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CIPS Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct                                                                                                                             


This document is designed to help CIPS members understand how the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice (‘the Code’) provides the way to maintain the highest levels of ethical conduct with respect to our professional activities.  It should not be construed to deny the existence of other ethical or legal obligations equally imperative, not specifically mentioned.

       ·         The Code of Ethics is described in the form of the high ideals of CIPS members.

       ·         The Standards of Conduct elaborates ethical imperatives using rules to assist in the determination of  whether specific activities violate the Code of Ethics

 ICT has an enormous impact on our society. Society demands ICT professionals act in a manner which recognizes our responsibilities toward society and that we provide a mechanism to protect society from professionals who do not/cannot, live up to these responsibilities.

 By virtue of our knowledge and skills, as ICT professionals we are often granted the means and opportunity to impact society in ways others cannot. With such privilege comes the obligation and responsibility to behave in ways that support fundamental ethical principles.

 Applying ethical principles to the ICT profession requires an understanding of those principles and the profession in ways relevant to the daily work we perform. Situations can arise that involve making judgments based on specific circumstances, often complex, with conflicting ethical principles. There are varying methods to determine which ethical principle prevails.

 This Code establishes guidelines and deals with matters subject to judgment, difficult to state absolutely and which must be judged in light of professional standards in effect at a given time.  Professionals cannot be expected to make these judgments without guidance, nor will any two individuals necessarily come to the same conclusion. Setting the standard is a responsibility of the professional organization representing these professionals. That organization is CIPS.


1     The Code of Ethics

Distinguishing marks of a profession are its acceptance by the public, and the profession's acceptance of its responsibility to the public. The following statements are a set of high ideals to which all CIPS members aspire:

Imperative #1: To protect the Public Interest, CIPS members have obligations to:

- carry out their work with due diligence, in accordance with relevant authorities’ requirements where the public interest shall be paramount and prevail.

Imperative #2: To avoid Conflicts of Interest, CIPS members have obligations to:

- their employer/clients, to serve them competently and act so the welfare of others takes precedence over personal and professional interests.

Imperative #3: To take Professional Responsibility, CIPS members have obligations to:

- themselves, colleagues, students, employees and others, to maintain and advance their knowledge and exercise uncompromised professional judgment.

Imperative #4: To contribute to the ICT Profession, CIPS members have obligations to:

- their profession, to respect the rights and professional aspirations of colleagues and to uphold the integrity, dignity and image of the profession.

2     The Standards of Conduct

Standards of Conduct: a set of rules that elaborates on each imperative of the Code, helping to determine if specific activities violate the Code.   Minimum acceptable levels of conduct:

2.1  To Protect the Public Interest, CIPS members have obligations to:

    2.1.1 Make all reasonable efforts to counter misinformation that could bring the ICT progfession into disrepute.

      2.1.2  Carry out work or study with due regard for public health, security, and safety.

      2.1.3 Report problems that might result in serious damage to persons, organizations, property or the   economy, to the relevant authority.

    2.1.4 Not discriminate in any manner based on issues such as race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national extraction, or social origin.

2.2  To Avoid Conflicts of Interest, CIPS members have obligations to:

      2.2.1 Not place personal interests or those of colleagues above interests of employers/clients, nor place any interests above those of the public.

     2.2.2 Make efforts to notify all parties involved to make full disclosure to the relevant authority if any conflict might be seen to occur by an independent 3rd party.

      2.2.3 Not create reciprocal relationships with 3rd parties who may gain as a result of their work.

      2.2.4 Inform employers/clients of interests which might be seen to impair their professional judgement.

2.3  To Take Professional Responsibility, CIPS members have obligations to:

      2.3.1 Treat all employer/client business information as confidential, and respect copyrights, trade secrets, privacy and terms of license agreements.

      2.3.2 Achieve and maintain professional competency in their area(s) of practice.

     2.3.3 Demonstrate knowledge required to undertake work, be compliant with relevant legislation, accepted standards of practice and bodies of knowledge

     2.3.4   Work in accordance with legitimate rights of 3rd parties, give proper credit where/when due and conduct all activities with due regard for ownership, property rights and privacy.

2.4  To Contribute to the ICT Profession, CIPS members have obligations to:

      2.4.1  Act with integrity in a manner that upholds the reputation of CIPS and the ICT profession in general, in relationships with anyone with whom they work.

     2.4.2 Support professional development for current and new CIPS members, for potential  members, colleagues and subordinates.

      2.4.3 Make reasonable efforts to voluntarily participate in activities such as, development of standards of practice and advancements in bodies of knowledge.

      2.4.4 Exemplify the values of equality, tolerance, and respect for others.

3     Compliance with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct

CIPS members are expected to be familiar with and to not knowingly act contrary to the Code.  CIPS members assume an obligation of integrity above and beyond the requirements of laws. Unless stated, the Code applies equally to both certified and non-certified members.

Lack of awareness does not excuse unethical behaviour; violators may be subject to disciplinary actions including but not limited to suspension or termination of membership and/or professional certification. CIPS members are obligated to report unethical behavior by other CIPS members. 

4     Implications of the Ethical Imperatives

4.1  Imperative #1: Protect the Public Interest

Such a commitment requires leadership, professional competence, making sure information systems are understood for what they are and what they can and cannot do. It is about:

·         our privileged access to systems. We have the opportunity to cause harm or injury to society, and the corresponding duty to protect society.

4.2  Imperative #2: Avoid Conflicts of Interest

A hierarchy of interests– including self–interest, need to be balanced. It is about:

·         serving the greater good if asked to take on a task in conflict with the public’s best interests

·         defining alternative strategies to reach goals and the implications of each strategy.

4.3  Imperative #3: Take Professional Responsibility

Respect, integrity, accountability, and reliability; further the credibility of CIPS. They support our position as the representative of Canada’s ICT professionals.  It is about:

·         ensuring intellectual property revealed during the course of work is confidential.

·         identifying qualifications for tasks accepted

·         expanding one’s capabilities and increasing one’s competency

·         being accountable for results and contractual obligations.

4.4  Imperative #4: Contribute to the ICT Profession

Professionalism, competency, leadership: attributes we want in our members.  It is about:

·         promoting the ICT profession and attracting new CIPS members. 

·         supporting professional bodies of knowledge through active participation.

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