You are hereEmployee/Employer Relationships

Employee/Employer Relationships


Code of Ethics (2003)

Organization: American College of Healthcare Executives Visit Organization Page
Date Approved: 
November 10, 2003

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.

Code of Ethics

Preface

 

The Code of Ethics is administered by the Ethics Committee, which is appointed by the Board of Governors upon nomination by the Chairman. It is composed of at least nine Fellows of the College, each of whom serves a three-year term on a staggered basis, with three members retiring each year.

 

The Ethics Committee shall:

  • Review and evaluate annually the Code of Ethics, and make any necessary recommendations for updating the Code. 
  • Review and recommend action to the Board of Governors on allegations brought forth regarding breaches of the Code of Ethics. 
  • Develop ethical policy statements to serve as guidelines of ethical conduct for healthcare executives and their professional relationships. 
  • Prepare an annual report of observations, accomplishments, and recommendations to the Board of governors, and such other periodic reports as required. 

The Ethics Committee invokes the Code of Ethics under authority of the ACHE Bylaws, Article II, Membership, Section 6, Resignation and Termination of Membership; Transfer to Inactive Status, subsection (b), as follows:

 

Membership may be terminated or rendered inactive by action of the Board of Governors as a result of violation of the Code of Ethics; nonconformity with the Bylaws or Regulations Governing Admission, Advancement, Recertification, and Reappointment; conviction of a felony; or conviction of a crime of moral turpitude or a crime relating to the healthcare management profession. No such termination of membership or imposition of inactive status shall be effected without affording a reasonable opportunity for the member to consider the charges and to appear in his or her own defense before the Board of Governors or its designated hearing committee, as outlined in the "Grievance Procedure," Appendix I of the College's Code of Ethics.

 

Preamble

 

The purpose of the Code of Ethics of the American College of Healthcare Executives is to serve as a guide to conduct for members. It contains standards of ethical behavior for healthcare executives in their professional relationships. These relationships include members of the healthcare executive's organization and other organizations. Also included are patients or others served, colleagues, the community and society as a whole. The Code of Ethics also incorporates standards of ethical behavior governing personal behavior, particularly when that conduct directly relates to the role and identity of the healthcare executive.

 

The fundamental objectives of the healthcare management profession are to enhance overall quality of life, dignity and well-being of every individual needing healthcare services; and to create a more equitable, accessible, effective and efficient healthcare system.

 

Healthcare executives have an obligation to act in ways that will merit the trust, confidence and respect of healthcare professionals and the general public. Therefore, healthcare executives should lead lives that embody an exemplary system of values and ethics.

 

In fulfilling their commitments and obligations to patients or others served, healthcare executives function as moral advocates. Since every management decision affects the health and well-being of both individuals and communities, healthcare executives must carefully evaluate the possible outcomes of their decisions. In organizations that deliver healthcare services, they must work to safeguard and foster the rights, interests and prerogatives of patients or others served. The role of moral advocate requires that healthcare executives speak out and take actions necessary to promote such rights, interests and prerogatives if they are threatened.

 

I. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibilities to the Profession of Healthcare Management The healthcare executive shall:

  1. Uphold the values, ethics and mission of the healthcare management profession; 
  2. Conduct all personal and professional activities with honesty, integrity, respect, fairness and good faith in a manner that will reflect well upon the profession; 
  3. Comply with all laws pertaining to healthcare management in the jurisdictions in which the healthcare executive is located, or conducts professional activities; 
  4. Maintain competence and proficiency in healthcare management by implementing a personal program of assessment and continuing professional education; 
  5. Avoid the exploitation of professional relationships for personal gain; 
  6. Use this Code to further the interests of the profession and not for selfish reasons; 
  7. Respect professional confidences; 
  8. Enhance the dignity and image of the healthcare management profession through positive public information programs; and 
  9. Refrain from participating in any activity that demeans the credibility and dignity of the healthcare management profession. 

 

II. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibilities to Patients or Others Served, to the Organization and to Employees

 

A. Responsibilities to Patients or Others Served

 

The healthcare executive shall, within the scope of his or her authority:

  1. Work to ensure the existence of a process to evaluate the quality of care or service rendered; 
  2. Avoid practicing or facilitating discrimination and institute safeguards to prevent discriminatory organizational practices; 
  3. Work to ensure the existence of a process that will advise patients or others served of the rights, opportunities, responsibilities and risks regarding available healthcare services; 
  4. Work to provide a process that ensures the autonomy and self-determination of patients or others served; and 
  5. Work to ensure the existence of procedures that will safe-guard the confidentiality and privacy of patients or others served.

 

 B. Responsibilities to the Organization

 

The healthcare executive shall, within the scope of his or her authority:

  1. Provide healthcare services consistent with available resources and work to ensure the existence of a resource allocation process that considers ethical ramifications; 
  2. Conduct both competitive and cooperative activities in ways that improve community healthcare services; 
  3. Lead the organization in the use and improvement of standards of management and sound business practices; 
  4. Respect the customs and practices of patients or others served, consistent with the organization's philosophy; and 
  5. Be truthful in all forms of professional and organizational communication, and avoid disseminating information that is false, misleading, or deceptive. 

 

C. Responsibilities to Employees

 

Healthcare executives have an ethical and professional obligation to employees of the organizations they manage that encompass but are not limited to:

  1. Working to create a working environment conducive for underscoring employee ethical conduct and behavior. 
  2. Working to ensure that individuals may freely express ethical concerns and providing mechanisms for discussing and addressing such concerns. 
  3. Working to ensure a working environment that is free from harassment, sexual and other; coercion of any kind, especially to perform illegal or unethical acts; and discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, ethnic origin, age or disability. 
  4. Working to ensure a working environment that is conducive to proper utilization of employees' skills and abilities. 
  5. Paying particular attention to the employee's work environment and job safety. 
  6. Working to establish appropriate grievance and appeals mechanisms. 

 

III. Conflicts of Interest

 

A conflict of interest may be only a matter of degree, but exists when the healthcare executive:

  1. Acts to benefit directly or indirectly by using authority or inside information, or allows a friend, relative or associate to benefit from such authority or information. 
  2. Uses authority or information to make a decision to intentionally affect the organization in an adverse manner. The healthcare executive shall: 
    1. Conduct all personal and professional relationships in such a way that all those affected are assured that management decisions are made in the best interests of the organization and the individuals served by it; 
    2. Disclose to the appropriate authority any direct or indirect financial or personal interests that pose potential or actual conflicts of interest; 
    3. Accept no gifts or benefits offered with the express or implied expectation of influencing a management decision; and 
    4. Inform the appropriate authority and other involved parties of potential or actual conflicts of interest related to appointments or elections to boards or committees inside or outside the healthcare executive's organization. 

IV. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibilities to Community and Society

 

The healthcare executive shall:

  1. Work to identify and meet the healthcare needs of the community; 
  2. Work to ensure that all people have reasonable access to healthcare services;
  3.  Participate in public dialogue on healthcare policy issues and advocate solutions that will improve health status and promote quality healthcare; 
  4. Consider the short-term and long-term impact of management decisions on both the community and on society; and 
  5. Provide prospective consumers with adequate and accurate information, enabling them to make enlightened judgments and decisions regarding services. 

 

V. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibility to Report Violations of the Code

 

A member of the College who has reasonable grounds to believe that another member has violated this Code has a duty to communicate such facts to the Ethics Committee.

 

Appendix I

 

American College of Healthcare Executives Grievance Procedure

  1. In order to be processed by the College, a complaint must be filed in writing to the Ethics Committee of the College within three years of the date of discovery of the alleged violation; and the Committee has the responsibility to look into incidents brought to its attention regardless of the informality of the information, provided the information can be documented or supported or may be a matter of public record. The three-year period within which a complaint must be filed shall temporarily cease to run during intervals when the accused member is in inactive status, or when the accused member resigns from the College. 
  2. The Committee chairman initially will determine whether the complaint falls within the purview of the Ethics Committee and whether immediate investigation is necessary. However, all letters of complaint that are filed with the Ethics Committee will appear on the agenda of the next committee meeting. The Ethics Committee shall have the final discretion to determine whether a complaint falls within the purview of the Ethics Committee. 
  3. If a grievance proceeding is initiated by the Ethics Committee: 
    1. Specifics of the complaint will be sent to the respondent by certified mail. In such mailing, committee staff will inform the respondent that the grievance proceeding has been initiated, and that the respondent may respond directly to the Ethics Committee; the respondent also will be asked to cooperate with the Regent investigating the complaint. 
    2. The Ethics Committee shall refer the matter to the appropriate Regent who is deemed best able to investigate the alleged infraction. The Regent shall make inquiry into the matter, and in the process the respondent shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Upon completion of the inquiry, the Regent shall present a complete report and recommended disposition of the matter in writing to the Ethics Committee. Absent unusual circumstances, the Regent is expected to complete his or her report and recommended disposition, and provide them to the Committee, within 60 days. 
    3. Upon the Committee's receipt of the Regent's report and recommended disposition, the Committee shall review them and make its written recommendation to the Board of Governors as to what action shall be taken and the reason or reasons therefore. A copy of the Committee's recommended decision along with the Regent's report and recommended disposition to the Board will be mailed to the respondent by certified mail. In such mailing, the respondent will be notified that within 30 days after his or her receipt of the Ethics Committee's recommended decision, the respondent may file a written appeal of the recommended decision with the Board of Governors. 
  4. Any written appeal submitted by the respondent must be received by the Board of Governors within 30 days after the recommended decision of the Ethics Committee is received by the respondent. The Board of Governors shall not take action on the Ethics Committee's recommended decision until the 30-day appeal period has elapsed. If no appeal to the Board of Governors is filed in a timely fashion, the Board shall review the recommended decision and determine action to be taken. 
  5. If an appeal to the Board of Governors is timely filed, the College Chairman shall appoint an ad hoc committee consisting of three Fellows to hear the matter. At least 30 days' notice of the formation of this committee, and of the hearing date, time and place, with an opportunity for representation, shall be mailed to the respondent. Reasonable requests for postponement shall be given consideration. 
  6. This ad hoc committee shall give the respondent adequate opportunity to present his or her case at the hearing, including the opportunity to submit a written statement and other documents deemed relevant by the respondent, and to be represented if so desired. Within a reasonable period of time following the hearing, the ad hoc committee shall write a detailed report with recommendations to the Board of Governors. 
  7. The Board of Governors shall decide what action to take after reviewing the report of the ad hoc committee. The Board shall provide the respondent with a copy of its decision. The decision of the Board of Governors shall be final. The Board of Governors shall have the authority to accept or reject any of the findings or recommended decisions of the Regent, the Ethics Committee or the ad hoc committee, and to order whatever level of discipline it feels is justified. 
  8. At each level of the grievance proceeding, the Board of Governors shall have the sole discretion to notify or contact the complainant relating to the grievance proceeding; provided, however, that the complainant shall be notified as to whether the complaint was reviewed by the Ethics Committee and whether the Ethics Committee or the Board of Governors has taken final action with respect to the complaint. 
  9. No individual shall serve on the ad hoc committee described above, or otherwise participate in these grievance proceedings on behalf of the College, if he or she is in direct economic competition with the respondent or otherwise has a financial conflict of interest in the matter, unless such conflict is disclosed to and waived in writing by the respondent. 
  10. All information obtained, reviewed, discussed and otherwise used or developed in a grievance proceeding that is not otherwise publicly known, publicly available, or part of the public domain is considered to be privileged and strictly confidential information of the College, and is not to be disclosed to anyone outside of the grievance proceeding except as determined by the Board of Governors or as required by law; provided, however, that an individual's membership status is not confidential and may be made available to the public upon request. 

 

Appendix II Ethics Committee Action

 

Once the grievance proceeding has been initiated, the Ethics Committee may take any of the following actions based upon its findings:

  1. Determine the grievance complaint to be invalid.
  2.  Dismiss the grievance complaint. 
  3. Recommend censure. 
  4. Recommend transfer to inactive status for a specified minimum period of time. 
  5. Recommend expulsion.

An Interfaith Declaration : A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews (1994)

Organization: Dialogue Institute Visit Organization Page
Source: Interfaith Declaration Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
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.

An Interfaith Declaration : A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews

SETTING

 

The idea for a high level dialogue between Muslims and Christians, which resulted in the issuing of the Declaration, arose from a State Visit by the British Royal Family to Jordan in March 1984. One theme of their discussion there was to consider what might be done to counteract the tendency in their respective countries for the media and others to concentrate on the excesses of extremism-not least, religious extremism. They felt that there was a need to encourage a refocusing on the values held in common by those who look to religion to guide their behavior. It was agreed that Jewish thought and experience had a relevant contribution to make to the subject and senior representatives were invited to the discussions.

 

After some preliminary discussions it was agreed that the basis for a dialogue would be the conviction that insights of the Scriptures and practice of Jews, Christians and Muslims had an important contribution to make to any discussions on values.

 

After exploring a number of topics which might produce worthwhile outcomes, the representatives of each faith selected business, behavior of ethics as a starting point. They were interested particularly in the implications of international business activity, in the form of trade and investment, for traditional business practices which were often quite different in countries with different religious traditions.

 

HRH Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Crown Prince El Hassan of Jordan and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, invited a group of distinguished Jewish, Christian and Muslim thinkers and business leaders to see whether they could agree on some principles which might serve as guidelines for international business behavior. The group met four times and between meetings exchanged papers exploring in some depth the different approaches to behavioral problems arising in business relationships and the basis for their resolution.

 

The participants at the consultations included royalty, theologians, businessmen, philosophers, bankers, and clerics. What they were attempting to discover was what values the three monotheistic faiths had in common concerning economic activity. In other words, what were the shared moral, ethical and spiritual values inherent in the Abrahamic tradition that are relevant in a business context?

 

The delegates were asked to express their ideas about the cross-cultural problems they discerned with current business behavior. They explained their different approaches to production, distribution, employment, money, materialism, spirituality, and wealth creation. The contributions were translated and circulated to participants. The Gulf War interrupted the process but it was considered worthwhile reconvening in 1992.

 

KEY CONCEPTS

 

The early discussions were somewhat laborious as many misconceptions and misrepresentations about both religion and business had to be addressed before there was any consensus about the variety of issues covered by the term business ethics.

 

The leaders of the consultations then asked the author to look at the material and see whether there was a basis for an agreement. Using techniques of content analysis, four key concepts that recur in the two Testaments of the Bible and the Qur’an in respect to economic transactions were distilled. These were: Justice, Mutual Respect, Stewardship and Honesty. A set of statements concerning the interaction of business with the community was then drawn up. The discussions were concluded at a meeting held in Amman, Jordan in Oct. 1993, with the acceptance of a set of guidelines in an Interfaith Declaration reflecting the participants’ shared concerns for the four value concepts set out above as applied to international business transactions.

 

The meetings of the group and the resultant Declaration indicate that whatever their particular insight into Truth may be-and it is acknowledged that there are differences-they nevertheless had a common heritage with a high degree of shared values. They also re-affirmed that in their opinion, there was a common moral basis derived from the Scriptures. For a number of reasons they felt it was well worthwhile trying to apply these to contemporary international business issues.

 

One of the reasons was that there was general agreement that the growth in material prosperity in the industrial world was generating an alternative value system which they believe to be detrimental to the wholesome development of human beings: selfishness and dishonesty are tending to supplant generosity and integrity. They noted that there is evidence that morality and ethical standards are declining in their respective societies, as exemplified by the wide reporting of dishonest and corrupt practices. Part of the problem they thought was an ambivalence concerning what is considered right and wrong, and economic relationships had not escaped this influence. It was decided that a reiteration of shared ethical values in the form of a Declaration would make a contribution to sustaining and improving the standards of international business behavior.

 

It was realized that the application of these principles may be more difficult to apply in some countries than in others because of the different degree of influence that religion has within a given society. Muslims and to a lesser extent Jews generally operate within a social atmosphere that is conducive to the influence of their religious precepts being heeded in their societies. It is normal for moral and ethical concerns to be discussed within a religious ethos.

 

With some exceptions, Christians are more dependent upon personal convictions, which often have to be stated in a secular social atmosphere that has little sympathy with them. While the influence of Islamic institutions is more open and obvious, and that of Judaism still strong, the influence of Christianity tends to be personal, in spite of the publication of some pertinent encyclicals from the Vatican addressed to the Roman Catholic Church and secular institutions.

 

All participants agreed that, in the final analysis, the application of ethical principles is a matter of person judgement rather than rules; codes can only set standards. It follows that the Declaration (or indeed any code of ethics) is not a substitute for corporate or individual morality; it is a set of guidelines for good practice. In isolation it will make little real difference; if used as part of a corporate program to raise ethical awareness and to be used as the basis of cross-cultural business, it is likely to have a lasting effect both by setting norms and by being used as a guide to best practice.

 

METHOD

 

The code drew on the experience of group members, a number of existing guidelines and codes, and conduct which has been adopted by international organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce. Individual company codes of ethics, too, were used where appropriate.

 

The distinction between three categories of ethical issues are recognized in the code.

 

  •  The morality of the economic system in which business activity takes place. 
  •  The policies and strategies of organizations which engage in business. 
  •  The behavior of individual employees in the context of their work.

 

 

 It was also noted that while some ethical issues affect all types of industrial and commercial activity, there are others which are distinctive to a particular sector. The outstanding example is that of the provision of financial services. Practices in the banking sector differ significantly in different countries and cultures and have specific characteristics which can involve moral choice. For instance, it was accepted that it is especially important to Muslims that money is not treated merely as a commodity that can be bought or sold for a market price (riba). Jews explained that they treat money as a resource to be used to achieve good results but never to be used to exploit a fellow Jew who might be in temporary difficulties (usury). Christians indicated that they have allowed the use of money as a factor of production and use the discount rate as one measure of the viability of an enterprise. A rate of interest is therefore charged to borrowers and is paid to lenders, usually at an agreed rate. Exploitation of the weak by charging exorbitant rates is also considered reprehensible.

 

In practice, the importance of financial resources in the industrial process was recognized by those of all three religions. Muslim banks provide money for enterprises and pay close attention to how clients is performing. In this way they share in the risks and rewards. Although charging interest for borrowing money is forbidden in Muslim teaching, a fee for the services of a bank or a reward from a successful partnership with a business achieves the same moral purpose-namely, the enabling of a commercial enterprise to take place for the mutual benefit of everyone concerned.

 

It was also recognized that the legal framework in which business is conducted is not the same in all countries. For instance, the duties of company directors vary and employment law, e.g., legal notice of dismissal or redundancy, is hardly ever the same in any two countries. While recognizing that national law applies to a company registered in that country (irrespective of the nationality of its owners and managers), and that it should be scrupulously followed, the laws on a particular matter may be less demanding in, say the country of the parent company. Some business practices which are covered by law in one country may be the subject of self-administered regulation or of voluntary codes of behavior in another. It follows that some subjects covered by the Declaration may already have the force of law in some countries.

 

The Interfaith Declaration was launched at St. James’s Palace, London, in May 1994. It has subsequently been widely circulated with translations into Arabic and German.

 

The Group responsible for its compilation wished to be used by business people, business organizations and those advising companies, perhaps by adopting it as the basis of their relationship with those involved in international business. It was also suggested that the topics included in the Declaration could be included in business training courses both by companies themselves and by colleges, universities and consultants who offer different types of business training throughout the world. The code reflects best practice and it is hoped that it will be seen as a useful means of addressing some of the crosscultural problems which arise in the course of international business relationships.

 

Simon Webley

 

 INTRODUCTION

 

A series of Interfaith consultations began in 1984 under the patronage of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan. Followers of the three monotheistic faiths Christianity, Islam and Judaism took part, under the auspices of St. George’s House, Windsor and the Al Albait Foundation and the Arab Thought Forum in Amman. More recently Sir Evelyn de Rothschild has joined Their Royal Highnesses as a patron in this endeavor.

 

A group of distinguished members of the three religions convened perio- dically to deliberate on topics of common interest. Theologians, academics and prominent figures active in business and government were all involved. Conscious of and concerned about the effects of violent expressions of religious extremism not only in European and Muslim countries but throughout the world, the participants sought to highlight the importance of the shared moral, ethical and spiritual values inherent in the common Abrahamic tradition. Aware of the implicit danger of religious bigotry and the threats to the essential fabric of contemporary society, they placed a strong emphasis on the benefit of dialogue, forsaking stereotypical portrayal of each other. Constructive dialogue, difficult to conduct at the outset, developed as mutual confidence between the participants improved. A sense of purpose emerged as they recognised the need to overcome prevailing misconceptions and dispel longstanding misrepresentation. The consultations eventually culminated into consensus about a variety of topics including business ethics.

 

Recent consultations discussed an interfaith code of ethics for international business, formulated in the light of the religious traditions of the three monotheistic faiths. Discussions of the terms of the code began in 1988, and were concluded at a meeting held in October 1993 in Amman. The provisions of the guidelines reflect the ethical basis indicated in the teaching of the three religions. The Declaration has been drawn up by a group of eminent scholars, clerics, and business people from the three religions following a comprehensive review of the teachings of their respective religions with regard to ethical issues in the conduct of business. They concluded that the Declaration should be based on the shared concern for justice, mutual respect, stewardship and honesty.

 

The Declaration illustrates, in a practical way, that people of very different cultures or beliefs often have more in common than is sometimes apparent. It is hoped that the sense of the Declaration will be incorporated into Statements of Purpose or Codes of Conduct. It is offered on the understanding that it will help to facilitate expanding international economic activity, which is beneficial for harmonious international relations and prosperity.

 

Although the code does not attempt to cover all aspects of business behavior, it incorporates the best of contemporary business practice, as well as indicating the modes of good practice as enjoined by divine injunctions. It is recommended to adherents of the three faiths; and commended to leaders of international business, as well as teachers of business management, whether followers of the three monotheistic faiths or not.

 

Special thanks go to Mr. Simon Webley of the British-North American Research Association, for his work on the text.

 

I. BACKGROUND

 

A. ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF THE DECLARATION

 

The globalization of business is now well established and growing. For instance:

  •  The volume of world trade is accelerating rapidly again.
  •  In 1994 it increased by 9.5% over 1993 and is expected to grow a further 8% in 1995. 
  •  In 1994 world merchandise trade was valued at $4090 billion. ($3,600 billion in 1963). 
  •  Cross border investment for productive purposes is expanding even faster than trade. As a result, cross cultural business relationships are multiplying. 
  •  Stocks and shares of most of the world’s largest enterprises are quoted on a variety of stock exchanges and their directors and staff come from many different countries. 

 

This exponential increase in international economic activity has, among other things, resulted in some serious differences in approach to business operations among some of the major participants.

 

To consider these differences and to see what could be done to resolve them, a group of distinguished leaders (businessmen, bankers and academics and clerics) from the three major monotheistic religions of the world (Muslim, Jewish and Christian) met 1989-94 under the auspices of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Evelyn de Rothschild of England to see if it would be possible and useful to draw up a set of guidelines on business ethics which are applicable wherever economic activity involving adherents of their religions takes place. The group met four times and explored in some depth, the different approaches to behavioral problems arising in business relationships.

 

The participants were made aware of a range of business situations which could not be resolved solely by consulting legal texts or by applying strictly business (profit) criteria. The purpose of the resulting Declaration of International Business Ethics was to provide:

 

  •  a moral basis for international business activity 
  •  some principles of ethical practice to help business people, traders and investors identify the role they and their organisations perform in the communities in which they operate, and 
  •  guidance in resolving genuine dilemmas which arise in the course of day-to-day business. 

 

The group was conscious that the recent widespread reporting of the rhetoric and activities by extremist adherents (at least in name) of their three religions had produced in the mind of the general public the idea that only disunity and conflict characterized relationships, including business relationships, between those of different religious beliefs. The meetings of the group and the resultant Declaration indicate that whatever their particular insight of the truth may be-and it is acknowledged that there are differences-they nevertheless share a common heritage including a high degree of shared values. This particular group also shared a common ethical basis derived from one bookthe Bible-which they considered to be as relevant today as it has been in the past. The need to relate this relevance to contemporary business issues was felt to be particularly important. To do this, they sought to discover the basic values that their respective Faiths has in common which were relevant to economic activity.

 

Underlying this purpose was their shared concern that at the same time as material prosperity grew in the industrialized world, there is also emerging a value system which is considered to be detrimental to the wholesome development of human beings: selfishness and dishonesty are tending to supplant integrity and generosity. As a result, there is evidence that morality and ethical standards are declining This is exemplified by the wide reporting of dishonest and corrupt practices. Part of the problem was seen to be an ambivalence concerning what is considered right or wrong and economic relationships have not escaped its influence. The participants considered that a reiteration of ethical precepts in the form of a Declaration would make a contribution to sustaining and improving the standards of international business behavior.

 

It was acknowledged that such a code may be more difficult to apply in some countries than in others because of the different degree of influence that religion has within cultures. Both Muslims and, to a lesser extent Jews, operate within a social atmosphere that is conducive to the influence of their religious precepts being heeded, and where it is normal for moral and ethical concerns to be discussed within a religious ethos.

 

Christians in the industrialized countries generally do not enjoy this sup- port and guidance. They are dependent upon personal convictions which often have to be stated in a secular social atmosphere that has little sympathy with them. While the influence of Islamic institutions is more open and obvious, and that of Judaism still strong, the influence of Christianity is personal and subsumed.

 

In the final analysis, the application of ethical principles is a matter of personal judgement rather than rules; a code can only set standards. It follows that the Declaration (or indeed any code of ethics) is not a substitute for corporate or individual morality; it is a set of guidelines for good practice. Its authors hoped that it will contribute to maintaining high standards of business behavior as well as a better public understanding of the role of business in society.

 

B. METHOD

 

The method used in producing the Interfaith Declaration was to analysis the content of submissions by group members and a number of existing guidelines and codes which have been used by international organisations such as the International Chamber of Commerce.  Individual company codes of ethics too-were used where appropriate.  From these sources ethical issues in business can be classified under three general headings:

 

  •  The morality of the economic system in which business activity takes place. 
  •  The policies and strategies of organisations which engage in business. 
  •  The behavior of individual employees in the context of their work. 

In the Declaration, the distinction between these categories is recognised and there may indeed be other levels and sub-categories but the three selected are those where moral issues most commonly arise.

 

A second distinction which needs recognition is that while some ethical issues affect all types of industrial and commercial activity, there are others which are distinctive to a particular sector. The outstanding example is that between the provision of financial services (e.g. banking), and the manufacture and trading of products.

 

There is a third distinction. The legal framework in which business is conducted is not the same in all countries. For instance, the duties of company directors vary considerably and employment law, e.g. legal notice of dismissal or redundancy is hardly ever the same in any two countries. While recognizing that national law applies to a company registered in that country (irrespective of the nationality of its owners and managers), and that it should be scrupulously followed, the laws on the same matter may be less demanding in, say, the country of the parent company. Some areas of business practice which are covered by law in one country may be the subject of self administered regulation or of voluntary codes of behavior in another. Therefore, some subjects covered by the Declaration may, in practice, already have the force of law in some countries.

 

II. THE DECLARATION

 

A. PRINCIPLES 

 

The Declaration on International Business Ethics is built on the precepts of the three religions represented at the dialogues. Christians, Muslims and Jews have a common basis of religious; and moral teaching: they are the People of the Book. Four key concepts recur in the literature of the faiths and form the basis of any human interaction, and are applicable to business relationships. They are: justice (fairness), mutual respect (love and consideration), stewardship (trusteeship) and honesty (truthfulness). Each can be seen as a different expression of the same overall idea.

 

1. Justice

The first principle is justice which can be defined as just conduct, fairness, exercise of authority in maintenance of right. All three faiths agree that God created the world and that justice must characterize the relationship between its inhabitants. Fair dealings between each other and between believers and others is constantly reiterated in the Scriptures as are God’s justice and mercy in his dealings with humankind.

 

In the Muslim teaching it is seen as a basis of relationship. The Qur’an, Maida, v.9. states: “Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety, and fear God.”

 

It is also a strong theme in Jewish writing. For instance, a passage on the subject in Deuteronomy 16:18-20 concludes with the statement, “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you.”

 

Jesus too suggested that some of the Jewish teachers of his day neglected the weightier matters of the Torah: Justice and mercy and faith (Matt: 23: 23), and Christians are urged by Paul to “Consider what is just” (Phil. 4: 8).

 

2. Mutual Respect (Love)

The second principle-mutual respect or love and consideration for others -is also inherent in the moral teachings of each religion. The word love has many meanings. But, as is clear from the reading of Scripture, the God of justice and mercy is also the God of love. What Scripture expresses as love is here rendered as mutual respect or reciprocal regard that exists between two individuals.

 

The statement in Leviticus 19: 18 “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which is reiterated by the Prophet Mohammed as “Love for yourself what you love for others” (), and by Jesus as “You shall love your neighbor as your self” (Matt. 22: 39), is a common ethical basis for all interpersonal relationships. The application of this has come to mean that self interest only has a place in the community in as much as it takes into account the interests of others. My neighbor in the business context can be defined as any person (individual or corporate) with whom the organisation comes into contact in the course of business life. Of paramount importance in this respect is the employee.

 

The illustration of the Good Samaritan given by Jesus to an enquiry from a Jewish lawyer as to who was his neighbor (Luke 10: 30-37), indicates that one’s neighbor is not always of the same ethnic origin or economic status as oneself. Indeed, a neighbor may be much weaker or vulnerable or a different race or religion. A business application of this would be in the case of a small company supplying a large one. The principle of love would suggest that restraint in the use of power by the strong, especially in difficult times, would be ethically correct, and in accord with the written precepts of the three religions. It follows that a large sophisticated company based in a developed country should treat a supplier or customer from a developing nation in the same way it would treat a firm with whom it does business in its home country.

 

3. Stewardship

A third principle which the three faiths have in common is that of stewardship (trusteeship) of God’s creation and all that is in it. It is a richly diverse universe: “...and it was good.” The Scriptures testify to the beauties and wonders of nature as signs of God’s goodness and providence. Humanity is set over it all with delegated responsibility, a steward charged with its care and proper use for which s/he will have to give account. The Scriptures know nothing of absolute ownership: the human is God’s trustee.

 

While this may be readily understood by an owner of a small business or an inheritor of an agricultural holding, the principle is applicable to anyone who is entrusted with the responsibility of managing scarce resources. It applies equally to individual wealth, the long-term viability of a business, and the use of renewable resources. Ownership is not seen, therefore, to be absolute. As such, businesses have an obligation to use resources for the benefit of the people in society at large as well as for its stockholders.

 

Muslims point to two Qur’anic verses on this topic: “And bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you” (Sura [Light] 24, 33). “And spend of that whereof He has made you trustees” (Sura [Iron] 57, 7). An authentic saying of the prophet Mohammed confirms this concept of humanity’s responsibility for its wealth. It proclaims that no man or woman will be allowed to proceed to their reward on the day of the judgement unless they first give account of their deeds, which includes how they obtained their wealth and how they used it.

 

Jews too, have encompassed the concept of stewardship in their teachings concerning responsibility in society. The patriarch David stated: “Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1 Chr. 29: 14).

 

The New Testament stresses the accountability of Christians for the way they have used resources. Jesus summed this up by stating: “From everyone to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).

 

This principle provides a longer term perspective for business decisions than is likely to be found where the concept of absolute ownership predominates. It also provides the basis for a proper concern for the natural environment on which business activity makes considerable demands. It implies a caring management not a selfish exploitation and is concerned with both present and future.

 

4. Honesty

The fourth principle inherent to the value system of each of the three faiths is honesty. It incorporates the concepts of truthfulness and reliability and covers all aspects of relationships in human life-thought, word and action. It is more than just accuracy, it is an attitude which is well summed up in the word “integrity.”

 

In precepts and parables, Scripture urges truth and honesty in all dealings between human beings. It is stressed that dishonesty is an abomination and bearing false witness breaches the basic laws of God. In business dealings, “true scales, true weights, true measures” are to be used. Speaking the truth is a requirement for everyone.

 

Muslims place considerable emphasis on truthfulness in business. For instance, in a Hadith it is stated: “The merchant whose words and transactions are righteous and who is a trusty man will be (resurrected) amongst the martyrs in the day of judgement” (Ibn Mace, Sunan, II/724, no. 2139 [Ticaveti]).

 

Jews too constantly stress honesty as the basis for human relationships. The book of Leviticus is explicit concerning honesty in business: “You shall have true scales, true weights, true measures” (Lev. 19: 36), and “All who act dis- honestly are an abomination to the Lord” (Dt. 26: 16), and regarding truthfulness, the Decalogue states: “You should not bear false witness” (Ex. 20: 16).

 

Christians also expect honesty and truthfulness to characterize the lives of believers. Jesus states that doing what is true is a test of obedience to God: “He who does what is true comes to the light that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought of God” (John 3: 2) and Paul urged the Ephesian Christians: “You shall speak the truth in love”(Eph. 4: 15).

 

These four principles, justice, love, stewardship and honesty form the moral basis of the Declaration that follows.

 

GUIDELINES

 

A. BUSINESS & POLITICAL ECONOMY

 

All business activity takes place within the context of a political and economic system. It is recognised that:

 

1.  Business is part of the social order. Its primary purpose is to meet human and material needs by producing and distributing goods and services in an efficient manner. How this role is carried out-the means as well as the end-is important to the whole of society.

 

2. Competition between businesses has generally been shown to be the most effective way to ensure that resources are not wasted, costs are minimized and prices fair. The State has a duty to see that markets operate effectively, competition is maintained and natural monopolies are regulated. Business will not seek to frustrate this.

 

3. All economic systems have flaws; that based on free and open markets is morally neutral and has great potential for good. Private enterprise, sometimes in partnership with the State, has the potential to make efficient and sustainable use of resources, thereby creating wealth which can be used for the benefit of everyone.

 

4. There is no basic conflict between good business practice and profit making. Profit is one measure of efficiency and is of paramount importance in the functioning of the system. It provides for the maintenance and growth of business, thus expanding employment opportunities and is the means of a rising living standard for all concerned. It also acts as an incentive to work and be enterprising. It is from the profit of companies that society can reasonably levy taxes to finance its wider needs.

 

5. Because the free market system, like any other, is open to abuse, it can be used for selfish or sectional interests, or it can be used for good. The State has an obligation to provide a framework of law in which business can operate honestly and fairly and business will obey and respect the law of the State in which it operates.

 

6. As business is a partnership of people of varying gifts they should never be considered as merely a factor of production. The terms of their employment will be consistent with the highest standards of human dignity.

 

7. The efficient use of scarce resources will be ensured by the business. Resources employed by corporations include finance (savings), technology (machinery) and land and natural renewable resources). All are important and most are scarce.

 

8. Business has a responsibility to future generations to improve the quality of goods and service, not to degrade the natural environment in which it operates and seek to enrich the lives of those who work within it. Short-term profitability should not be pursued at the expense of long term viability of the business. Neither should business operations disadvantage the wider community.

 

B. THE POLICIES OF A BUSINESS

 

Business activity involves human relationships; it is the question of balancing the reasonable interests of those involved in the process: i.e., the stakeholders, that produces moral and ethical problems. The policies of the business will therefore be based on the principles set out in the paragraphs above and in particular:

 

1. The board of directors will be responsible for seeing that the business operates strictly within the letter and spirit of the laws of nations in which it works. If these laws are rather less rigorous in some parts of the world where the business operates than in others, the higher standards will normally be applied everywhere.

 

2. The board will issue a written statement concerning the objectives, operating policies of the organisation and their application. It will set out clearly the obligations of the company towards the different stakeholders involved with a business [employees, shareholders, lenders, customers, suppliers and the community (local and national government)].

 

3. The basis of the relationship with the principal stakeholders shall be honesty and fairness, by which is meant integrity, in all relationships as will as reliability in all commitments made on behalf of the organisation.

 

4. The business shall maintain a continuing relationship with each of the groups with which it is involved. It will provide effective means to communicate information affecting the stakeholders. This relationship is based on trust.

 

5. The best practice to be adopted in dealings with six particular stakeholders can be summarized as follows:

 

a) Employees

 

Employees make a unique contribution to an organisation; it follows that in their policies, businesses shall where appropriate, take notice of trade union positions and provide:

 

i) Working conditions that are safe and healthy and conducive to high standards of work.

 

ii) Levels of remuneration that are fair and just, that recognize the employees’ contribution to the organisation and the performance of the sector of the business in which they work.

 

 

iii) A respect for the individual (whether male or female) in their beliefs, their family responsibility and their need to grow as human beings. It will provide equal opportunities in training and promotion for all members of the organisation. It will not discriminate in its policies on grounds of race, color, creed, or gender.

 

b) Providers of Finance

 

A business cannot operate without finance. There is therefore, a partnership between the provider and the user. The company borrowing money shall give to the lender:

 

i) What has been agreed to be repaid at the due dates.

 

ii) Adequate safeguards in using the resources entrusted.

 

iii) Regular information on the operations of the business and opportunities to raise with directors matters concerning their performance.

 

c) Customers

 

Without customers a business cannot survive. In selling products or services, a company shall provide for the customer:

 

i) The quality and standard of service which has been agreed.

 

ii) After-sales service commensurate with the type of product or service and the price paid. iii) Where applicable, a contract written in unambiguous terms.

 

iv) Informative and accurate information regarding the use of the product or service especially where misuse can be dangerous.

 

d) Suppliers

 

Suppliers provide a daily flow of raw materials, products and services to enable a business to operate. The relationship with suppliers is normally a long term one and must therefore be based on mutual trust. The company shall:

 

i) Undertake to pay its suppliers promptly and in accordance with agreed terms of trade.

 

ii) Not use its buying power in an unscrupulous fashion. iii) Require buyers to report offers of gifts or favors of unusual size or questionable purpose. e) Community (Local and National Government) While companies have an obligation to work within the law, they must also take into account the effects of their activities on local and national communities. In particularly they shall:

 

i) Ensure that they protect the local environment from harmful emissions from manufacturing plant, excessive noise and any practice likely to endanger humans, animals or plant life.

 

ii) Consider the social consequences of company decisions e.g. plant closures, choice of new sites or expansion of existing ones.

 

iii) Not tolerate any form of bribery, extortion or other corrupt or corrupting practices in business dealings.

 

f) Owners (shareholders)

 

The shareholders undertake the risks of ownership. The elected directors shall:

 

i) Protect the interests of shareholders.

 

ii) See that the company’s accounting statements are true and timely.

 

iii) See that shareholders are kept informed of all major happenings affecting the company.

 

C. CONDUCT OF INDIVIDUALS AT WORK

 

The following are based on best ethical practice for employees in a business. Employees of an organisation shall:

 

1. Implement the decisions of those to whom he or she is responsible which are lawful and in accordance with the company’s policies in cooperation with colleagues.

 

2. Avoid all abuse of power for personal gain, advantage or prestige and in particular refuse bribes or other inducements of any sort intended to encourage dishonesty or to break the law.

 

3. Not use any information acquired in the business for personal gain or for the benefit of relatives or outside associates.

 

4. Reveal the facts to his superiors whenever his personal business or financial interests become involved with those of the company.

 

5. Be actively concerned with the difficulties and problems of subordinates, treat them fairly and lead them effectively, assuring them a right of reasonable access and appeal to those to whom their immediate superior is responsible.

 

6. Bring to the attention of superiors the likely effects on employees of the company’s plans for the future so that such effects can be fully taken into account.

 

APPENDIX

THE USES OF THE DECLARATION

 

This Declaration is offered to business people, business organisations and those who advise companies as a basis for sound ethical business practice.

 

Relevant sectors of it can be adopted by corporations as an international standard of business ethics and be acknowledged as such in corporate Annual Reports.

 

To be effective, it needs endorsement at the highest level of business management and a means will need to be devised to make employees at all levels aware of its existence. Some ways of doing this are:

 

  •  Reproduce it as a booklet with a foreword from the Corporation’s Chair. 
  •  Include it in literature given to all new employees. 
  •  Make it a subject in all internal training courses. 
  •  See that the topics contained in the Declaration are included in business training courses offered in colleges and universities. 
  •  It also requires a method to see that its precepts are carried out.

Code of Ethics for Engineers (1974)

Organization: National Society of Professional Engineers Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
November 1974

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.

Code of Ethics for Engineers

Preamble:

The Engineer, to uphold and advance the honor and dignity of the engineering profession and in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct:

  • Will be honest and impartial, and will serve with devotion his employer, his clients, and the public;
  • Will strive to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession;
  • Will use his knowledge and skill for the advancement of human welfare.

 

Section 1-The Engineer will be guided in all his professional relations by the highest standards of integrity, and will act in professional matters for each client or employer as a faithful agent or trustee.
a. He will be realistic and honest in all estimates, reports, statements, and testimony.
b. He will admit and accept his own errors when proven wrong and refrain from distorting or altering the facts in an attempt to justify his decision.
c. He will advise his client or employer when he believes a project will not be successful.
d. He will not accept outside employment to the detriment of his regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside employment he will notify his employer.
e. He will not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.
f. He will not actively participate in strikes, picket lines, or other collective coercive action.
g. He will avoid any act tending to promote his own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.

 

Section 2-The Engineer will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties. If his engineering judgment is overruled by non-technical authority, he will clearly point out the consequences. He will notify the proper authority of any observed conditions which endanger public safety and health.
a. He will regard his duty to the public welfare as paramount.
b. He shall seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of his community.
c. He will not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not of a design safe to the public health and welfare and in conformity with accepted engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, he shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project.

 

Section 3-The Engineer will avoid all conduct or practice likely to discredit or unfavorably reflect upon the dignity or honor of the profession.
a. The Engineer shall not advertise his professional services but may utilize the following means of identification:
(1) Professional cards and listings in recognized and dignified publication, provided they are consistent in size and are in a section of the publication regularly devoted to such professional cards and listings. The information displayed must be restricted to firm name, address. telephone number, appropriate symbol, name of principal participants and the fields of practice in which the firm is qualified.
(2) Signs on equipment, offices and at the site of projects for which he renders services, limited to firm name, address, telephone number and type of services, as appropriate.
(3) Brochures, business cards, letterheads and other factual representations of experience, facilities, personnel and capacity to render service, providing the same are not misleading relative to the extent of participation in the projects cited, and provided the same are not indiscriminately distributed.
(4) Listings in the classified section of telephone directories limited to name, address, telephone number and specialties in which the firm is qualified.
b. The Engineer may advertise for recruitment of personnel in appropriate publications or by special distribution. The information
presented must be displayed in a dignified manner, restricted to firm name address, telephone number, appropriate symbol, name
of principal participants, the fields of practice in which the firm is qualified and further description of positions available, qualifications required and benefits available.
c. The Engineer may prepare articles for the lay or technical press which are factual, dignified and free from ostentations or laudatory implications. Such articles shall not imply other than his direct participation in the work described unless credit is given to others for their share of the work.
d. The Engineer may extend permission for his name to be used in commercial advertisements, such as may be published by manufacturers, contractors, material suppliers, etc., only by means of a modest dignified notation acknowledging his participation and the scope thereof in the project or product described. Such permission shall not include public endorsement of proprietary products.
e. The Engineer will not allow himself to be listed for employment using exaggerated statements of his qualifications.

 

Section 4-The Engineer will endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements and to protect the engineering profession from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.
a. He shall not issue statements, criticisms, or arguments on matters connected with public policy which are inspired or paid
for by private interests, unless he indicates on whose behalf he is making the statement.

 

Section 5-The Engineer will express an opinion of an engineering subject only when founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction.
a. The Engineer will insist on the use of facts in reference to an engineering project in a group discussion, public forum or publication of articles.

 

Section 6-The Engineer will undertake engineering assignments for which he will be responsible only when qualified by training or experience; and he will engage, or advise engaging, experts and specialists whenever the client's or employer's interests are best served by such service.

 

Section 7-The Engineer will not disclose confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer without his consent.
a. While in the employ of others, he will not enter promotional efforts or negotiations for work or make arrangements for other employment as a principal or to practice in connection with a specific project for which he has gained particular and specialized knowledge without the consent of all interested parties.

 

Section 8-The Engineer will endeavor to avoid a conflict of interest with his employer or client, but when unavoidable, the Engineer shall fully disclose the circumstances to his employer or client.
a. The Engineer will inform his client or employer of any business connections, interests, or circumstances which may be deemed as influencing his judgment or the quality of his services to his client or employer.
b. When in public service as a member, advisor, or employee of a governmental body or department, an Engineer shall not participate in considerations or actions with respect to services provided by him or his organization in private engineering practice.
c. An Engineer shall not solicit or accept an engineering contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of his organization serves as a member.

 

Section 9-The Engineer will uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in engineering work.
a. He will not undertake or agree to perform any engineering service on a free basis. except for civic, charitable, religious, or eleemosynary non profit organizations when the professional services are advisory in nature.
b. He will not undertake work at a fee or salary below the accepted standards of the profession in the area.
c. He will not accept remuneration from either an employee or employment agency for giving employment.
d. When hiring other engineers, he shall offer a salary according to the engineer's qualifications and the recognized standards in the particular geographical area.
e. If in sales employ, he will not offer, or give engineering consultation, or designs, or advice other than specifically applying to the equipment being sold.

 

Section 10-The Engineer will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for the same service, or for services pertaining to the same work, unless there is full disclosure to and consent of all interested parties.
a. He will not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product.
b. He will not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly from contractors or other parties dealing with his clients or employer in connection with work for which he is responsible.

 

Section 11-The Engineer will not compete unfairly with another engineer by attempting to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by taking advantage of a salaried position, by criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods
a. The Engineer will not attempt to supplant another engineer in a particular employment after becoming aware that definite
steps have been taken toward the other's employment.
b. He will not pay, or offer to pay, either directly or indirectly, any political contribution, or a gift, or other consideration in order to secure work. He will not pay a commission, Percentage or Brokerage fee in order to secure work except to bona fide employees or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by him.
c. He shall not solicit or submit engineering proposals on the basis of competitive bidding. Competitive bidding for professional engineering services is defined as the formal or informal submission, or receipt, of verbal or written estimates of cost or proposals in terms of dollars, man days of work required, percentage of construction cost, or any other measure of compensation whereby the prospective client may compare engineering services on a price basis prior to the time that one engineer, or one engineering organization, has been selected for negotiations. The disclosure of recommended fee schedules prepared by various engineering societies is not considered to constitute competitive bidding. An Engineer requested to submit a fee proposal or bid prior to the selection of an engineer or firm subject to the negotiation of a satisfactory contract, shall attempt to have the procedure changed to conform to ethical practices, but if not successful he shall withdraw from consideration for the proposed work. These principles shall be applied by the Engineer in obtaining the services of other professionals.
d. An Engineer shall not request, propose, or accept a professional commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which his professional judgment may be compromised, or when a contingency provision is used as a device for promoting or securing a professional commission.
e. While in a salaried position, he will accept part-time engineering work only at a salary not less than that recognized as standard in the area.
f. An Engineer will not use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of his employer to carry on outside private practice without consent.

 

Section 12-The Engineer will not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice or employment of another engineer, nor will he indiscriminately criticize another engineer's work. If he believes
that another engineer is guilty of unethical or illegal practice, he shall present such information to the proper authority for action.
a. An Engineer in private practice will not review the work of another engineer for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, or unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated.
b. An Engineer in governmental, industrial or educational employ is entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by his employment duties.
c. An Engineer in sales or industrial employ is entitled to make engineering comparisons of his products with products by other suppliers.

 

Section 13-The Engineer will not associate with or allow the use of his name by an enterprise of questionable character, nor will he become professionally associated with engineers who do not conform to ethical practices, or with persons not legally qualified
to render the professional services for which the association is intended.
a. He will conform with registration laws in his practice of engineering.
b. He will not use association with a non-engineer, a corporation, or partnership, as a "cloak" for unethical acts, but must accept personal responsibility for his professional acts.

 

Section 14-The Engineer will give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.
a. Whenever possible, he will name the person or persons who may be individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings, or other accomplishments.
b . When an Engineer uses designs supplied to him by a client, the designs remain the Property of the client and should not be duplicated by the Engineer for others without express permission.
c. Before undertaking work for others in connection with which he may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or other records which may justify copyrights or patents, the Engineer should enter into a positive agreement regarding the ownership.
d. Designs, data, records, and notes made by an engineer and referring exclusively to his employer's work are his employer's property.

 

Section 15-The Engineer will cooperate in extending the effectiveness of the profession by interchanging information and experience with other engineers and students, and will endeavor to provide opportunity for the professional development and advancement
of engineers under his supervision.
a. He will encourage his engineering employees' efforts to improve their education.
b. He will encourage engineering employees to attend and present papers at professional and technical society meetings.
c. He will urge his engineering employees to become registered at the earliest possible date.
d. He will assign a professional engineer duties of a nature to utilize his full training and experience, insofar as possible, and delegate lesser functions to sub professionals or to technicians.
e. He will provide a prospective engineering employee with complete information on working conditions and his proposed status of employment, and after employment will keep him informed of any changes in them.

Note: In regard to the question of application of the Code to corporations vis-à-vis real persons, business form or type should not negate nor influence conformance of individuals to the code. The Code deals with professional services, which services must be performed by real persons. Real persons in turn establish and implement policies within business structures.

 

The Code is clearly written to apply to the Engineer and it is incumbent on a member of NSPE to endeavor to live up to its provisions. This applies to all pertinent sections of the Code.

NSPE Publication No. I102 As revised, January 1974

 

Code of Ethics for Engineers (1978)

Organization: National Society of Professional Engineers Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
July 1978

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.

Code of Ethics for Engineers

Preamble:

The Engineer, to uphold and advance the honor and dignity of the engineering profession and in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct:

  • Will be honest and impartial, and will serve with devotion his employer, his clients, and the public;
  • Will strive to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession;
  • Will use his knowledge and skill for the advancement of human welfare.

 

Section 1-The Engineer will be guided in all his professional relations by the highest standards of integrity, and will act in professional matters for each client or employer as a faithful agent or trustee.
a. He will be realistic and honest in all estimates, reports, statements, and testimony.
b. He will admit and accept his own errors when proven wrong and refrain from distorting or altering the facts in an attempt to justify his decision.
c. He will advise his client or employer when he believes a project will not be successful.
d. He will not accept outside employment to the detriment of his regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside employment he will notify his employer.
e. He will not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.
f. He will not actively participate in strikes, picket lines, or other collective coercive action.
g. He will avoid any act tending to promote his own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.

 

Section 2-The Engineer will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties. If his engineering judgment is overruled by non-technical authority, he will clearly point out the consequences. He will notify the proper authority of any observed conditions which endanger public safety and health.
a. He will regard his duty to the public welfare as paramount.
b. He shall seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of his community.
c. He will not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not of a design safe to the public health and welfare and in conformity with accepted engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, he shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project.

 

Section 3-The Engineer will avoid all conduct or practice likely to discredit the profession or deceive the public.
a. The Engineer shall not make exaggerated, misleading, deceptive or false statements or claims about his professional qualifications, experience or performance in his brochures, correspondence, listings, advertisements or other public communications.
b. The above prohibitions include, but are not limited to, the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact necessary to keep the statement from being misleading; statements intended or likely to create an unjustified expectation; statements containing prediction of future success; statements containing an opinion as to the quality of the Engineer's services; or statements intended or likely to attract clients by the use of showmanship , puffery, or self-laudation, including the use of slogans, jingles, or sensational language or format.
c. Consistent with the foregoing, the Engineer may advertise for recruitment of personnel.
d. Consistent with the foregoing, the Engineer may prepare articles for the lay or technical press. Such articles shall not imply credit to the author for work performed by others.

 

Section 4-The Engineer will endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements and to protect the engineering profession from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.
a. He shall not issue statements, criticisms or arguments on matters connected with public policy which are inspired or paid for by private interests, unless he indicates on whose behalf he is making the statements.

 

Section 5 - The Engineer will express an opinion of an engineering subject only when founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction.
a. The Engineer will insist on the use of facts in reference to an engineering project in a group discussion, public forum or publication of articles.

 

Section 6- The Engineer will undertake engineering assignments for which he will be responsible only when qualified by training or experience; and he will engage, or advise engaging, experts and specialists whenever the client's or employer's interests are best served by such service.

 

Section 7-The Engineer will not disclose confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer without his consent.
a. While in the employ of others, he will not enter promotional efforts or negotiations for work or make arrangements for other employment as a principal or to practice in connection with a specific project for which he has gained particular and specialized knowledge without the consent of all interested parties.

 

Section 8-The Engineer will endeavor to avoid a conflict of interest with his employer or client, but when unavoidable, the Engineer shall fully disclose the circumstances to his employer or client.
a. The Engineer will inform his client or employer of any business connections, interests, or circumstances which may be deemed as influencing his judgment or the quality of his services to his client or employer.
b. When in public service as a member, advisor, or employee of a governmental body or department, an Engineer shall not participate in considerations or actions with respect to services provided by him or his organization in private engineering practice.
c. An Engineer shall not solicit or accept an engineering contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of his organization serves as a member.

 

Section 9-The Engineer will uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in engineering work.
a. He will not accept remuneration from either an employee or employment agency for giving employment.
b. When hiring other engineers, he shall offer a salary according to the engineer's qualifications and the recognized standards in the particular geographical area.
c. If in sales employ, he will not offer, or give engineering consultation, or designs, or advice other than specifically applying to the equipment being sold.

 

Section 10.-The Engineer will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for the same service, or for services pertaining to the same work, unless there is full disclosure to and consent of all interested parties.
a. He will not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product.
b. He will not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with his clients or employer in connection with work for which he is responsible.

 

Section 11-The Engineer will not compete unfairly with another engineer by attempting to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by taking advantage of a salaried position, by criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods.
a. The Engineer will not attempt to supplant another engineer in a particular employment after becoming aware that definite
steps have been taken toward the other's employment.
b. He will not pay, or offer to pay, either directly or indirectly, any political contribution, or a gift, or other consideration in order to secure work. He will not pay a commission, Percentage or Brokerage fee in order to secure work except to bona fide employees or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by him.
c. An Engineer shall not request, propose, or accept a professional commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which his professional judgment may be compromised, or when a contingency provision is used as a device for promoting or securing a professional commission.
d. While in a salaried position, he will accept part-time engineering work only at a salary not less than that recognized as standard in the area.
e. An Engineer will not use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of his employer to carry on outside private practice without consent.
f . An Engineer will not use "free engineering" as a device to solicit or otherwise secure subsequent paid engineering assignments.

 

Section 12-The Engineer will not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice or employment of another engineer, nor will he indiscriminately criticize another engineer's work. If he believes
that another engineer is guilty of unethical or illegal practice, he shall present such information to the proper authority for action.
a. An Engineer in private practice will not review the work of another engineer for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, or unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated.
b. An Engineer in governmental, industrial or educational employ is entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by his employment duties.
c. An Engineer in sales or industrial employ is entitled to make engineering comparisons of his products with products by other suppliers.

 

Section 13-The Engineer will not associate with or allow the use of his name by an enterprise of questionable character, nor will he become professionally associated with engineers who do not conform to ethical practices, or with persons not legally qualified
to render the professional services for which the association is intended.
a. He will conform with registration laws in his practice of engineering.
b. He will not use association with a non-engineer, a corporation, or partnership, as a "cloak" for unethical acts, but must accept personal responsibility for his professional acts.

 

Section 14-The Engineer will give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.
a. Whenever possible, he will name the person or persons who may be individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings, or other accomplishments.
b . When an Engineer uses designs supplied to him by a client, the designs remain the Property of the client and should not be duplicated by the Engineer for others without express permission.
c. Before undertaking work for others in connection with which he may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or other records which may justify copyrights or patents, the Engineer should enter into a positive agreement regarding the ownership.
d. Designs, data, records, and notes made by an engineer and referring exclusively to his employer's work are his employer's property.

 

Section 15-The Engineer will cooperate in extending the effectiveness of the profession by interchanging information and experience with other engineers and students, and will endeavor to provide opportunity for the professional development and advancement
of engineers under his supervision.
a. He will encourage his engineering employees' efforts to improve their education.
b. He will encourage engineering employees to attend and present papers at professional and technical society meetings.
c. He will urge his engineering employees to become registered at the earliest possible date.
d. He will assign a professional engineer duties of a nature to utilize his full training and experience, insofar as possible, and delegate lesser functions to sub professionals or to technicians.
e. He will provide a prospective engineering employee with complete information on working conditions and his proposed status of employment, and after employment will keep him informed of any changes in them.

"By order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, former Section 11 (c) of the NSPE Code of Ethics prohibiting competitive bidding, and all policy statements, opinions, or other guidelines interpreting its scope, have been rescinded as unlawfully interfering with the legal right of engineers, protected under the antitrust laws, to provide price information to prospective clients; accordingly, nothing contained in the NSPE Code of Ethics, policy statements, opinions, rulings or other guidelines prohibits the submission of price quotations or competitive bids for engineering services at any time or in any amount."

Statement by NSPE Executive Committee
In order to correct misunderstandings which have been indicated in some instances since the issuance of the Supreme Court decision and the entry of the Final Judgment, it is noted that in its decision of April 25, 1978, the Supreme Court of the United States declared:
" The Sherman Act does not require competitive bidding."
It is further noted that as made clear in the Supreme Court decision:
1. Engineers and firms may individually refuse to bid for engineering services.
2. Clients are not required to seek bids for engineering services.
3. Federal, state, and local laws governing procedures to procure engineering services are not affected, and remain in full force and effect.
4. State societies and local chapters are free to actively and aggressively seek legislation for professional selection and negotiation procedures by public agencies.
5 State registration board rules of professional conduct, including rules prohibiting competitive bidding for engineering services, are not affected and remain in full force and effect. State registration boards with authority to adopt rules of professional conduct may
adopt rules governing procedures to obtain engineering services.
6. As noted by the Supreme Court, "nothing in the judgment prevents NSPE and its members from attempting to influence governmental action . . ."

Note: In regard to the question of application of the Code to corporations vis-à-vis real persons, business form or type should not negate nor influence conformance of individuals to the code. The Code deals with professional services, which services must be performed by real persons. Real persons in turn establish and implement policies within business structures.

 

The Code is clearly written to apply to the Engineer and it is incumbent on a member of NSPE to endeavor to live up to its provisions. This applies to all pertinent sections of the Code.

NSPE Publication No. 1102 As revised, July 22, 1978

Code of Ethics for Engineers (1976)

Organization: National Society of Professional Engineers Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
July 1976

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.

Code of Ethics for Engineers

 

Preamble:

The Engineer, to uphold and advance the honor and dignity of the engineering profession and in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct:

  • Will be honest and impartial, and will serve with devotion his employer, his clients, and the public;
  • Will strive to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession;
  • Will use his knowledge and skill for the advancement of human welfare.

 

Section 1-The Engineer will be guided in all his professional relations by the highest standards of integrity, and will act in professional matters for each client or employer as a faithful agent or trustee.
a. He will be realistic and honest in all estimates, reports, statements, and testimony.
b. He will admit and accept his own errors when proven wrong and refrain from distorting or altering the facts in an attempt to justify his decision.
c. He will advise his client or employer when he believes a project will not be successful.
d. He will not accept outside employment to the detriment of his regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside employment he will notify his employer.
e. He will not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.
f. He will not actively participate in strikes, picket lines, or other collective coercive action.
g. He will avoid any act tending to promote his own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.

 

Section 2-The Engineer will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties. If his engineering judgment is overruled by non-technical authority, he will clearly point out the consequences. He will notify the proper authority of any observed conditions which endanger public safety and health.
a. He will regard his duty to the public welfare as paramount.
b. He shall seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of his community.
c. He will not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not of a design safe to the public health and welfare and in conformity with accepted engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, he shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project.

 

Section 3-The Engineer will avoid all conduct or practice likely to discredit or unfavorably reflect upon the dignity or honor of the profession.
a. The Engineer shall not advertise his professional services but may utilize the following means of identification:
(1) Professional cards and listings in recognized and dignified publication, provided they are consistent in size and are in a section of the publication regularly devoted to such professional cards and listings. The information displayed must be restricted to firm name, address. telephone number, appropriate symbol, name of principal participants and the fields of practice in which the firm is qualified.
(2) Signs on equipment, offices and at the site of projects for which he renders services, limited to firm name, address, telephone
number and type of services, as appropriate.
(3) Brochures, business cards, letterheads and other factual representations of experience, facilities, personnel and capacity to render service, providing the same are not misleading relative to the extent of participation in the projects cited, and provided the same are not indiscriminately distributed.
(4) Listings in the classified section of telephone directories limited to name, address, telephone number and specialties in which the firm is qualified.
b. The Engineer may advertise for recruitment of personnel in appropriate publications or by special distribution. The information
presented must be displayed in a dignified manner, restricted to firm name address, telephone number, appropriate symbol, name
of principal participants, the fields of practice in which the firm is qualified and further description of positions available, qualifications required and benefits available.
c. The Engineer may prepare articles for the lay or technical press which are factual, dignified and free from ostentations or laudatory implications. Such articles shall not imply other than his direct participation in the work described unless credit is given to others for their share of the work.
d. The Engineer may extend permission for his name to be used in commercial advertisements, such as may be published by manufacturers, contractors, material suppliers, etc., only by means of a modest dignified notation acknowledging his participation and the scope thereof in the project or product described. Such permission shall not include public endorsement of proprietary products.
e. The Engineer will not allow himself to be listed for employment using exaggerated statements of his qualifications.

 

Section 4-The Engineer will endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements and to protect the engineering profession from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.
a. He shall not issue statements, criticisms, or arguments on matters connected with public policy which are inspired or paid for by private interests, unless he indicates on whose behalf he is making the statement.

 

Section 5-The Engineer will express an opinion of an engineering subject only when founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction.
a. The Engineer will insist on the use of facts in reference to an engineering project in a group discussion, public forum or publication of articles.

 

Section 6-The Engineer will undertake engineering assignments for which he will be responsible only when qualified by training or experience; and he will engage, or advise engaging, experts and specialists whenever the client's or employer's interests are best served by such service.

 

Section 7-The Engineer will not disclose confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer without his consent.
a. While in the employ of others, he will not enter promotional efforts or negotiations for work or make arrangements for other employment as a principal or to practice in connection with a specific project for which he has gained particular and specialized knowledge without the consent of all interested parties.

 

Section 8-The Engineer will endeavor to avoid a conflict of interest with his employer or client, but when unavoidable, the Engineer shall fully disclose the circumstances to his employer or client.
a. The Engineer will inform his client or employer of any business connections, interests, or circumstances which may be deemed as influencing his judgment or the quality of his services to his client or employer.
b. When in public service as a member, advisor, or employee of a governmental body or department, an Engineer shall not participate in considerations or actions with respect to services provided by him or his organization in private engineering practice.
c. An Engineer shall not solicit or accept an engineering contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of his organization serves as a member.

 

Section 9-The Engineer will uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in engineering work.
a. He will not undertake work at a fee or salary below the accepted standards of the profession in the area.
b. He will not accept remuneration from either an employee or employment agency for giving employment.
c. When hiring other engineers, he shall offer a salary according to the engineer's qualifications and the recognized standards in the particular geographical area.
d. If in sales employ, he will not offer, or give engineering consultation, or designs, or advice other than specifically applying to the equipment being sold.

 

Section 10.-The Engineer will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for the same service, or for services pertaining to the same work, unless there is full disclosure to and consent of all interested parties.
a. He will not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product.
b. He will not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with his clients or employer in connection with work for which he is responsible.

 

Section 11-The Engineer will not compete unfairly with another engineer by attempting to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by taking advantage of a salaried position, by criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods
a. The Engineer will not attempt to supplant another engineer in a particular employment after becoming aware that definite steps have been taken toward the other's employment.
b. He will not pay, or offer to pay, either directly or indirectly, any political contribution, or a gift, or other consideration in order to secure work. He will not pay a commission, Percentage or Brokerage fee in order to secure work except to bona fide employees or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by him.
c. He shall not solicit or submit engineering proposals on the basis of competitive bidding. Competitive bidding for professional engineering services is defined as the formal or informal submission, or receipt, of verbal or written estimates of cost or proposals in terms of dollars, man days of work required, percentage of construction cost, or any other measure of compensation whereby the prospective client may compare engineering services on a price basis prior to the time that one engineer, or one engineering organization, has been selected for negotiations. The disclosure of recommended fee schedules prepared by various engineering societies is not considered to constitute competitive bidding. An Engineer requested to submit a fee proposal or bid prior to the selection of an engineer or firm subject to the negotiation of a satisfactory contract, shall attempt to have the procedure changed to conform to ethical practices, but if not successful he shall withdraw from consideration for the proposed work. These principles shall be applied by the Engineer in obtaining the services of other professionals.
d. An Engineer shall not request, propose, or accept a professional commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which his professional judgment may be compromised, or when a contingency provision is used as a device for promoting or securing a professional commission.
e. While in a salaried position, he will accept part-time engineering work only at a salary not less than that recognized as standard in the area.
f. An Engineer will not use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of his employer to carry on outside private practice without consent.
g. An Engineer will not use "free engineering" as a device to solicit or otherwise secure subsequent paid engineering assignments.

 

Section 12-The Engineer will not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice or employment of another engineer, nor will he indiscriminately criticize another engineer's work. If he believes
that another engineer is guilty of unethical or illegal practice, he shall present such information to the proper authority for action.
a. An Engineer in private practice will not review the work of another engineer for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, or unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated.
b. An Engineer in governmental, industrial or educational employ is entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by his employment duties.
c. An Engineer in sales or industrial employ is entitled to make engineering comparisons of his products with products by other suppliers.

 

Section 13-The Engineer will not associate with or allow the use of his name by an enterprise of questionable character, nor will he become professionally associated with engineers who do not conform to ethical practices, or with persons not legally qualified
to render the professional services for which the association is intended.
a. He will conform with registration laws in his practice of engineering.
b. He will not use association with a non-engineer, a corporation, or partnership, as a "cloak" for unethical acts, but must accept personal responsibility for his professional acts.

 

Section 14-The Engineer will give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.
a. Whenever possible, he will name the person or persons who may be individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings, or other accomplishments.
b . When an Engineer uses designs supplied to him by a client, the designs remain the Property of the client and should not be duplicated by the Engineer for others without express permission.
c. Before undertaking work for others in connection with which he may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or other records which may justify copyrights or patents, the Engineer should enter into a positive agreement regarding the ownership.
d. Designs, data, records, and notes made by an engineer and referring exclusively to his employer's work are his employer's property.

 

Section 15-The Engineer will cooperate in extending the effectiveness of the profession by interchanging information and experience with other engineers and students, and will endeavor to provide opportunity for the professional development and advancement
of engineers under his supervision.
a. He will encourage his engineering employees' efforts to improve their education.
b. He will encourage engineering employees to attend and present papers at professional and technical society meetings.
c. He will urge his engineering employees to become registered at the earliest possible date.
d. He will assign a professional engineer duties of a nature to utilize his full training and experience, insofar as possible, and delegate lesser functions to sub professionals or to technicians.
e. He will provide a prospective engineering employee with complete information on working conditions and his proposed status of employment, and after employment will keep him informed of any changes in them.

Note: In regard to the question of application of the Code to corporations vis-à-vis real persons, business form or type should not negate nor influence conformance of individuals to the code. The Code deals with professional services, which services must be performed by real persons. Real persons in turn establish and implement policies within business structures.

 

The Code is clearly written to apply to the Engineer and it is incumbent on a member of NSPE to endeavor to live up to its provisions. This applies to all pertinent sections of the Code.

NSPE Publication No. 1102 As revised, July 1976

Code of Ethics for Engineers (1985)

Organization: National Society of Professional Engineers Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
January 1985

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.

Code of Ethics for Engineers

Preamble

Engineering is an important and learned profession. The members of the profession recognize that their work has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness
and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. In the practice of their profession, engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior which requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct on behalf of the public, clients, employers and the profession.


I. Fundamental Canons
Engineers, inthe fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:

1. Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.
2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.
3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
4. Act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
5. Avoid deceptive acts in the solicitation of professional employment.


II. Rules of Practice
1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.
a. Engineers shall at all times recognize that their primary obligation is to protect the safety, health. property and welfare of the public. If their professional judgment is overruled under circumstances where the safety, health, property or welfare of the public are endangered, they shall notify their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate.
b. Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents which are safe for public health, property and welfare in conformity with accepted standards.
c. Engineers shall not reveal facts, data or information obtained in a professional capacity without the prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or required by law or this Code.
d. Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or firm name nor associate in business ventures with any person or firm which they have reason to believe is engaging in fraudulent or dishonest business or professional practices.
e. Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this Code shall cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required.

2. Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence.
a. Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved.
b. Engineers shall not affix their signatures to any plans or documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared under their direction and control.
c. Engineers may accept assignments and assume responsibility for coordination of an entire project and sign and seal the engineering documents for the entire project, provided that each technical segment is signed and sealed only
by the qualified engineers who prepared the segment.

3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
a. Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, statements or testimony. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements or testimony.
b. Engineers may express publicly a professional opinion on technical subjects only when that opinion is founded upon adequate knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter.
c. Engineers shall issue no statements, criticisms or arguments on technical matters which are inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless they have prefaced their comments by explicitly identifying the interested parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by revealing the existence of any interest the engineers may have in the matters.

4. Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
a. Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest to their employers or clients by promptly informing them of any business association, interest, or other circumstances which could influence or appear to influence their judgment or the quality of their services.
b. Engineers shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for services on the same project, or for services pertaining to the same project. unless the circumstances are fully disclosed to, and agreed to by. all interested parties.
c. Engineers shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable consideration directly or indirectly, from contractors, their agents, or other parties in connection with work for employers or clients for which they are responsible.
d. Engineers in public service as members, advisors or employees of a governmental or quasi-governmental body or department shall not participate in decisions with respect to professional services solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private or public engineering practice.
e. Engineers shall not solicit or accept a professional contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of their organization serves as a member.

5. Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts in the solicitation of professional employment
a. Engineers shall not falsify or permit misrepresentation of their, or their associates', academic or professional qualifications. They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their degree of responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint venturers or past accomplishments with the intent and purpose of enhancing their qualifications and their work.
b. Engineers shall not offer, give, solicit or receive, either directly or indirectly, any political contribution in an amount intended to influence the award of a contract by public authority, or which may be reasonably construed by the public of having the effect or intent to influence the award of a contract They shall not offer any gift, or other valuable consideration in order to secure work. They shall not pay a commission, percentage or brokerage fee in order to secure work except to a bona fide employee or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by them.


III. Professional Obligations
1. Engineers shall be guided in all their professional relations by the highest standards of integrity.
a. Engineers shall admit and accept their own errors when proven wrong and refrain from distorting or altering the facts in an attempt to justify their decisions.
b. Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they believe a project will not be successful.
c. Engineers shall not accept outside employment to the detriment of their regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside employment they will notify their employers.
d. Engineers shall not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.
e. Engineers shall not actively participate in strikes, picket lines, or other collective coercive action.
f. Engineers shall avoid any act tending to promote their own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.

2. Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest.
a. Engineers shall seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of their community.
b. Engineers shall not complete. sign or seal plans and/or specifications that are not of a design safe to the public health and welfare and in conformity with accepted engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, they shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project.
c. Engineers shall endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements and to protect the engineering profession from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.

3. Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice which is likely to discredit the profession or deceive the public.
a. Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact necessary to keep statements from being misleading or intended or likely to create an unjustified expectation, or statements containing prediction of future success.
b. Consistent with the foregoing, Engineers may advertise for recruitment of personnel.
c. Consistent with the foregoing, Engineers may prepare articles for the lay or technical press, but such articles shall not imply credit to the author for work performed by others.

4. Engineers shall not disclose confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer without his consent.
a. Engineers in the employ of others shall not without the consent of all interested parties enter promotional efforts or negotiations for work or make arrangements for other employment as a principal or to practice in connection with a specific project for which the Engineer has gained particular and specialized knowledge.
b. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, participate in or represent an adversary interest in connection with a specific project or proceeding in which the Engineer has gained particular specialized knowledge on behalf of a former client or employer.

5. Engineers shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests.
a Engineers shall not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product
b. Engineers shall not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with clients or employers of the Engineer in connection with work for which the Engineer is responsible.

6. Engineers shall uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in engineering work.
a Engineers shall not accept remuneration from either an employee or employment agency for giving employment.
b. Engineers, when employing other engineers, shall offer a salary according to professional qualifications.

7. Engineers shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers. or by other improper or questionable methods.
a Engineers shall not request, propose, or accept a professional commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which their professional judgment may be compromised.
b. Engineers in salaried positions shall accept part-time engineering work only to the extent consistent with policies of the employer and in accordance with ethical considerations.
c. Engineers shall not use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of an employer to carry on outside private practice without consent.

8. Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice or employment of other engineers, nor untruthfully criticize other engineers' work. Engineers who believe others are guilty of unethical or illegal practice shall present such information to the proper authority for action.
a. Engineers in private practice shall not review the work of another engineer for the same client. except with the knowledge of such engineer, or unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated.

b. Engineers in governmental, industrial, or educational employ are entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by their employment duties.
c. Engineers in sales or industrial employ are entitled to make engineering comparisons of represented products with products of other suppliers.

9. Engineers shall accept personal responsibility for their professional activities.
a. Engineers shall conform with state registration laws in the practice of engineering.
b. Engineers shall not use association with a nonengineer, a corporation, or partnership as a "cloak" for unethical acts.

10. Engineers shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.
a. Engineers shall, whenever possible, name the person or persons who may be individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings, or other accomplishments.
b. Engineers using designs supplied by a client recognize that the designs remain the property of the client and may not be duplicated by the Engineer for others without express permission.
c. Engineers, before undertaking work for others in connection with which the Engineer may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or other records that may justify copyrights or patents, should enter into a positive agreement regarding ownership.
d. Engineers' designs, data, records, and notes referring exclusively to an employer's work are the employer's property. Employer should indemnify the Engineer for use of the information for any purpose other than the original purpose

11. Engineers shall cooperate in extending the effectiveness of the profession by interchanging information and experience with other engineers and students and will endeavor to provide opportunity for the professional development and advancement of engineers under their supervision.
a. Engineers shall encourage engineering employees' efforts to improve their education.
b. Engineers shall encourage engineering employees to attend and present papers at professional and technical society meetings.
c. Engineers shall urge engineering employees to become registered at the earliest possible date.
d. Engineers shall assign a professional engineer duties of a nature to utilize full training and experience, insofar as possible, and delegate lesser functions to sub professionals or to technicians.
e. Engineers shall provide a prospective engineering employee with complete information on working conditions and proposed status of employment, and after employment will keep employees informed of any changes.

"By order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, former Section II(c) of the NSPE Code of Ethics prohibiting competitive bidding, and all policy statements, opinions, rulings or other guidelines interpreting its scope, have been rescinded as unlawfully interfering with the legal right of engineers, protected under the antitrust laws, to provide price information to prospective clients; accordingly, nothing contained in the NSPE Code of Ethics, policy statements, opinions, rulings or other guidelines prohibits the submission of price quotations or competitive bids for engineering services at any time or in any amount."


Statement by NSPE Executive Committee
In order to correct misunderstandings which have been indicated in some instances since the issuance of the Supreme Court decision and the entry of the Final Judgment, it is noted that in its decision of April 25, 1978, the Supreme Court of the United States declared: "The Sherman Act does not require competitive bidding."
It is further noted that as made clear in the Supreme Court decision:
1. Engineers and firms may individually refuse to bid for engineering services.
2. Clients are not required to seek bids for engineering services.
3. Federal, state, and local laws governing procedures to procure engineering services are not affected, and remain in full force and effect.
4. State societies and local chapters are free to actively and aggressively seek legislation for professional selection and negotiation procedures by public agencies.
5. State registration board rules of professional conduct, including rules prohibiting competitive bidding for engineering services, are not affected and remain in full force and effect. State registration boards with authority to adopt rules of professional conduct may adopt rules governing procedures to obtain engineering services.
6. As noted by the Supreme Court, "nothing in the judgment prevents NSPE and its members from attempting to influence governmental action... "

 

Note:
In regard to the question of application of the Code to corporations vis-a-vis real persons, business form or type should not negate nor influence conformance of individuals to the Code. The Code deals with professional services, which services must be performed by real persons. Real persons in turn establish and implement policies within business structures. The Code is clearly written to apply to the Engineer, and it is incumbent on members of NSPE to endeavor to live up to its provisions. This applies to all pertinent sections of the Code.

National Society of Professional Engineers
1420 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia 223 14-2794
7031684-2800 . Fax:703/836-4875
www.nspe.org
Publication date as revised: July 1986. Publication #I 102

 

Code of Ethics for Engineers (1990)

Organization: National Society of Professional Engineers Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
January 1990

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.

Code of Ethics for Engineers

Preamble

Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

I. Fundamental Canons

Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:

1. Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.

2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.

3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.

4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.

5. Avoid deceptive acts.

6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

II. Rules of Practice

1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.

a. If engineers' judgment is overruled under circumstances that endanger life or property, they shall notify their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate.

b. Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents that are in conformity with applicable standards.

c. Engineers shall not reveal facts, data or information without the prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or required by law or this Code.

d. Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in business ventures with any person or firm that they believe are engaged in fraudulent or dishonest
enterprise.

e. Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this Code shall report thereon to appropriate professional bodies and, when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required.

2. Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence.

a. Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved.

b. Engineers shall not affix their signatures to any plans or documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared under their direction and control.

c. Engineers may accept assignments and assume responsibility for coordination of an entire project and sign and seal the engineering documents for the entire project, provided that each technical segment is signed and sealed only by the qualified engineers who prepared the segment.

3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.

a. Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, statements, or testimony. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements, or testimony, which should bear the date indicating when it was current.

b. Engineers may express publicly technical opinions that are founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter.

c. Engineers shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on technical matters that are inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless they have prefaced their comments by explicitly identifying the interested parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by revealing the existence of any interest the engineers may have in the matters.

4. Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.

a. Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence their judgment or the quality of their services.

b. Engineers shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for services on the same project, or for services pertaining to the same project, unless the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interested parties.

c. Engineers shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable consideration, directly or indirectly, from outside agents in connection with the work for which they are responsible.

d. Engineers in public service as members, advisors, or employees of a governmental or quasi-governmental body or department shall not participate in decisions with respect to services solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private or public engineering practice.

e. Engineers shall not solicit or accept a contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of their organization serves as a member.

5. Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts.

a. Engineers shall not falsify their qualifications or permit misrepresentation of their or their associates' qualifications. They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint venturers, or past accomplishments.

b. Engineers shall not offer, give, solicit or receive, either directly or indirectly, any contribution to influence the award of a contract by public authority, or which may be reasonably construed by the public as having the effect of intent to influencing the awarding of a contract. They shall not offer any gift or other valuable consideration in order to secure work. They shall not pay a commission, percentage, or brokerage fee in order to secure work, except to a bona f ide employee or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by them.

III. Professional Obligations

1. Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

a. Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts.

b. Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they believe a project will not be successful.

c. Engineers shall not accept outside employment to the detriment of their regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside engineering employment they will notify their employers.d. Engineers shall not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.

d. Engineers shall not actively participate in strikes, picket lines, or other collective coercive action.

e. Engineers shall not promote their own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.

2. Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest.

a. Engineers shall seek opportunities to participate in civic affairs; career guidance for youths; and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of their community.

b. Engineers shall not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not in conformity with applicable engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, they shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project.

c. Engineers shall endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements.

3. Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public.

a. Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact.

b. Consistent with the foregoing, Engineers may advertise for recruitment of personnel.

c. Consistent with the foregoing, Engineers may prepare articles for the lay or technical press, but such articles shall not imply credit to the author for work performed by others.

4. Engineers shall not disclose, without consent, confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer, or public body on which they serve.

a. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, promote or arrange for new employment or practice in connection with a specific project for which the Engineer has gained particular and specialized knowledge.

b. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, participate in or represent an adversary interest in connection with a specific project or proceeding in which the Engineer has gained particular specialized knowledge on behalf of a former client or employer.

 

Revised January 1990

 

Values (Undated)

Organization: Lockheed Martin Visit Organization Page
Source: Lockheed Martin - Values
Date Approved: 
Undated

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.

Values

 

One transgression by one employee can have an enormous impact on our entire corporation - whether it is the liability incurred by not coping properly with an environmental problem or the financial penalty resulting from an engineering failure. Even more daunting is to try to restore one's collective reputation once it is tarnished - even if undeservedly As the British Prime Minister James Callaghan once observed, "A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on."

 

Recently I read an article in which the author suggested that maintaining high ethical standards is untenable in today's business climate, especially now that we compete in a global marketplace where ethical standards vary widely from country to country. I altogether reject this view for three reasons. First, it contradicts everything we as a company stand for. Second, such "logic" can lead to actions that are against the law. Third, it is bad business. With regard to the last point, I recognize that abiding by uncompromising ethical standards does not always guarantee the sought-after, short-term outcome; but I am absolutely convinced that by following a demanding ethical compass one is always better served over the longer term.

 

I would never suggest that ethics is simple. Not only does one have to know the right thing to do one must also have the moral fortitude to do it. Of course, ethical people believe in honoring their word, respecting the law, acting honestly, respecting other people's property, displaying loyalty, and working hard. But even these values can be misplaced. For example:

 

OPTIMISM is not unethical; in fact, in most cases it's even admirable. But in business, misrepresentation under the guise of optimism is a crime.

 

INFORMATION is valuable, but it's ethical only as long as you have a right to have it.

 

PROFIT is valued, as long as you've earned it.

 

LOYALTY is appreciated, as long as it isn't misplaced. (The Iraqis following Saddam Hussein could be considered to have been loyal.)

 

At Lockheed Martin, we of course intensely want to win business. But we even more intensely want to compete fairly and ethically for the business we win. And that means not only conducting our business affairs within the letter of the law - but also the spirit of the law.

 

Sometimes the ethical choices faced are clear-cut. Such was the case some time ago when we were in competition for a major contract and the day before we were to submit our proposal we received in the mail a copy of our competitor's price sheet. It presumably came from a disgruntled employee.

 

We opened the package, not knowing what was inside. Once realizing what we had, the package was promptly handed to our attorneys who informed the government and the competition what had happened. We did not change our bid price.

 

Incidentally, we lost the contract ... and some of our dedicated employees very possibly lost their jobs due to lack of work. But few would argue that we had done the wrong thing or that the company was not best served for the long term.

 

Other ethical choices are not so clear-cut. Potter Stewart, the former Supreme Court Justice, defines ethics as "knowing the difference between what you have a right to do, and what is the right thing to do." There are people who believe that if it's legal, it's ethical. Justice Stewart obviously doesn't agree with that. Neither do I. Ethical behavior goes beyond merely complying with the law. Ethics requires some degree of voluntary compliance. You have a legal right to burn the flag. But I believe it's the wrong thing to do. Racial discrimination was legal at one time. But it always was wrong. In business, preemptive hostile takeovers are legal - but I think they are the wrong thing to do.

 

In a similar vein, professional football teams labor all season to get into the play-offs and get the " homefield advantage." Assuming this was what it was all about, a few years ago I was surprised to see a letter to the editor in the Washington Post challenging the Redskins coach -a highly ethical man in my opinion - for being unethical in encouraging the crowd to make lots of noise in the upcoming play-off game so that it would be difficult for the opposition to hear the signals being called. It probably did not occur to the 55,000 people in the stands that what they were doing might be considered by some to be unethical. Was it?

 

Frankly, I believe we should - and do - hold ourselves to a higher standard of ethical performance than many other companies. In fact, after our company's formation, the first overarching principle we set forth declared: "In realizing our vision, we will adhere to the highest standard of ethical conduct in everything we do." I view this as our Corporation's starting point and believe that we must become ever more committed to ethical behavior as we evolve Lockheed Martin's heritage.

 

Employees are expected to know what the ethical standards are and adhere to them. And as you know, we have an ethics training program which virtually all of us, both in this country and overseas, have attended -including myself We also have a Corporate Ethics Office that's charged with responsibility for monitoring performance under our Code of Ethics, providing advice and resolving concerns presented to the Ethics Office.

 

In confronting some of the "close calls" involved in today's business environment, all of us are aided by the ethics officers, whom we might perhaps better think of as ethics advisors. These highly trained individuals are committed to helping all of us raise awareness of ethical issues and to deal with difficult situations. The Ethics HelpLine (800-563-8442 or 800-LM ETHIC) is available 24 hours a day.

 

Any one of us who believes that we have observed unethical conduct should report it to our supervisor or, alternatively, to the Ethics Office. More importantly, anyone who is uncertain as to what in fact is ethical behavior in a particular situation can solicit advice simply by calling the HelpLine. Our ethics advisors are committed to maintaining confidentiality and, importantly, to establishing rigorous safeguards against retribution in any form against those who seek to share concerns.

Let me just note at the end of this essay that the truly difficult ethical choices in life involve day-to-day decisions, where the long-term "payoff" or advantage from ethical comportment seems remote at best. And that is why I want to return to the point that there is, in fact, occasionally a short-term cost for acting ethically. I personally believe that is part of the whole ethical equation, I would define the price of being ethical as similar to the price we pay for all the meaningful things in our lives. We achieve an education only at the price of years of hard work and self-discipline. We enjoy a fulfilling family life only with some sacrifice of individual desires and with hard work devoted to truly understanding those closest to us. We are rewarded with a successful business or academic career only after doing more than what is absolutely required. We excel in sports only after many, many hours of training and conditioning. And we achieve greatness as a nation only when we act selflessly and devote ourselves to a greater good.

Our goal in meeting the ethics challenge must be exactly the same as our goal in meeting all the other challenges we face - namely, to be the very best. We must continue to build the type of corporation which is regarded by all as comprising highly ethical people working together to produce Mission Success - the kind of corporation for which all of us want to work and the kind of corporation with which customers like to do business.

 

Workplace Code of Conduct (2007)

Organization: Fair Labor Association Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
October 23, 2007

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.

Workplace Code of Conduct

Workplace Code of Conduct

There shall not be any use of forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.

 

Child Labor No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture* allows) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.

 

Harassment or Abuse Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.

 

Nondiscrimination No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.

 

Health and Safety Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities.

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

 

Wages and Benefits Employers recognize that wages are essential to meeting employees' basic needs. Employers shall pay employees, as a floor, at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.

 

Hours of Work Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period.

 

Overtime Compensation In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate.

 

Any Company that determines to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct shall, in addition to complying with all applicable laws of the country of manufacture, comply with and support the Workplace Code of Conduct in accordance with the attached Principles of Monitoring {click here to see the Principles of Monitoring} and shall apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts. Any Company that determines to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct also shall require its licensees and contractors and, in the case of a retailer, its suppliers to comply with applicable local laws and with this Code in accordance with the Principles of Monitoring and to apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts.

 

* * *
*All references to local law throughout this Code shall include regulations implemented in accordance with applicable local law.

© 2005 Fair Labor Association. All rights reserved.
Fair Labor Association - 1505 22nd Street, NW - Washington, DC 20037

Professional Employment Guidelines (1978)

Organization: American Chemical Society Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
1978

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.

Professional Employment Guidelines

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
1155 SIXTEENTH ST., N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036


FOREWORD


This publication of Professional Employment Guidelines incorporates all guidelines proposed by the Committee on Professional Relations, adopted by the Council and endorsed by the Board of Directors, including actions taken at the Council meeting on March 15,1978 and by the Board of Directors at its meeting on June 10, 1978.

 

The origins of the guidelines extend back over many years, and the history of their development is a fascinating story in itself. But this document will merely note that these years bear witness to the dedication, patience, foresight, and tenacity of countless persons who contributed to the development of Professional Employment Guidelines and their adoption by the Council and endorsement by the Board. Innumerable hours have been expended by councilors and other ACS members in proposing, analyzing, deliberating, and finally voting upon these concepts and the formulations of them expressed here.

 

For those who cherish the democratic process, there can be satisfaction in the realization that Professional Employment Guidelines represent a consensus of the Council, which is the largest member-elected body in the ACS. For those who value a clear statement of rights and responsibilities for employers and for chemists, there can be a sense of achievement in the Council's acceptance and the Board's endorsement of these guidelines.

In a formal sense, the Committee on Professional Relations has prime responsibility for overseeing the implementation and observance of Professional Employment Guidelines. On this point, the committee has a proven record of public accountability to the Council and the membership. But in a true sense, all ACS members have a duty to know and observe these guidelines and to bring departures from their spirit and content to the committee's attention.

 

Professional Employment Guidelines


Prepared by the Council Committee On Professional Relations
American Chemical Society

 

Preamble

The American Chemical Society seeks to enhance the productivity and economic welfare of both chemists* and the employers of chemists by the delineation of employment practices that collectively foster the mutual confidence and mutual security of employers and employed chemists and by the review of the practices of individual chemists and employers.

 

I. Terms of Employment


The Chemist

1. The prospective employee should apply only for those positions in which he or she has a sincere interest. Any interview expenses to be reimbursed by the prospective employer must be reported accurately. If more than one employer is visited on an interview trip, expenses should be prorated fairly.

2. The chemist should inform any new employer of previous employment agreements, and should exclude trade secrets or proprietary information of previous employers from new employment agreements. The chemist should not seek or accept employment on the basis of using or divulging any trade secrets or proprietary information.

3. The chemist is obligated to honor an offer of employment once accepted unless formally released after giving adequate notice of intent. All of these obligations should be made in writing.

4. The chemist should not use the funds or facilities of the current employer for the purpose of seeking new employment unless approved by the current employer.


The Employer

1. The conditions of employment should be described fully to the prospective employee. A written statement of these conditions should be supplied to the chemist at the time an employment offer is made.

2. Legal obligations of the chemist to the employer should be clearly set forth in an employment agreement.

3. Employment, advancement and compensation shall be based, without regard to sex, age, race, religion, or political affiliation on professional competence and ability to perform assigned responsibilities, Sound indirect compensation programs should include, among others, retirement benefits, health, disability and life insurance, sick leave, and paid holidays and vacations. Permanent (regular) part-time employees should be provided with adjusted indirect compensation programs that are at least proportional to the programs for full-time employees.

4. The employer is obligated to honor a written and accepted offer of a position. If unable to honor it, the employer should provide the chemist with equitable compensation.

5. The employer should recognize that at times during the chemist's employment, family or professional responsibilities may necessitate special arrangements such as the granting of personal leaves, flexible working schedules, and part-time employment. The chemist should be informed at the time of employment that these considerations are available and negotiable.

6. A statement of termination policy should be made available to the candidate during the interviewing process.


II. Employment Environment


The Chemist

1. The chemist should engage in all assignments diligently and judiciously, employing his or her most creative and resourceful ideas.

2. The chemist should strive to foster a stimulating and productive work atmosphere.

3. The chemist should solicit and actively participate in regular performance reviews.

4. The chemist should use all necessary safety procedures, and should inform the employer of any hazards in the working environment.

5. The chemist, mindful of his or her responsibility to the public, should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified.

6. The chemist should respect and maintain the confidentiality of the employer's trade secrets and proprietary information,

7. The chemist should use the period of an enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises in a constructive and professional manner.


The Employer

1. The employer should provide physical facilities that enable the chemist to work safely and efficiently, New personnel should be instructed in the proper handling of material and equipment in order to minimize risks of personal injury. Continuing environmental studies should be conducted to assure that chemists are asked to function only under safe working conditions.

2. The employer should insure that normal working hours leave the chemist adequate time for personal study, rest, and recreation.

3. Management should periodically review each chemist's aptitude, professional growth, and suitability and, within the framework of job requirements, make assignments to utilize these capabilities. If an arrangement is not beneficial, an appropriate reassignment should be made.

4. The employer should maintain conditions that will enable the chemist to make his or her best contributions.

5. The employer should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified to the public.

6. Performance reviews should be made on a regular basis at least annually. Confidential written records of such reviews should be employee attested and maintained by both the employer and the employee. The employer has the responsibility to discuss fully and promptly with the chemist any unacceptable performance or ineptitude. The chemist should be advised of means to meet the employer's standards.

7. Judgment of the chemist's scientific performance should be rendered by a supervisor who is also a scientific peer. Additionally, the supervisor should consider the evaluation of the chemist's scientific performance by scientific peers.

8. Dual ladders of advancement for chemical supervisors and chemists should be provided and should be realistic. Financial rewards for individuals at the same level should be similar, even though responsibilities are different.

9. Managerial and technical contributions should both be considered as essential to the success of the corporate effort. The chemist should be provided with economic data and appropriate financial and business documents pertaining to his or her effort.

10. Meritorious performance should be rewarded by financial compensation. Increasing levels of skill and responsibility should be rewarded by professional advancement. Extraordinary contributions to patentable inventions, trade secrets or know-how should be compensated by specific rewards commensurate with the value of the contributions to the employer.

11. The chemist should be permitted to consult with other professionals in the field so as to enhance the individual's capabilities. The interchange should be permitted with the understanding that the chemist will not reveal confidential company information in such discussions. In the event of scientific controversy, it is recognized that the chemist will act as an individual and not as a representative of the company.

12. The employer should not inhibit the movement of a chemist from one organization to another, even a competitor, through the use of such practices as covenants not to compete, and claims to subsequently conceived inventions. Competing employers should not assign a relocated chemist to projects which could compromise professional ethics through the use of trade secrets information.

13. The academic employer should observe the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges.

14. The employer should not penalize the chemist who performs only his or her duties during any enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises.


III. Professional Development


The Chemist

1. The chemist is responsible for maintaining technical competence and for self-development through continuing education. Additionally, the chemist should support and participate in the activities of appropriate technical societies to enhance professional growth.

2. The chemist should serve the public by using his or her specialized knowledge while participating in civic and political activities. Such participation, however, should be undertaken solely as a responsibility of the individual without involving the employer.

3. The chemist should give credit to all colleagues who contribute to technical accomplishments.


The Employer

1. The chemist should, as a matter of policy, be encouraged to attend meetings and to take formal courses of study which will enable the individual to maintain scientific competence.

2. The employer should permit reasonable compensated leaves of absence for professional study in order to maintain competence or to improve knowledge in the chemist's field.

3. The chemist should be encouraged and given the opportunity to publish work in scientific journals and to present findings at scientific meetings.

4. The chemist should be given an opportunity to participate in professional and scientific society affairs. The chemist should be allowed sufficient time consistent with the performance of regular duties to carry out responsibilities in such organizations.

5. The chemist should have freedom to participate in political and community activities.


IV. Termination Conditions


The Chemist

1. The chemist who intends to terminate employment should notify the employer in writing and provide a minimum of four weeks' advance notice. The chemist should assist the employer to maintain continuity of function.


The Employer

1. The employer should by appropriate forward planning provide stability of employment and avoid multiple terminations.

2. No chemist should be terminated for inadequate performance or for cause without documented evidence and review by two levels of management, provided such levels of management exist, above the immediate supervisor. The opinion of scientific peers should also be considered.

An academic chemist regardless of tenure status who is dismissed during a contract period or whose contract is not renewed at a contract anniversary should be accorded full academic due process.

3. No chemist having a minimum of 10 years' total service should be terminated except for continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance or for cause.

4. Any chemist who is terminated should be notified in writing and be given a minimum of four weeks' advance notice.

For academic chemists, termination notices should be given at least 3 months in advance of the end of the contract for the first year of service, at least 6 months for the second year, and at least 12 months for the third or later years.

5. The chemist should receive severance pay consisting of two weeks' salary for each year of service, beyond the minimum of four weeks' advance notice. Additional notice in lieu of severance pay may be provided by mutual consent of both parties.

6. Every effort should be made to place the individual in another position within the organization, including retraining for a new position if necessary. When it is determined that such relocation is not possible, the chemist should be given assistance in finding employment elsewhere.

7. Any chemist terminated with a minimum of 10 years' total service should have fully vested pension rights with survivor benefits.

8. Any chemist who is involuntarily retired by an employer should be treated at least as well as an employee dismissed for economic reasons (i.e., be given severance pay, notice, vested pension privileges, etc.).

9. The employer should continue life insurance and medical care plans for a minimum of one month, plus two weeks for each year of employee service, at the same rate of contribution as when the terminee was an employee. The employee would have an additional 31 day grace period.

10. The employer should follow a policy of rehiring those terminated in a retrenchment before similarly qualified employees are recruited. Rehire privileges should be carefully explained to terminated employees.


Definition of a Multiple Termination


A multiple termination occurs when the employment of three or more chemists or chemical engineers is terminated within a six-month period for reasons other than: 1) continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance, 2) completion of a contract, or 3) cause. The academic chemists or chemical engineers must be tenured or in a tenure-leading position.


Investigation of Unprofessional Conduct


The Chemist

1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by chemists reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

2. The conclusions of the committee will be communicated to the parties involved.

3. Documented instances of unethical conduct can lead to initiation of proceedings before the Council of the American Chemical Society, in accordance with Article IV, Sec. 3 of the Constitution and Bylaw 1, Sec. 7.


The Employer

1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by employers reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

2. The committee will extend assistance to chemists whom the committee has deemed to have been treated unprofessionally.

3. Documented unprofessional conduct by an employer can lead to citation before the Council of the American Chemical Society and subsequent publication.

 

*For brevity the term "chemist" in the Guidelines refers to both chemists and chemical engineers.