Code of Ethics

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PURPOSE...

This Code of Ethics consists of two kinds of standards: Principles and Rules of Conduct and describes the expectations that we have of ourselves as Guild of Project Controls Members and also of our fellow project controls practitioners.

  • The Principles are broad standards that provide a framework for the more detailed Rules of Conduct.
  • The Rules of Conduct are specific standards that prescribe the minimum level of professional conduct expected of project controls practitioners in general and especially of Guild of Project Controls Members (GPCM).

BASIS...

Consistent with the Guild’s underlying philosophy of researching to find the “best tested and proven” approaches, for our Code of Ethics, we have ADAPTED the model code developed by the Society of Corporate and Compliance Ethics (SCCE) where appropriate for use by project control practitioners.  As these are the same people who are tasked with writing World Class corporate and organizational Codes of Conduct/Codes of Ethics, the Guild believes this approach is consistent with our efforts to differentiate the Guild from other professional organizations and societies who reinvent the wheel by creating their own.

EXPECTATION...

Compliance with the Code is expected both of the individual practitioner and of the professional community because we should all be committed to doing what is right and honorable.  Stakeholders and project teams often rely on us so heavily for advice and information and we therefore need to set high standards for ourselves and we need to aspire to meet these standards. It does however depend primarily on the GPCM’s own understanding and voluntary actions, and secondarily on reinforcement by peers and the general public.

PRINCIPLE I - OBLIGATIONS TO THE PUBLIC

  • GPCMs should abide by and promote compliance with the spirit and the letter of the law governing their employing organization’s conduct and exemplify the highest ethical standards in their professional conduct in order to contribute to the public good.

Rule 1.1 GPCMs shall not aid, abet or participate in misconduct.

  Commentary: In the context of project controls, this would include such practices as changing cost or schedule data at the direction of management when the planner, scheduler, cost estimator or project controller knows that the cost or duration numbers are unrealistic or unachievable; falsifying percent complete values or manipulating the schedules in such a way as to favor one party over the other in setting up a claim or in predicting the estimated cost at completion or the projected finish date that is knowingly unrealistic or unachievable.

Rule 1.2 GPCMs shall take such steps as are necessary and appropriate to prevent misconduct by their employing organizations.

 Commentary: The GPCMs actions to prevent misconduct must, of course, be legal and ethical. Where a GPCM has done what he or she can to prevent misconduct within the bounds of the law and business ethics, but is nonetheless unsuccessful in preventing misconduct, he or she should refer to Rule 1.4.

Rule 1.3 GPCMs shall exercise sound judgment in responding to or cooperating with all official and legitimate government or internal investigations of or inquiries concerning their employing organization’s program or project planning or execution. 

 Commentary: While the role of the GPCM in an internal or external investigation may vary, the GPCM shall never obstruct or lie in an investigation.

Rule 1.4 If, in the course of their work, GPCMs become aware of any decision by their employing organization which, if implemented, would constitute misconduct, the practitioner shall: (a) refuse to consent to the decision; (b) escalate the matter as appropriate; (c) if serious issues remain unresolved after exercising “a” and “b”, consider resignation; and (d) report the decision to public officials when required by law.

 Commentary: The duty of a project control practitioner goes beyond a duty to the employing organization, in as much as his/her duty to the public and to the practice includes prevention of organizational misconduct. The GPCM should exhaust all internal means available to deter his/her employing organization, its employees and agents from engaging in misconduct. The GPCM should escalate matters to the highest governing body as appropriate, including whenever: a) directed to do so by that body, e.g., by a board resolution; b) escalation to management has proved ineffective; or c) the GPCM believes escalation to management would be futile. GPCMs should consider resignation only as a last resort, since GPCMs may be the only remaining barrier to misconduct. A letter of resignation should set forth to senior management and the highest governing body of the employing organization in full detail and with complete candor all of the conditions that necessitate his/her action. In complex organizations, the highest governing body may be the highest governing body of a parent corporation.

PRINCIPLE II - OBLIGATIONS TO THE EMPLOYING ORGANISATION

  • GPCMs should serve their employing organizations with the highest sense of integrity, exercise unprejudiced and unbiased judgment on their behalf, and promote effective compliance and ethics programs.

Rule 2.1 GPCMs shall serve their employing organizations in a timely, competent and professional manner and ensure that they remain current by pursuing opportunities for continuing education and continuing professional development.

  Commentary: GPCMs are not expected to be experts in every field of knowledge that may contribute to an effective project controls program. GPCMs venturing into areas that require additional expertise shall obtain that expertise by additional education, training or through working with others with such expertise. GPCMs shall have current and general knowledge of all relevant fields of knowledge that reasonably might be expected of a project controls practitioner, and shall take steps to ensure that they remain current by pursuing opportunities for continuing education and professional development.

Rule 2.2 GPCMs shall ensure to the best of their abilities that employing organizations comply with all relevant laws and should exercise a leadership role in compliance assurance.

 Commentary: While GPCMs should exercise a leadership role in compliance assurance, all employees have the responsibility to ensure compliance not only to the contractual terms and conditions but also all relevant organizational processes and procedures. If a process or procedure is found to be inefficient or ineffective, it is the GPCMs responsibility to highlight the weakness in question and propose an appropriate process improvement

Rule 2.3 GPCMs shall investigate with appropriate due diligence all issues, information, reports and/or conduct that relates to actual or suspected misconduct, whether past, current or prospective. In the case of project controls practitioners this includes the falsification of project schedule, cost or any other data pertaining to the project.

 Commentary: In organizations where other professionals (such as the Legal Department) are responsible for investigation of suspected misconduct, GPCMs satisfy this Rule by reporting suspected misconduct to such professionals in accordance with established reporting procedures. In the case of project controls professionals this includes the falsification of project schedule, cost or any other data pertaining to the project and/or in making cost or duration estimates which are knowingly unrealistically low and/or in making cost and duration projects which are unrealistically optimistic or pessimistic.

Rule 2.4 GPCMs shall keep senior management and other key stakeholders updated in as close to real time as possible of the status of the project or program progress or any other analysis or forecasts that is inconsistent with “best tested and proven” practices both in terms of planning and execution, including an appropriate identification and assessment of the risks and opportunities.

 Commentary: The GPCMs ethical duty under this rule complements the duty of senior management and other key stakeholders to assure themselves “that project management data collection, analysis and forecasting as well as information and reporting systems exist in the organization that are reasonably designed to provide senior management and other key stakeholders, timely, accurate and reliable information sufficient to allow key stakeholders, senior management and the board, each within its scope, to reach informed judgments concerning the baseline budgets, and the measuring and reporting of progress against the approved baselines.

Rule 2.5 GPCMs shall not aid or abet retaliation against any employee who reports actual, potential or suspected misconduct, and shall strive to implement procedures that ensure the protection from retaliation of any employee who reports actual, potential or suspected misconduct.

 Commentary: GPCMs should preserve to the best of their ability, consistent with other duties imposed on them by this Code of Ethics, the anonymity of reporting employees, if such employees request anonymity. Further, they shall conduct the investigation of any actual, potential or suspected misconduct with utmost discretion, being careful to protect the reputations and identities of those being investigated.

Rule 2.6 GPCMs shall carefully guard against disclosure of confidential activities information, or actual cost or schedule data, recognizing that under certain circumstances confidentiality must yield to other values or concerns, e.g., to stop an act which creates appreciable risk to health and safety, or to reveal a confidence when necessary to comply with a subpoena or other legal process.

 Commentary: It is not necessary to reveal confidential information to comply with a subpoena or legal process if the communications are protected by a legally recognized privilege (e.g., attorney client privilege).

Rule 2.7 GPCMs shall take care to avoid any actual, potential or perceived conflicts between the interests of the employing organization and either the GPCMs own interests or the interests of individuals or organizations outside the employing organization with whom the GPCM has a relationship. GPCM must disclose and ethically handle conflicts of interest and must remove significant conflicts whenever possible. Conflicts of interest may create divided loyalties. GPCMs shall not permit loyalty to individuals in the employing organization with whom they have developed a professional or a personal relationship to interfere with or supersede the duty of loyalty to the employing organization and/or the superior responsibility of upholding the law, ethical business conduct and this Code of Ethics.

 Commentary: If GPCMs have any business association, direct or indirect financial interest, or other interest that could influence their judgment in connection with their performance as a professional, the GPCMs shall fully disclose to their financial interest, or other interest. If a report, investigation or inquiry into misconduct relates directly or indirectly to activity in which the GPCM was involved in any manner, the GPCM must disclose in writing the precise nature of that involvement to the senior management of the employing organization before responding to a report or beginning an investigation or inquiry into such matter, and must recuse him or herself from such investigation or inquiry, if appropriate. Despite this requirement, such involvement in a matter subject to a report, investigation or inquiry will not necessarily prejudice the GPCMs ability to fulfill his/her responsibilities in that regard.

Rule 2.8 GPCMs shall not mislead employing organizations about the results that can be achieved through the use of their services.

 Commentary: GPCMs should not create unreasonable expectations with respect to the impact or results of their services and should be appropriately prudent and realistic when making cost or duration estimates analysis or forecasts.

PRINCIPLE III - OBLIGATIONS TO THE PROFESSION

  • GPCMs should strive, through their actions, to uphold the integrity and dignity of the practice, to advance the effectiveness of compliance and ethics programs and to promote professionalism as project control practitioner.

Rule 3.1 GPCMs shall pursue their professional activities, including but not limited to planning and scheduling, cost estimating, progress capture and reporting and the documentation and resolution of claims, or other such duties normally and customarily provided by project controls as defined in the Guild’s Compendium and Reference document with honesty, fairness and diligence.

  Commentary: GPCMs shall not agree to unreasonable limits that would interfere with their professional ethical and legal responsibilities. Reasonable limits include those that are imposed by the employing organization’s resources. If management of the employing organization requests an investigation but limits access to relevant information, GPCMs shall decline the assignment and provide an explanation to the highest governing authority of the employing organization. GPCMs should diligently strive to promote the most effective meant to create or produce accurate and timely cost estimates, schedules, progress or other reports normally and customarily produced by project control practitioners.

Rule 3.2 Consistent with Rule 2.6, GPCMs shall not disclose without consent or compulsory legal process confidential information about the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former employing organization. Such disclosure could erode trust in the profession or impair the ability of project control practitioners to obtain such information from others in the future.

 Commentary: GPCMs need free access to information to function effectively and need the ability to communicate openly with any employee or agent of an employing organization. Open communication depends upon trust. Misuse and abuse of the work product of project control practitioners poses a serious threat to project and program progress reporting requirements. s. GPCMs shall not use confidential information in any way that violates the law or their legal duties, including duties to their employing organizations. When adversaries in litigation use an organization’s own self-policing work against it, the credibility of GPCMs may be undermined. GPCMs are encouraged to work with legal counsel to protect confidentiality and to minimize litigation risks. It is not necessary to reveal confidential information to comply with compulsory legal process if the confidential information is protected by a legally recognized privilege (e.g., attorney client privilege).

Rule 3.3 GPCMs shall not make misleading, deceptive or false statements or claims about their professional qualifications, experience or performance or of that of the projects they are assigned to.

Rule 3.4 GPCMs shall not attempt to falsely damage the professional reputation of other project controls practitioners.

 Commentary: In order to promote collegiality and civility in the profession, GPCMs shall not make any statements concerning other GPCMs that are defamatory in nature.

Rule 3.5 GPCMs shall maintain their competence with respect to developments within the profession, including knowledge of and familiarity with current theories, industry “best tested and proven” practices, and laws.

 Commentary: GPCMs shall pursue a reasonable and appropriate course of continuing education, including but not limited to review of relevant professional and industry journals and publications, communication with professional colleague and participation in open professional dialogues and exchanges through attendance at conferences and membership in professional associations. Preparing for, earning and maintaining professional certifications in the field is the best and most widely recognized method of ensuring and documenting this requirement has ben met.

 

POLICY FEEDBACK...

However junior, or senior you may be, if you see something above that you would like to Improve or Amend, please email the team at Admin@GuildofProjectControls.com and we can get a Proposed Change Form created and put into the public domain for discussion.

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© Guild of Project Controls, 2016 Creative Commons License BY v 4.0 
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