly participate in any illegal activities, or knowingly permit the publication of his or her reports, maps, or other documents for illegal purpose.

Rule 2.1.2 A Member shall neither offer nor make any illegal payment, gift, or other valuable consideration to a public official for the purpose of influencing a decision by such official; nor shall a Member accept any payment, gift, or other valuable consideration that would appear to influence a decision made on behalf of the public by the Member acting in a position of public trust.

Rule 2.1.3 If a Member becomes aware of a decision or action by an employer, client, or colleague which violates any law or regulation, the Member shall advise against such action, and when such violation appears to materially affect the public health, safety, or welfare, shall advise the appropriate public officials responsible for the enforcement of such law or regulation.

Members should be accurate, truthful, and candid in all communications with the public.

Rule 2.2.1 A Member shall not knowingly engage in false or deceptive advertising, or make false, misleading, or deceptive representations or claims in regard to the profession of geology or which concern his or her own professional qualifications or abilities or those of other geologists.

Rule 2.2.2 A Member shall not issue a false statement or false information which the Member knows to be false or misleading, even though directed to do so by an employer or client.

Rule 2.2.3 A Member shall avoid making sensational, exaggerated, and or unwarranted statements that may mislead or deceive members of the public or any public body.

Members should participate as citizens and as professionals in public affairs.

Rule 2.3.1 A Member acting in a position of public trust shall exercise his or her authority impartially, and shall not seek to use his or her authority for personal profit or to secure any competitive advantage.

Members should promote public awareness of the effects of geology and geological processes on the quality of life.

CANON 3. Obligations To Employers And Clients

Members should serve their employers and clients faithfully and competently within their overall professional and ethical obligations.

Members should disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest that may affect their ability to serve an employer or client faithfully.

Rule 3.1.1 A Member shall disclose to a prospective employer or client the existence of any owned or controlled mineral or other interest that may, either directly or indirectly, have a pertinent bearing on such employment.

Rule 3.1.2 A Member having or expecting to have beneficial interest in a property on which the Member reports shall state in the report the fact of the existence of such interest or expected interest.

Rule 3.1.3 A Member employed or retained by one employer or client shall not accept, without that employer's or client's written consent, an engagement by another if the interests of the two are in any manner conflicting.

Members should protect, to the fullest possible extent, the interest of an employer or client so far as is consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare and the Member's legal, professional, and ethical obligations.

Rule 3.2.1 A Member shall not use, directly or indirectly, any confidential information obtained from or in the course of performing services for an employer or client in any way which is adverse or detrimental to the interests of the employer or client, except with the prior consent of the employer or client or when disclosure is required by law.

Rule 3.2.2 A Member who has made an investigation for an employer or client shall not seek to profit economically from the information gained without written permission of the employer or client, unless it is clear that there can no longer be a conflict of interest with the original employer or client.

Rule 3.2.3 A Member shall not use his or her employer's or client's resources for private gain without the prior knowledge and consent of his or her employer or client.

Members should serve their employers and clients competently.

Rule 3.3.1 A Member shall perform professional services or issue professional advice that is only within the scope of the education and experience of the Member and the Member's professional associates, consultants, or employees, and shall advise the employer or client if any professional advice is outside of the Member's personal expertise.

Rule 3.3.2 A Member shall not give a professional opinion or submit a report without being as thoroughly informed as might be reasonably expected, considering the purpose for which the opinion or report is requested.

Rule 3.3.3 A Member shall engage, or advise an employer or client to engage, and cooperate with other experts and specialists whenever the employer's or client's interests would be best served by such service.

Members should serve their employers and clients diligently and perform their services in a timely manner.

Members who find that obligations to an employer or client conflict with professional or ethical standards should have such objectionable conditions corrected or resign.

CANON 4. Obligations to Professional Colleagues

Members should respect the rights, interests, and contributions of their professional colleagues.

Members should respect and acknowledge the professional status and contributions of their colleagues.

Rule 4.1.1 A Member shall give due credit for work done by others in the course of a professional assignment, and shall not knowingly accept credit due another.

Rule 4.1.2 A Member shall not plagiarize another in oral and written communications, or use materials prepared by others without appropriate attribution.

Members should be accurate, truthful, and candid in all communications with others regarding professional colleagues.

Rule 4.2.1. A Member shall not issue (a) false statement(s), (a) misleading statement(s), or (a) sensational, exaggerated, defamatory, and or unwarranted statement(s) regarding a professional colleague. Differences of opinion occur and statements regarding opinions should be restricted to and based on logical and scientific principles and should be made in a respectful and professional manner.

CANON 5. Obligations to the Institute and the Profession
Members should continually strive to improve the profession of geology so that it may be of ever increasing benefit to society.

Members should strive to improve their professional knowledge and skills.

Members should cooperate with others in the profession and encourage the dissemination of geological knowledge.

Members should work toward the improvement of standards of geological education, research, training, and practice.

Members should not only uphold these standards of ethics by precept and example but also encourage by counsel and advice to other Members, their adherence to such standards.

Members having knowledge of a violation of these Rules by another Member should bring substantiated evidence of such violation to the attention of the Institute.


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