Code of conduct

  1. Introduction
    1. Members of the Institute of Organic Training and Advice are bound by this Code of Professional Conduct. Acceptance and adherence to this Code is a duty of every member and a condition of membership.
    2. The purpose of this Code is to ensure the commitment of members to the objectives of the Institute. Members shall ensure that no action on their part is inconsistent with or harmful to the objectives of the Institute as laid out in the Articles of Association of the Institute.
  2. Definitions
    1. Throughout this Code, “Institute” shall mean the Institute of Organic Training and Advice.
    2. “employers” shall mean employers of members of the Institute and any third party to whom a member provides professional services.
    3. “members” shall mean the members of the Institute of Organic Training and Advice.
    4. “Steering Group” shall mean the Steering Group of the Institute of Training and Advice.
  3. Fundamental Principles
    1. Members are expected to maintain high standards of professional practice, conduct and integrity in their work as advisers and trainers and to accept the business, environmental and social responsibilities which are implied by organic farming.
  4. General professional obligations
    1. In pursuing their professional activities, members are expected to act with professional integrity and discipline, exemplified by the following: Members shall:
      1. Report correctly, truthfully, fully and clearly to the limit of their ability, information pertinent to a given project and convey their findings objectively.
      2. Not plagiarise or misrepresent the work of others.
      3. Give full and proper credit for information used and acknowledge fairly the professional contributions of others.
      4. Avoid and discourage the dissemination of false, erroneous, biased, unwarranted or exaggerated statements concerning organic farming.
      5. Ensure that their advice is appropriate to the local conditions in which they are working.
      6. Maintain high standards of awareness of new developments in organic farming.
      7. When undertaking and promoting their work not bring into disrepute the Institute or its members.
      8. Ensure that staff acting under their supervision comply with this Code in matters relating to their professional work, whether or not they are members of the Institute.
      9. Not claim a class of membership other than that approved by the Institute.
      10. Not present themselves as spokespersons for the Institute without its authority.
      11. Not voluntarily enter into partnership, employment or other collaboration with any person expelled from membership of the Institute or refused entry on grounds of actions inconsistent with this Code.
  5. Employment obligations
    1. In their dealings with employers, members shall:
      1. Inform their employers of this Code and advise them that all professional business will be conducted in accordance with its provisions.
      2. Keep good faith with their employers.
        1. Agree with any employer in writing at the outset the terms and conditions under which any services are to be provided.
        2. Inform a prospective or current employer of any professional, financial or personal interests in relation to a project.
        3. Perform only such services that are within their competence.
      3. Not solicit or accept financial inducement, favours or preferential treatment.
      4. Not give professional advice or undertake professional work unless they have ensured that Professional Indemnity insurance or liability cover is in place to cover them in respect of that advice or work.
      5. Not disclose or allow disclosure of the affairs of any of his/her clients to any other client or to any other person for his/her advantage or the advantage of any other person.
  6. Compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct
    1. Members shall bring to the attention of the Managing Director of the Institute evidence of conduct by another member indicating failure to comply with this Code.
    2. This evidence will be considered in accordance with the Procedure for Compliance by the Steering Group.
    3. In considering any allegation of failure to comply with the Code, the Institute shall not be required to act judicially and shall have complete discretion as to the extent to which it pursues any such complaint.
    4. Where a matter has given rise to legal proceedings, the Institute may at its sole discretion defer any consideration under the procedure for compliance until such legal proceedings are completed.
  7. Interpretation of this Code
    1. If there should be a dispute as to the interpretation or application of this Code, the Institute and the members concerned shall immediately seek mediation through the Centre for Dispute Resolution. Any issue not resolved by mediation shall be referred for determination by an expert appointed (at the request of either party) by the President of the Law Society. This expert determination (which is not arbitration) shall be final and binding and shall itself determine responsibility for payment for the expert’s fees.
    2. This Code applies to all members regardless of the country in which work is being carried out. Where local standards of professional conduct are undefined or inadequate, members shall comply with UK practice or where this is not possible, identify and justify any departures and assess their significance.

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