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Ethical Guidelines of the American Mathematical Society (1994)

Organization: American Mathematical Society Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
April 1994

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Ethical Guidelines of the American Mathematical Society

Editor's Note

 

This article is being reprinted to include information that was inadvertently omitted when the article first appeared in April 1994 Notices. Details on how to submit comments and suggestions regarding the proposed guidelines now appear in paragraph two of the article below.

 

The Council of the AMS is seeking comments on a set of ethical guidelines drafted by the ad hoc Committee on Professional Responsibility. The proposed guidelines and some introductory material are presented here.

 

The Council of the American Mathematical Society, in response to several cases in the mathematical community alleging serious breaches of professional ethics and perceive in 2 the need of a national professional society for a code of ethics, resolved in March 1992 to establish a Committee (later called the ad hoc Advisory Committee on Professional Responsibility) to make recommendations concerning the role of the Society. The committee consisted of Murray Gerstenhaber; Frank Gilfeather: Linda Keen. chair: and Elliott Lieb. After reviewing the statements on ethics published by other societies, one recommendation of this committee was that the Society should promulgate a set of ethical guidelines. a preliminary draft of which was submitted by the Committee to the Council in January 1995 and which is printed here by vote of the Council in order to solicit comments.

 

All members of the mathematical community are encouraged to examine carefully these proposed guidelines. Comments and suggestions should be addressed in writing to: Chair, ad hoc Committee on Professional Ethics. c/o Prof. Robert Fossum, secretary, American Mathematical Society. Department of Mathematics. University of Illinois. 1409 W. Green St.. Urbana, IL 61801-2975. The Committee will examine all comments received by the secretary before September 30, 1994. Proposed final wording revised in light of these comments, will be submitted to the Council in January, 1995.


Ethical Guidelines

 

To assist in its chartered goal, ". . . the furtherance of' the interests of mathematical scholarship and research and to help in the preservation of that atmosphere of mutual trust and ethical behavior required for science to prosper, the American Mathematical Society, through its Council, sets forth the following guidelines. While the Society speaks only for itself, these (guidelines reflect its expectations of behavior both for its members and for all members of the wider mathematical community, including institutions engaged in the education or employment of mathematicians or in the publication of mathematics. The guidelines are not a complete expression of the principles that underlie them but will, it is expected. be modified and amplified by events and experience.

 

The American Mathematical Society, through its Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE), accepts the responsibility of providing an avenue of redress for individual members injured in their capacity as mathematicians by violations of its ethical principles.


I. Mathematical Research and Its Presentation


The public reputation for honesty and integrity of the mathematical community and of the Society is its collective treasure, and its publication record is its legacy.

 

The correct attribution of mathematical results is essential, both as it encourages creativity by benefiting the creator whose career may depend on the recognition of the work and as it informs the community of when, where, and sometimes how original ideas have entered into the chain of mathematical thought. To that end mathematicians have certain responsibilities which include the following g: To be knowledgeable; to be aware of related work; to be certain of the originality of their own work; to give proper credit even to unpublished sources because the knowledge that something is true or false is valuable, however it is obtained; to use no language that suppresses or improperly detracts from the work of others; and to correct in a timely way or withdraw work that is erroneous or previously published. On appropriate occasion it may be desirable to offer or accept joint authorship when Independent researchers find that they have produced identical results. However, the authors listed for a paper must all have made a significant contribution to its content, and all who have made such a contribution must be offered the opportunity to be listed as an author. A claim of independence may not be based on ignorance of well-disseminated results' and it must be convincing. A mathematician may not claim a result in advance of its achievement, for that injures the community by restraining those working toward the same goal. Publication of results that are announced must not be unreasonably delayed.

Because the free exchange of ideas necessary to promote research is possible only when every individual's contribution is properly recognized, the Society will not knowingly publish anything that violates this principle. and it will seek to expose violations anywhere in the mathematical community.


II. Social Responsibility of Mathematicians

 

The Society promotes mathematical research together with its unrestricted dissemination and to that end encourages all and will strive to afford equal opportunity to all to engage in this endeavor. Mathematical ability must be respected wherever it is found. without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious or political belief.

 

The growing importance of mathematics in society at large and of public funding of mathematics may increasingly place members of the mathematical community in conflicts of interests. Even the appearance of bias in reviewing, refereeing, or in funding decisions must be scrupulously avoided. particularly where decisions may affect one's own research. that of close colleagues, or of one's students: in extreme cases one must withdraw.

 

Any relevant relationship between a person asked for a report and someone named in it. whether or not it involves funding should be explicitly revealed

 

A reference or referee's report fully and accurately reflecting the writer's views is often given only on the understanding that it be confidential or that the name of the writer be withheld from certain interested parties; therefore, a request for a reference or report must be assumed unless there is a statement to the contrary, to carry an implicit promise of confidentiality or anonymity which must be carefully kept unless negated by law. The writer of the reply must respond fairly, withhold no essential information of which the writer is aware, and keep confidential any privileged information. personal or mathematical, which the writer receives. When information received with the request substantially affects the writer's own work, the report must reveal that fact. If the requesting individual, institution, agency, or company becomes aware that confidentiality or anonymity cannot be maintained, that must immediately be communicated and, if known in advance, must be stated in the original request.

 

Where choices must be made and conflicts are unavoidable, as with editors or those who decide on appointments or promotions, it is essential to keep careful records which. even if held confidential at the time, would, when opened, demonstrate that the process was indeed fair.

 

Freedom to publish must sometimes yield to security concerns, but mathematicians should resist excessive secrecy demands, whether by government or private institutions.

 

In those instances where mathematics impacts on the "real world" it is the duty of mathematicians to disclose to their employers and to the public. if necessary, the implications of their work, particularly when the impact may be on the public health, safety, or general welfare. This includes disclosing knowledge of false or overblown claims.

 

It is the duty of individual mathematicians to reveal unethical professional acts or practices of which they may have knowledge. When this may bring retaliation, the Society is obligated to help protect the "whistleblower", particularly when the complaint has been made to the Society.


III. Education and Granting of Degrees

 

Holding a Ph.D. degree is virtually indispensable to an academic career in mathematics and is becoming increasingly important as a certificate of competence in the wider job market. An institution granting a degree in mathematics is certifying that competence and must take full responsibility for it by insuring the high level and originality of the thesis work and sufficient knowledge by the recipient of important branches of mathematics outside the scope of the thesis. A thesis must adhere to the same rules as a publication and should be Publishable in a recognized journal. When. despite diligent search by the candidate and without the candidate's knowledge or fault, the work is found to have been anticipated in the literature. the degree should be Granted. But when there is evidence of plagiarism, it must be carefully investigated, even if it comes to light after granting the degree, and. if proven, the degree should be revoked.


IV. Publications

 

The Society will not publish. print. promote. or aid in the publishing. printing. or promoting of any research journal where there is some criterion for acceptance of a paper other than its content. It will promote the quick refereeing and timely publication of articles accepted to its journals.

 

Editors are responsible for the timely refereeing of articles and must judge articles by the state of knowledge at the time of submission.

 

If the contents of a paper become known in advance of publication solely as a result of its submission to or handling by a journal. and if a second paper based on knowledge of the privileged information is received anywhere by an editor aware of the facts. then unless the first author agrees the editor must refuse or delay publication of the second paper until after publication of the first.

 

At the time a manuscript is submitted editors should notify authors whenever a large backlog of accepted papers may produce inordinate delay in publication; notice of these backlogs should also be published openly. A journal may not delay publication of a paper for reasons of an editor's self-interest or of any interest other than the author's. Editors must be given and accept full scientific responsibility for their journals; when a demand is made by an outside agency for prior review or censorship of so-called "sensitive" articles, that demand must be resisted, and, in any event, knowledge of the demand must be made public.

 

All mathematical publishers. particularly those who draw without charge on the resources of the mathematical community through the use of unpaid editors and referees, must recognize that they have made a compact with the community to disseminate information, and that compact must be weighed in their business decisions.

 

Both editors and referees must respect the confidentiality of materials submitted to them unless these have previously been made public and above all may not appropriate to themselves ideas in work submitted to them or do anything that would impair the rights of authors to the fruits of their labors. Editors must preserve the anonymity of referees unless there is a credible allegation of misuse.

 

These are ethical obligations of all persons or organizations controlling mathematical publications, whatever their designation.

ACFID Code of Conduct 2012

Organization: Australian Council for International Development Visit Organization Page
Source: ACFID Code of Conduct Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
October 2010, in effect January 2012

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Principles for Those in Research and Experimentation

A. PREAMBLE

 

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is the peak council of Australian non-government organisations which aim to promote conditions of sustainable human development in which people are able to enjoy a full range of human rights, fulfil their needs free from poverty, and live in dignity.

 

 A key purpose of ACFID is to equip and encourage members to observe the highest ethical standards in all their activities, including strict observance of the ACFID Code of Conduct (‘the Code’).

 

The Code is a voluntary, self-regulatory sector code of good practice that aims to improve international development outcomes and increase stakeholder trust by enhancing the transparency and accountability of signatory organisations.  It was developed in 1997 and comprehensively revised in 2010.

 

All ACFID members are signatories to the Code, however not all signatories are ACFID members.

 

A Code of Conduct Committee monitors adherence to the Code and investigates complaints, which may be brought by any member of the public. Development of policies and procedures to comply with the Code will be appropriate to the size and complexity of the organisation and the extent of their operations.

 

Values

 

Signatory organisations are diverse and their particular circumstances are reflected in their unique approach to aid and development.  They also share values that underpin their work in aid and developmentand that inform this Code.  All signatory organisations are committed to:

 

1. Sustainable, fair and equitable solutions that address the root causes and symptoms of poverty and disadvantage;

 

2. Accountability to all their stakeholders for their performance and integrity;

 

3. Building creative and trusting relationships with the communities in which they work:

 

■ based on an understanding of their history and culture

 

■ giving priority to their interests

 

■ involving them to the maximum extent possible in the design, implementation 

 

and evaluation of projects and programs, encouraging self-reliance, and 

 

■ valuing men and women, boys and girls in ways that respect the dignity, uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every person.

 

4. Active learning, innovating and continuously improving their aid and development work;

 

5. Honesty and transparency in all their dealings;

 

6. Respecting, protecting and promoting internationally recognised human rights including civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights and with particular emphasis on gender equality, the protection of children, people with a disability and the rights of minorities and vulnerable and marginalised groups; 

 

7. Environmental sustainability in both their aid and development and domestic operations; 

    and 

 

8. Strengthening civil society in Australia and the countries where they work.

 

Structure

 

Program Principles – including Obligations for effectiveness in aid and development activities, human rights and working with partner agencies. 

 

Public engagement – including Obligations on the signatory organisation to be ethical and transparent in marketing, fundraising and reporting. 

 

Organisation – including Obligations for governance, management, financial controls, treatment of staff and volunteers, complaints handling processes and compliance with legal requirements.

 

Each Principle is a statement of intent that links to the values framed in the Preamble. The specific requirements of signatory organisations are set out in the numbered obligations.

 

The Implementation Guidance complements the ACFID Code of Conduct and provides some assistance with compliance. Unlike the Principles and Obligations set out in the Code, the Guidance is not contractually binding, unless specific reference is made to it in the Obligations. 

 

The Code of Conduct will adapt over time to meet the changing environment, the needs of stakeholders and emerging good practice from within the sector.

 

Assessment of compliance

 

Assessment of signatory compliance with the Code is provided by:

 

1. Commitment to the Code Principles;

 

2. Public disclosure of relevant aspects of the Code standards;

 

3. Annual self-assessment by the signatory organisation’s governing body;

 

4. Verification of compliance with selected aspects of the Code by the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee – on application and periodical checking; and

 

5. An independent complaints handling and discipline process.

 

Accountability – PROGRAM PRINCIPlES

Section - Effective aid and development

 

B. PROGRAM PRINCIPLES

 

Section B.1 Effective aid and development

 

Aid and development refers to activities undertaken in order to reduce poverty and address global justice issues. In the non government organisation sector, this may occur through a range of engagements that includes community projects, emergency management, community education, advocacy, volunteer sending, provision of technical and professional services and resources, environmental protection and restoration, and promotion and protection of human rights.

 

Not all of these aid and development activities are undertaken by signatories however these Principles form the basis of effective work in all of these areas. 

 

Principle B.1.1 Accountability to primary stakeholders

 

Signatory organisations will ensure that their purpose and processes are shaped by stakeholders and that their work is open to review and comment by partners and participants alike. In all instances those directly affected by aid and development activities are considered the primary stakeholders and their views afforded the highest priority.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will prioritise accountability to local people and those directly affected by aid and development activities, prioritising their needs and rights with specific reference to gender, age, disability and other identified vulnerabilities.

 

2. Signatory organisations will seek the genuine, informed, consensual participation of local people and their representatives in aid and development activities, ensuring that they have the opportunity to authentically contribute to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these activities. 

 

3. Signatory organisations will analyse the needs and expectations of key stakeholders in all aid and development activities, pursuing informed and balanced accountability to each.

 

Principle B.1.2 Quality approach

 

Signatory organisations will apply a quality approach to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of aid and development activity that emphasises relationships, learning, adaptation and impact.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will focus on building and maintaining strong, honest and robust relationships with their partners in development, the local people and organisations with which they work.

 

2. Signatory organisations will focus on the impact of their activity and will use the information gained in monitoring and evaluation to improve aid and development processes and outcomes over time.

 

3. Signatory organisations will ensure that they have analysed and understood the context in which planned activities will occur and will continue to review their understanding as the context changes.

 

4. Signatory organisations will set out a clear purpose and objectives for all aid and development activity including consideration of the timeframe, sustainability of the activity and its impacts beyond their involvement.

 

Principle B.1.3 Consistency with vision, purpose and values

 

Signatory organisations will ensure that their aid and development activities are clearly aligned with the vision, purpose and values of their organisation and that these are clearly communicated in their relationships with all stakeholders.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that their aid and development activities are consistent with the vision, purpose and values of the organisation. 

 

2. Signatory organisations will communicate their core and shared values in their relationships with all stakeholders.

 

Principle B.1.4 Addressing gender

 

Signatory organisations are committed to addressing the effect of gender inequalities and inequities as being fundamental to attainment of human rights for all and the effectiveness of their aid and development activity.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that an appropriate focus is given to understanding and addressing gender issues in their aid and development program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation cycles.

 

2. Signatory organisations will also work to assist partners to become aware and supportive of signatory organisation’s commitment to deal with gender issues in their aid and development activity.

 

Principle B.1.5 Non-development activity

 

Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particularparty. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will have clear separation – through policy or guidelines – between aid and development and non-aid and development objectives and activities based on the definitions of aid and development and non-aid and development activity contained in Section F (Definitions) of the Code. 

 

2. This separation will be clear in all fundraising, programs and other activities, in public communication and in all reporting including annual reports.

 

3. Any fundraising solicitations that include references to both aid and development and non-development activities will provide donors with the choice of contributing to aid and development activity only.

 

4. Signatory organisations will ensure that any such separation in fundraising, programs and other activities, in public communication and in reporting, extends to partner and implementing organisations and is documented. 

 

Principle B.1.6 Environmental sustainability 

 

The aid and development activity of signatory organisations will aim to be informed by and implemented with an understanding of the environmental impact, if any, of their activities. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will commit to conducting their aid and development activities in an environmentally sustainable way.

 

Section B.2 Relationships with partners 

 

Partners are individuals, groups of people or organisations that collaborate with signatory organisations to achieve mutually agreed objectives in aid and development activities. This may include affiliates.

 

Principle B.2.1 mutual respect and support

 

The relationship between signatory organisations and their program partners will be characterised by mutual respect and by a commitment and openness to two-way learning and support. 

 

Obligations

 

1. The relationship between a signatory organisation and its program partners will be based on honest and transparent communication and on two-way learning which leads to continuous improvement in the development practice of both. 

 

2. Signatory organisations will demonstrate a willingness to invest in their partner organisations to enable partners to:

 

a. be more effective in fulfilling their own development objectives and priorities; and

 

b. enhance their ability to help the signatory organisation meet its obligations under this Code in the areas of accountability to primary stakeholders, child protection, gender equity and control of funds and resources. 

 

Principle B.2.2 Clarity in roles and responsibilities

 

In work undertaken with partner organisations, signatory organisations will ensure mutual clarity and agreement about the objectives of the partnership and the respective roles, responsibilities and mutual accountability mechanisms.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will work towards having a written agreement with each of their 

partners which sets out the agreed objectives of the collaborative aid and development 

activity and the roles, responsibilities and obligations of each party.

2. In their communications with stakeholders, signatory organisations will appropriately 

reference the role of their partners in delivering aid and development activities.

 

Principle B.2.3 Control of funds and resources

 

Signatory organisations will make every reasonable effort to ensure that funds or resources disbursed to partners or third parties are applied lawfully, in accordance with the promise to the donor, for a proper purpose and with proper controls and risk management in place. 

(Australian Government legislative requirement).

 

Obligations

 

1. A signatory organisation will only disburse donated funds or resources to a third party (including affiliates or partner agencies) for aid  and development activities where it is satisfied that:

 

a. The activity is consistent with the explicit or implicit promise to the donor;

 

b. The activity is consistent with the signatory organisations’ strategy, objects, purpose and values;

 

c. The third party has the capacity to apply the funds or resources in accordance with the promise to the donor, with this Code, with the signatory organisations’ strategy, objects and purpose and with the specific instructions of the signatory organisation;

 

d. The funds or resources will be disbursed in accordance with relevant laws including taxation, counter terrorism financing and anti-money laundering legislation; and

 

e. Appropriate control and risk management mechanisms are in place to mitigate the risk of misappropriation or improper use of the funds or resources once disbursed.

 

Section B.3 Human rights

 

Principle B.3.1 Human rights in aid and development

 

Signatory organisations’ aid and development activity will be informed by and implemented with an understanding of the human rights dimensions of the activity.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that they provide a commitment to internationally recognised human rights principles within their organisation. 

 

2. Signatory organisations will ensure that their aid and development activities are consistent with respecting and protecting internationally recognised human rights including civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights. 

 

Principle B.3.2 Rights of vulnerable and marginalised people 

 

Signatory organisations are committed to including and addressing the needs and rights of vulnerable and marginalised people and their representatives in all aspects of their aid and development activity. These groups may include women, children, people with a disability, Indigenous Peoples, minorities, refugees and displaced people, and those most at risk of HIV and HIV positive people. 

 

Obligations

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that they respect and protect the human rights of people from vulnerable and marginalised groups and an appropriate focus is given to promoting these in their aid and development activities.

 

Principle B.3.3 Working with people with a disability 

 

Signatory organisations are committed to including and addressing the rights of people with disabilities and their representatives in their aid and development activity.  

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that an appropriate focus is given to understanding the rights of people with a disability and addressing these in their aid and development activities.

 

Principle B.3.4 Protection of children

 

Signatory organisations are committed to the safety and best interests of all children accessing their services and programs or involved in campaigns, voluntary support, fundraising, work experience or employment and, in particular, to minimising the risk of abuse.

 

Obligations

 

1. Appropriate to their circumstances and the extent of their contact with children, signatory organisations will have a documented Child Protection Policy and procedures for dealing with children which are regularly reviewed. The Policy will be based on a considered risk assessment and as appropriate to the risk, address:

 

a. Development program planning and implementation;

 

b. Use of images and personal information for fundraising and promotion purposes;

 

c. Personnel recruitment including staff, volunteers, consultants and suppliers – in both Australia and overseas;

 

d. All applicable legal obligations including mandatory police checks where available and appropriate for all personnel who have regular contact with children;

 

e. Behaviour protocols or codes;

 

f. Education and training of personnel and communication of the policy to all stakeholders; and 

 

g. Reporting procedures.

 

2. Signatory organisations that work with children will seek ways to incorporate the voices of children in shaping the development programs that affect them. 

 

3. Signatory organisations that work with children will ensure that their complaints handling processes are child friendly.

 

Section B.4 Advocacy

 

This Section only applies to those signatory organisations that undertake advocacy work and is in addition to the Principles in Section B1 which form the basis of activities in this area. 

 

Advocacy consists of activities undertaken to change the systemic and structural causes of poverty and disadvantage which may include popular campaigning, lobbying, research, policy positions, alliances and use of the media. It may occur both in Australia and globally. It includes the application of a set of strategies ‘conducted as part of an agency’s overall predominant purpose’ (ATO).

 

Principle B.4.1 Speaking from evidence 

 

Where a signatory organisation takes on an advocacy role in Australia or globally, either alone or in partnership with others, this will be done from an evidence based position and will include the perspectives of those affected. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will be transparent about the basis of the claims that underpin their advocacy. 

 

2. Signatory organisations will disclose any conflicts of interest.

 

3. Signatory organisations will only claim to be representative when that authority has been clearly established.

 

4. Signatory organisations will take all reasonable steps to protect the safety and rights of affected local people during or following an advocacy campaign.

 

5. Signatory organisations will aim to empower those most affected by the issue in local communities to advocate for themselves.

 

6. Signatory organisations will seek to work with organisations representing people most affected by the issue, where possible and appropriate.

 

Section B.5 Emergency management

 

This principle only applies to those signatory organisations that undertake emergency management activities and is in addition to those Principles outlined in Section B1, which form the basis of activities in this area. 

 

Emergency management involves plans, structures and arrangements established to engage the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to respond to the whole spectrum of emergency needs. This includes preparedness, mitigation, response, rehabilitation, reconstruction, development and prevention activities.

 

Principle B.5.1 International standards

 

Signatory organisations commit to providing humanitarian assistance in times of disaster, armed conflict, internal displacement and protracted crisis according to internationallyagreed standards and principles of ethical practice.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will incorporate the principles of the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief into their work.

 

2. Signatory organisations will adhere to the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.

 

3. When involved in the distribution of pharmaceuticals and other donations in kind, signatory organisations endorse the Australian Guidelines for Drug Donations to Developing Countries and will strive to reflect the principles in their practices and advocacy. 

 

4. Signatory organisations will comply with International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights law and Refugee law and other relevant International Conventions.

 

5. Signatory organisations will consider the principles of the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. 

 

Principle B.5.2 Coordination with other actors

 

Signatory organisations will coordinate their activities and work collaboratively with other actors to the greatest extent possible throughout the emergency management cycle of providing humanitarian relief.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will aim to be active participants in existing communication and planning networks and clusters.

 

2. Signatory organisations will utilise the information gained from participation in networks to improve their disaster response.

 

C. Public Engagement 

 

Section C.1 Integrity in marketing and reporting

 

Principle C.1.1 Transparency 

 

Signatory organisations are committed to accurate and transparent  communication with their stakeholders. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will proactively make available information to stakeholders which is accurate, accessible and timely. 

 

2. Signatories will be clear about what information they will and will not provide to stakeholders.

 

Principle C.1.2 Reflecting values

 

Marketing materials will reflect signatory organisations’ missions and values and the values of this Code.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure their marketing materials clearly reflect their organisational values and the values of this code.

 

Principle C.1.3 Portrayal of local people

 

Signatory organisations will ensure that the use of images and messages portraying women and men, boys and girls in their communications respects the dignity, values, history, religion and culture of the people portrayed.

 

Obligations

 

1. Images and messages of women and men, boys and girls will present them in a dignified, respectful manner, portraying them as equal partners in the development process.

 

2. Images and messages will honestly portray the diversity of local people including age, disability and other marginalised groups.

 

3. Images and messages will honestly convey the context and complexity of the situations in which local people live.

 

4. Key figures in images will be informed of what the image is being used for and if possible, their permission obtained.

 

5. Origins of any images used will be known and any necessary permissions, including copyright releases, be held.

 

6. Care will be taken to ensure that the identification of or use of images of local people will not endanger the people they portray.

 

Principle C.2 Annual reporting

 

Section C.2.1 Transparency 

 

Signatory organisations will use their annual report as a key part of their accountability to all stakeholders.

 

Obligations

 

1. A written annual report will be produced and be made available to the signatory organisation’s stakeholders including their members, staff, volunteers, supporters, partner agencies, and members of the public. 

 

2. The annual report will provide stakeholders with: 

 

a. A description of the signatory organisation’s purpose, objectives/aims and values;

 

b. A plain language summary of the signatory organisation’s income and expenditure and overall financial health;

 

c. A description of the most significant aid and development activities undertaken during the reporting period and their impact; and 

 

d. Information about evaluations into the effectiveness of and the learning from aid and development activity conducted by the organisation.

 

3. The annual report will also specifically include:

 

a. A report by the management and/or the governing body;

 

b. Financial statements prepared in accordance with the requirements of this Code; 

 

c. A statement of commitment to full adherence to the Code;

 

d. d. Identification of the ability to lodge a complaint against the organisation and a point of contact; and 

 

e. Identification of the ability to lodge a complaint for breach of the Code with the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee and a point of contact.

 

Principle C.2.2 Financial statements

 

Signatory organisations will publish financial statements in their annual report.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will publish an annual report which will contain:

 

a. Financial statements prepared in accordance with the Implementation Guidance to this Principle and the Financial Definitions at Section G of the Implementation Guidance. This requirement is not withstanding any other legal or parent body requirements.

 

b. A reference to the availability of the full financial report (if the full financial report has not been included in the annual report).

 

c. An audit report on the Code of Conduct Summary Financial Report or, if the full financial report has been included in the annual report, on the full financial report.

 

Principle C.2.3 Access to full financial reports

 

Signatory organisations will ensure that in any references to financial performance,stakeholders are made aware of their right to access the full financial reports.

 

Obligations

 

1. Where an organisation publishes only the Code of Conduct Summary Financial Report in their annual report the annual report will make it clear that the full financial report is available on request.

 

2. Any other publications that refer to financial performance, in summary, in an extract of detail or in commentary, will make it clear that the full financial report is available on request. 

 

Section C.3 Fundraising

 

Principle C.3.1 legal obligations and ethical principles

 

Signatory organisations will abide by applicable fundraising legislation and will be aware of best practice standards in fundraising.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will have processes and procedures in place to ensure that all legislative requirements are met in their fundraising activities.

 

2. Signatory organisations are encouraged to be aware of and comply with the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and their standards for the type of fundraising undertaken (eg telemarketing, direct mail, electronic, events, face-toface, grants and workplace giving).

 

Principle C.3.2 Truthfulness 

 

Fundraising solicitations by or on behalf of signatory organisations will be truthful, will accurately describe the organisation's identity, purpose, programs, and needs and will only make claims which the organisation can fulfill.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that staff, volunteers and contractors are aware of the requirement that fundraising solicitations must be truthful.

 

2. Fundraising materials and solicitations will accurately identify the organisation’s name, address, Australian Business Number and purposes.

 

3. Fundraising solicitations will clearly state if there is a specific purpose for the donations (see also Non-development activity at Principle B.1.5 and Control of funds and resources at B.2.3) and Advocacy at B.4).

 

4. Fundraising materials and solicitations will, in particular, avoid material omissions, exaggerations of fact, misleading visual portrayals and overstating either the need or what a donor’s response may achieve.

 

5. Solicitations should accurately portray intended recipients, their situations and the potential solutions.

 

Principle C.3.3 Responsibility 

 

Signatory organisations will be responsible for all fundraising activities outsourced to a third party and will put all such contracts and agreements in writing. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that all contracts for fundraising meet the applicable legislative and regulatory requirements.

 

2. Signatory organisations will have written contracts with third-party fundraisers that specify the expectations, responsibilities and obligations of each party.

 

3. Signatory organisations will ensure that any form of fundraising undertaken by a third party clearly identifies the signatory organisation as the beneficiary of the funds.

 

Principle C.3.4 Protection for donors

 

In all fundraising activities conducted by or authorised by signatory organisations, there will be policies and procedures in place to protect the rights of donors.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will have policies and procedures in place to ensure that the privacy of donors or potential donors is protected (consistent with the Privacy Act 1988), including the right to:

 

a. Have their names deleted or suppressed from mailing lists, including those that the organisation intends to share;

 

b. Identify collectors, see documentation confirming their bona fides and know whether they are volunteers, paid staff or agents of the organisation; and 

 

c. Be informed about the purposes for which funds are being raised and be able to access information on programs supported by their donation.

 

Principle C.3.5 Acceptance of donations

 

Signatory organisations will ensure that decisions to accept or reject donations supports the purpose of the organisation.

 

Obligations

 

1. The governing body of the signatory organisation will have a position on acceptance 

and refusal of funds.

 

Principle C.3.6 Application of donated funds

 

In public fundraising for a specific purpose, signatory organisations will have a plan for handling any excess and for substantiating the application of donors’ funds. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that when fundraising for specific purposes they will have a plan for use of any excess funding and make this known at the commencement of the fundraising appeal.

 

2. Signatory organisations will maintain financial records that enable substantiation of application of donor funds and will provide this on request.

 

Principle C.3.7 Disclosure of fundraising and administration costs

 

Any use by signatory organisations of expenditure ratios (e.g. percentage of funds spent on administration and fundraising costs) will truthfully and transparently disclose all costs incurred in the donation program.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations should not give the impression that fundraising has no costs nor that aid and development programs have no administrative component.

 

2. If using financial ratios, signatory organisations will comply with the Financial Reporting Implementation Guidance at C.2.2 and the Financial Definitions at Section G of the Implementation Guidance.

 

3. Signatory organisations will fully and accurately disclose to the public their fundraising and any administration costs incurred, and will reflect this in financial ratios, if used, in publications and marketing material.

 

4. Signatory organisations will accompany any use of ratios with a note explaining how these have been determined.

 

D. ORGANISATION

 

Section   D.1 Structure

 

Principle D.1.1 Public benefit

 

Signatory organisations are not-for-profit and formed voluntarily by a group of interestedpeople for a common purpose that serves a public benefit and is not carried on for the profit or gain of individual members. 

 

Obligations

 

1. The signatory organisation’s governing instrument(s) will clearly indicate the not for profit purpose and character of the organisation and the public benefit to which it is dedicated.

 

2. The organisation may make and retain or invest a surplus, provided that surplus is directed to carrying out the organisation’s purposes. 

 

3. The governance instrument(s) will prevent the organisation from distributing profits or assets for the benefit of members or other private persons, both during operation and on winding up. 

 

Section D.2 Integrity and ethics

 

Principle D.2.1 legal requirements

 

It is the responsibility of each signatory organisation to ensure that they are meeting the range of legal obligations that are applicable to them in each jurisdiction in which they work. 

 

Obligations

 

1. The governing bodies of signatory organisations will ensure that their organisations have in place compliance systems and processes to ensure that their legal obligations are being met in each jurisdiction where work is carried out.

 

Principle D.2.2 Respect for other NGOs 

 

Signatory organisations will ensure that their public communication is respectful of other NGOs.  They will not denigrate other agencies, or make inaccurate or misleading public statements regarding other agencies. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that any communication regarding another NGO will be factually accurate and will not intentionally or otherwise mislead.  

 

2. Signatory organisations will not make statements about other NGOs with the intention of creating a reputational or other advantage for themselves.

 

Principle D.2.3 Anti-fraud and anti-corruption

 

Signatory organisations will minimise any risk of wrongdoing, corruption, fraud, bribery or other financial impropriety among its governing body, paid staff, contractors, volunteers and partner organisations. 

 

Obligations

 

The governing bodies of signatory organisations will ensure that their organisations:

 

1. Articulate their stance against any wrongdoing, ensure that their ways of working actively minimise the risk of operational wrongdoing and monitor for evidence of wrongdoing.

 

2. Have internal and external processes for safe reporting of wrongdoing (‘whistle blowing’) that include:

 

a. Publicised points of confidential contact (including at least one member of the governing body); 

 

b. A process for investigation and escalation; and

 

c. Prescribed timeframes for investigation and response.

 

3. Take prompt, firm corrective action where wrongdoing is identified. 

 

Principle D.2.4 Conflicts of interest

 

The governing body of signatory organisations will ensure that their organisations manage any real or perceived conflicts of interest for their governing body, paid staff, volunteers and partners. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will have a clear conflict of interest process that:

 

a. Requires members of the governing body, paid staff, and volunteers to disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest or any affiliation they have with an actual or potential supplier of goods and services, recipient of grant funds or organisation with competing or conflicting objectives. 

 

b. Requires members of the governing body and paid staff to absent themselves from discussion, as appropriate, and abstain from voting or otherwise participating in the decision making on any issue in which they have a conflict of interest.

 

c. Requires members of the governing body, paid staff, and volunteers to disclose any material gifts or offers of gifts for their personal use and prohibits them from accepting valuable or otherwise inappropriate gifts.

 

Principle D.2.5 Environmental impact of operations

 

 Signatory organisations will aim to operate their domestic operations in an environmentally sustainable way. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will aim to reduce the environmental impact of their domestic 

operations.

 

Section D.3 Governance

 

Principle D.3.1 Governing instrument

 

Signatory organisations will have written documentation (called a governing instrument in the Code) that sets out the goals and purpose of the organisation and defines how it operates.

 

Obligations

 

1. A signatory organisation's governing instrument will set out:

 

a. The organisation's basic goals and purposes;

 

b. The membership of the organisation and members’ rights and obligations;

 

c. The governance structure and processes of the organisation;

 

d. The frequency and processes for meetings of members (at least annually);

 

e. The method of appointment/election of governors, their terms of office, any  provisions for termination and, where applicable, the basis for their remuneration (details may be specified in a separate policy);

 

f. The rules for meetings of the governing body, including the frequency of meetings (at least two a year) and the size of a quorum;

 

g. The powers and responsibilities of the governing body including a statement of the overall responsibility of the governing body;

 

h. The strategic control (e.g. approving business plan, appointing the CEO) of the governing body;

 

i. The financial control (eg. approving budgets, receiving audited financial accounts and appointing the auditor) of the governing body; 

 

j. The power of the governing body to delegate authority to officers, staff and others.

 

2. The governing instrument will be readily accessible to members and supporters.

 

3. The governing instrument will comply with the relevant Australian (Commonwealth and State/Territory) legislative requirements.

 

Principle D.3.2 Governing body


Each signatory organisation will have a governing body that has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the organisation and to whom the organisation is accountable.  

 

Obligations

 

1. A signatory organisation's governing body will be elected or appointed by members from within the organisation’s body of membership and/or supporters and will be accountable to them.

 

2. The governing body must have a majority of non-staff (non executive) members.

 

3. The governing body may delegate authority to staff or others, but may not delegate its overall responsibility.

 

4. Where authority is delegated to management or others, there will be clearly defined lines of authority between the governing body and those granted the authority.

 

5. The respective roles and responsibilities of the governing body, staff and management will be clearly set out and communicated to all concerned. 

 

Principle D.3.3 Annual general meeting

 

Signatory organisations will hold an annual general meeting (AGm) of their members as defined in the governing instrument.

 

Obligations

 

1. The AGM of the signatory organisation will:

 

a. Deal with substantive matters including reports from the governors and managers, receiving the annual audited financial statements and appointing an independent auditor for the subsequent year/s;

 

b. In accordance with its governing instrument, provide members with every reasonable opportunity to attend and engage with the governors and managers of the organisation;

 

c. This will include providing advance notice of the meeting to all members and providing reasonable access to any relevant information. 

 

 

Principle D.3.4 Governing body policies

 

Signatory organisations will have written policies covering appointment, induction, termination and, where applicable, remuneration of members of the governing body for their work as governors, including reimbursement for expenses and any loans. 

 

Obligations

 

1. To the extent that appointment and termination of members of the governing body are not covered by the governing instrument(s), a written policy will set out the processes for selection, appointment and induction.

 

2. There will be documented governing body policy setting out the signatory organisation approach to reimbursement of expenses by members of the governing body.

 

3. Where applicable, there will be a documented policy with respect to any remuneration by the signatory organisation of members of the governing body.  This policy must be approved by the Annual General Meeting of the members of the organisation.

 

Section D.4 Financial management

 

Principle D.4.1 Internal financial controls

 

Signatory organisations will maintain internal financial control procedures that minimise the risk of misuse of funds.  

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will maintain detailed accounting records.

 

2. Signatory organisations will have policies and procedures in place to ensure appropriate segregation of duties, taking into consideration size and capacity of the organisation.

 

3. Signatory organisations will have adequate procedures for the review and monitoring of income and expenditure by management and the governing body.

 

4. Signatory organisations will have a governing body approved policy for internal loans and transactions to staff and governing body members.  This policy will include disclosure and reporting about such loans and transactions.  

 

5. The nature of the relationship and the amount of any loans or payments to the members of the governing body or related parties must be fully disclosed in the annual financial report and subject to audit.

 

6. Signatory organisations will ensure that funds and resources entrusted to them are controlled and properly invested and managed prior to their disbursement to any third party. 

 

Principle D.4.2 Auditing of financial statements

 

Signatory organisations will demonstrate their commitment to transparency and integrity of their financial reporting by having their financial reports independently audited by a qualified accountant.


Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations’ full financial reports and Code of Conduct Summary Financial Reports will be independently audited and in accordance with the relevant Australian Auditing Standards.

 

2. The auditor will be at a minimum a qualified accountant who is a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the National Institute of Accountants, or be a registered company auditor. 

 

3. An audit report that specifically relates to the Code of Conduct Summary Financial Report will be included in the Annual Report and must be signed by the auditor and include their identity, qualifications and contact details. 

 

4. An audit report that specifically relates to the full financial report must accompany the full financial report and must be signed by the auditor and include their identity, qualifications and contact details. 

 

Principle D.4.3 Effective use of resources

 

Signatory organisations will strive to be effective in their use of resources and will minimise financial wastage in the planning and implementation of development and aid activities.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will ensure that their aid and development activities are structured to enable measurement of costs. 

 

2. Signatory organisations will be diligent in reviewing the costs of their engagement, seeking cost savings and efficiencies where appropriate to the context and nature of their aid and development activity.

 

Section D.5 Staff and volunteers

 

Principle D.5.1 Human resources

 

Signatory organisations will protect the human rights and safety of personnel, including paid and volunteer staff, working in Australia or overseas. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will meet all minimum legal and regulatory requirements relating to personnel, and will document and maintain policies and procedures that relate to personnel. 

 

2. Signatory organisations will include in their human resources policies and procedures a statement of unacceptable behaviours expressly including reference to any sexual exploitation or abuse. 

 

3. Signatory organisations will ensure that all personnel are provided with the relevant induction information ertaining to their rights and safety and that there is ready access to personnel and Occupational Health and Safety policies and procedures.

 

4. Policies and procedures relating to staff and volunteers based both inside and outside Australia will be informed by the People in Aid Code of Good Practice in the Management and Support of Aid Personnel.  

 

Principle D.5.2 Professional conduct

 

Signatory organisations will clearly communicate their expectations that professional conduct of staff, volunteers and members of the governing body will be consistent with the requirements of this Code. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations are committed to increasing staff and volunteer awareness and understanding of all the Principles and Obligations of this Code and how it applies to their role and responsibilities within their organisation.

 

2. Staff and volunteers of signatory organisations are expected to comply with this Code, and this expectation must be clearly communicated at induction and in ongoing training.

 

Principle D.5.3 Training and development

 

Signatory organisations recognise the importance of professional training and development for staff and volunteers and aim to instil a culture of learning into their organisation. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations’ personnel policy and procedures will clearly set out the organisations’ commitment to training and development.

 

2. Signatory organisations will ensure their staff and volunteers and are aware of the rights of people with a disability and those from vulnerable and marginalised groups and are provided with training on these issues, as appropriate and desirable.

 

Principle D.5.4 Human rights and anti-discrimination

 

Signatory organisations will apply human rights principles to their own organisations.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will make their commitment to human rights and antidiscrimination in employment and advancement clear in the organisation’s key documents.

 

2. Signatory organisations will engage staff and volunteers within a framework that actively promotes human rights and avoids discrimination, in a way that supports the organisation’s identity, philosophy and values and meets the statutory obligations of any anti discrimination legislation. 

 

3. Signatory organisations will have comprehensive gender equity policies and disability guidelines in place that aim to produce equitable outcomes between women and men, and people with a disability, in all activities of the organisation, including:

 

a. Engagement of volunteers and staff;

 

b. Engagement of partner agencies;

 

c. Senior management and governance.

 

Section D.6 Complaint-handling within signatory organisations

 

Principle D.6.1 Value of complaints

 

Signatory organisations recognise the importance and value of listening and responding to concerns and complaints.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will equip staff and volunteers with an understanding of the organisation’s approach to complaints response and assist them to effectively implement the policies. 

 

2. The signatory organisation will have in place a process for reviewing and analysing information available from concerns and complaints raised with the organisation.

 

Principle  D.6.2 Accessibility and awareness

 

Signatory organisations will seek to ensure that their feedback and complaints handling processes about their aid and development activities conducted in Australia and overseas, are effective, safe, confidential and accessible to all stakeholders, irrespective of their gender, status or background and without prejudice to their future participation. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will have a documented complaints handling policy and procedure that:

 

a. Provides an accessible, safe and discreet point of contact for stakeholders in Australia and countries where work is carried out to raise concerns or complaints about the organisation; 

 

b. Is responsive and fair;

 

c. Provides information to all stakeholders about the reporting and complaints procedure;

 

d. Provides information in a clear and easily understandable manner in appropriate forms and through appropriate media; 

 

e. Ensures requirements for filing a complaint take into consideration the needs of the most vulnerable and considers minority and disadvantaged stakeholders;

 

f. Advises a complainant of the ability to make a complaint regarding an alleged breach of the Code to the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee.

 

E. COMPLIANCE WITH THIS CODE

 

Section E.1 Compliance 

 

Principle E.1.1 Compliance with this Code

 

Signatory organisations will be compliant with all applicable aspects of this Code and will not engage in activities which bring the sector into disrepute.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will monitor themselves to ensure they are compliant with the Code.

 

2. Signatory organisations will promote their commitment to the Code and Code complaints handling process on their website. 

 

3. Signatory organisations that become aware of major transgressions against this Code in their own or other signatory organisations are encouraged to notify or make a complaint to the Code of Conduct Committee.

 

Section E.2 Assessment of compliance

 

Principle E.2.1 Application to become a signatory

 

Organisations wanting to become a signatory to the Code of Conduct must complete the application process as determined by the Code of Conduct and must be fully compliant with the Code before being granted Code signatory status. 

 

Organisations that are only partially compliant with all of the Code’s Principles and Obligations will be given rovisional Code Signatory Status.

 

Obligations

 

1. On application to become a signatory, an organisation will complete the Compliance Self Assessment Process, which details organisational documentation that supports compliance with the Code Principles and Obligations.

2. On application, the organisation will provide the Code of Conduct Committee with copies of the relevant documents that demonstrate compliance with the Principles and Obligations in the Code.

 

3. Organisations must complete their application process within 12 months of lodging their initial application.

 

4. Organisations are not able to use the Code of Conduct logo until they have full signatory status.

 

Principle E.2.2 Annual assessment 

 

Signatory organisations will provide information on an annual basis demonstrating their continued compliance with the Code. 

 

Obligations

 

1. On an annual basis, signatory organisations will complete the Compliance Self Assessment process, which requires signatory organisations to report on compliance with the Principles and Obligations in the Code and advise if any of their key supporting policies and documents have changed materially.

 

2. The Compliance Self Assessment process must be completed within 5 months of the conclusion of the signatory’s financial year.

 

3. Signatory organisations will promptly provide the Code of Conduct Committee with any reasonable requests for clarification or additional information.

 

4. Signatory organisations will comply with any remedial actions recommended by the Code of Conduct Committee. 

 

Principle E.2.3 Annual reporting

 

Signatory organisations will provide copies of their annual reports and financial statements to

the Code of Conduct Committee. 

 

Obligations

 

1. Within 5 months of the end of a signatory organisation’s financial reporting period, it will lodge with the Code of Conduct Committee: a copy of its annual report; a copy of its annual full financial statements (if not included in the annual report); and the prescribed ACFID lodgement form.

 

2. Signatory organisations will promptly provide the Committee with any reasonable requests for clarification or additional information.

 

3. Signatory organisations will comply with any remedial actions or disciplinary action recommended by the Code of Conduct Committee.

 

Principle E.2.4 Promotional material 

 

Signatory organisations will respond promptly to rectify any Code of Conduct breaches identified in random promotional material checks conducted during an emergency appeal.

 

Obligations

 

1. Where the signatory organisation is advised by the Code of Conduct Committee of a breach in the Code, the signatory organisation will rectify the breach within a time frame nominated by the Committee and put in place systems to ensure that the breach does not recur.

 

Section E.3 ACFID Code of Conduct complaints handling

 

Principle E.3.1 Agreement to the process

 

Signatory organisations agree to be bound by the independent, accessible, fair and confidential ACFID Code complaints handling process.

 

Obligations

 

1. Signatory organisations will comply with the complaints handling process as set out in the Guidance.  This forms part of the binding obligations of this Code.

 

2. Signatory organisations will comply with Code of Conduct Committee requests for information within all reasonable time limits set.

 

3. If there is a breach of the Code, signatory organisations will comply with the corrective or disciplinary action agreed with the Code of Conduct Committee, as described in the Guidance and which forms a binding part of the Obligations of this Code.

 

4. If a breach has occurred, the signatory organisation will comply with the Code of Conduct Committee requirements that it will put in place measures to minimise the risk of the breach recurring.

 

F. DEFINITIONS

Definitions of financial terms used in this code are contained in ACFID’s Implementation 

Guidance.

 

■ Accountability: ‘The processes through which an organisation makes a commitment to respond to and balance the needs of stakeholders in its decision making processes and activities, and delivers against the commitment’ (Pathways to Accountability, the GAP Framework One World Trust, 2005)

 

■ Actors: An organisation, government department or individual with a role or influence. (Safety with Dignity, Action Aid, 2009)

 

■ Affiliate: An organisation to which the signatory organisation has some form of membership, formal association or alliance. 

 

■ Aid and development: Aid and development refers to activities undertaken in order to reduce poverty and address global justice issues. In the non government organisation sector, this may occur through a range of engagements that includes community projects, emergency management, community education, advocacy, volunteer sending, provision of technical and professional services and resources, environmental protection and restoration, and promotion and protection of human rights.

 

■ Advocacy: Activities undertaken to change the systemic and structural causes of poverty and disadvantage which may include popular campaigning, lobbying, research, policy positions, alliances and use of the media. It may occur both in Australia and globally. Includes the application of a set of strategies ‘conducted as part of an agency’s overall predominant purpose’ (Australian Tax Office).

 

■ Civil society organisation (CSO): Includes non-government organisations (NGOs), not-for-profit organisations (NPOs), charities and community based organisations (CBOs). Can also include religious organisations, trade unions, 

foundations and any institutions outside of the corporate and government sectors. (Pathways to Accountability, the GAP Framework, One World Trust, 2005).

 

■ Collaborate: A process in which two parties contribute core competencies and share the risks and decision making to achieve mutual objectives.

 

■ Communities: Locally organised or informal groups or networks. (Safety with Dignity, Action Aid, 2009).

 

■ Complaint: An ‘expression of dissatisfaction’. (International Standards Organisation standard on complaints handling).

 

■ Development: Seeks to improve the conditions of communities in a sustainable way. It is based on working with communities, rather than for or on behalf of communities.(Ausaid). 

 

■ Dignity: ‘The feeling of having decision making power, freedom and autonomy over life choices, together with the feeling of self worth and selfconfidence, and feeling one has the respect of others’. (Safety with dignity, ActionAid 2009 based on Protection: an ALNAP Guide for Humanitarian Agencies, Slim and Bronwick 2005.)

 

■ Disability: Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (United National Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability). 

 

■ Emergency management: ‘Involves plans, structures and arrangements established to engage the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to respond to 

the whole spectrum of emergency needs’. (The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN ISDR) 2004). This includes preparedness, mitigation, response, rehabilitation, reconstruction, development and prevention activities.

 

■ Effectiveness: Promoting sustainable change that addresses the causes as well as the symptoms of poverty and marginalisation.  (ACFID NGO Effectiveness Framework 2004).

 

■ Emergency: A threatening condition that requires urgent action. (The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN ISDR 2004).

 

■ Gender: Socially constructed roles and relationships between men and women which affects their ability and incentive to participate in development activities and leads to different project impacts for women and men. (Guide to Gender and development, AusAID, 2007).

 

■ Gender analysis: The process of considering the impact that a development program or project may have on women and men, boys and girls and the economic and social relationships between them. (Guide to Gender and 

development, AusAID, 2007.)

 

■ Gender equality: Equal opportunities and outcomes for women and men, girls and boys. (Guide to Gender and development, AusAID, 2007)

 

■ Gender equity: ‘Fairness in access to resources and in the distribution of benefits from development, according to the different needs of women, men, girls and boys’. (Australian Government, 2007)

 

■ Human Rights: Legal statements by the international community that assert the equality and dignity of all human beings.  Includes civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. The core international human rights 

treaties and their optional protocols are located on the ACFID website.

 

■ Humanitarian relief: Fulfilling ‘the most basic requirements for sustaining the lives and dignity of those affected by calamity or conflict’. (Sphere Project, 2004)

 

■ local people: The women and men, boys and girls who are participants in, and directly affected by, aid and development activities in the geographical area in which the activity is undertaken. May also be known as beneficiaries or primary stakeholders. 

 

■ Non government organisations: Voluntary, not-for-profit, organisations formally registered with government that are run by a governing board that is accountable to its members.

 

■ Non-food items: Includes clothing and bedding, personal hygiene items, cooking and eating utensils, stoves, fuel and lighting, tools and equipment. 

(Sphere 2004)

 

■ Other resources: Includes (but is not limited to) funds raised, gifts in kind, property, assets, staff and volunteers of signatory and partner organisations.

 

■ Partner: Partners are individuals, groups of people or organisations that collaborate with signatory organisations to achieve mutually agreed objectives in aid and development activities. This may include affiliates.

 

 

■ Primary stakeholders: (see local people).

 

■ Promoting a particular religious adherence: Activities undertaken with the intention of converting individuals or groups from one faith and/or denominational affiliation to another.

 

■ Psycho social support: Any type of local or outside support that aims to promote psychological and social wellbeing and/or to prevent or treat mental disorder.

 

■ Signatory: An organisation which the Code of Conduct Committee has accepted as a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct and which has not resigned or been removed and has paid all its fees.

 

■ Stakeholders: Individuals and groups that can affect or are affected by an organisation’s policies and/or actions (Pathways to Accountability, the GAP Framework One World Trust, 2005).

 

■ Supporting a particular party, candidate or organisation affiliated to apolitical party: Agency personnel or their representatives(when using the agency name or resources in paid time) being involved in party political activities; using funds or resources to facilitate or support a specific political party, candidate, or party political organisation in a local, regional or general/national election; using funds or resources to facilitate or support a particular politician or faction to gain power within a government or within a party political structure.

 

■ Sustainable development: ‘Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

 

■ Transparency: ‘An organisation’s openness about its activities, providing information on what it is doing, where and how this takes place and how it is performing’. (Pathways to Accountability, the GAP Framework, One World 

Trust, 2005).

 

■ Third parties: May be a contractor, partner or an affiliate of the nongovernment organisation.

 

 

G. Guide to Code Elements

 

The section below provides an explanation of the elements to the Code and the Guidance – using the formatting that is intended to distinguish each of the elements.

 

Main parts of the Code

 

There are eight parts to the Code including the three clusters of Accountabilities – Program Principles, Public Engagement, Organisation and Compliance with the Code. There is introductory text for each of the three Accountabilities.  

 

Section of Accountability


Each Accountability is divided into logical sections.

 

Principle


Each ‘clause’ begins with a statement of principle that aims to distil the intent of the ‘clause’ and how it links to the values framed in the Preamble.

 

The Principle may be followed by a few explanatory comments – that should be for clarification, not modification of the principle.

 

Obligation

 

The specific requirements on signatory organisations are set out in the numbered Obligations and are drafted with a view to external credibility.  They aim to be clear statements of what a stakeholder can expect see from signatory organisations.

 

The Obligations use the term ‘will’ rather than ‘must’ or ‘shall’ to avoid a legalistic tone and to be consistent with the idea that they are a promise to stakeholders rather than imposed by them.

 

In some cases, notably the Financial Principles, the Obligations are very detailed and lengthy and are located in the Guidance. Note that in these cases, the Guidance forms a contractual part of the Code and are binding on signatory organisations.

 

Implementation Guidance


The audience for the Implementation Guidance text is signatory organisations themselves and the language is couched in less precise terms and aims to provide assistance in how to implement the Principles and Obligations within their particular context.

 

Some of the Guidance is framed discursively as ‘how-to’ and other parts are presented as:

 

An example or illustration of how a signatory organisation might implement the Principles and Obligations.

 

The Guidance may also include tips and references to external sources of advice or information.

The Code of Ethics for Social Work (2002)

Organization: British Association of Social Workers Visit Organization Page
Source: The Code of Ethics for Social Work Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
April 11, 2002

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

The Code of Ethics for Social Work

1. Scope and Objectives 

Social work is a professional activity. Social workers have obligations to service users, to their employers, to one another, to colleagues in other disciplines and to society. In order to discharge these obligations they should be afforded certain complementary rights. The British Association of Social Workers is the professional association for social workers in the United Kingdom. It has a duty to ensure as far as possible that its members discharge their ethical obligations and are afforded the professional rights which are necessary for the safeguarding and promotion of the rights of service users. The primary objective of the Association's Code of Ethics is to express the values and principles which are integral to social work, and to give guidance on ethical practice. The Code is binding on all members, and the Association also hopes that it will commend itself to all social workers practising in the United Kingdom and to all employers of social workers.

 

2. Definition of Social Work

The Association has adopted the following definition of social work issued by the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work. It applies to social work practitioners and educators in every region and country in the world.

 

The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work (2001).

 

Social workers attempt to relieve and prevent hardship and suffering. They have a responsibility to help individuals, families, groups and communities through the provision and operation of appropriate services and by contributing to social planning. They work with, on behalf of, or in the interests of people to enable them to deal with personal and social difficulties and obtain essential resources and services. Their work may include, but is not limited to, interpersonal practice, groupwork, community work, social development, social action, policy development, research, social work education and supervisory and managerial functions in these fields.

 

3. Values and Principles

Social work is committed to five basic values:

Human dignity and worth

Social justice

Service to humanity

Integrity

Competence

 

Social work practice should both promote respect for human dignity and pursue social justice, through service to humanity, integrity and competence.

 

3.1 Human dignity and worth

 

3.1.1 Value

Every human being has intrinsic value. All persons have a right to well-being, to self-fulfilment and to as much control over their own lives as is consistent with the rights of others.

 

3.1.2 Principles

Social workers have a duty to:

  1. Respect basic human rights as expressed in The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international conventions derived from that Declaration; 
  2. Show respect for all persons, and respect service users' beliefs, values, culture, goals, needs, preferences, relationships and affiliations; 
  3. Safeguard and promote service users' dignity, individuality, rights, responsibilities and identity; 
  4. Foster individual well-being and autonomy, subject to due respect for the rights of others; 
  5. Respect service users' rights to make informed decisions, and ensure that service users and carers participate in decision-making processes; 
  6. Ensure the protection of service users, which may include setting appropriate limits and exercising authority, with the objective of safeguarding them and others.

 

 3.2 Social justice

 

3.2.1 Value

Social justice includes:

The fair and equitable distribution of resources to meet basic human needs

Fair access to public services and benefits, to achieve human potential

Recognition of the rights and duties of individuals, families, groups and communities Equal treatment and protection under the law.

Social development and environmental management in the interests of present and future human welfare.

 

The pursuit of social justice involves identifying, seeking to alleviate and advocating strategies for overcoming structural disadvantage.

 

3.2.2 Principles

Responsibility for relieving and preventing hardship and for promoting wellbeing is not always fully discharged by direct service to individuals, families and groups. Social workers have a duty to:

  1. Bring to the attention of those in power and the general public, and where appropriate challenge ways in which the policies or activities of government, organisations or society create or contribute to structural disadvantage, hardship and suffering, or militate against their relief;
  2.  Use professional knowledge and experience to contribute to the development of social policy; 
  3. Promote social fairness and the equitable distribution of resources within their work, aiming to minimise barriers and expand choice and potential for all service users, especially those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable or oppressed, or who have exceptional needs; 
  4. Seek to change social structures which perpetuate inequalities and injustices, and whenever possible work to eliminate all violations of human rights; 
  5. Promote policies, practices and social conditions which uphold human rights, and which seek to ensure access, equity and participation for all;
  6.  Uphold not only civil and political but also economic, social and cultural rights; 
  7. Ensure that they do not act out of prejudice against any person or group, on any grounds, including origin, ethnicity, class, status, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, beliefs or contribution to society; 
  8. Challenge the abuse of power for suppression and for excluding people from decisions which affect them;
  9.  Support anti-oppressive and empowering policies and practices, and to aim to assist individuals, families, groups and communities in the pursuit and achievement of equitable access to social, economic and political resources and in attaining self-fulfilment, self-management and social well-being; 
  10. Recognise and respect ethnic and cultural identity and diversity, and the further diversity within ethnic and cultural groups, and promote policies, procedures and practices consistent with this objective; 

 Promote public participation in societal processes and decisions and in the development and implementation of social policies and services. 

 

3.3 Service to humanity

 

3.3.1 Value

Service in the interests of human well-being and social justice is a primary objective of social work. Its fundamental goals are:

To meet personal and social needs;

To enable people to develop their potential;

To contribute to the creation of a fairer society.

 

3.3.2 Principles

Social workers have a duty to:

  1. Account for the ethics of their practice in accordance with their national and international codes of ethics;
  2. Place service to humanity in their work before personal aims, views and advantage, fulfilling their duty of care and observing principles of natural fairness;
  3. Use their power and authority in ways which serve humanity, using participatory and open processes to enable service users to realise their aims as far as possible, taking account of the relevant interests of others; 
  4. Give service users the information they need to make choices and about their right to complain and ensure that they have any support they may require in making complaints; 
  5. Seek to ensure that services are offered and delivered in a culturally appropriate manner; 
  6. Seek to ensure that service users are involved in practice and policy development and in the evaluation of services; 

3.4 Integrity

 

3.4.1 Value

Integrity comprises honesty, reliability, openness and impartiality, and is an essential value in the practice of social work.

 

3.4.2 Principles

Social workers have a duty:

  1. To place service users' needs and interests before their own beliefs, aims, views and advantage, and not to use professional relationships to gain personal, material or financial advantage; 
  2. To ensure that their private conduct does not compromise the fulfilment of professional responsibilities, and to avoid behaviour which contravenes professional principles and standards or which damages the profession's integrity; 
  3. To be honest and accurate about their qualifications, competence, experience, achievements and affiliations; 
  4. To be clear when making public statements whether they are speaking as private individuals or as representatives of the social work profession or of an organisation or group; 
  5. To set and enforce explicit and appropriate professional boundaries to minimise the risk of conflict, exploitation or harm in all relationships with current or former service users, research participants, students, supervisees or colleagues; 
  6. To avoid any behaviour which may violate professional boundaries, result in unintentional harm or damage the professional relationship; 
  7. Not to engage in any form of intimate or sexual conduct with current service users, students, supervisees, research participants, or with others directly involved in a professional relationship which involves an unequal distribution of power or authority in the social worker's favour; 
  8. Not to enter into an intimate or sexual relationship with a former service user without careful consideration of any potential for exploitation, taking advice as appropriate. 

3.5 Competence

3.5.1 Value

Proficiency in social work practice is an essential value.

 

3.5.2 Principles

Social workers have a duty to:

  1. Identify, develop, use and disseminate knowledge, theory and skill for social work practice; 
  2. Maintain and expand their competence in order to provide quality service and accountable practice, appraising new approaches and methodologies in order to extend their expertise;
  3. Use available supervision or consultation and engage in continuous professional development, taking active steps where necessary to secure appropriate supervision;
  4.  Reflect on the nature and source of social problems and on ways of addressing them; 
  5. Facilitate and contribute to evaluation and research; 
  6. Contribute to the education and training of colleagues and students, sharing knowledge and practice wisdom; 
  7. Contribute to the development and implementation of human welfare policies and programmes; 
  8. Contribute to promoting culturally appropriate practice and culturally sensitive services; 
  9. Recognise the limits of their competence and advise employers and service users when referral to a more appropriate professional is indicated; 
  10. Provide service users with information about the benefits and implications of multi-professional working and about their rights in relation to the sharing of information, and, subject to their consent, work to promote their wellbeing by sharing responsibility with other relevant professionals; 
  11. Take appropriate action if ill-health or any other factor is likely to interfere with their professional judgement or performance of duty. 

 

4. Ethical Practice

This section gives guidance on ethical practice, by applying the values and principles set out above to the principal areas of social work practice. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to constitute detailed prescription.

 

4.1 Responsibilities to Service Users

The service user may be an individual, a family or other group or a community.

 

4.1.1 Priority of service users' interest

Social workers will:

  1. Give priority to maintaining the best interests of service users, with due regard to the interests of others; 
  2. In exceptional circumstances where the priority of the service user's interest is outweighed by the need to protect others or by legal requirements, make service users aware that their interests may be overridden;
  3.  Seek to safeguard and promote the rights and interests of service users whenever possible;
  4.  Endeavour to ensure service users' maximum participation in decisions about their lives when impairment or ill-health require the social worker or another person to act on their behalf;
  5.  Not reject service users or lose concern for their suffering, even when obliged to protect themselves or others against them or to acknowledge their inability to help them. 

 

4.1.2 Conflicts of interest

Social workers will be alert to the possibility of any conflict of interest which may affect their ability to exercise professional discretion or bias their judgement. If such a conflict arises, they will declare it and take appropriate action to ensure the professional relationship is not prejudiced. They will help individuals, families, groups and communities to explore the options for resolving or balancing conflicting or competing needs and interests.

 

4.1.3 Self-determination by service users

Social workers will help service users to reach informed decisions about their lives and promote their autonomy, provided that this does not conflict with their safety or with the rights of others. They will endeavour to minimise the use of legal or other compulsion. Any action which diminishes service users' civil or legal rights must be ethically, professionally and legally justifiable.

 

4.1.4 Informed consent

Social workers will not act without the informed consent of service users, unless required by law to protect that person or another from risk of serious harm. Where service users' capacity to give informed consent is restricted or absent, social workers will as far as possible ascertain and respect their preferences and wishes and maintain their freedom of decision and action, whether or not another person has powers to make decisions on the service user's behalf. Where the law vests the power of consent in respect of a child in the parent or guardian, this in no way diminishes the social worker's duty to ascertain and respect the child's wishes and feelings, giving due weight to the child's maturity and understanding.

 

4.1.5 Services provided under compulsion

Social workers:

  1. Will assist people using services under compulsion to attain as much autonomy as possible; 
  2. Will inform them of any limits to their right to refuse services, and will advise them of any requirements to share information about them with others;. 
  3. Will encourage them to participate in decision-making; 
  4. Have a duty to acknowledge the impact of their own and their organisation's informal or coercive power on involuntary and potentially involuntary service users. This applies for example when the social worker is monitoring a service user's behaviour and there is a possibility of seeking powers of compulsion.

 

4.1.6 Cultural awareness

Social workers will: Acknowledge the significance of culture in their practice, will recognise the diversity within and among cultures and will recognise the impact of their own ethnic and cultural identity; Obtain a working knowledge and understanding of service users' ethnic and cultural affiliations and identities, and of the values, beliefs and customs normally associated with them, recognising that the service user's own values and beliefs may differ; Communicate with users, other than in exceptional circumstances, in a language and by means which they understand, using an independent, qualified interpreter where appropriate.

 

4.1.7 Privacy, confidentiality and records

Social workers will:

  1. Respect service users' rights to a relationship of trust, to privacy, reliability and confidentiality and to the responsible use of information obtained from or about them; 
  2. Observe the principle that information given for one purpose may not be used for a different purpose without the permission of the informant; 
  3. Consult service users about their preferences in respect of the use of information relating to them; 
  4. Divulge confidential information only with the consent of the service user or informant, except where there is clear evidence of serious risk to the service user, worker, other persons or the community, or in other circumstances judged exceptional on the basis of professional consideration and consultation, limiting any such breach of confidence to the needs of the situation at the time; 
  5. Offer counselling as appropriate throughout the process of a service user's access to records;
  6.  Ensure, so far as it is in their power, that records, whether manual or electronic, are stored securely, are protected from unauthorised access, and are not transferred, manually or electronically, to locations where access may not be satisfactorily controlled; 
  7. Record information impartially and accurately, recording only relevant matters and specifying the source of information. 

 

The sharing of records across agencies and professions, and within a multi-purpose agency, is subject to ethical requirements in respect of privacy and confidentiality. Service users have a right of access to all information recorded about them, subject only to the preservation of other persons' rights to privacy and confidentiality.

 

4.2 Responsibilities to the profession

Social workers will in both their private and their professional life avoid any behaviour likely to damage the public image of social work or bring the profession into disrepute.

 

4.3 Responsibilities in the workplace

Social workers will:

  1. Strive to carry out the stated aims of their employing organisation, provided that they are consistent with this Code of Ethics; 
  2. Aim for the best possible standards of service provision and be accountable for their practice; 
  3. Use the organisation's resources honestly and only for their intended purpose; 
  4. Appropriately challenge, and work to improve, policies, procedures, practices and service provisions which: Are not in the best interests of service users; Are inequitable or unfairly discriminatory; or Are oppressive, disempowering, or culturally inappropriate; 
  5. Endeavour, if policies or procedures of employing bodies contravene professional standards, to effect change through consultation, using appropriate organisational channels; 
  6. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that employers are aware of the Code of Ethics for Social Work, and advocate conditions and policies which reflect its ethical position; 
  7. Uphold the ethical principles and responsibilities of this Code, even though employers' policies or instructions may not be compatible with its provisions, observing the values and principles of this Code when attempting to resolve conflicts between ethical principles and organisational policies and practices; 
  8. If engaging in action to improve services or working conditions, be guided by the ethics of the profession;
  9.  Challenge and seek to address any actions of colleagues which are racist, sexist or otherwise demonstrate prejudice. 
  10. Familiarise themselves with the complaints and whistleblowing procedures of their workplace, with the relevant provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act and with BASW procedures for complaints against members, addressing suspected or confirmed professional misconduct, incompetence, unethical behaviour or negligence by a colleague through the appropriate organisational, professional or legal channels. 

 

4.4 Responsibilities in particular roles

 

4.4.1 Management

In applying the general provisions of the Code, social workers in management will observe the following specific ethical responsibilities.

  1. To work for the acceptance by employers of the values and principles and requirements of the Code. 
  2. To eliminate all factors within their control which prohibit or discourage employees' adherence to the Code. 
  3. To promote equality policies and practices and advocate for resources to meet service users' needs. 
  4. To promote effective teamwork and communication. 
  5. To enable the provision of an efficient and accountable social work service, while ensuring as far as possible that staff are not subjected to unreasonable demands and expectations by their employers. 
  6. To seek to obtain and maintain adequate staff levels, acceptable working conditions and a safe working environment for staff. 
  7. To arrange appropriate professional supervision for social work staff. 
  8. To ensure that staff under their direction receive continuing training and professional education and seek adequate resources to meet staff development needs. 
  9. To provide or arrange appropriate support and protection for staff in accordance with the Association's staff care policies, and to combat discrimination against whistleblowers. 
  10. To treat workers fairly and in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
  11.  To promote acceptance of the strengths and benefits for service users of diversity in the staff group.

 

 4.4.2. Education, training, supervision and evaluation

In applying the general provisions of the Code, social workers engaged in education, training, supervision or evaluation will observe the following specific ethical responsibilities.

  1. Possess and maintain the requisite knowledge, skill and methodology.
  2.  Maintain professional relationships in their work which are constructive and non-exploitative.
  3.  Foster in social work students and supervisees a knowledge and understanding of both the social work profession and this Code, emphasising the relevance of this knowledge to their practice. Inform students of their ethical responsibilities to agencies, supervisors and service users. 
  4. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that social work students and social workers under their supervision act in accordance with the principles of this Code. 
  5. Adhere to the principles of privacy and confidentiality in the supervisory relationship.
  6.  Evaluate the performance of students and supervisees fairly and responsibly. 
  7. Recognise that the supervisor's role is educational, supportive, developmental and work-focused. 
  8. Supervisees who request or require therapy will be referred to another competent practitioner. 

 

4.4.3. Independent practice

In applying the general provisions of this Code, social workers in independent practice will observe the following specific ethical responsibilities.

  1. To practise only within their areas of competence and offer suitable referral when service users' needs fall outside them. 
  2. To arrange, or offer to arrange, appropriate temporary or substitute service for service users when unavailable or unable to continue practice. 
  3. To maintain practice records in accordance with the requirements of this Code. 
  4. Not to use any position in which they are a paid employee to solicit for independent practice. 
  5. To maintain adequate professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover as appropriate, to protect service users. 
  6. To advise service users of all fee rates and charges before beginning to provide professional service, and to charge only for hours and services contracted and provided. 

 

4.4.4 Research

In applying the general provisions of this Code, social workers engaged in research will observe the following specific ethical responsibilities.

  1. At all stages of the research process, from inception and resourcing through design and investigation to dissemination, social work researchers have a duty to maintain an active, personal and disciplined ethical awareness and to take practical and moral responsibility for their work.
  2. The aims and process of social work research, including choice of methodology, and the use made of findings, will be congruent with the social work values of respect for human dignity and worth and commitment to social justice. Social work researchers will therefore: 
    • Predicate their work on the perspectives and lived experience of the research subject except where this is not appropriate; 
    • Seek to ensure that the research in which they are engaged contributes to empowering service users, to promoting their welfare and to improving their access to economic and social resources; 
    • Seek to work together with disempowered groups, individuals and communities to devise, articulate and achieve research agendas which respect fundamental human rights and aim towards social justice; 
    • Retain a primary concern for the welfare of research subjects and actively protect them from harm, particularly those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable or oppressed or have exceptional needs; 
    • Consider and set out clearly how they would deal with the ascertainable consequences of proposed research activity for service users, in order to ensure that their legitimate interests are not unwarrantably compromised or prejudiced by the proposed investigation; 
    • Not use procedures involving concealment except where no alternative strategy is feasible, where no harm to the research subject can be foreseen and where the greater good is self-evidently served. 
  1. In accordance with their duty of competence, social work researchers will, in their chosen methodology and in every other aspect of their research, ensure that they are technically competent to carry out the particular investigation to a high standard. Where research is carried out primarily as an educational or instructional tool, this responsibility also falls on the student's supervisor. 
  2. In accordance with their duty of integrity, social work researchers have a duty to: 
    • deal openly and fairly with every participant in the research process, including participants, service users, colleagues, funders and employers; 
    • inform every participant of all features of the research which might be expected to influence willingness to participate, especially but not exclusively when access to services may be, or be perceived to be, affected by or dependent on participation; 
    • in all cases respect participants' absolute right to decline to take part in or to withdraw from the research programme, with special attention to situations in which the researcher is in any way in authority over the participant; 
    • ensure that subjects' participation in a programme is based on freely given, informed and acknowledged consent, secured through the use of language or other appropriate means of communication readily comprehensible to the research subject, conveying an adequate explanation of the purpose of the research and the procedures to be followed; 
    • seek to exclude from their work any unacknowledged bias; 
    • report findings accurately, avoiding distortion whether by omission or otherwise, including any findings which reflect unfavourably on any influential body or research sponsor, on the researcher's own interests or on prevailing wisdom or orthodox opinion;
    •  seek to ensure that their findings are not misused or misrepresented; 
    • acknowledge when publishing findings the part played by all participants and never take credit for the work of others. 
  1. In accordance with their duty of confidentiality, social work researchers will respect and maintain the confidentiality of all data or information produced in the course of their research, except as agreed in advance with participants (including research subjects) or as prescribed by law.

 

Acknowledgements and Sources

 

The Ethics of Social Work: Principles and Standards, was adopted by the International Federation of Social Workers at its General Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in July 1994. It consists of two documents, The International Declaration of Ethical Principles of Social Work, and International Ethical Standards for Social Workers. The International Declaration of Ethical Principles "assumes that both member associations of the IFSW and their constituent members adhere to the principles formulated therein". The British Association of Social Workers, as a member association of the IFSW, subscribes to the principles and standards set out by the IFSW in these documents.

 

The Code of Ethics of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW Code of Ethics, accepted at the AASW Annual General Meeting in November 1999), has provided a valuable basis for this revised BASW Code.

 

Work done by Professor Ian Butler of Keele University and the Theorising Social Work Research group forms the basis of the section on responsibilities in the research setting.

 

BASW wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Keith Bilton to this revision of the Code of Ethics on behalf of the Association's UK Standards & Ethics Board.

 

The new Code was launched at the Association's Annual Study Conference on 11th April 2002 in Brighton.

Intel Code of Conduct (2007)

Organization: Intel Corporation Visit Organization Page
Source: Intel Code of Conduct Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
May 2, 2007

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Intel Code of Conduct

To see a PDF of the Intel Code of Conduct click here.

 

Our Mission

 

Delight our customers, employees, and shareholders by relentlessly delivering platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.

 

Our Values

 

Customer Orientation

 

We Strive To:

 

  • Listen and respond to our customers, suppliers and stakeholders 
  • Clearly communicate mutual intentions and expectations 
  • Deliver innovative and competitive products and services 
  • Make it easy to work with us 
  • Excel at customer satisfaction 

 

Risk Taking

 

We Strive To:

 

  • Foster innovation and creative thinking 
  • Embrace change and challenge the status quo 
  • Listen to all ideas and viewpoints 
  • Learn from our successes and mistakes Encourage and reward informed risk taking

 

 

Discipline

 

We Strive To:

 

  • Conduct business with uncompromising integrity and professionalism 
  • Ensure a safe, clean and injury-free workplace 
  • Make and meet commitments 
  • Properly plan, fund and staff projects 
  • Pay attention to detail 

 

Great Place to Work

 

We Strive To:

 

  • Be open and direct 
  • Promote a challenging work environment that develops our diverse workforce 
  • Work as a team with respect and trust for each other 
  • Win and have fun 
  • Recognize and reward accomplishments 
  • Manage performance fairly and firmly Be an asset to our communities 

 

 

Worldwide Quality

 

We Strive To:

 

  • Achieve the highest standards of excellence 
  • Do the right things right 
  • Continuously learn, develop and improve 
  • Take pride in our work 

Results Orientation

 

We Strive To:

 

  • Set challenging and competitive goals
  • Focus on output
  • Assume responsibility
  • Constructively confront and solve problems
  • Execute flawlessly 

 

Intel competes in fast changing markets. We conduct business in geographies around the world. In this environment of unprecedented change and opportunity, our path to continuing success is clear - uniting under a common vision, shared values and a consistent standard of conduct.

 

Our business success has always depended on our ability to build trusted relationships - with one another, customers, suppliers, governments and communities. But, trusted relationships don't happen over night. They're built over time, on the integrity of every decision we make, every expectation we set and every action we take. Everything we do, big or small, can have big and lasting impact.

 

Sometimes, the right action isn't obvious. But we have our compass: a mission, a set of shared values, and our Intel Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct represents Intel's expectations of what it means to act ethically and within the boundaries of the law. Understand the Code. Discuss it, follow it, and use it. Find the resources on the Ethics and Compliance intranet site to help you apply the Code to your day-to-day work.

 

 

The Code is the standard of conduct that unites us, strengthens and allows us to continuously deliver value and build trust year after year. Integrity beyond reproach is our commitment, our foundation and our future.

 

Paul S. Otellini,

President and CEO

 

Code of Conduct

 

Since the company began, uncompromising integrity and professionalism have been the cornerstones of Intel's business. In all that we do, Intel supports and upholds a set of core values and principles. Our future growth depends on each of us understanding these values and principles and continuously demonstrating the uncompromising integrity that is the foundation of our company.

 

The Code of Conduct sets the standard for how we work together to develop and deliver product, how we protect the value of Intel, and how we work with customers, suppliers and others. All of us at Intel must abide by the Code when conducting Intel-related business.

 

The Code affirms Intel's five principles of conduct:

 

  • Intel Conducts Business with Honesty and Integrity 
  • Intel Follows the Letter and Spirit of the Law 
  • Intel Employees Treat Each Other Fairly 
  • Intel Employees Act in the Best Interests of Intel and Avoid Conflicts of Interest
  • Intel Employees Protect the Company's Assets and Reputation

 

Intel Conducts Business with Honesty and Integrity

 

One of Intel's core values is to conduct business with uncompromising integrity and professionalism. We put this value into practice by:

 

  • Treating customers, suppliers, and others fairly, 
  • Acting as a responsible corporate citizen, respecting human rights, and managing the impact of our business on the world around us, and
  •  Keeping accurate financial and other books and records.

 

Conducting Business with Customers, Suppliers, and Others

 

Intel's success is based on strong relationships of mutual respect and trust with our customers, suppliers, and others. To maintain these strong relationships, we treat everyone we deal with the way we would expect to be treated: with fairness, honesty, and respect.

 

In our marketing and in our interactions with customers and potential customers, we always represent Intel products and services fairly and accurately.

 

Taking Corporate Responsibility

 

Intel has a long-standing, global reputation as a responsible corporate citizen. For us, corporate responsibility means achieving business success in ways that uphold our values and high standards of ethics and that demonstrate respect for people and the planet.

 

Intel intends to be a leader in encouraging education and enhancing the communities in which we do business. We do this by challenging ourselves and others to continuously improve, inspire, and strengthen our communities, as well as enabling technologies that improve the lives of people around the world.

 

We demonstrate respect for people and the planet and ask all our employees to consider the short and long-term impacts to the environment and the community when they make business decisions. In all Intel-related activities, we need to uphold Intel's long-standing, global reputation as a role model for socially responsible behavior.

 

Preparing Accurate Financial and Other Records

 

Intel's financial and other business records shape the business decisions we make. We are responsible for ensuring that Intel's books and records are full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable reflections of the company's operations and business activities.

 

Any records required by our jobs at Intel, such as time cards and expense reports must be accurate and complete. If questions arise, ask a direct or other manager for assistance. If you become aware of records that may be inaccurate, report the situation immediately to a direct or other manager. Intel does not support or condone preparing false records under any circumstances.

 

Intel employs auditors to ensure that the way we conduct business and keep records is consistent with relevant accounting standards. We must cooperate with auditors and ensure that anyone acting under our direction also cooperates with auditors. 

 

Intel Follows the Letter and Spirit of the Law

 

As a global company Intel must comply with the laws of the many countries in which it does business. We are each responsible for knowing and following all applicable laws or regulations.

 

We also must act in a manner that upholds the spirit and the intent of the law. Where the Code or company guidelines differ from local laws or regulations, we must always follow the higher standard. If you believe the requirements of the Code conflict with local law, consult Intel Legal.

 

Violations of laws and regulations have serious consequences, both for the company and for the individuals involved. Therefore, when questions arise on these or other legal matters, you should always seek guidance from Intel Legal.

 

Some of the more common legal topics we encounter include antitrust, anticorruption, environment, import-export, insider trading, intellectual property, privacy, and public communications.

 

Antitrust

 

Antitrust laws, sometimes also called competition laws, govern the way that companies behave in the marketplace. Antitrust laws encourage competition by prohibiting unreasonable restraints on trade. The laws deal in general terms with the ways companies deal with their competitors, customers, and suppliers. Violating antitrust laws is a serious matter and could place both the company and the individual at risk of substantial criminal penalties.

 

In all regions and countries where Intel does business, Intel is committed to competing vigorously but fairly for suppliers and customers.

 

To adhere to antitrust laws, we must not:

 

  •  Communicate with any competitor relating to price, any term that affects pricing, or production levels, 
  • Divide or allocate markets or customers, 
  • Agree with a competitor to boycott another business, or 
  • Put inappropriate conditions on purchases or sales.

 

When questions arise, contact Intel Legal for guidance.

 

When dealing with distributors, we need to follow Intel's pricing and merchandising policies carefully. The executive responsible for distribution sales and marketing for a geographic area has more particular information regarding local procedures to be followed in dealing with distributors in that area and can answer questions.

 

Bribery and Anti-Corruption

 

Many countries have bribery and other anti-corruption laws that are intended to prevent companies and individuals from gaining an unfair advantage and from undermining the rule of law. We must never offer or accept bribes or kickbacks, and must not participate in or facilitate corrupt activities of any kind.

 

This prohibition on offering or paying bribes also applies to third parties acting on Intel's behalf, such as contractors or consultants. We must never engage a third party who we believe may attempt to offer a bribe to conduct Intel's business.

 

When doing business with governments, consult with Intel Legal to be certain you are aware of any special rules that apply, and obtain approval from Intel Legal before providing anything of value to a government official.

 

Environmental Management and Compliance

 

A number of environmental laws, standards, requirements, and policies apply to our worldwide business operations, practices, and products.

 

We have a responsibility to understand and follow these requirements, including:

 

  • Conserving energy, water, raw materials and other natural resources, and 
  • Managing materials and wastes properly

 

We support a precautionary approach to the materials used in our products and strive to reduce and minimize the use of hazardous materials and the environmental impact of our manufacturing technologies.

 

Intel expects our suppliers and others to comply also with all applicable environmental laws and standards in their operations.

 

Import and Export Compliance

 

In every country in which Intel does business, laws and regulations govern imports and exports. Many of these laws and regulations restrict or prohibit the physical shipment of Intel products or the transfer or electronic transmission of software and technology to certain destinations, entities, and foreign persons. In many cases, the law requires an export license or other appropriate government approvals before an item may be shipped or transferred.

 

We have a responsibility to comply with these laws and regulations. Therefore, we must clear all goods through customs and must not:

 

  • Proceed with a transaction if we know that a violation has occurred or is about to occur, 
  • Transfer controlled software and technology unless we have obtained an approved export license, and 
  • Apply an inappropriate monetary value to goods and services

 

Violations, even inadvertent ones, could result in significant fines and penalties, denied export licenses, loss of export privileges, or customs scrutiny and delays. Because these laws and regulations are complex and unique in each country, Intel provides guidelines and training.

 

Insider Trading

 

Many countries have insider trading laws that restrict securities trading and other activities by anyone who is in possession of material, non-public information. Material, non-public information is any information not generally known to the public that people might find important in making their decisions to buy or sell stock in a company.

 

Any Intel employee who possesses material, non-public information regarding Intel or any other company must not:

 

  • Trade in that company's stock while in possession of inside information, 
  • Use the inside information for personal advantage or the personal advantage of others, or “
  • Tip” others who may buy or sell securities because of the inside information.

 

When you have regular access to material, non-public information concerning Intel or another company, you need to take special care in planning securities trades. Intel has guidelines and policies to help you plan transactions consistent with the requirements of the securities laws.

 

Intel directors, officers, and senior employees (Intel grade levels 10 and above) may not purchase or write derivatives of Intel securities, such as puts and calls, or enter into any short sales or short positions (positions that allow the person to profit if the price of Intel securities goes down) with respect to Intel securities, with the limited exceptions noted in the company's derivative securities policy.

 

Intellectual Property

 

Intellectual property rights are crucial to protecting the investments that companies and individuals make in developing new products and ideas. We protect our intellectual property and respect the intellectual property rights of others.

 

We may not copy, reproduce, or transmit protected material, such as writing, artwork, music, video, photographs, movie clips and software unless we have authorization or license.

 

We must use the confidential information of Intel or others only for business purposes and disclose it only to those who are authorized and have a need to know. Even after we leave Intel employment, we must continue to protect confidential information (whether Intel's or another party's) and not use or disclose it without authorization.

 

Furthermore, we must not request or encourage anyone to use or disclose privileged, proprietary, or confidential information unless they are authorized to do so by the owner of that information.

 

Privacy

 

Many countries have implemented, or are planning to implement, privacy laws that set requirements for the appropriate handling of personal data (any information that can be used to identify, contact, or locate an individual).

 

We are committed to protecting the reasonable privacy expectations of everyone we do business with, including our customers, consumers and employees. We believe individuals have the right to decide when their personal data is collected, used, or disclosed. We also believe that responsible stewardship of personal data is a critical component in maintaining trust in the Intel brand and ensuring that individuals feel confident that Intel respects their right to privacy.

 

Therefore we each have a responsibility to comply with Intel privacy and information security requirements when personal data is collected, stored, processed, transmitted, and shared.

 

When questions, issues, or concerns arise, consult Intel Legal or a member of the Privacy Team.

 

Public Communications

 

As a publicly traded company, Intel must comply with a variety of regulations that govern public communications to investors and the public and promote transparency in financial markets. Intel has specific requirements for financial reports and documents that the company files with or submits to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in other public communications.

 

Therefore, if you are responsible for preparing such reports or contributing information for such reports, you need to ensure that the disclosures are accurate, reliable, and complete.

 

In addition, only authorized employees may make any public statements on behalf of Intel, whether to the media, investors, or other external entities. If you are contacted by a reporter or the public, refer the caller to Press Relations.

 

Intel Employees Treat Each Other Fairly

 

One of Intel's core values is to work as a team with respect and trust for each other. We strive to uphold open and honest communication and to protect employees from discrimination, harassment, or unsafe practices.

 

Open and Honest Communication

 

Intel values the free flow of thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns. Intel encourages employees to raise work-related issues or concerns with the direct manager as soon as possible after they arise. When necessary, the Open Door policy allows you to raises the issue with another manager, such as a department head, a division general manager, or another manager up to and including the Executive Office.

 

If you are not comfortable using the Open Door to get answers to your questions or concerns about the Code or other topics, contact EthicsandCompliance@Intel or a Human Resources representative, who will assess the issue or concern and determine next steps.

 

Intel does not tolerate any retaliation against employees for asking questions or making good faith reports of possible violations of law, the Code, or other guidelines.

 

Equal Employment Opportunities and Discrimination

 

Intel values diversity in its workforce, as well as in its customers, suppliers, and others. Intel provides equal employment opportunity for all applicants and employees. Intel does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Intel also makes reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

 

We follow these principles in all areas of employment including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, and social and recreational programs.

 

Anti-Harassment

 

Intel is committed to providing a workplace free of harassment based on personal characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Intel strongly disapproves of and does not tolerate harassment of employees by managers or co-workers. We must treat co-workers, customers, and suppliers with dignity and respect.

 

Intel prohibits threats or acts of violence against co-workers, vendors, customers, or others. If you become aware of a threat or act of violent behavior in or near the Intel workplace, notify a manager of the details of the act or threat immediately. Managers who receive such information should immediately notify Intel Security.

 

Safety

 

Intel complies with the safety laws, standards, and Intel guidelines that apply to our business. Sound safety practices are important in all Intel workplaces, not just the fabrication or assembly/test factories.

 

To protect Intel employees, the public, and our communities, we conduct no activity without the proper safety precautions and produce no product without the proper safeguards.

 

We believe all workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable. When we take care, employees and suppliers at Intel workplaces need to obey the safety requirements that apply to our job and workplace. We must not begin or continue any work activity contrary to safety requirements.

 

Intel Employees Act in the Best Interests of Intel and Avoid Conflicts of Interest

 

A conflict of interest occurs when an employee's personal or family interests interfere—or even appear to interfere—with the employee's ability to make sound business decisions in the best interest of Intel. We should not put ourselves in situations where we could be tempted to make Intel business decisions that put our personal needs ahead of Intel's interests.

 

Conflict of Interest Examples

 

Conflicts of interest typically arise in the following situations:

  •  Conducting any non-Intel business that interferes with the proper performance of our roles at Intel, such as conducting non-Intel business during working hours; utilizing Intel confidential information, specialized skills or knowledge gained as an Intel employee; or using Intel property or equipment for non-Intel uses 
  •  Offering or accepting a gift, entertainment, or other payment that could be viewed as a bribe 
  •  Accepting any personal benefit that is or could be interpreted as being given to us because of our role or seniority at Intel or because the donors believe we might be in a position to assist them in the future 
  •  Participating in or influencing an Intel decision that may result in a personal gain, gain for an immediate family member, or gain for someone with whom we have a close personal relationship 
  •  Making use of business opportunities discovered or learned through the use of Intel property, information, or our positions at Intel that may result in a personal gain, gain for an immediate family member, or gain for someone with whom we have a close personal relationship 
  •  Owning a significant interest in any business that does or is seeking to do business with Intel or is in competition with Intel, when the ownership might dilute our loyalty to Intel 
  •  Supervising an immediate family member or someone with whom we have a close personal relationship.

 

Handling Conflicts of Interest

 

Intel recognizes that a conflict of interest may arise without any willful action on our part or that changes in circumstances may create a conflict or appearance of a conflict in situations where previously none existed.

 

If you become aware of a possible conflict of interest, disclose it immediately to your manager, making a full report of all pertinent facts and circumstances. The manager will determine, in consultation with Intel Legal as necessary, whether a conflict of interest exists, what needs to be done to resolve the conflict, or whether you may proceed. Disclosure is mandatory; failing to disclose a conflict of interest is a violation of the Code.

 

Gifts and Entertainment

 

Intel recognizes that exchanging business courtesies such as meals, entertainment, routine promotional gifts, and other items can be a part of building strong business relationships. At other times, such business courtesies are not appropriate.

 

Intel provides guidelines to help determine when accepting or offering such courtesies may be appropriate and when to seek advice. As customs vary throughout the world, these guidelines may differ by country

 

However, there are some principles that are fixed and apply worldwide:

 

  • We do not offer or accept a bribe, that is, anything designed to obligate a person to act improperly with regard to Intel's business
  •  We do not offer or accept cash or cash equivalents without approval 
  • We never participate in any business entertainment activity that would violate the law or embarrass Intel by its public disclosure 
  • We consult our Intel Legal representative before offering anything of value to government or political party officials, as such gifts and entertainment are strictly regulated and often forbidden entirely We do not seek favors directly or indirectly, such as gifts, entertainment, sponsorships, or contributions from organizations doing business or seeking to do business with Intel

 

If you have questions, consult Intel Legal.

 

Intel Employees Protect the Company's Assets and Reputation

 

Intel spends considerable resources to develop and maintain assets used for the company's business. We each have a responsibility to comply with all procedures that protect the value of Intel's assets, including physical assets, information, Intel brands, and its good name and reputation.

 

Protecting Physical Assets

 

Intel's physical assets include facilities, equipment, and computer and communications systems. We are to use these assets primarily for Intel business. As a narrow exception, we may use computer and communications systems for reasonable, personal use.

 

We need to follow applicable security and use procedures to protect the company's physical assets from theft, loss, damage, or misuse. Report the theft, loss, damage, or misuse of Intel's physical assets to Intel Security as soon as possible.

 

While Intel respects employee privacy, we should not assume that our desk, cubicle, or use of computer or telephone equipment is private or confidential. Subject to local laws, Intel may search and review both incoming and outgoing communications and all device information, including any passwordprotected employee communications.

 

Maintaining Information Security

 

Proprietary information is another valuable company asset and includes internal and external communication; digital information stored on laptops, handhelds, desktops, servers, backups, and portable storage devices; and hard copy documents and verbal discussions.

 

When we work with proprietary and confidential information, we need to take personal responsibility to safeguard it from unauthorized disclosure, changes, or loss.

 

We must comply with all Intel security policies and procedures for handling information assets and systems to ensure that we meet legal obligations, protect Intel's reputation, and protect Intel's investment in proprietary information.

 

Safeguarding Trademarks and Brands

 

Among Intel's most valuable assets are its trademarks and brands. To protect the value and recognition of Intel's trademarks, Intel has established guidelines that specify how and when they may be used.

 

We must follow these guidelines whenever we use the company's trademarks and brands, whether in internal and external communications or in materials prepared by third parties, such as marketing agencies, channel distributors, and Original Equipment Manufacturers.

 

Representing Intel

 

The value of Intel's reputation and good name must be upheld whenever we represent Intel. On occasion, Intel may request individuals to act as an employee, officer, director, partner, consultant, representative, agent, or adviser of another entity. In those cases, an employee should discuss the situation with the direct manager. You may need special rules to abide by the Code.

 

In other cases, such as when speaking on business or technology topics in a public setting or posting on the Internet, you must make it clear that you are expressing your own views and not those of Intel, unless you are speaking as an authorized representative of the company.

 

You must carefully follow special rules of conduct if you participate in or take a leadership position with an industry trade association, to avoid antitrust violations.

 

Asking Questions and Reporting Concerns

 

Each employee is responsible for reading, understanding, and following the Code. Anyone who violates the code is subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Anyone who violates the law may also be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

 

To help Intel conduct business with uncompromising integrity and professionalism, every employee has the duty to report possible violations of the law, the Code, and other company guidelines.

 

Ways to Seek Guidance and Report Concerns

 

Because the Code cannot address every situation, you will need to seek guidance whenever unsure of the correct course of action. Intel offers many ways to get information and ask questions about the Code.

 

Consistent with Intel's Open Door process, address the issue with your manager or with any other person in the management chain, including the Executive Office or any officer of the corporation.

 

Address ethics and legal questions and concerns with the internal groups who specialize in handling such issues at Intel, including Internal Audit, Intel Security, Intel Legal, and Human Resources Legal.

 

Report concerns using the Ethics Reporting Form at EthicsandCompliance.intel.com, which allows for anonymous reporting. You have an obligation to report any potential or actual violations of the law, the Code, or other Intel guidelines, so they may be investigated. Intel takes all reports seriously, looks into the matter, and takes appropriate action.

 

Non-Retaliation Policy

 

Intel does not tolerate any retaliation against anyone who in good faith reports possible violations of law, the Code, or other company guidelines, or who asks questions about on-going or proposed conduct. Employees who attempt to retaliate will be disciplined.

 

Employees who believe they have experienced retaliation for reporting possible violations should contact a local representative in Human Resources or Intel Legal.

 

Approvals and Waivers

 

The Code sets out expectations for Intel's conduct. When certain situations require permission from management or another person before taking action, you need to raise the issue promptly to allow enough time for the necessary review and approval.

 

In a particular circumstance Intel may find it appropriate to waive a provision of the Code. To seek a waiver, speak with a manager, who will consider the request in consultation with others, such as Intel Legal or Internal Audit.

 

Directors and executive officers who seek a waiver should address the Board of Directors or a designated committee of the Board. Intel discloses such waivers for directors and executive officers to the extent and in the manner required by law, regulation, or stock exchange listing standard.

 

Reminders

 

The Code serves as our guide for conducting business with integrity. It is not an employment contract and confers no rights relating to employment.

 

The Code is not a complete list of Intel guidelines. You are expected to know and comply with all Intel guidelines related to your job. Violation of these other guidelines may also result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

AHIMA Code of Ethics (2008)

Organization: American Health Information Management Association Visit Organization Page
Source: AHIMA: Code of Ethics Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
August, 2008

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

AHIMA Code of Ethics

Introduction

 

The Standards of Ethical Coding are based on the American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA's) Code of Ethics. Both sets of principles reflect expectations of professional conduct for coding professionals involved in diagnostic and/or procedural coding or other health record data abstraction.

 

A Code of Ethics sets forth professional values and ethical principles and offers ethical guidelines to which professionals aspire and by which their actions can be judged. Health information management (HIM) professionals are expected to demonstrate professional values by their actions to patients, employers, members of the healthcare team, the public, and the many stakeholders they serve. A Code of Ethics is important in helping to guide the decision-making process and can be referenced by individuals, agencies, organizations, and bodies (such as licensing and regulatory boards, insurance providers, courts of law, government agencies, and other professional groups).

 

The AHIMA Code of Ethics (available on the AHIMA web site) is relevant to all AHIMA members and credentialed HIM professionals and students, regardless of their professional functions, the settings in which they work, or the populations they serve. Coding is one of the core HIM functions, and due to the complex regulatory requirements affecting the health information coding process, coding professionals are frequently faced with ethical challenges. The AHIMA Standards of Ethical Coding are intended to assist coding professionals and managers in decision-making processes and actions, outline expectations for making ethical decisions in the workplace, and demonstrate coding professionals' commitment to integrity during the coding process, regardless of the purpose for which the codes are being reported. They are relevant to all coding professionals and those who manage the coding function, regardless of the healthcare setting in which they work or whether they are AHIMA members or nonmembers.

 

These Standards of Ethical Coding have been revised in order to reflect the current healthcare environment and modern coding practices. The previous revision was published in 1999.

 

Standards of Ethical Coding

 

Coding professionals should:

  1. Apply accurate, complete, and consistent coding practices for the production of high-quality healthcare data. 
  2. Report all healthcare data elements (e.g. diagnosis and procedure codes, present on admission indicator, discharge status) required for external reporting purposes (e.g. reimbursement and other administrative uses, population health, quality and patient safety measurement, and research) completely and accurately, in accordance with regulatory and documentation standards and requirements and applicable official coding conventions, rules, and guidelines. 
  3. Assign and report only the codes and data that are clearly and consistently supported by health record documentation in accordance with applicable code set and abstraction conventions, rules, and guidelines. 
  4. Query provider (physician or other qualified healthcare practitioner) for clarification and additional documentation prior to code assignment when there is conflicting, incomplete, or ambiguous information in the health record regarding a significant reportable condition or procedure or other reportable data element dependent on health record documentation (e.g. present on admission indicator). 
  5. Refuse to change reported codes or the narratives of codes so that meanings are misrepresented. 
  6. Refuse to participate in or support coding or documentation practices intended to inappropriately increase payment, qualify for insurance policy coverage, or skew data by means that do not comply with federal and state statutes, regulations and official rules and guidelines. 
  7. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting proper coding practices. 
  8. Advance coding knowledge and practice through continuing education. 
  9. Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical coding or abstraction practices or procedures.
  10.  Protect the confidentiality of the health record at all times and refuse to access protected health information not required for coding-related activities ( examples of coding-related activities include completion of code assignment, other health record data abstraction, coding audits, and educational purposes). 
  11. Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, shows a commitment to ethical and legal coding practices, and fosters trust in professional activities. 

 

Revised and approved by the House of Delegates 09/08 All rights reserved. Reprint and quote only with proper reference to AHIMA's authorship. 

 

 

Resources AHIMA Code of Ethics:

 

Available at http://www.ahima.org/about/ethics.asp ICD-9-CM

Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/ftpserv/ftpicd9/icdguide07.pdf

AHIMA's position statement on Quality Health Data and Information: Available at http://www.ahima.org/dc/positions

AHIMA's position statement on Uniformity and Consistency of Healthcare Data (DRAFT)

AHIMA Practice Brief titled "Managing an Effective Query Process:" Available at http://www.ahima.org/infocenter/briefs.asp

 

How to Interpret the Standards of Ethical Coding

 

The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the American Health Information Management Association and the AHIMA Code of Ethics and apply to all coding professionals. Guidelines for each ethical principle include examples of behaviors and situations that can help to clarify the principle. They are not meant as a comprehensive list of all situations that can occur.

 

1. Apply accurate, complete, and consistent coding practices for the production of high-quality healthcare data.

 

Coding professionals and those who manage coded data shall:

 

1.1. Support selection of appropriate diagnostic, procedure and other types of health service related codes (e.g. present on admission indicator, discharge status).

Example: Policies and procedures are developed and used as a framework for the work process, and education and training is provided on their use.

 

1.2. Develop and comply with comprehensive internal coding policies and procedures that are consistent with official coding rules and guidelines, reimbursement regulations and policies and prohibit coding practices that misrepresent the patient's medical conditions and treatment provided or are not supported by the health record documentation.

Example: Code assignment resulting in misrepresentation of facts carries significant consequences.

 

1.3. Participate in the development of institutional coding policies and ensure that coding policies complement, and do not conflict with, official coding rules and guidelines.

 

1.4. Foster an environment that supports honest and ethical coding practices resulting in accurate and reliable data.

 

Coding professionals shall not:

 

1.5. Participate in improper preparation, alteration, or suppression of coded information.

 

2. Report all healthcare data elements (e.g. diagnosis and procedure codes, present on admission indicator, discharge status) required for external reporting purposes (e.g. reimbursement and other administrative uses, population health, public data reporting, quality and patient safety measurement, research) completely and accurately, in accordance with regulatory and documentation standards and requirements and applicable official coding conventions, rules, and guidelines.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

2.1. Adhere to the ICD coding conventions, official coding guidelines approved by the Cooperating Parties,1 the CPT rules established by the American Medical Association, and any other official coding rules and guidelines established for use with mandated standard code sets.

Example: Appropriate resource tools that assist coding professionals with proper sequencing and reporting to stay in compliance with existing reporting requirements are available and used.

 

2.2. Select and sequence diagnosis and procedure codes in accordance with the definitions of required data sets for applicable healthcare settings.

 

2.3. Comply with AHIMA's standards governing data reporting practices, including health record documentation and clinician query standards.

 

3. Assign and report only the codes that are clearly and consistently supported by health record documentation in accordance with applicable code set conventions, rules, and guidelines.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

3.1. Apply skills, knowledge of currently mandated coding and classification systems, and official resources to select the appropriate diagnostic and procedural codes (including applicable modifiers), and other codes representing healthcare services (including substances, equipment, supplies, or other items used in the provision of healthcare services).

Example: Failure to research or confirm the appropriate code for a clinical condition not indexed in the classification, or reporting a code for the sake of convenience or to affect reporting for a desired effect on the results, is considered unethical.

 

4. Query provider (physician or other qualified healthcare practitioner) for clarification and additional documentation prior to code assignment when there is conflicting, incomplete, or ambiguous information in the health record regarding a significant reportable condition or procedure or other reportable data element dependent on health record documentation (e.g. present on admission indicator).

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

4.1. Participate in the development of query policies that support documentation improvement and meet regulatory, legal, and ethical standards for coding and reporting.

 

4.2. Query the provider for clarification when documentation in the health record that impacts an externally reportable data element is illegible, incomplete, unclear, inconsistent, or imprecise.

 

4.3. Use queries as a communication tool to improve the accuracy of code assignment and the quality of health record documentation, not to inappropriately increase reimbursement or misrepresent quality of care.

Example: Policies regarding the circumstances when clinicians should be queried are designed to promote complete and accurate coding and complete documentation, regardless of whether reimbursement will be affected.

 

Coding professionals shall not :

 

4.4. Query the provider when there is no clinical information in the health record prompting the need for a query.

Example: Query the provider regarding the presence of gram-negative pneumonia on every pneumonia case, regardless of whether there are any clinical indications of gram-negative pneumonia documented in the record.

 

5. Refuse to change reported codes or the narratives of codes so that meanings are misrepresented.

 

Coding professionals shall not:

 

5.1. Change the description for a diagnosis or procedure code or other reported data element so that it does not accurately reflect the official definition of that code. Example: The description of a code is altered in the encoding software, resulting in incorrect reporting of this code.

 

6. Refuse to participate in or support coding or documentation practices intended to inappropriately increase payment, qualify for insurance policy coverage, or skew data by means that do not comply with federal and state statutes, regulations and official rules and guidelines.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

6.1. Select and sequence the codes such that the organization receives the optimal payment to which the facility is legally entitled, remembering that it is unethical and illegal to increase payment by means that contradict regulatory guidelines.

 

Coding professionals shall not :

 

6.2. Misrepresent the patient's clinical picture through intentional incorrect coding or omission of diagnosis or procedure codes, or the addition of diagnosis or procedure codes unsupported by health record documentation, to inappropriately increase reimbursement, justify medical necessity, improve publicly reported data, or qualify for insurance policy coverage benefits.

Examples: A patient has a health plan that excludes reimbursement for reproductive management or contraception; so rather than report the correct code for admission for tubal ligation, it is reported as a medically necessary condition with performance of a salpingectomy. The narrative descriptions of both the diagnosis and procedures reflect an admission for tubal ligation and the procedure (tubal ligation) is displayed on the record. A code is changed at the patient's request so that the service will be covered by the patient's insurance.

 

Coding professionals shall not :

 

6.3. Inappropriately exclude diagnosis or procedure codes in order to misrepresent the quality of care provided.

Examples: Following a surgical procedure, a patient acquired an infection due to a break in sterile procedure; the appropriate code for the surgical complication is omitted from the claims submission to avoid any adverse outcome to the institution. Quality outcomes are reported inaccurately in order to improve a healthcare organization's quality profile or pay-for-performance results.

 

7. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting proper coding practices.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

7.1. Assist and educate physicians and other clinicians by advocating proper documentation practices, further specificity, and re-sequence or include diagnoses or procedures when needed to more accurately reflect the acuity, severity, and the occurrence of events.

Example: Failure to advocate for ethical practices that seek to represent the truth in events as expressed by the associated code sets when needed is considered an intentional disregard of these standards.

 

8. Advance coding knowledge and practice through continuing education.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

8.1. Maintain and continually enhance coding competency (e.g., through participation in educational programs, reading official coding publications such as the Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM, and maintaining professional certifications) in order to stay abreast of changes in codes, coding guidelines, and regulatory and other requirements.

 

9. Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical coding practices or procedures.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

9.1. Act in a professional and ethical manner at all times.

 

9.2. Take adequate measures to discourage, prevent, expose, and correct the unethical conduct of colleagues.

 

9.3. Be knowledgeable about established policies and procedures for handling concerns about colleagues' unethical behavior. These include policies and procedures created by AHIMA, licensing and regulatory bodies, employers, supervisors, agencies, and other professional organizations.

 

9.4. Seek resolution if there is a belief that a colleague has acted unethically or if there is a belief of incompetence or impairment by discussing their concerns with the colleague when feasible and when such discussion is likely to be productive. Take action through appropriate formal channels, such as contacting an accreditation or regulatory body and/or the AHIMA Professional Ethics Committee.

 

9.5. Consult with a colleague when feasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial action when there is direct knowledge of a health information management colleague's incompetence or impairment. Coding professionals shall not :

 

9.6. Participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud and abuse, or deception.

A non-exhaustive list of examples includes: Allowing inappropriate patterns of retrospective documentation to avoid suspension or increase reimbursement Assigning codes without supporting provider (physician or other qualified healthcare practitioner) documentation Coding when documentation does not justify the diagnoses and/or procedures that have been billed Coding an inappropriate level of service Miscoding to avoid conflict with others Adding, deleting, and altering health record documentation Copying and pasting another clinician's documentation without identification of the original author and date Knowingly reporting incorrect present on admission indicator Knowingly reporting incorrect patient discharge status code Engaging in negligent coding practices

 

10. Protect the confidentiality of the health record at all times and refuse to access protected health information not required for coding-related activities (examples of coding-related activities include completion of code assignment, other health record data abstraction, coding audits, and educational purposes).

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

10.1. Protect all confidential information obtained in the course of professional service, including personal, health, financial, genetic, and outcome information.

 

10.2. Access only that information necessary to perform their duties.

 

11. Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, shows a commitment to ethical and legal coding practices, and fosters trust in professional activities.

 

Coding professionals shall:

 

11.1. Act in an honest manner and bring honor to self, peers, and the profession.

 

11.2. Truthfully and accurately represent their credentials, professional education, and experience.

 

11.3. Demonstrate ethical principles and professional values in their actions to patients, employers, other members of the healthcare team, consumers, and other stakeholders served by the healthcare data they collect and report.

Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses (2002)

Organization: Canadian Nurses Association Visit Organization Page
Source: Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
August 2002

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses

Preamble

This code of ethics for registered nurses is a statement of the ethical commitments[1] of nurses to those they serve. It has been developed by nurses for nurses and sets forth the ethical standards by which nurses are to conduct their nursing practice.[2]

 

Purpose of the Code

The code of ethics for registered nurses sets out the ethical behavior expected of registered nurses in Canada. It gives guidance for decision-making concerning ethical matters, serves as a means for self-evaluation and self-reflection regarding ethical nursing practice and provides a basis for feedback and peer review. The code delineates what registered nurses must know about their ethical responsibilities, informs other health care professionals and members of the public about the ethical
commitments of nurses and upholds the responsibilities of being a self-regulating profession. This code serves as an ethical basis from which to advocate for quality practice environments with the potential to impact the delivery of safe, competent and ethical nursing care.

While codes of ethics can serve to guide practice, it takes more than knowledge of general rules to ensure ethical practice. Sensitivity and receptivity to ethical questions must be part of nurses' basic education and should evolve as nurses develop their professional practice. Nursing practice involves
attention to ethics at various levels: the individual person, the health care agency or program, the community, society and internationally.


Elements of the code

The elements of this document include:

  • A preamble highlighting changes influencing nursing practice;
  • A description of the nature of ethics in nursing;
  • A definition of values and the importance of relationships for ethical
    practice;
  • A description of the eight values of the code;
  • Explanatory responsibility statements based upon each value;
  • Glossary;
  • Specific applications of the code (Appendix A);
  • The code of ethics history (Appendix B); and
  • Ethics reading resources.


Context of the Code

The Canadian Nurses Association's (CNA's) code of ethics reflects changes in social values and conditions that affect the health care system and create both new challenges and opportunities for the ethical practice of nursing. Examples of such challenges and opportunities are briefly below.

  • Nurses have become more autonomous in their practice as a function of the development of nursing knowledge and research and changing patterns of care. For example, day surgeries and shortened lengths of stays have lead to nurses caring for people with complex care needs across acute, continuing, community and home care settings. With less direct supervision, greater individual accountability for safe, competent and ethical care is needed.
  • Nurses have greater opportunities to provide benefit to people and communities through integrated team work. Effective team work requires clear and respectful communication which is essential to providing quality care. This goal has been difficult to achieve due to fiscal and systemic constraints.
  • Traditionally nurses have been leaders in health promotion and primary health care, often in remote areas, and now increasingly in the community. These roles have become more important in the evolving climate of health care reform. Further, the emergence of communicable diseases, once thought conquered, and new infectious diseases have created serious public health challenges and reinforces the reality of the global community.
  • The biological/genetic revolution, as well as other emerging technology and human reproduction as well as to govern access to health information. Comparable philosophical development in considering the ethics of these advances is, as yet, limited. The public needs knowledge and ethical guidance to make well-informed choices about the appropriate use of many of these advances.
  • The adoption of a business approach to health care reform involves values of efficiency guided by outcome measures and often a re-orientation of priorities. Many have concerns that the values inherent in an industrial and/or for-profit approach could replace fundamental values underlying health care in Canada, such as provision for the care of vulnerable persons (eg. elderly), enhancing quality of life and solidarity in community. This might reflect a shift in public values.

 

The Nature of Ethics in Nursing

The ability of nurses to engage in ethical practice in everyday work and to deal with ethical situations, problems and concerns can be the result of decisions made at a variety of levels - individual, organizational, regional, provincial, national and international. Differing responsibilities, capabilities and ways of working toward change also exist at these various levels. For all contexts and levels of decision-making, the code offers guidance for providing care that is congruent with ethical practice and for actively influencing and participating in policy development, review and revision.

The complex issues in nursing practice have both legal and ethical dimensions. An ideal system of law would be compatible with ethics, in that adherence to the law should never require the violation of ethics. There may be situations in which nurses need to take collective action to change a law that is incompatible with ethics. Still, the domains of law and ethics remain distinct, and the code addresses ethical responsibilities only.


Ethical Situations

In their practice, nurses constantly face situations involving ethics. These can be described in several ways. Description allows nurses to name their source of discomfort, a first step in addressing these ethical situations.

Everyday ethics: the way nurses approach their practice and reflect on their ethical commitment to the people [3] they serve. It involves the nurses' attention to common ethical events such as protecting a person's physical privacy.

Ethical violations: neglecting fundamental nursing obligations in a situation where the nurse knows that the action or lack of action is not appropriate.

 

Ethical dilemmas: situations arising when equally compelling ethical reasons both for and against a particular course of action are recognized and a decision must be made, for example, caring for a young teenager who is refusing treatment.

Ethical distress: situations in which nurses cannot fulfill their ethical o

bligations and commitments (i.e. their moral agency), or they fail to pursue what they believe to be the right course of action, or fail to live up to their own expectation of ethical practice, for one or more of the following reasons: error in judgment, insufficient personal resolve or other circumstances truly beyond their control (Webster & Baylis, 2000). They may feel guilt, concern or distaste as a result.

 

Moral residue: “…that which each of us carries with us from those times in our lives when in the face of ethical distress we have seriously compromised ourselves or allowed ourselves to be compromised” (Webster & Baylis, 2000, p. 218). Moral residue may, for example, be an outcome for some nurses who are required to implement behaviour modification strategies in the treatment of mentally ill persons (Mitchell, 2001).

Ethical uncertainty: arises when one is unsure what ethical principles or values to apply or even what the moral problem is (Jameton, 1984). Nurses may experience ethical situations differently. Regardless of this, the code provides guidelines for reflection and guides to action, and is intended to assist nurses through these experiences. Naming situations can be a turning point from which nurses can begin to address difficult situations, for example, dealing with ethical distress and moral residue can often lead to “defining moments” in one's career (e.g., if the nurse deter- mines that this specific situation shall not occur again), thus allowing for positive outcomes to emerge from a

difficult experience.


Ethical Decision-making

The Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses is structured around eight primary values that are central to ethical nursing practice:

  • Safe, competent and ethical care
  • Health and well-being
  • Choice
  • Dignity
  • Confidentiality
  • Justice
  • Accountability
  • Quality practice environments

 

With each value, specific responsibility statements are provided. Ethical reflection, which begins with a review of one's own ethics, and judgment are required to determine how a particular value or responsibility applies in a particular nursing context. There is room within the profession for disagreement among nurses about the relative weight of different ethical values and principles. More than one proposed intervention may be ethical and reflective of good practice. Discussion and questioning are extremely helpful in the resolution of ethical issues. As appropriate, persons in care,

colleagues in nursing and other disciplines, professional nurses' associations, colleges, ethics committees and other experts should be included in discussions about ethical problems. In addition legislation, standards of practice, policies and guidelines of professional nurses' associations, colleges and nurses' unions may also assist in problem-solving. Further, models for ethical decision-making, such as those described in CNA's Everyday Ethics, can assist nurses in thinking through ethical problems.


Values

A value is a belief or attitude about the importance of a goal, an object, a principle or a behaviour. People may hold conflicting values and often may not be aware of their own values. Values refer to ideals that are desirable in themselves and not simply as a means to get something else. The values articulated in this code are grounded in the professional nursing relationship with individuals and indicate what nurses care about in that relationship. For example, to identify health and well-being as a value is to say that nurses care for and about the health and well-being of the people they serve. This relationship presupposes a certain measure of trust on the part of the person served. Care and trust complement one another in professional nursing relationships. Both hinge on the values identified in the code. By upholding these values in practice, nurses earn and maintain the trust of those in their care.

 

For each of the values, the scope of responsibilities identified extends beyond individuals to include families, communities and society.

 

It should be noted that nurses' responsibilities to enact the values of the code cannot be separated from the responsibilities for other health care providers, health care agencies and policy makers at regional, provincial, national and international levels to foster health care delivery environments supporting ethical practice. While the code cannot enforce responsibilities outside of nursing, it can provide a powerful political instrument for nurses when they are concerned about being able to practice ethically.

 

Nursing Values Defined


Safe, competent and ethical care
Nurses value the ability to provide safe, competent and ethical care that allows them to fulfill their ethical and professional obligations to the people they serve.


Health and well-being
Nurses value health promotion and well-being and assisting persons to achieve their optimum level of health in situations of normal health, illness, injury, disability or at the end of life.


Choice
Nurses respect and promote the autonomy ofpersons and help them to express their health needs and values and also to obtain desired information and services so they can make informed decisions.


Dignity
Nurses recognize and respect the inherent worth of each person and advocate for respectful treatment of all persons.


Confidentiality
Nurses safeguard information learned in the context of a professional relationship, and ensure it is shared outside the health care team only with the person's informed consent, or as may be legally required, or where the failure to disclose would cause significant harm.


Justice
Nurses uphold principles of equity and fairness to assist persons in receiving a share of health services and resources proportionate to their needs and in promoting social justice.


Accountability
Nurses are answerable for their practice, and they act in a manner consistent with their professional responsibilities and standards of practice.


Quality Practice Environments
Nurses value and advocate for practice environments that have the organizational structures and resources necessary to ensure safety, support and respect for all persons in the work setting.

 

Nursing Values and Responsibility Statements


Safe, Competent and Ethical Care

Nurses value the ability to provide safe, competent and ethical care that allows them to fulfill their ethical and professional obligations to the people they serve.

  1. Nurses must strive for the highest quality of care achievable.
  2. Nurses must recognize that they have the ability to engage in determining and expressing their own moral choices. Their moral choices may be influenced by external factors (e.g. institutional values and constraints).
  3. Nurses should be sufficiently clear and reflective about their personal values to recognize potential value conflicts.
  4. Nurses must maintain an acceptable level of health and well-being in order to provide a competent level of service/care for the people they serve.
  5. Nurses must base their practice on relevant research findings and acquire new skills and knowledge in their area of practice through out their career.
  6. Nurses must practice within their own level of competence. When aspects of care are beyond their level of competence, they must seek additional information or knowledge, seek help from their supervisor or a competent practitioner and/or request a different work assignment. In the meantime, nurses must provide care until another nurse is available to do so.
  7. Nurses seeking professional employment must accurately state their area(s) of competence. They should seek reasonable assurance that employment conditions will permit care consistent with the values and responsibilities of the code.
  8. Nurses must admit mistakes and take all necessary actions to prevent or minimize harm arising from an adverse event [4].
  9. Nurses must strive to prevent and minimize adverse events4 in collaboration with colleagues on the health care team. When adverse events occur, nurses should utilize opportunities to improve the system and prevent harm.
  10. All nurses must contribute to safe and supportive work environments.
  11. Nurse leaders have a particular obligation to strive for safe practice environments that support ethical practice.
  12. Nurses should advocate for ongoing research designed to identify best nursing practices and for the collection and interpretation of nursing care data at a national level.


Health and Well-being

Nurses value health promotion and well-being and assisting persons to achieve their optimum level of health in situations of normal health, illness, injury, disability or at the end of life.

  1. Nurses must provide care directed first and foremost toward the health and well-being of the person, family or community in their care.
  2. Nurses must recognize that health is more than the absence of disease or infirmity and must work in partnership with people to achieve their goals of maximum health and well-being.
  3. Nurses should provide care addressing the well-being of the person in the context of that person's relationships with their family and community.
  4. Nurses must foster comfort and well-being when persons are terminally ill and dying to alleviate suffering and support a dignified and peaceful death.
  5. Nurses should provide the best care that circumstances permit even when the need arises in an emergency outside an employment situation.
  6. Nurses should respect and value the knowledge, skills and perspectives of the persons in their care and must recognize, value and respect these while planning for and implementing care.
  7. In providing care, nurses should also respect and value the knowledge and perspectives of other health providers. They should actively collaborate and where possible seek appropriate consultations and referrals to other health team members in order to maximum health benefits to people.
  8. Nurses should recognize the need to address organizational, social, economic and political factors influencing health. They should participate with their colleagues, professional associations, colleges and other groups to present nursing views in ways that are consistent
    with their professional role, responsibilities and capabilities and which are in the interests of the public.
  9. Nurses should recognize the need for a full continuum of accessible health services, including health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, as well as diagnostic, restorative, rehabilitative and palliative care services.
  10. Nurses should seek ways to improve access to health care that enhances, not replaces, care by utilizing new research based technologies, such as telehealth (eg. telephone assessment and support).
  11. Nurses should continue to contribute to and support procedurally and ethically rigorous research and other activities that foster the ongoing development of nursing knowledge.
  12. Nurses who conduct or assist in the conduct of research must observe the nursing profession's guidelines, as well as other guidelines, for ethical research.[5]


Choice

Nurses respect and promote the autonomy of persons and help them to express their health needs and values and also to obtain desired information and services so that they can make informed decisions.

  1. Nurses must be committed to building trusting relations as the foundation of meaningful communication, recognizing that building this relationship takes effort. Such relationships are critical to ensure that a person's choice is understood, expressed and advocated.
  2. Nurses should provide the desired information and support required so people are enabled to act on their own behalf in meeting their health and health care needs to the greatest extent possible.
  3. Nurses should be active in assisting person's to obtain the best current knowledge about their health condition.
  4. Nurses must respect the wishes of those who refuse, or are not ready, to receive information about their health condition. They should be sensitive to the timing of information given and how the information is presented.
  5. Nurses must ensure that nursing care is provided with the person's informed consent. Nurses must also recognize that persons have the right to refuse or withdraw consent for care or treatment at any time.
  6. Nurses must respect the informed choices of those with decisional capacity to be independent, to choose lifestyles not conducive to good health and to direct their own care as they see fit. However, nurses are not obligated to comply with a person's wishes when this is contrary to the law.
  7. Nurses must continue to provide opportunities for people to make choices and maintain their capacity to make decisions, even when illness or other factors reduce the person's capacity for self-determination. Nurses should seek assent of the person when consent is not possible.
  8. If nursing care is requested that is contrary to the nurse's personal values, the nurse must provide appropriate care until alternative care arrangements are in place to meet the person's desires.
  9. Nurses must be sensitive to their position of relative power in professional relationships with persons. Nurses must also identify and minimize (and discuss with the health team) sources of coercion.
  10. Nurses must respect a person's advance directives about present and future health care choices that have been given or written by a person prior to loss of decisional capacity.
  11. When a person lacks decisional capacity, nurses must obtain consent for nursing care from a substitute decision-maker, subject to the laws in their jurisdiction. When prior wishes for treatment and care of an incompetent person are not known or are unclear, nurses' decisions must be made based on what the person would have wanted as far as is known, or failing that, decisions must be made in the best interest of the person in consultation with the family and other health care providers.
  12. Nurses should respect a person's method of decision-making, recognizing that different cultures place different weight on individualism and often choose to defer to family and community values
    in decision-making (ANA, 2001). However, nurses should also advocate for the individual if that person's well-being is compromised by family, community or other health professionals.


Dignity

Nurses recognize and respect the inherent worth of each person and advocate for respectful treatment of all persons.

  1. Nurses must relate to all persons receiving care as persons worthy of respect and endeavour in all their actions to preserve and demonstrate respect for the dignity and rights of each individual.
  2. Nurses must be sensitive to an individual's needs, values and choices. Nurses should take into account the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual needs of persons in health care.
  3. Nurses must recognize the vulnerability of persons and must not exploit their vulnerabilities for the nurse's own interest or in a way that might compromise the therapeutic relationship. Nurses must maintain professional boundaries to ensure their professional relationships are for the benefit of the person they serve. For example, they must avoid sexual intimacy with patients, avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of persons in their care and must not use their
    professional relationships for personal or financial gain.
  4. Nurses must respect the physical privacy of persons when care is given, by providing care in a discreet manner and by minimizing unwanted intrusions.
  5. Nurses must intervene if others fail to respect the dignity of persons in care.
  6. Nurses must advocate for appropriate use of interventions in order to minimize unnecessary and unwanted procedures that may increase suffering.
  7. Nurses must seek out and honour persons' wishes regarding how they want to live the remainder of their life. Decision-making about life sustaining treatment is guided by these considerations.
  8. Nurses should advocate for health and social conditions that allow persons to live and die with dignity.
  9. Nurses must avoid engaging in any form of punishment, unusual treatment or action that is inhuman or degrading towards the persons in their care and must avoid complicity in such behaviours.


Confidentiality

Nurses safeguard information learned in the context of a professional relationship and ensure it is shared outside the health care team only with the person's informed consent, or as may be legally required, or where the failure to disclose would cause significant harm.

  1. Nurses must respect the right of each person to informational privacy, that is, the individual's control over the use, access, disclosure and collection of their information.
  2. Nurses must advocate for persons requesting access to their health record subject to legal requirements.
  3. Nurses must protect the confidentiality of all information gained in the context of the professional relationship, and practice within relevant laws governing privacy and confidentiality of personal health information.
  4. Nurses must intervene if other participants in the health care delivery system fail to maintain their duty of confidentiality.
  5. Nurses must disclose a person's health information only as authorized by that person, unless there is substantial risk of serious harm to the person or to other persons or a legal obligation to disclose. Where disclosure is warranted, information provided must be limited to the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish the purpose for which it has been disclosed. Further the number of people informed must be restricted to the minimum necessary.
  6. Nurses should inform the persons in their care that their health information will be shared with the health care team for the purposes of providing care. In some circumstances nurses are legally required to disclose confidential information without consent. When this occurs
    nurses should attempt to inform individuals about what information will be disclosed, to whom and for what reason(s).
  7. When nurses are required to disclose health information about persons, with or without the person's informed consent, they must do so in ways that do not stigmatize individuals, families or communities. They must provide information in a way that minimizes identification as much as possible.
  8. Nurses must advocate for and respect policies and safeguards to protect and preserve the person's privacy.


Justice

Nurses uphold principles of equity and fairness to assist persons in receiving a share of health services and resources proportionate to their needs and promoting social justice.

  1. Nurses must not discriminate in the provision of nursing care based on a person's race, ethnicity, culture, spiritual beliefs, social or marital status, sex, sexual orientation, age, health status, lifestyle, mental or physical disability and/or ability to pay.
  2. Nurses must strive to make fair decisions about the allocation of resources under their control based upon the individual needs of persons in their care.
  3. Nurses should put forward, and advocate for, the interests of all persons in their care. This includes helping individuals and groups gain access to appropriate health care that is of their choosing.
  4. Nurses should promote appropriate and ethical care at the organizational/agency and community levels by participating in the development, implementation and ongoing review of policies and procedures designed to provide the best care for persons with the best use of available resources given current knowledge and research.
  5. Nurses should advocate for health policies and decision-making procedures that are consistent with current knowledge and practice.
  6. Nurses should advocate for fairness and inclusiveness in health resource allocation, including policies and programs addressing determinants of health, along with research based technology and palliative approaches to health care.
  7. Nurses should be aware of broader health concerns such as environmental pollution, violations of human rights, world hunger, homelessness, violence, etc. and are encouraged to the extent possible in their personal circumstances to work individually as citizens or collectively for policies and procedures to bring about social change, keeping in mind the needs of future generations (ANA, 2001).


Accountability

Nurses are answerable for their practice, and they act in a manner consistent with their professional responsibilities and standards of practice.

  1. Nurses must respect and practice according to the values and responsibilities in this Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses and in keeping with the professional standards, laws and regulations supporting ethical practice. They should use opportunities to help nursing colleagues be aware of this code and other professional standards.
  2. Nurses have the responsibility to conduct themselves with honesty and to protect their own integrity in all of their professional interactions.
  3. Nurses, in clinical, administrative, research or educational practice, have professional responsibilities and accountabilities toward safeguarding the quality of nursing care persons receive. These responsibilities vary, but all must be oriented to the expected outcome of safe,
    competent and ethical nursing practice.
  4. Nurses should share their knowledge and provide mentorship and guidance for the professional development of nursing students and other colleagues/health care team members.
  5. Nurse educators, to the extent possible, must ensure that students will possess the required knowledge, skills and competencies in order to graduate from nursing programs (ANA, 2001).
  6. Nurse administrators/managers, to the extent possible, must ensure that only those nurses possessing the required knowledge, skills and competencies work in their practice areas.
  7. Nurses should provide timely and accurate feedback to other nurses and colleagues in other disciplines and students about their practice, so as to support and recognize safe and competent practice, contribute to ongoing learning and improve care.
  8. If nurses determine that they do not have the necessary physical, mental or emotional well-being to provide safe and competent care to persons, they may withdraw from the provision of care or decline to engage in care. However, they must first give reasonable notice to the employer, or if self-employed to their patients, and take reasonable action to ensure that appropriate action has been taken to replace them (RNABC, 2001).
  9. Nurses planning to participate in job action or who practice in environments where job action occurs, must take steps (see Appendix A) to safeguard the health and safety of people during the course of the job action.
  10. Nurses must give primary consideration to the welfare of the people they serve and to any possibility of harm in future care situations when they are pondering taking action with regard to suspected unethical conduct or incompetent or unsafe care. When nurses have reasonable grounds for concern about the behaviour of colleagues or about the safety of conditions in the care setting, they must carefully review the situation and take steps, individually or in partnership with others, to resolve the problem (see Appendix A).
  11. Nurses should advocate for discussion of ethical issues among health team members, patients and families.
  12. Nurses should advocate for changes to policy, legislation or regulations in concert with other colleagues and their professional associations or colleges, when there is agreement that these directives are unethical.


Quality Practice Environments

Nurses value and advocate for quality practice environments that have the organizational structures and resources necessary to ensure safety, support and respect for all persons in the work setting.

  1. Nurses must advocate, to the extent possible within the circumstances, for sufficient human and material resources to provide safe and competent care.
  2. Nurses individually or in partnership with others, must take preventive as well as corrective action to protect persons from incompetent, unethical or unsafe care.
  3. If working short staffed, nurses must set priorities reflecting the allocation of resources. In such cases, nurses must endeavour to keep patients, families and employers informed about potential and actual changes to usual routines (CRNM, 2000).
  4. Nurses must support a climate of trust that sponsors openness, encourages questioning the status quo and supports those who speak out publicly in good faith (e.g. whistle blowing). It is expected that nurses who engage in responsible reporting of incompetent, unsafe or unethical care or circumstances will be supported by their professional association.
  5. Nurses must advocate for work environments in which nurses and other health workers are treated with respect and support when they raise questions or intervene to address unsafe or incompetent practice.
  6. Nurses must seek constructive and collaborative approaches to resolve differences impacting upon care amongst members of the health care team and commit to compromise and conflict resolution.
  7. Nurses are justified in using reasonable means to protect against violence when, following an informed assessment, they anticipate acts of violence toward themselves, others or property. In times when violence cannot be prevented or anticipated nurses are justified in taking self-protective action.
  8. Nurse managers/administrators must strive to provide adequate staff to meet the requirements for nursing care as part of their fundamental responsibility to promote practice environments where fitness to practice and safe care can be maintained (AARN, 2001).
    With their staff, they should work towards the development of a moral community.[6]
  9. As part of a moral community, nurses acknowledge their responsibility in contributing to quality practice settings that are positive, healthy working environments.
  10. Nurses should collaborate with nursing colleagues and other members of the health team to advocate for health care environments conducive to ethical practice and to the health and well-being of clients and others in the setting.They do this in ways that are consistent with their professional role and responsibilities.

 

Glossary

Accountability: the state of being answerable to someone for something one has done (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2002).

Advance Directives: a person's written wishes about life-sustaining treatment meant to assist with decisions about withholding or withdrawing treatment (Storch, Rodney & Starzomski, 2002). Also called living wills or anticipatory health plans.

Assent: the agreement by a child or incapacitated person to a therapeutic procedure or involvement in research following the receipt of good information. Assent from the individual affected is encouraged in addition to informed consent from the guardian or parent.

Autonomy: self-determination; an individual's right to make choices about one's own course of action (AARN, 1996).

Belief: a conviction that something is true (AARN, 1996).

Confidentiality: means the duty to preserve a person's privacy.

Consent: see informed consent.

Ethical: a formal process for making logical and consistent decisions based upon ethical values.

Ethical Commitment: ethical obligations health providers have to those they serve.

Ethical/Moral Uncertainty: arises when one is unsure what ethical principles or values to apply or even what the ethical problem is (Jameton, 1984).

Fair: equalizing people's opportunities to participate in and enjoy life, given their circumstances and capacities (Caplan, Light & Daniels, 1999).

Health Care Team: a number of health care providers from different disciplines working in collaboration to provide care for individuals, families or the community.

Informational Privacy: is the right of persons to control the use, access, disclosure and collection of their information.

Informed Consent: a legal doctrine based on respect for the principle of autonomy of an individual's right to information required to make decisions.

Justice: a principle focusing on fair treatment of individuals and groups within society. Justice is a broader concept than fairness, one example of its application is the just allocation of resources at a societal level.

Moral Agent/Agency: The concept of moral agency reflects a notion of individuals engaging in self-determining or self-expressive ethical choice. Moral agency designates nurses enacting their professional responsibility and accountability through relationships in particular contexts. A moral agent is the individual involved in fulfilling moral agency (Rodney & Starzomski, 1993).

Moral Community: is a community in which there is coherence between what a healthcare organization publicly professes to be, i.e. a helping, healing, caring environment that embraces values intrinsic to the practice of healthcare, and what employees, patients and others both witness and participate in (Webster & Baylis, 2000).

Moral Residue: “… that which each of us carries from those times in our lives when in the face of ethical distress we have seriously compromised ourselves or allowed ourselves to be compromised” (Webster and Baylis, 2000, p. 218).

Nurse: Refers to registered nurse.

Physical privacy: refers to withdrawing or being protected from public view, particularly applicable to protecting persons from exposure while providing body care.

Social justice: involves attention to those who are most vulnerable in society, e.g. those who have been excluded or forgotten due to handicap, limited education or failing health.

 

Appendix A
Suggestions for Application of the Code in Selected Circumstances

Steps to address incompetent, unsafe and unethical care

  • Gather the facts about the situation and ascertain the risks and undertake to resolve the problem;
  • Review relevant legislation and policies, guidelines and procedures for reporting incidents or suspected incompetent or unethical care and report, as required, any legally reportable offence;
  • Seek relevant information directly from the colleague whose behaviour or practice has raised concerns, when this is feasible;
  • Consult, as appropriate, with colleagues, other members of the team, professional nurses' associations, colleges or others able to assist in resolving the problem;
  • Undertake to resolve the problem as directly as possible consistent with the good of all parties;
  • Advise the appropriate parties regarding unresolved concerns and, when feasible, inform the colleague in question of the reasons for your action;
  • Refuse to participate in efforts to deceive or mislead persons about the cause of alleged harm or injury resulting from unethical or incompetent conduct.


Nurse managers/administrators, professional associations and
client safety

  • Nurse managers/administrators seek to ensure that available resources and competencies of personnel are used efficiently;
  • Nurse managers/administrators intervene to minimize the present danger and to prevent future harm when persons safety is threatened due to inadequate resources or for some other reason;
  • Professional nurses' associations support individual nurses and groups of nurses in promoting fairness and inclusiveness in health resource allocation. They do so in ways that are consistent with their role and functions.


Considerations in student-teacher-client relationships.

  • Student-teacher and student-client encounters are essential elements of nursing education and are conducted in accordance with ethical nursing practices;
  • Persons are informed of the student status of the care giver and consent for care is obtained in compliance with accepted standards;
  • Students of nursing are treated with respect and honesty by nurses and are given appropriate guidance for the development of nursing competencies;
  • Students are acquainted with and comply with the provisions of the code.


Considerations in taking job action

  • Job action by nurses is often directed toward securing conditions of employment that enable safe and ethical care of current and future patients. However, action directed toward such improvements could work to the detriment of patients in the short term.
  • Individual nurses and groups of nurses safeguard patients in planning and implementing any job action.
  • Individuals and groups of nurses participating in job action, or affected by job action, share the ethical commitment to person's safety. Their particular responsibilities may lead them to express this commitment in different but equally appropriate ways.
  • Persons whose safety requires ongoing or emergency nursing care are entitled to have those needs satisfied throughout any job action.
  • Members of the public are entitled to information about the steps taken to ensure the safety of persons during any job action.

 

Appendix B
A Code of Ethics History

1954 CNA adopts the ICN Code as its first Code of Ethics
1980 CNA moves to adopt its own code entitled, CNA Code of Ethics: An Ethical Basis for Nursing in Canada
1985 CNA adopts new code called, Code of Ethics for Nursing
1991 Code of Ethics for Nursing revised
1997 Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses adopted as updated code for CNA
2002 Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses revised

The Canadian Nurses Association prepares position papers, ethics-issue specific practice papers, an ethical dilemma column in the Canadian Nurse journal, an ethics listserv, booklets and other ethics related resources. In addition, CNA works with other health professional associations and colleges to develop interprofessional statements (e.g. about no resuscitation policies, resolving conflict) related to issues or concerns of an ethical nature.

 

References

Alberta Association of Registered Nurses. (1996). Ethical decision-making for registered nurses in Alberta: Guidelines and recommendations. Edmonton: Author.

Alberta Association of Registered Nurses. (2001). Working extra hours: Guidelines for registered nurses on fitness to practice and the provision of safe, competent, ethical nursing care.Edmonton: Author.

American Nurses Association. (2001). American Nurses Association Code of Ethics. Washington: Author.

Burkhardt, M. A. & Nathaniel, A.K. (1998). Ethics & issues in contemporary nursing. Toronto: Delmar Publishers.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2002). Ethical research guidelines for registered nurses (3rd ed.). Ottawa: Author.

Caplan, R. L., Light, D. W. & Daniels, N. (1999). Benchmarks of fairness: A moral framework for assessing equity. International Journal of Health Services, 29(4): 853-869.

College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. (2002). Working short staffed. Winnipeg: Author.

Jameton, A. (1984). Nursing Practice: The ethical issues. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Mitchell, G. J. (2001). Policy, procedure, and routine: Matters of moral influence. Nursing Science Quarterly, 14(2): 109-114.

Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia. (2001). Nursing Practice guidelines: Duty to provide care. Vancouver: Author.

Rodney, P. & Starzomski, R. (1993). Constraints on moral agency of nurses. Canadian Nurse, 89(9), 23-26.

Storch, J., Rodney, P. & Starzomski, R. (2002). Ethics in health care in Canada. In B.S. Bolaria & H. Dickinson (Eds.), Health, illness and health care in Canada (3rd edition, pp. 409-444). Scarborough, On: Nelson Thomas Learning.

Webster, G. & Baylis, F. (2000). Moral residue. In S. B. Rubin & L.

Zoloth (Eds.), (pp. 217-232). Hagerstown, MD: University Publishing Group.

 

Ethics Reading Resources

CNA Resources
Canadian Dental Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Pharmacists Association, Canadian Health Care Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Consumer Association of Canada. (2000). Principles for privacy protection of personal health information in Canada.Ottawa: Authors.

Canadian Healthcare Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Catholic Health Association of Canada (with Canadian Bar Association). (1995). Joint statement on resuscitative interventions. Ottawa: Authors.

Canadian Home Care Association, Canadian Healthcare Association, Canadian Long Term Care Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Public Health Association, Home Support Canada. (1994). Joint statement on advance directives. Ottawa: Authors.

Canadian Healthcare Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Catholic Health Association of Canada. (1999). Joint statement on preventing and resolving ethical conflicts involving health care providers and persons receiving care. Ottawa: Authors.

Canadian Nurses Association. (1992). The role of the nurse in the use of health care technology. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (1994). A question of respect: Nurses and end-of-life treatment dilemmas. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (1998, May). Advance directives: The nurse's role. Ethics in Practice.

Canadian Nurses Association. (1998, June). Ethical issues related to appropriate staff mixes.Ethics in Practice.

Canadian Nurses Association. (1998). Everyday ethics: Putting the code into practice. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (1999, November). I see and am silent / I see and speak out: The ethical dilemma of whistleblowing. Ethics in Practice.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2000, September). Working with limited resources: Nurses' moral constraints. Ethics in Practice.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2001). Nursing professional regulatory framework. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2001). Privacy of personal health information. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2001). Quality professional practice environments for registered nurses. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2001). The role of the nurse in telepractice. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2001, May). Futility presents many challenges for nurses. Ethics in Practice.


Canadian Nurse - Ethical Dilemma Columns
Ellerton, M. L. (2000). When parents and children disagree about care. Canadian Nurse, 96(7), 35-36.

Ellerton, M. L. (2002). Client restraints: More than a safety issue. Canadian Nurse, 98(2), 32-33.

McAlpine, H. (2001). Refusal to care. Canadian Nurse, 97(6), 33-34.

Moorhouse, A. (2001). When CPR is not an option. Canadian Nurse, 97(1), 37-38.

Storch, J. (2000). Exposure to body fluids. Canadian Nurse, 96(6), 35-36.

Storch, J. (2002). When a client considers surrogacy. Canadian Nurse, 98(5), 32-33.


Infirmière canadienne - Articles on ethics
Saint-Arnaud, J. Technologies biomédicales et enjeux éthiques en soins infirmiers : La fin justifie-t-elle les moyens?, infirmière canadienne,3(4), 2002, p. 4-8.

Saint-Arnaud, J. Technologies biomédicales et enjeux éthiques en soins infirmiers : La vie, oui… mais à quel prix?, infirmière canadienne, 3 (3), 2002, p. 4-8.

Pelletier, C. Recherche sur la maltraitance infantile : Les incontournables de l'éthique, infirmière canadienne, 2 (6), 2001, p. 4-8.

Saint-Arnaud, J. Les théories éthiques et l'éthique des soins, infirmière canadienne, 2 (2), 2001, p. 8-10.

Saint-Arnaud, J. Pourquoi une chronique en éthique des soins?, infirmière canadienne, 1 (3), 2000, p. 10-11.


Provincial and Territorial Resources
Alberta Association of Registered Nurses. (1997). Professional boundaries: A discussion paper on expectations for nurse-client relationships. Edmonton: Author.

College of Nurses of Ontario. (1999). Ethical framework for nurses in Ontario. Toronto: Author.

College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. (2002). Professional boundaries for therapeutic relationships. Winnipeg: Author.

Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia. (2000). Advocacy and the registered nurse. Vancouver: Author.

Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia. (1996). Violence in the workplace: A resource guide. Halifax: Author.

Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia. (2000). Guidelines for telenursing practice. Halifax: Author.


Other Resources
Nurses may consult with members of the health team, ethics committees, practice consultants at associations and colleges, religious leaders etc.

Austin, W. (2001). Nursing ethics in an era of globalization. Advances in Nursing Science, 24(2), 1-18.

Canadian Nurses Protective Society. (1993, September). Confidentiality of health information: Your client's right. Info Law, 1(2).

Canadian Nurses Protective Society. (1994, December). Consent to treatment: The role of the nurse. Info Law, 3(2).

Corley, M.C. & Goren, S. (1998). The dark side of nursing: Impact of stigmatizing responses on patients. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 12(2), 99-122.

International Council of Nurses. (1999). Guidelines on coping with violence in the workplace. Geneva: Author.

International Council of Nurses. (2000). The ICN code of ethics for nurses. Geneva: Author.

Johnstone, M. J. (1999). Bioethics: A nursing perspective. Toronto: Harcourt Saunders.

Peter, E. & Morgan, K. (2001). Explorations of a trust approach for nursing ethics. Nursing Inquiry, 8(1), 3-10.

Varcoe, C. & Rodney, P. (2002). Constrained agency: The social structure of nurses' work. In B. S. Bolaria & H. Dickinson (Eds.), Health, Illness and health care in Canada (3rd ed., pp.102-128). Scarborough, ON: Nelson Thomas Learning.

Waters, W. F. (2001). Globalization, socioeconomic restructuring and community health. Journal of Community Health, 26(2), 79-92.

Webster, G. & Baylis, F. (2000). Moral residue. In S. B. Rubin & L. Zoloth (Eds.), Margin of error: The ethics of mistakes in the practice of medicine (pp. 217-232). Hagerstown, MD: University Publishing Group.

White, G. (2001). The code of ethics for nurses: Responding to new challenges in a new century.American Journal of Nursing, 101(10), 73, 75.

Yeo, M. & Moorhouse, A. (Eds.). (1996). Concepts and cases in nursing ethics (2nd ed.). Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.


Web Sites for International Documents on Human Rights

Numerous documents can be found on web sites. For example, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 25; International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 12; International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; Convention on the Rights of the Child; Convention on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; UN Resolution 46/119 Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and Improvement of Mental Health Care; World Health Organization Constitution.

http://www.un.org/rights
http://www.who.int/archives/who50/en/human.htm
http://www.unesco.org/ibc/index.html

 

Notes

[1] In this document, the terms moral and ethical are used interchangeably based upon the consultation with nurse-ethicists and philosophers, while acknowledging that not everyone shares this usage.

[2] In this document, nursing practice refers to all nurses' professional activities, inclusive of nursing education, administration, research, and clinical or public health practice.

[3] In this document the terms `people they serve', `person' or `individual' refers to the patient, the client, the individual, family, group or community for whom care and/or health promotion assistance is provided.

[4] Adverse events include physician and interdisciplinary team error.

[5] Please see CNA's Ethical Research Guidelines for Registered Nurses, 3rd ed. (2002) for full details.

[6] A moral community is one where there is coherence between what the agency publicly professes to be their goal and what employees, persons in care, and others witness and participate in (Webster & Baylis, 2000). A moral community for nurses would include, for example, a community in which the development of effective teams was fostered, ethics education opportunities were available and provision was made for ethics rounds and/or an ethics committee.

AHIMA Code of Ethics (2004)

Organization: American Health Information Management Association Visit Organization Page
Source: Code of Ethics Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
July 1, 2004

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

AHIMA Code of Ethics

American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics

 

Preamble

The ethical obligations of the health information management (HIM) professional include the protection of patient privacy and confidential information; disclosure of information; development, use, and maintenance of health information systems and health records; and the quality of information. Both handwritten and computerized medical records contain many sacred stories—stories that must be protected on behalf of the individual and the aggregate community of persons served in the healthcare system. Healthcare consumers are increasingly concerned about the loss of privacy and the inability to control the dissemination of their protected information. Core health information issues include what information should be collected; how the information should be handled, who should have access to the information, and under what conditions the information should be disclosed.

 

Ethical obligations are central to the professional's responsibility, regardless of the employment site or the method of collection, storage, and security of health information. Sensitive information (genetic, adoption, drug, alcohol, sexual, and behavioral information) requires special attention to prevent misuse. Entrepreneurial roles require expertise in the protection of the information in the world of business and interactions with consumers.


Professional Values

The mission of the HIM profession is based on core professional values developed since the inception of the Association in 1928. These values and the inherent ethical responsibilities for AHIMA members and credentialed HIM professionals include providing service, protecting medical, social, and financial information, promoting confidentiality; and preserving and securing health information. Values to the healthcare team include promoting the quality and advancement of healthcare, demonstrating HIM expertise and skills, and promoting interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration. Professional values in relationship to the employer include protecting committee deliberations and complying with laws, regulations, and policies. Professional values related to the public include advocating change, refusing to participate or conceal unethical practices, and reporting violations of practice standards to the proper authorities. Professional values to individual and professional associations include obligations to be honest, bringing honor to self, peers and profession, committing to continuing education and lifelong learning, performing Association duties honorably, strengthening professional membership, representing the profession to the public, and promoting and participating in research.

 

These professional values will require a complex process of balancing the many conflicts that can result from competing interests and obligations of those who seek access to health information and require an understanding of ethical decision-making.

Purpose of the American Health Information Management Association Code of Ethics

The HIM professional has an obligation to demonstrate actions that reflect values, ethical principles, and ethical guidelines. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Code of Ethics sets forth these values and principles to guide conduct. The code is relevant to all AHIMA members and credentialed HIM professionals and students, regardless of their professional functions, the settings in which they work, or the populations they serve.

 

The AHIMA Code of Ethics serves six purposes:

  • Identifies core values on which the HIM mission is based.
  • Summarizes broad ethical principles that reflect the profession's core values and establishes a set of ethical principles to be used to guide decision-making and actions.
  • Helps HIM professionals identify relevant considerations when professional obligations conflict or ethical uncertainties arise.
  • Provides ethical principles by which the general public can hold the HIM professional accountable.
  • Socializes practitioners new to the field to HIM's mission, values, and ethical principles.
  • Articulates a set of guidelines that the HIM professional can use to assess whether they have engaged in unethical conduct.

The code includes principles and guidelines that are both enforceable and aspirational. The extent to which each principle is enforceable is a matter of professional judgment to be exercised by those responsible for reviewing alleged violations of ethical principles.


The Use of the Code

Violation of principles in this code does not automatically imply legal liability or violation of the law. Such determination can only be made in the context of legal and judicial proceedings. Alleged violations of the code would be subject to a peer review process. Such processes are generally separate from legal or administrative procedures and insulated from legal review or proceedings to allow the profession to counsel and discipline its own members although in some situations, violations of the code would constitute unlawful conduct subject to legal process.

 

Guidelines for ethical and unethical behavior are provided in this code. The terms "shall and shall not" are used as a basis for setting high standards for behavior. This does not imply that everyone "shall or shall not" do everything that is listed. For example, not everyone participates in the recruitment or mentoring of students. A HIM professional is not being unethical if this is not part of his or her professional activities; however, if students are part of one's professional responsibilities, there is an ethical obligation to follow the guidelines stated in the code. This concept is true for the entire code. If someone does the stated activities, ethical behavior is the standard. The guidelines are not a comprehensive list. For example, the statement "protect all confidential information to include personal, health, financial, genetic and outcome information" can also be interpreted as "shall not fail to protect all confidential information to include personal, health, financial, genetic, and outcome information."

 

A code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behavior. Moreover, a code of ethics cannot resolve all ethical issues or disputes or capture the richness and complexity involved in striving to make responsible choices within a moral community. Rather, a code of ethics sets forth values and ethical principles, and offers ethical guidelines to which professionals aspire and by which their actions can be judged. Ethical behaviors result from a personal commitment to engage in ethical practice.

 

Professional responsibilities often require an individual to move beyond personal values. For example, an individual might demonstrate behaviors that are based on the values of honesty, providing service to others, or demonstrating loyalty. In addition to these, professional values might require promoting confidentiality, facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, and refusing to participate or conceal unethical practices. Professional values could require a more comprehensive set of values than what an individual needs to be an ethical agent in their personal lives.

The AHIMA Code of Ethics is to be used by AHIMA and individuals, agencies, organizations, and bodies (such as licensing and regulatory boards, insurance providers, courts of law, agency boards of directors, government agencies, and other professional groups) that choose to adopt it or use it as a frame of reference. The AHIMA Code of Ethics reflects the commitment of all to uphold the profession's values and to act ethically. Individuals of good character who discern moral questions and, in good faith, seek to make reliable ethical judgments, must apply ethical principles.

 

The code does not provide a set of rules that prescribe how to act in all situations. Specific applications of the code must take into account the context in which it is being considered and the possibility of conflicts among the code's values, principles, and guidelines. Ethical responsibilities flow from all human relationships, from the personal and familial to the social and professional. Further, the AHIMA Code of Ethics does not specify which values, principles, and guidelines are the most important and ought to outweigh others in instances when they conflict.

 

Code of Ethics 2004


Ethical Principles: The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the American Health Information Management Association and apply to all health information management professionals.

 

Health information management professionals:

  1. Advocate, uphold and defend the individual's right to privacy and the doctrine of confidentiality in the use and disclosure of information.
  2. Put service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest and conduct themselves in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to themselves, their peers, and to the health information management profession.
  3. Preserve, protect, and secure personal health information in any form or medium and hold in the highest regard the contents of the records and other information of a confidential nature, taking into account the applicable statutes and regulations.
  4. Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical practices or procedures.
  5. Advance health information management knowledge and practice through continuing education, research, publications, and presentations.
  6. Recruit and mentor students, peers and colleagues to develop and strengthen professional workforce.
  7. Represent the profession accurately to the public.
  8. Perform honorably health information management association responsibilities, either appointed or elected, and preserve the confidentiality of any privileged information made known in any official capacity.
  9. State truthfully and accurately their credentials, professional education, and experiences.
  10. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting health information practice.
  11. Respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.


How to Interpret the Code of Ethics

The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the American Health Information Management Association and apply to all health information management professionals. Guidelines included for each ethical principle are a non-inclusive list of behaviors and situations that can help to clarify the principle. They are not to be meant as a comprehensive list of all situations that can occur.

 

1. Advocate, uphold, and defend the individual's right to privacy and the doctrine of confidentiality in the use and disclosure of information.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

1.1. Protect all confidential information to include personal, health, financial, genetic, and outcome information.

 

1.2. Engage in social and political action that supports the protection of privacy and confidentiality, and be aware of the impact of the political arena on the health information system. Advocate for changes in policy and legislation to ensure protection of privacy and confidentiality, coding compliance, and other issues that surface as advocacy issues as well as facilitating informed participation by the public on these issues.

 

1.3. Protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service. Disclose only information that is directly relevant or necessary to achieve the purpose of disclosure. Release information only with valid consent from a patient or a person legally authorized to consent on behalf of a patient or as authorized by federal or state regulations. The need-to-know criterion is essential when releasing health information for initial disclosure and all redisclosure activities.

 

1.4. Promote the obligation to respect privacy by respecting confidential information shared among colleagues, while responding to requests from the legal profession, the media, or other non-healthcare related individuals, during presentations or teaching and in situations that could cause harm to persons.

 

2. Put service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest and conduct themselves in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to themselves, their peers, and to the health information management profession.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

2.1. Act with integrity, behave in a trustworthy manner, elevate service to others above self-interest, and promote high standards of practice in every setting.

 

2.2. Be aware of the profession's mission, values, and ethical principles, and practice in a manner consistent with them by acting honestly and responsibly.

 

2.3. Anticipate, clarify, and avoid any conflict of interest, to all parties concerned, when dealing with consumers, consulting with competitors, or in providing services requiring potentially conflicting roles (for example, finding out information about one facility that would help a competitor). The conflicting roles or responsibilities must be clarified and appropriate action must be taken to minimize any conflict of interest.

 

2.4. Ensure that the working environment is consistent and encourages compliance with the AHIMA Code of Ethics, taking reasonable steps to eliminate any conditions in their organizations that violate, interfere with, or discourage compliance with the code.

 

2.5. Take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they actually perform or to which they contribute. Honestly acknowledge the work of and the contributions made by others verbally or written, such as in publication.

Health information management professionals shall not:

 

2.6. Permit their private conduct to interfere with their ability to fulfill their professional responsibilities.

 

2.7. Take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to further their personal, religious, political, or business interests.

 

3. Preserve, protect, and secure personal health information in any form or medium and hold in the highest regards the contents of the records and other information of a confidential nature obtained in the official capacity, taking into account the applicable statutes and regulations.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

3.1. Protect the confidentiality of patients' written and electronic records and other sensitive information. Take reasonable steps to ensure that patients' records are stored in a secure location and that patients' records are not available to others who are not authorized to have access.

 

3.2. Take precautions to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of information transmitted, transferred, or disposed of in the event of a termination, incapacitation, or death of a healthcare provider to other parties through the use of any media. Disclosure of identifying information should be avoided whenever possible.

 

3.3. Inform recipients of the limitations and risks associated with providing services via electronic media (such as computer, telephone, fax, radio, and television).

 

4. Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical practices or procedures.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

4.1. Act in a professional and ethical manner at all times.

 

4.2. Take adequate measures to discourage, prevent, expose, and correct the unethical conduct of colleagues.

 

4.3. Be knowledgeable about established policies and procedures for handling concerns about colleagues' unethical behavior. These include policies and procedures created by AHIMA, licensing and regulatory bodies, employers, supervisors, agencies, and other professional organizations.

 

4.4. Seek resolution if there is a belief that a colleague has acted unethically or if there is a belief of incompetence or impairment by discussing their concerns with the colleague when feasible and when such discussion is likely to be productive. Take action through appropriate formal channels, such as contacting an accreditation or regulatory body and/ or the AHIMA Professional Ethics Committee.

 

4.5. Consult with a colleague when feasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial action when there is direct knowledge of a health information management colleague's incompetence or impairment.

Health information management professionals shall not:

 

4.6. Participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud and abuse, or deception. A non-inclusive list of examples includes:

 

  • Allowing patterns of retrospective documentation to avoid suspension or increase reimbursement
  • Assigning codes without physician documentation
  • Coding when documentation does not justify the procedures that have been billed
  • Coding an inappropriate level of service
  • Miscoding to avoid conflict with others
  • Engaging in negligent coding practices
  • Hiding or ignoring review outcomes, such as performance data
  • Failing to report licensure status for a physician through the appropriate channels
  • Recording inaccurate data for accreditation purposes
  • Hiding incomplete medical records
  • Allowing inappropriate access to genetic, adoption, or behavioral health information
  • Misusing sensitive information about a competitor
  • Violating the privacy of individuals

 

5. Advance health information management knowledge and practice through continuing education, research, publications, and presentations.
Health information management professionals shall:

 

5.1. Develop and enhance continually their professional expertise, knowledge, and skills (including appropriate education, research, training, consultation, and supervision). Contribute to the knowledge base of health information management and share with colleagues their knowledge related to practice, research, and ethics.

 

5.2. Base practice decisions on recognized knowledge, including empirically based knowledge relevant to health information management and health information management ethics.

 

5.3. Contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote respect for the value, integrity, and competence of the health information management profession. These activities may include teaching, research, consultation, service, legislative testimony, presentations in the community, and participation in their professional organizations.

 

5.4. Engage in evaluation or research that ensures the anonymity or confidentiality of participants and of the data obtained from them by following guidelines developed for the participants in consultation with appropriate institutional review boards. Report evaluation and research findings accurately and take steps to correct any errors later found in published data using standard publication methods.

 

5.5. Take reasonable steps to provide or arrange for continuing education and staff development, addressing current knowledge and emerging developments related to health information management practice and ethics.

Health information management professionals shall not:

 

5.6. Design or conduct evaluation or research that is in conflict with applicable federal or state laws.

 

5.7. Participate in, condone, or be associated with fraud or abuse.

 

6. Recruit and mentor students, peers and colleagues to develop and strengthen professional workforce.

Health information management professionals shall:

 

6.1. Evaluate students' performance in a manner that is fair and respectful when functioning as educators or clinical internship supervisors.

 

6.2. Be responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries for students.

 

6.3. Be a mentor for students, peers and new health information management professionals to develop and strengthen skills.

 

6.4. Provide directed practice opportunities for students.

 

Health information management professionals shall not:

6.5. Engage in any relationship with students in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the student.

7. Accurately represent the profession to the public.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

7.1 Be an advocate for the profession in all settings and participate in activities that promote and explain the mission, values, and principles of the profession to the public.

 

8. Perform honorably health information management association responsibilities, either appointed or elected, and preserve the confidentiality of any privileged information made known in any official capacity.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

8.1. Perform responsibly all duties as assigned by the professional association.

 

8.2. Resign from an Association position if unable to perform the assigned responsibilities with competence.

 

8.3. Speak on behalf of professional health information management organizations, accurately representing the official and authorized positions of the organizations.

 

9. State truthfully and accurately their credentials, professional education, and experiences.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

9.1. Make clear distinctions between statements made and actions engaged in as a private individual and as a representative of the health information management profession, a professional health information organization, or the health information management professional's employer.

 

9.2. Claim and ensure that their representations to patients, agencies, and the public of professional qualifications, credentials, education, competence, affiliations, services provided, training, certification, consultation received, supervised experience, other relevant professional experience are accurate.

 

9.3. Claim only those relevant professional credentials actually possessed and correct any inaccuracies occurring regarding credentials.

 

10. Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting health information practice.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

 

10.1. Participate in and contribute to decisions that affect the well-being of patients by drawing on the perspectives, values, and experiences of those involved in decisions related to patients. Professional and ethical obligations of the interdisciplinary team as a whole and of its individual members should be clearly established.

 

11. Respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.

 

Health information management professionals shall:

11.1. Treat each person in a respectful fashion, being mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity.

 

11.2. Promote the value of self-determination for each individual.


Acknowledgement
Adapted with permission from the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.

Resources
National Association of Social Workers. "Code of Ethics." 1999. Available at http://www.naswdc.org.
Harman, L.B. (Ed.). Ethical challenges in the management of health information. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen, 2001.
AHIMA Code of Ethics, 1957, 1977, 1988, and 1998.
Revised & adopted by AHIMA House of Delegates - July 1, 2004
 

AGO Grievance Procedures (2007)

Organization: American Guild of Organists Visit Organization Page
Source: AGO Grievance Procedures Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
October 22, 2007
Other Versions: 

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

AGO Grievance Procedures

Approved by the National Council of the AGO on: October 22, 2007

Effective November 15, 2007; Updated April 19, 2009

 

I. Purpose


A. These Procedures for Dealing with Complaints about Termination are not legal proceedings. They are a means to determine if an Institution has wrongfully terminated a Member and, if so, whether there are circumstances under which the Guild shall prohibit its Members from accepting regular or permanent employment by that Institution.

 

II. General Guidelines


A. Neither party may participate in these Procedures through legal counsel. If either party insists upon involving legal counsel in the Procedures, these Procedures shall be terminated.

 

B. While an employment contract is recommended, its existence is not necessary to invoke these Procedures.

 

C. Exceptions to these Procedures may be made at the discretion of the Councillor for Professional Development, in consultation with the Committee on Career Development and Support.

 

D. Only Members who are grievants may implement the Procedures. A chapter may not implement the Procedures, nor may an Institution. (Disputes between and among Members are resolved through the AGO Discipline. Go to www.agohq.org "Official Guild Documents" Discipline.)

 

E. It is the duty of the Member to become thoroughly familiar with the Procedures before initiating the Procedures. Any settlement agreement or release must be disclosed to the grievance Committee. Use of these Procedures may conflict with settlement agreements and releases and with prior, concurrent or subsequent litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

 

F. Prompt action by the Member is advisable. There is nothing to prevent an AGO Member from accepting the grievant's position if a grievance has not been filed. The Procedures should be initiated as soon as possible after termination, but must be submitted within 90 calendar days of the termination.

 

G. The importance of confidentiality which must be maintained throughout the case cannot be overemphasized. Information gathered must be held in strict confidence. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed.

 

H. Evidence of the direct participation of legal counsel in these Procedures by either party will immediately terminate the Procedures. Examples of such participation include letters from attorneys, bringing the attorney to meetings scheduled under the Procedures, and refusing to answer questions on the specified advice of the attorney.

 

I. Simultaneous litigation does not necessarily terminate the Procedures. J. In the early stages, the Chapter engages in fact-finding, only. It should never promote the interests of either side or give the appearance of doing so. This is a time for inquiry, not advocacy, regardless of the appearance of the case.

 

K. Timeliness is essential in implementing and conducting the Procedures. (A copy of the Procedures should be sent by the Committee Director to the parties as soon as possible. (The most recent version may be downloaded from the AGO Web site: www.agohq.org.) See sample letters at the end of this document for initial contact with the Institution. In the event that there is no activity involving the National Councillor for Professional Development on a grievance for a period of time exceeding 90 calendar days, the grievance may be dismissed at the National Councillor's discretion with subsequent notice to the Grievant and the appropriate Regional Councillor.

 

L. If the Committee listed in Step One, Two or Three determines that the case is without merit, the Member may appeal the closing of the Procedures. If that happens, the "case in progress" status applies until the appeal is decided.

 

M. Critical correspondence should be prepared on chapter letterhead and sent certified mail, return receipt requested with copies kept in the file. Always include the certified mail number on the document (and the file copy) being sent.

 

N. At Step Three, it is advisable to identify the actual dispute and separate it, if possible, from collateral issues. For example, if the termination is really due to conflicting musical tastes between employee and employer, it may be cause for termination if done under the contract and/or in accordance with local law. It should not be confused with other matters which might have aggravated the conflict, such as lack of communication, insubordination and personality clashes, which may or may not, in and of themselves, also be grounds for termination.

 

O. Examples of wrongful termination may include (but are not limited to):

 

  • Dismissal inconsistent with the existing employment agreement, the
  • Institution's personnel policy and/or past practice
  • Failure to communicate
  • Discrimination
  • Intimidation and harassment
  • A record of good performance reviews followed by sudden termination
  • Conduct that offends the Committee's sense of fairness, e.g. "whistleblowing" wherein the employee has alerted the authorities to specific unlawful activity

 

P. An otherwise proper termination notice or resignation does not automatically preclude the use of the Procedures if the termination or resignation was precipitated by fraud or duress.

 

Q. A "paper trail" is essential. Copies of all correspondence, e-mails, faxes, summaries of phone calls, and documentary evidence should be archived indefinitely.

 

R. The Member is entitled to know, in general terms, the status of the grievance and the reasons for the Committee's decision, without the Committee violating the confidentiality clause contained in the Procedures.

S. Hearsay encompasses oral or written statements being used to support the truthfulness of a matter at issue when the person making the statement is not present for questioning. The Committee should be wary of hearsay, written or oral, when interviewing the Member, Observers and representatives of the Institution. Although the Procedures do not follow strict legal rules, hearsay is not generally reliable. Be fair to both sides and be consistent in the treatment of all evidence. The Committee should, at least, discuss the reliability of any hearsay before accepting it and should decide what weight, if any, to accord it.

 

T. The burden of proof is usually upon the party seeking relief, i.e. the Member. It is therefore necessary for the Member to cooperate fully and present all relevant materials in a timely fashion. Invoking the Procedures creates an investigative proceeding. The employee, by filing a grievance, impliedly consents to allow the employer to share its records with the Committee. Failure of the Member to affirm this in writing, upon request, may constitute a failure to cooperate fully and may result in the closing of the Procedures.

 

U. In a simple majority vote of the Committee weighing the evidence, the standard of proof is a "preponderance of the evidence," i.e. overall proof which is more likely than less likely.

 

V. All contact with the parties outside of the meetings should be in writing, with copies retained by the Committee.

 

W. It is anticipated that during the investigation, the parties' input may not be totally forthcoming or relevant. In that case, specific written questions from the Committee to the parties and/or Observers may be appropriate.

 

X. Appeals do not normally provide opportunities for a rehearing of the case or the presentation of additional evidence. An appeal should only determine whether the previous decisions under the Procedures were supported by the facts and controlling authorities, such as the parties' written contract, the Institution's past practice, personnel manual, etc.

 

Y. Conflict Resolution is available to the Institution when the Procedures have "addressed" a termination. Therefore, the matter need not have been completed or carried through fully in order for the Institution to resolve the dispute [See VII Post Grievance Conflict Resolution.]

Z. At some point, the Committee may be called upon to evaluate the reasonableness of the Member's demands for a particular remedy.

 

AA. A Member should be aware of the remoteness of being reinstated to any position from which the Member has been terminated.

 

BB. These Procedures may be invoked by Members who are paid or compensated and by Members who are volunteers. The applicability of these Procedures on behalf of Members in various areas of music will be determined on a case by case basis.

 

III. Step One- The Preliminary Evaluation


A. When a Member wishes to pursue the Procedures for Dealing with Complaints about Termination (Grievance Procedures) the Member shall request assistance, in writing, from the Dean of his/her chapter with a copy to the Regional Councillor. This written request shall outline his/her work history in the Institution and claim of wrongful termination, and should be accompanied by a copy of the Member's employment agreement with the Institution, if there is one, and all other relevant supporting documentation, e.g., letter of agreement, employee manual and all other documents signed in connection with the employment. The Member, by so doing, agrees to cooperate fully. If cooperation is withheld at any point, the Guild may close these Procedures. Independent Members shall be considered as members of the Chapter which is nearest to their primary residence. “Nearest” shall be defined as the residence of the closest Chapter Dean at the time an incident occurred which gave rise to the use of the Grievance Procedures. In certain cases, with the approval of the Regional Councillor, this written request may be made to a Chapter officer other than the Dean.

 

B. The Dean or other Chapter officer shall provide copies of the Member's letter and accompanying documentation to the following Individuals:

 

  • Chapter Coordinator for Professional Development (or another chapter officer if there is no Chapter Coordinator for Professional Development)
  • Regional Councillor
  • Regional Coordinator for Professional Development
  • National Councillor for Professional Development.

 

The Regional Councillor shall convene these Individuals who shall promptly decide if the Member's complaint shall be acted upon. To avoid a conflict of interest, none of these Individuals may be a member or employee of the Institution. (This may be done by telephone conference call or by e-mail.) The Member shall be notified of these Individuals' decision within seven days. (See Letter 1.) If the Member disagrees with the decision of these Individuals, the Member may request within 30 calendar days, through the National Councillor for Professional Development, that the National Committee for Career Development and Support review the decision. The Committee's determination shall be final.

 

IV. Step Two- Appointments of Investigative Committee and Meeting with Grievant


A. If the Member's complaint deserves further consideration, the Regional Councillor shall appoint a Committee Director, who, in consultation with the Regional Councillor, shall appoint a Committee. The Committee Director shall convene and chair the Committee, and sign all Committee correspondence.

 

B. The Committee, appointed to carry out Step Two of the Grievance Procedures, shall be made up of the following individuals:

 

  • One or two members of the chapter, appointed by the Dean (the Dean may be one);
  • Regional Councillor (or his/her representative)
  • Regional Coordinator for Professional Development (or his/her representative)
  • National Councillor for Professional Development (or his/her representative).

 

C. To avoid conflict of interest, no member of the Committee may be a member or employee of the Institution. (Note: It can be helpful if one of the chapter's representatives is ordained.)

 

D. The following notice shall be published in the local chapter media. The local chapter shall refuse to advertise a regular or permanent vacancy at the Institution while these Grievance Procedures are pending.


(Notice A) Notice Informing Membership of Case in Progress

 

On (date) an AGO Member filed a formal complaint against (Institution's Name) for wrongful termination of employment. The Guild is investigating the matter according to the AGO's Procedures for Dealing with Complaints about Termination. No determination has been made at this time.

 

Although Guild Members may provide substitute or interim services, no Member may seek or accept regular or permanent employment with (Institution's Name) while these Procedures are pending. See the AGO's Web Site for the current status of this case.

 

E. At least two members of the Committee shall meet with the Member in person. If, after frank discussion with the Member and a review of his/her employment agreement and/or other pertinent documents, the Committee does not consider the Member's claim to be valid, it may close the Grievance Procedures. If the Member disagrees with the decision of these Individuals, the Member may request within 30 days, through the National Councillor for Professional Development, that the National Committee for Career Development and Support review the decision. The Committee's determination shall be final.

 

In the event that the Procedures are closed with or without a finding supporting a grievance, the decision shall be announced in the local chapter media using the language in Notice B(1), B(2), B(3), or B(4),as appropriate. (See Notices on pages 9 and 10.)

 

V. Step Three- The Investigation


A. If the Committee believes the Member's complaint deserves further investigation, it shall immediately take the following actions:

 

(1.) Request through the National Councillor for Professional Development that no advertisement for the position be included in The American Organist, or on the Guild's Web site.

(2.) Notice A (above) will be published on the Guild's Web site and in local chapter media as appropriate. Any departure from this wording must be approved by the National Councillor for Professional Development before publication.

(3.) Notify the appropriate leadership of the Institution, by telephone and then in writing, that the AGO has been asked by a Member (named) to investigate a charge of wrongful termination. (See Letter 2.)

 

    • Make it clear that the process has merely begun, that no determination has been made, and that the Institution will receive, within one week, a copy of these Grievance Procedures.
    • Set a time limit within which the Committee intends to complete its deliberations.
    • Set the time for a meeting between the Institution and the Committee. This meeting should take place within 30 days of the receipt of the notification.
    • Advise the Institution that its failure to participate in this process may result in a finding in favor of the Member.

 

(4.) Request from the Member the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three regular Observers of his/her work within the Institution. In religious institutions, these Observers should be lay leaders, preferably a volunteer choir member, a member of the elected lay leadership, and a member of the congregation at large.

 

    • Send Observers a copy of the Grievance Procedures after they have been contacted by the Committee and have agreed to participate.
    • The Committee shall request from the Observers, in writing, a frank evaluation of the Member's work, competence, and influence in the Institution, and solicit the Observers' responses to the Institution's action(s). (See Letter 3.)
    • The Committee should solicit the Observers' opinions of both the reasons and the manner in which the Member was terminated. Observers should be assured that all information, written or spoken, is confidential and will be shared only among the Committee members (not with the Member or the Institution).

B. After receiving the Observers' written evaluations, the Committee shall speak with the Observers as needed. At least two members of the Committee shall then meet in person with representatives of the Institution and separately with the member, if necessary for the purpose of clarification.

 

Sample Questions


NOTE: The substance and the tone of all questions should be in the spirit of fact finding and not of confrontation.

 

  1. Will you share the employee's complete personnel file with the employee (and/or with this Committee) with the employee's consent?
  2. What reason(s) exist for the employee's termination?
  3. Does the manner of termination follow any existing contract, letter of agreement, personnel manual and/or past practice?
  4. Was the employee given annual reviews? If so, what were the results?
  5. What progression was followed to identify problems and to notify the employee of their existence and to provide the employee with opportunities to take corrective action? Was this progression in keeping with formal or informal guidelines which you follow as an employer?
  6. Were salary increases (and/or benefits) given over the course of employment? If so, do they support recent activity regarding the employee?
  7. What system of communication was in place to identify issues? Was there a breakdown? If so, why? What was done to restore dialogue?
  8. If there was no contract (a meaningful document with mutuality, covering all essential elements of employment), why?
  9. Was the employee given a chance to defend him/herself?
  10. Was assistance from the AGO sought at any point in the progression? If so, what was it? What was the result?
  11. Do you understand the function of this Committee and that of the Procedures?
  12. Would you be willing to hold the employee's termination in abeyance while the AGO mentors the employee? If so, for what time period?
  13. Would you agree to third party mediation or arbitration?
  14. Will you consider assisting the employee with transition to another job?

 

C. All Committee members shall receive copies of all correspondence generated and received in connection with the inquiry.

 

D. The Committee shall promptly evaluate the information received from the Member, Institution, and Observers. After consultation with the Regional Councillor and the National Councillor for Professional Development, the Committee shall complete a written report that includes:

 

    • a summary of the proceedings
    • an explanation of its conclusion(s)
    • its recommendations for action.

 

Copies of this report shall be sent to the Dean (to be shared with the Executive Committee), the Regional Councillor, Regional Professional Development Coordinator, and the National Councillor for Professional Development.

 

E. If, in the opinion of the Committee, the Grievance Procedures revealed questionable behavior on the part of the Member or wrongful termination of the Member by the Institution, the Committee may make such recommendations as it feels are necessary to resolve the situation and to prevent a recurrence. If the Committee finds that the Institution wrongfully terminated the member, the Committee shall apprise the Institution of the need to resolve the situation within 60 days. (See VII. Post Grievance Conflict Resolution.)

 

F. The Committee shall prepare letters summarizing the Committee's conclusions, which will be submitted to the National Councillor for Professional Development for approval. (See Letters 4 through 9.) Following approval, the letters shall then be sent to the Member, Institution, and Observers. The Member and observers shall be cautioned not to discuss the final outcome until the 60 days allotted for resolution have passed.

 

G. The response of the Institution is to be directed to the Committee Director, who will then share it with members of the Committee, including:

 

  • Regional Councillor (or his/her representative)
  • Regional Coordinator for Professional Development (or his/her representative)
  • National Councillor for Professional Development (or his/her representative)

 

H. If the case is settled to the satisfaction of both parties, the settlement shall be announced on the Guild's Web Site and through local chapter media as appropriate using the following language.

 

Notice B(1) Notice Informing Membership of Settlement of Case

 

The employer and the employee at (Institution's name) have resolved their differences and the case has been closed. Guild Members may now accept employment at this Institution.

 

I. If the case is closed without a finding of wrongful termination, the decision shall be announced on the Guild's Web Site and through local chapter media as appropriate using the following language.

 

Notice B(2) Notice Informing Membership of Outcome of Case the AGO has determined, upon investigation, that the employer and the employee at (Institution's name) both had arguments and positions of merit regarding the termination of the employee. Therefore, the case has been closed without a finding of wrongful termination.

 

Or, as appropriate:

 

Notice B(3) Notice Informing Membership of Outcome of Case

The AGO has determined, upon investigation, that the employer (Institution's name) was

not at fault regarding the termination of the employee. Therefore, the case has been closed without a finding of wrongful termination.

 

J. If the Member disagrees with the decision of the Committee, the Member may request, within 30 days, through the National Councillor for Professional Development, that the National Council shall, as soon as possible, review the decision. The Committee will notify the Institution that the Member has appealed the Committee's decision. Under such circumstances, the notices about the case will continue to appear on the Web site and in the chapter newsletter, and no advertising of the vacancy may be published therein. The National Council's determination shall be final.

 

VI. Conclusion

A. If the 60-day limit passes with no resolution, the National Councillor for Professional Development shall notify the Institution in writing that the period for resolution has passed. (See Letter 11.) The Councillor also shall request approval by National Council of these actions to be taken by the chapter Dean at the chapter level and by the National Councillor at the national level of the Guild:

 

(1.) Announcing the decision on the Guild's Web site and through local chapter media as appropriate using the following language:

 

Notice B(4) Notice Informing Membership of Outcome of Case

 

The National Council has determined that a position at (Institution's Name) was made vacant by wrongful termination of a Member of the American Guild of Organists on (date).

 

In keeping with the AGO Code of Ethics, Members shall not seek or accept employment or attempt to place a student or colleague in the position until the National Council has declared that differences between the Guild and (Institution's Name) have been resolved.

 

(2.) Directing the editor of The American Organist, the Guild's Web site, and appropriate chapter media to refrain from advertising any music positions at the Institution.

 

(3.) Notifying the leadership of the appropriate denominational music organization of the decision.

 

B. If no resolution has occurred, the Notice B(4) printed above shall appear in a box for three months on the AGO Web site, and in local chapter media. After three months, a listing, (see Notice C, on page 11) giving the name of the Institution and date of the termination incident will be printed in the following venues:

 

    • in the local chapter media, and
    • listed on the AGO Web site.

This notice shall be printed in perpetuity until a resolution has been reached.

 

(Notice C) Notice in Perpetuity

 

(Institution) wrongfully terminated a member of the American Guild of Organists on (date) for which no resolution has been reached. Note: When an Institution is found to have wrongfully terminated a Member of the AGO, no Guild Member, individually or collectively, may serve that Institution as an employee or independent contractor, in an interim, temporary, substitute, regular or permanent capacity beyond a 90-day period following the date of this finding.

 

VII. Post Grievance Conflict Resolution


A. When an Institution wishes to resolve a termination that has been addressed by these procedures (within the 60 days allotted in these Grievance Procedures or at a later date) a committee (hereafter a Committee) appointed by the Regional Councillor shall review the documents from the original complaint.

 

This Committee shall consist of the following members:

  • A chapter representative,
  • Regional Councillor (or his/her representative),
  • National Councillor for Professional Development (or his/her representative).

 

If possible, its members shall be the members of the Committee that handled the original complaint.

The Regional Councillor shall appoint a Committee Director, who shall sign all correspondence. Guided by the documents from the original complaint, the Committee may request that the Institution take specific actions, which, among other things, shall include one or more of the following:

 

    • Reinstatement of the wrongfully terminated member.
    • A good-faith effort to resolve financial issues with the Member, including, but not limited to, reimbursement of lost income and attending benefits.
    • Providing the Committee with a proposed contract or letter of agreement pertaining to the position, using the American Guild of Organists' sample contract as a model.

 

B. If the Committee is satisfied with the Institution's response, it shall recommend to the National Council, through the National Councillor for Professional Development, that the conflict between the Institution and the American Guild of Organists be declared resolved. The National Council shall take such actions as it deems necessary, including:

 

    • Announcing the resolution on the Guild's Web site, and in local chapter newsletters as appropriate, stating that AGO members may accept employment with the Institution. This notification shall be printed for three months.
    • Directing the editor of The American Organist, the Guild's Web site, and chapter placement services to accept advertising for music positions at the Institution.
    • Notifying the leadership of the appropriate denominational music organization of the resolution.

 

The following is the statement to be printed in the venues listed above for a 90-day period.


(Notice D) Notice Informing Guild Membership of Resolution of Case

 

On (date) the American Guild of Organists declared resolved the case of wrongful termination brought against (Institution's Name). Guild Members may now accept employment at this Institution.

Sample letters accompanying AGO Grievance Procedures can be viewed here.

 

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (1992)

Organization: Association for Computing Machinery Visit Organization Page
Source: ACM Code of Ethics Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
October 16, 1992

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct


Preamble

Commitment to ethical professional conduct is expected of every member (voting members, associate members, and student members) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

This Code, consisting of 24 imperatives formulated as statements of personal responsibility, identifies the elements of such a commitment. It contains many, but not all, issues professionals are likely to face.Section 1 outlines fundamental ethical considerations, while Section 2 addresses additional, more specific considerations of professional conduct. Statements in Section 3 pertain more specifically to individuals who have a leadership role, whether in the workplace or in a volunteer capacity such as with organizations like ACM. Principles involving compliance with this Code are given in Section 4.

The Code shall be supplemented by a set of Guidelines, which provide explanation to assist members in dealing with the various issues contained in the Code. It is expected that the Guidelines will be changed more frequently than the Code.

The Code and its supplemented Guidelines are intended to serve as a basis for ethical decision making in the conduct of professional work. Secondarily, they may serve as a basis for judging the merit of a formal complaint pertaining to violation of professional ethical standards.

It should be noted that although computing is not mentioned in the imperatives of Section 1, the Code is concerned with how these fundamental imperatives apply to one's conduct as a computing professional. These imperatives are expressed in a general form to emphasize that ethical principles which apply to computer ethics are derived from more general ethical principles.

It is understood that some words and phrases in a code of ethics are subject to varying interpretations, and that any ethical principle may conflict with other ethical principles in specific situations. Questions related to ethical conflicts can best be answered by thoughtful consideration of fundamental principles, rather than reliance on detailed regulations.

1. General Moral Imperatives

As an ACM member I will ....

1.1 Contribute to society and human well-being.

This principle concerning the quality of life of all people affirms an obligation to protect fundamental human rights and to respect the diversity of all cultures. An essential aim of computing professionals is to minimize negative consequences of computing systems, including threats to health and safety. When designing or implementing systems, computing professionals must attempt to ensure that the products of their efforts will be used in socially responsible ways, will meet social needs, and will avoid harmful effects to health and welfare.

In addition to a safe social environment, human well-being includes a safe natural environment. Therefore, computing professionals who design and develop systems must be alert to, and make others aware of, any potential damage to the local or global environment.

1.2 Avoid harm to others.

"Harm" means injury or negative consequences, such as undesirable loss of information, loss of property, property damage, or unwanted environmental impacts. This principle prohibits use of computing technology in ways that result in harm to any of the following: users, the general public, employees, employers. Harmful actions include intentional destruction or modification of files and programs leading to serious loss of resources or unnecessary expenditure of human resources such as the time and effort required to purge systems of "computer viruses."

Well-intended actions, including those that accomplish assigned duties, may lead to harm unexpectedly. In such an event the responsible person or persons are obligated to undo or mitigate the negative consequences as much as possible. One way to avoid unintentional harm is to carefully consider potential impacts on all those affected by decisions made during design and implementation.

To minimize the possibility of indirectly harming others, computing professionals must minimize malfunctions by following generally accepted standards for system design and testing. Furthermore, it is often necessary to assess the social consequences of systems to project the likelihood of any serious harm to others. If system features are misrepresented to users, coworkers, or supervisors, the individual computing professional is responsible for any resulting injury.

In the work environment the computing professional has the additional obligation to report any signs of system dangers that might result in serious personal or social damage. If one's superiors do not act to curtail or mitigate such dangers, it may be necessary to "blow the whistle" to help correct the problem or reduce the risk. However, capricious or misguided reporting of violations can, itself, be harmful. Before reporting violations, all relevant aspects of the incident must be thoroughly assessed. In particular, the assessment of risk and responsibility must be credible. It is suggested that advice be sought from other computing professionals. See principle 2.5 regarding thorough evaluations.

1.3 Be honest and trustworthy.

Honesty is an essential component of trust. Without trust an organization cannot function effectively. The honest computing professional will not make deliberately false or deceptive claims about a system or system design, but will instead provide full disclosure of all pertinent system limitations and problems.

A computer professional has a duty to be honest about his or her own qualifications, and about any circumstances that might lead to conflicts of interest.

Membership in volunteer organizations such as ACM may at times place individuals in situations where their statements or actions could be interpreted as carrying the "weight" of a larger group of professionals. An ACM member will exercise care to not misrepresent ACM or positions and policies of ACM or any ACM units.

1.4 Be fair and take action not to discriminate.

The values of equality, tolerance, respect for others, and the principles of equal justice govern this imperative. Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, or other such factors is an explicit violation of ACM policy and will not be tolerated.

Inequities between different groups of people may result from the use or misuse of information and technology. In a fair society,all individuals would have equal opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, the use of computer resources regardless of race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin or other such similar factors. However, these ideals do not justify unauthorized use of computer resources nor do they provide an adequate basis for violation of any other ethical imperatives of this code.

1.5 Honor property rights including copyrights and patent.

Violation of copyrights, patents, trade secrets and the terms of license agreements is prohibited by law in most circumstances. Even when software is not so protected, such violations are contrary to professional behavior. Copies of software should be made only with proper authorization. Unauthorized duplication of materials must not be condoned.

1.6 Give proper credit for intellectual property.

Computing professionals are obligated to protect the integrity of intellectual property. Specifically, one must not take credit for other's ideas or work, even in cases where the work has not been explicitly protected by copyright, patent, etc.

1.7 Respect the privacy of others.

Computing and communication technology enables the collection and exchange of personal information on a scale unprecedented in the history of civilization. Thus there is increased potential for violating the privacy of individuals and groups. It is the responsibility of professionals to maintain the privacy and integrity of data describing individuals. This includes taking precautions to ensure the accuracy of data, as well as protecting it from unauthorized access or accidental disclosure to inappropriate individuals. Furthermore, procedures must be established to allow individuals to review their records and correct inaccuracies.

This imperative implies that only the necessary amount of personal information be collected in a system, that retention and disposal periods for that information be clearly defined and enforced, and that personal information gathered for a specific purpose not be used for other purposes without consent of the individual(s). These principles apply to electronic communications, including electronic mail, and prohibit procedures that capture or monitor electronic user data, including messages,without the permission of users or bona fide authorization related to system operation and maintenance. User data observed during the normal duties of system operation and maintenance must be treated with strictest confidentiality, except in cases where it is evidence for the violation of law, organizational regulations, or this Code. In these cases, the nature or contents of that information must be disclosed only to proper authorities.

1.8 Honor confidentiality.

The principle of honesty extends to issues of confidentiality of information whenever one has made an explicit promise to honor confidentiality or, implicitly, when private information not directly related to the performance of one's duties becomes available. The ethical concern is to respect all obligations of confidentiality to employers, clients, and users unless discharged from such obligations by requirements of the law or other principles of this Code.

2. More Specific Professional Responsibilities

As an ACM computing professional I will ....

2.1 Strive to achieve the highest quality, effectiveness and dignity in both the process and products of professional work.

Excellence is perhaps the most important obligation of a professional. The computing professional must strive to achieve quality and to be cognizant of the serious negative consequences that may result from poor quality in a system.

2.2 Acquire and maintain professional competence.

Excellence depends on individuals who take responsibility for acquiring and maintaining professional competence. A professional must participate in setting standards for appropriate levels of competence, and strive to achieve those standards. Upgrading technical knowledge and competence can be achieved in several ways:doing independent study; attending seminars, conferences, or courses; and being involved in professional organizations.

2.3 Know and respect existing laws pertaining to professional work.

ACM members must obey existing local, state,province, national, and international laws unless there is a compelling ethical basis not to do so. Policies and procedures of the organizations in which one participates must also be obeyed. But compliance must be balanced with the recognition that sometimes existing laws and rules may be immoral or inappropriate and, therefore, must be challenged. Violation of a law or regulation may be ethical when that law or rule has inadequate moral basis or when it conflicts with another law judged to be more important. If one decides to violate a law or rule because it is viewed as unethical, or for any other reason, one must fully accept responsibility for one's actions and for the consequences.

2.4 Accept and provide appropriate professional review.

Quality professional work, especially in the computing profession, depends on professional reviewing and critiquing. Whenever appropriate, individual members should seek and utilize peer review as well as provide critical review of the work of others.

2.5 Give comprehensive and thorough evaluations of computer systems and their impacts, including analysis of possible risks.

Computer professionals must strive to be perceptive, thorough, and objective when evaluating, recommending, and presenting system descriptions and alternatives. Computer professionals are in a position of special trust, and therefore have a special responsibility to provide objective, credible evaluations to employers, clients, users, and the public. When providing evaluations the professional must also identify any relevant conflicts of interest, as stated in imperative 1.3.

As noted in the discussion of principle 1.2 on avoiding harm, any signs of danger from systems must be reported to those who have opportunity and/or responsibility to resolve them. See the guidelines for imperative 1.2 for more details concerning harm,including the reporting of professional violations.

2.6 Honor contracts, agreements, and assigned responsibilities.

Honoring one's commitments is a matter of integrity and honesty. For the computer professional this includes ensuring that system elements perform as intended. Also, when one contracts for work with another party, one has an obligation to keep that party properly informed about progress toward completing that work.

A computing professional has a responsibility to request a change in any assignment that he or she feels cannot be completed as defined. Only after serious consideration and with full disclosure of risks and concerns to the employer or client, should one accept the assignment. The major underlying principle here is the obligation to accept personal accountability for professional work. On some occasions other ethical principles may take greater priority.

A judgment that a specific assignment should not be performed may not be accepted. Having clearly identified one's concerns and reasons for that judgment, but failing to procure a change in that assignment, one may yet be obligated, by contract or by law, to proceed as directed. The computing professional's ethical judgment should be the final guide in deciding whether or not to proceed. Regardless of the decision, one must accept the responsibility for the consequences.

However, performing assignments "against one's own judgment" does not relieve the professional of responsibility for any negative consequences.

2.7 Improve public understanding of computing and its consequences.

Computing professionals have a responsibility to share technical knowledge with the public by encouraging understanding of computing, including the impacts of computer systems and their limitations. This imperative implies an obligation to counter any false views related to computing.

2.8 Access computing and communication resources only when authorized to do so.

Theft or destruction of tangible and electronic property is prohibited by imperative 1.2 - "Avoid harm to others." Trespassing and unauthorized use of a computer or communication system is addressed by this imperative. Trespassing includes accessing communication networks and computer systems, or accounts and/or files associated with those systems, without explicit authorization to do so. Individuals and organizations have the right to restrict access to their systems so long as they do not violate the discrimination principle (see 1.4). No one should enter or use another's computer system, software, or data files without permission. One must always have appropriate approval before using system resources, including communication ports, file space, other system peripherals, and computer time.

3. Organizational Leadership Imperatives

As an ACM member and an organizational leader, I will ....

BACKGROUND NOTE:This section draws extensively from the draft IFIP Code of Ethics,especially its sections on organizational ethics and international concerns. The ethical obligations of organizations tend to be neglected in most codes of professional conduct, perhaps because these codes are written from the perspective of the individual member. This dilemma is addressed by stating these imperatives from the perspective of the organizational leader. In this context"leader" is viewed as any organizational member who has leadership or educational responsibilities. These imperatives generally may apply to organizations as well as their leaders. In this context"organizations" are corporations, government agencies,and other "employers," as well as volunteer professional organizations.

3.1 Articulate social responsibilities of members of an organizational unit and encourage full acceptance of those responsibilities.

Because organizations of all kinds have impacts on the public, they must accept responsibilities to society. Organizational procedures and attitudes oriented toward quality and the welfare of society will reduce harm to members of the public, thereby serving public interest and fulfilling social responsibility. Therefore,organizational leaders must encourage full participation in meeting social responsibilities as well as quality performance.

3.2 Manage personnel and resources to design and build information systems that enhance the quality of working life.

Organizational leaders are responsible for ensuring that computer systems enhance, not degrade, the quality of working life. When implementing a computer system, organizations must consider the personal and professional development, physical safety, and human dignity of all workers. Appropriate human-computer ergonomic standards should be considered in system design and in the workplace.

3.3 Acknowledge and support proper and authorized uses of an organization's computing and communication resources.

Because computer systems can become tools to harm as well as to benefit an organization, the leadership has the responsibility to clearly define appropriate and inappropriate uses of organizational computing resources. While the number and scope of such rules should be minimal, they should be fully enforced when established.

3.4 Ensure that users and those who will be affected by a system have their needs clearly articulated during the assessment and design of requirements; later the system must be validated to meet requirements.

Current system users, potential users and other persons whose lives may be affected by a system must have their needs assessed and incorporated in the statement of requirements. System validation should ensure compliance with those requirements.

3.5 Articulate and support policies that protect the dignity of users and others affected by a computing system.

Designing or implementing systems that deliberately or inadvertently demean individuals or groups is ethically unacceptable. Computer professionals who are in decision making positions should verify that systems are designed and implemented to protect personal privacy and enhance personal dignity.

3.6 Create opportunities for members of the organization to learn the principles and limitations of computer systems.

This complements the imperative on public understanding (2.7). Educational opportunities are essential to facilitate optimal participation of all organizational members. Opportunities must be available to all members to help them improve their knowledge and skills in computing, including courses that familiarize them with the consequences and limitations of particular types of systems.In particular, professionals must be made aware of the dangers of building systems around oversimplified models, the improbability of anticipating and designing for every possible operating condition, and other issues related to the complexity of this profession.

4. Compliance with the Code

As an ACM member I will ....

4.1 Uphold and promote the principles of this Code.

The future of the computing profession depends on both technical and ethical excellence. Not only is it important for ACM computing professionals to adhere to the principles expressed in this Code, each member should encourage and support adherence by other members.

4.2 Treat violations of this code as inconsistent with membership in the ACM.

Adherence of professionals to a code of ethics is largely a voluntary matter. However, if a member does not follow this code by engaging in gross misconduct, membership in ACM may be terminated.

This Code and the supplemental Guidelines were developed by the Task Force for the Revision of the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct: Ronald E. Anderson, Chair, Gerald Engel, Donald Gotterbarn, Grace C. Hertlein, Alex Hoffman, Bruce Jawer, Deborah G. Johnson, Doris K. Lidtke, Joyce Currie Little, Dianne Martin, Donn B. Parker, Judith A. Perrolle, and Richard S. Rosenberg. The Task Force was organized by ACM/SIGCAS and funding was provided by the ACM SIG Discretionary Fund. This Code and the supplemental Guidelines were adopted by the ACM Council on October 16, 1992.

"ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct" Copyright © 1992, Association of Computing Machinery. All rights reserved. Used with permission.