Professional Ethics

As an instructor it is paramount that we uphold our ethics, we are given an enormous amount of authority as an instructor and it is up to us to monitor and self-asses our efforts and those of our colleagues. I am fortunate that in my field of Engineering we also have a professional body which has its own code of ethics. While it is not mandatory to be a Professional Engineer in order to instruct it is certainly looked upon favorably as well as it provides additional resources when looking for the correct ethical or moral direction with a dilemma.

Engineering Code of Ethics:

“Members and licensees shall act at all times with fairness, courtesy and good faith to their associates, employers, employees and clients, and with fidelity to the public needs. They shall uphold the values of truth, honesty and trustworthiness and safeguard human life and welfare and the environment. In keeping with these basic tenets, members and licensees shall: 1) Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, the protection of the environment and promote health and safety within the workplace; 2) Undertake and accept responsibility for professional assignments only when qualified by training or experience; 3) Provide an opinion on a professional subject only when it is founded upon adequate knowledge and honest conviction; 4) Act as faithful agents of their clients or employers, maintain confidentiality and avoid a conflict of interest but, where such conflict arises, fully disclose the circumstances without delay to the employer or client; 5) Uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for the performance of engineering and geoscience work; 6) Keep themselves informed in order to maintain their competence, strive to advance the body of knowledge within which they practice and provide opportunities for the professional development of their associates; 7) Conduct themselves with fairness, courtesy and good faith towards clients, colleagues and others, give credit where it is due and accept, as well as give, honest and fair professional comment; 8) Present clearly to employers and clients the possible consequences if professional decisions or judgments are overruled or disregarded; 9) Report to their association or other appropriate agencies any hazardous, illegal or unethical professional decisions or practices by members, licensees or others; and 10) Extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and geoscience and protect the profession from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.”(APEGBC, 2016)

If one considers students to be clients of education then this presents some fairly strong language and provides the reader with the sense of duty that is required to hold up such a code of ethics.

At my workplace, there is no procedural manual but there is a strong community and a very open department mentality to engage in discussion with one another to determine the best course of action. If I am ever in doubt of a decision or unsure how to proceed I am able to seek the guidance of my chair or fellow colleagues readily.

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