Monday, August 11, 2008

Ethics and Codes of Professional Conduct

The need for professional ethics
What is a Profession
A profession is an occupation that requires extensive training and the study and mastery of specialized knowledge, and usually has a professional association, ethical code and process of certification or licensing.
Examples are: librarianship, accounting, law, teaching, architecture, medicine, finance, the military and engineering.
What are Professional Ethics?
Professional ethics are a code of conduct that govern how members of a profession deal with each other and with third parties.
Need of Professional Code of Ethics or for professional ethics
A Professional Code of Ethics serves several functions:
Symbolizes (represents) the professionalism of the group.
Defines and promotes a standard for external relations with clients and employers.
Protects the group’s interests.
Codifies members’ rights.
Expresses ideals to aspire to.
Professional or Profession Characteristics and Responsibilities
Engineers are expected to possess a given level of knowledge and skills in an engineering specialty that exceed those of the general public.
Engineers must have a sense of responsibility and service to society, employers and clients.
Engineers are expected to follow established codes of ethics for their profession and to guard their professional integrity and ideals and those of their profession.
Honesty & Integrity
I must not knowingly mislead a client or potential client as to the suitability of a product or service.
I must not misrepresent my skills or knowledge.
I must give opinions which are as far as possible unbiased (neutral, fair) and objective.
I must give realistic estimates for projects under my control.
I must qualify professional opinions which I know are based on limited knowledge or experience.
I must give credit for work done by others where credit is due (unpaid).

Do not breach (violate) public trust in the profession or the specific trust of your clients and employers.
Observance (performance) of utmost (extreme, maximum) honesty and integrity must underlie (lie behind) all your professional decisions and actions. Circumstances will undoubtedly arise during the course of your professional career where it may appear to be beneficial for you to deceive your client in some way. The resultant short term gain from this type of behavior is not acceptable professional practice, nor is it worth eroding (wear away) the confidence and trust that is built up over the longer term.
Professional development
I must increase my awareness of issues affecting the information technology profession and its relationship with the community.
I must encourage my colleagues, employees and students to continue their own professional development.
Maintain and develop their professional competence (capability).
Participate in and contribute to continuing education and their own and colleagues' professional and scientific growth.

Keep themselves up to date with relevant knowledge, skills, research methods, and techniques, through the reading of relevant literature, peer consultations, and continuing education activities, in order that their service or research activities and conclusions shall benefit and not harm others.
Perform their teaching duties on the basis of careful preparation, so that their instruction shall be current and scholarly.

THE RULES FOR PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (Professional skills comply with law)
All members shall discharge their professional duties with integrity and shall not undertake work that they are not competent to do.
All members shall have full regard for the public interest, particularly in relation to matters of health and safety, and in relation to the well-being of future generations.
All members shall show due regard for the environment and for the sustainable management of natural resources.

All members shall update and broaden their professional knowledge and skills on a continuing basis and shall give all reasonable assistance to further the education, training and continuing professional development of other members and prospective members of the profession.
All members shall notify the Institute if convicted of a criminal offence or upon becoming bankrupt or disqualified as a Company Director.
Contribute towards advancement of human welfare

Public interest & Public awareness
Members shall in their professional practice safeguard public health and safety and have regard to protection of the environment.
Members shall have due regard to the legitimate rights of third parties.
Members shall ensure that within their chosen fields they have knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation, regulations and standards and those they comply with such requirements.

Members shall in their professional practice have regard to basic human rights and shall avoid any actions that adversely affect such rights.
You shall reject any offer of bribery or inducement.

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