Code of Ethics
It is generally understood that a Profession is defined by its members demonstrating a consistent commitment to a purpose and a minimum set of values.
A Professional Institution has a minimum Code of Ethics, which are accepted by its members and enforced as required. A profession is differentiated by an additional obligation to society as well as its members. This Code must be transparent and responsive to the changing expectations of both society and the profession and the global standards to which the Institution subscribes.
The purpose of the New Zealand Institute of Hazardous Substance Management is to support Hazardous Substance Management Practitioners and Industry achieve the purpose as outlined in the HSNO Act, namely to
"Protect the Environment and Health and Safety of People and Communities by preventing or managing the adverse effects of Hazardous Substances."
The Vision statement for the Institute and the 'Companion guidelines to achieving fundamental ethical values' should also be considered alongside this Code.
3.1 Protection of the Health and Safety of People: Members shall recognise the need to protect life and to safeguard people, and in their professional activities shall act to address this need.
3.2 Professionalism, Integrity and Competence: Members shall undertake their professional activities with professionalism and integrity and shall work within their levels of competence.
3.3 Protect community safety in use of hazardous substances: Members shall recognise the responsibility of the profession to actively contribute to the well-being of society and, when involved in any professional activity shall endeavour to identify, inform and consult affected parties.
3.4 Care for the environment against the adverse effects of Hazardous Substances: Members shall recognise and respect the need for sustainable management of the planet's resources and endeavour to minimise adverse environmental impacts of their professional activities for both present and future generations.
3.5 Sustaining knowledge on Hazardous substances: Members shall seek to contribute to the development of their own and the profession's knowledge, skill and expertise for the benefit of society and industry.
4. Rules of conduct
1. Members shall act in the best interest of the public, fellow members of the institute, employer, and environment to promote the profession as a reputable and respected institution.
2. Members shall demonstrate professional competence by conducting themselves in a reputable and professional manner and take reasonable steps to safeguard health and safety.
3. Members shall refrain from open public criticism of fellow members or publicly express any opinion on the professional performance of other members. Such criticism shall be confined to appropriate formal hearings with professional courtesy and integrity.
4. Members shall not disclose any confidential information or matter related to their work or profession or the business of their employer unless required to under statutory obligations and in that case must inform the affected party in the first instance.
5. Members shall not engage in any fraudulent or dishonourable activity, or use any confidential information obtained in their professional capacity for personal gain.
6. Members shall demonstrate professional competence and skills and shall involve themselves in continuing education and training particularly towards new technology and innovations.
7. Members shall resist any possibility of conflict of interests in meeting their professional responsibilities.
8. Members shall submit reports and proposals in a factual, unbiased, and positive manner within the bounds of their competence.
Companion Guidelines to achieving fundamental ethical values
1. Protection of the Health and Safety of People:
Members shall recognise the need to protect life and to safeguard people and in their professional activities shall act to address this need.
This would include:
1.1 Giving priority to the safety and well-being of the community and having regard to this principle in assessing obligations to clients, employers and colleagues.
1.2 Ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to minimise the risk of loss of life, injury or suffering which may result from your professional activities, either directly or indirectly.
1.3 Drawing the attention of those affected to the level and significance of risk associated with the work.
2. Professionalism, Integrity and Competence
Members shall undertake their professional activities with professionalism and integrity and shall work within their levels of competence.
This would include:
2.1 Exercising your initiative, skill and judgement to the best of your ability for the benefit of people and the community.
2.2 Providing decisions, recommendations or opinions that are honest, objective and factual and, acting fairly and impartially.
2.3 Accepting personal responsibility for work done and taking reasonable steps to ensure that anyone working under your authority is both competent to carry out the assigned tasks and accepts a like personal responsibility.
2.4 Ensuring you do not misrepresent your areas or levels of experience or competence.
2.5 Taking care not to disclose confidential information relating to your work or knowledge of your client without the agreement of those parties.
2.6 Disclosing any interest that may impair your professional judgement.
2.7 First informing another Member before reviewing their work and refraining from criticising the work of other professionals without due cause.
2.8 Upholding the reputation of the Institution and its members, and supporting other members as they seek to comply with the Code of Ethics.
3. Protect community safety in use of hazardous substances
Members shall recognise the responsibility of the profession to actively contribute to the well-being of society and, when involved in any professional activity shall, endeavour to identify, inform and consult affected parties.
This would include:
3.1 Applying your professional skill, judgement and initiative to contribute positively to the well-being of society.
3.2 Endeavouring to identify, inform and consult parties affected, or likely to be affected, by your professional activities.
3.3 Recognising in all your professional activities your obligation to anticipate possible conflicts and endeavouring to resolve them responsibly, and where necessary utilising the experience of the Institution and colleagues for guidance.
3.4 Endeavouring to be fully informed about relevant public policies, community needs, and perceptions, which affect your work.
4. Care of the Environment
Members shall endeavour to minimise adverse environmental impacts of their professional activities for both present and future generations.
This would include:
4.1 Recognising adverse impacts of your professional activities on the environment and seeking to avoid or mitigate them.
5. Sustaining knowledge on Hazardous substances
Members shall seek to contribute to the development of their own and the professional profession's knowledge, skill and expertise for the benefit of society.
This would include:
5.1 Sharing public domain professional knowledge with other professionals so that the knowledge may be used for the benefit of society.
6. Minimum Standards of Ethical Behaviour for Members
General obligations to society
Take reasonable steps to safeguard health and safety
A Member must, in the course of his or her professional activities, take reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of people.
Have regard to effects on environment
A Member must, in the course of his or her professional activities, have regard to reasonably foreseeable effects on the environment from those activities.
Act with honesty, objectivity, and integrity
A Member must act honestly and with objectivity and integrity in the course of his or her professional activities.
General professional obligations
Not misrepresent competence
A Member must-
(a) not misrepresent his or her competence; and
(b) undertake professional activities only within his or her competence
Inform others of consequences of not following advice
A Member who considers that there is a risk of significant consequences in not accepting his or her professional advice must take reasonable steps to inform relevant persons who do not accept that advice of those significant consequences.
Obligations to employers and clients
Not disclose confidential information
A Member must not disclose confidential information of an employer or client without the agreement of the employer or client unless the failure to disclose information would place the health or safety of people at significant and immediate risk.
Obligations owed to other professionals
Not review other professionals' work without taking reasonable steps to inform them prior to any investigation
A Member who reviews another professional's work for the purpose of commenting on that work must take reasonable steps to-
(a) inform that member of the proposed review before starting it; and
(b) investigate the matters concerned before commenting.
Unless those steps would result in there being a significant and immediate risk of harm to the health or safety of people, damage to property, or damage to the environment.