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Code of Professional Responsibility (1969)
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Code of Professional Responsibility
Adopted September 16, 1969
A -SERVING THE CLIENT
1. Basic Responsibilities
1.1 Every CMC shall at all times place the interests of clients ahead of his own and serve them with integrity and competence.
1.2 The CMC will assume an independent position with the client, making certain that advice to clients is based on impartial consideration of all pertinent facts and responsible opinions.
1.3 The CMC will guard as confidential all information concerning the affairs of a client that he gathers during the course of a professional assignment; and he will not take personal, financial, or other advantage of material or inside information coming to his attention as a result of his professional relationship with clients; nor will he provide the basis on which others might take such advantage. Observance of the ethical obligation of the management consultant to hold inviolate the confidence of his client not only facilitates the full development of facts essential to effective solution of the problem but also encourages the client to seek needed help on sensitive problems.
1.4 The CMC will not serve two or more competing clients on sensitive problems without informing each that he is doing so.
1.5 The CMC will inform the client of any relationships, circumstances or interests that might influence his judgment or the objectivity of his services, e.g., being a director of a competing company.
2.1 The CMC shall, before accepting an assignment, confer with the client or prospective client in sufficient detail and gather sufficient facts to gain an adequate understanding of the problem, the scope of study needed to solve it, and the possible benefits that may accrue to the client. The preliminary exploration will be conducted confidentially on terms and conditions agreed upon by the consultant and the prospective client. Extended preliminary or problem-defining surveys for prospective clients will be made only on a fully compensated fee basis.
2.2 The CMC will accept only assignments for which he believes he is qualified and that he believes will provide real benefits to the client. He will recommend that other professionals be retained whenever their special knowledge and skills are needed by the client.
2.3 The CMC will not serve a client under terms or conditions that might impair his objectivity, independence, or integrity; and he will reserve the right to withdraw if conditions beyond his control develop to interfere with the successful conduct of the assignment. The management consultant can serve his client best under conditions which
permit him to act with zeal.
2.4 The CMC will not accept an assignment of such limited scope that he cannot serve the client effectively.
2.5 The CMC will present his qualifications for serving a client solely in terms of his competence, experience, and standing, and he will not guarantee any specific result, such as amount of cost reduction or profit increase.
2.6 The CMC will perform each assignment on an individualized basis and develop recommendations designed specifically and uniquely for the practical solution of each client's problems.
2.7 The CMC will not associate in a responsible capacity for client work with any consultant who does not adhere to the standards of the management consulting profession.
2.8 Except for those cases where special client relationships make it unnecessary, the CMC shall make certain that the client receives a written proposal that outlines the objectives, scope, and, where possible, the estimated-fee or fee basis for the proposed service or study. The CMC will discuss with the client any important changes in the nature, scope, timing, or other aspects of the engagement and obtain the client's agreement to such changes before taking action on them-and unless the circumstances make it unnecessary, he will confirm these changes in writing.
3.1 The CMC will not charge more than a reasonable fee. An excessive charge abuses the professional relationship and discourages the public from utilizing the services of management consultants. On the other hand, adequate compensation is necessary in order to enable the management consultant to serve his client effectively and to preserve his independence. Determination of the reasonableness of a fee requires consideration of many factors, including the nature of the services performed; the time required; the consultant's experience, ability and reputation; the degree of responsibility assumed; and the benefits that accrue to the client. Wherever feasible, the CMC will agree with the client in advance on the fee or fee basis.
3.2 The CMC will not render or offer professional services for which the fees are contingent on reduction in costs, increases in profits, or any other specific result.
3.3 The CMC will neither accept nor pay fees or commissions to others for client referrals, or enter into any arrangement for franchising his practice to others. Nor will he accept fees, commissions, or other valuable considerations from individuals or organizations whose equipment, supplies, or services he might recommend in the course of his service to clients.
B -PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
1. The CMC will strive continuously to advance and protect the standards of the management consulting profession.
2. The CMC recognizes his responsibilities to the public interest and to his profession to contribute to the development and understanding of better ways to manage corporations, governmental organizations, and other institutions in our society. By reason of his education, experience and broad contact with management problems in a variety of corporations and institutions, the management consultant is especially qualified to recognize opportunities for improving managing processes; and he has an obligation to share his knowledge and insights with managers and with his colleagues in the profession.
3. The CMC recognizes his responsibility to the profession to share with his colleagues the methods and techniques he utilizes in serving clients. But the CMC will not knowingly, without their permission, use proprietary data, procedures, materials, or techniques that other management consultants have developed but not released for public use.
4. The CMC will not accept an assignment for a client while another management consultant is serving that client unless he is assured, and can satisfy himself, that there will be no conflict between the two engagements. The CMC will not endeavor to displace another management consultant once he has knowledge that the client has made a commitment to the other consultant.
5. The CMC will not advertise his services in self-laudatory language or in any other manner derogatory to the dignity of the profession.
6. The CMC will review for a client the work of another management consultant currently engaged by the client only with the other consultant's knowledge.
7. The CMC will strive to broaden public understanding and enhance public regard and confidence in the management consulting profession, so that management consultants can perform theft proper function in society most effectively. He will conduct himself always so as to reflect credit on the profession and to inspire the confidence, respect, and trust of his clients and of the public. He will at all times employ a professional attitude and times employ a professional attitude and conduct himself with professional bearing; and he will strive to avoid not only professional improprieties but also the appearance of improprieties.