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IMC Australia Code Of Ethics

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IMC AUSTRALIA CODE OF ETHICS

ETHICAL CONDUCT
The Code of Ethics of The Institute requires that all members maintain the high standards of ethical conduct expected of all professional persons. Thus, any member of The Institute will be subject to disciplinary proceedings if their behaviour brings discredit to the Management Consulting profession or The Institute.

Members must act with integrity which is defined as - moral and ethical soundness; fairness; equity; ability to distinguish between right and wrong; honesty; dependability; freedom from corrupting influence or practice; strictness in the fulfilment of both the letter and the spirit of agreements made - regardless of personal consideration.

Members will refrain from and discourage public or personal criticism of another member's work, recognising that The Institute provides means for adequate discussion and constructive criticism within the profession.

A member may only speak on behalf of The Institute if so authorised by Federal Council under By-Law 2.2.

Members should ensure that any expression of their own or their organisation’s views cannot be construed as a statement on behalf of The Institute.

CODE OF ETHICS – PRINCIPLES

Confidentiality

A member will treat client information as confidential and will neither take personal advantage of privileged information gathered during an assignment nor enable others to do so.

Unrealistic Expectations

A member will refrain from encouraging unrealistic expectations or promising clients that benefits are certain from specific management consulting services.

Commissions/Financial Interests

A member will neither accept commissions, remuneration nor other benefits from a third party in connection with recommendations to a client without the client’s knowledge and consent, nor fail to disclose any financial interest in goods or services which form part of such recommendations.

Assignments

A member will accept only assignments which the member has the skills and knowledge to perform.

Conflicting Assignments

A member will avoid acting simultaneously in potentially conflicting situations without informing all parties in advance that this is intended.

Conferring with Client

A member will ensure that before accepting any engagement, a mutual understanding of the objectives, scope, workplan and fee arrangements has been established and that any personal, financial or other interests which might influence the conduct of the work have been disclosed.

Recruiting

A member will refrain from inviting an employee of a client to consider alternative employment without prior discussion with the client.

Approach

A member will maintain a fully professional approach in all dealings with clients, the general public and fellow members.

Other Management Consultants

A member will ensure that other management consultants carrying out work on behalf of the member are conversant with and abide by the Code of Ethics.

DISCREDITABLE ACTS

The following examples describe acts which would be regarded as discreditable, if performed by a member of the Institute.

Client Relationships

Failing to make certain that their client has a clear understanding of the objectives and scope of the engagement.

Clients’ Staff

Inviting an employee of a client to consider alternative employment (an advertisement in the press is not considered to be an invitation to any particular person).

Commission

Paying, for obtaining business, any commission or any other form of remuneration to any person on a client's staff or their agents or obtaining business in any other manner considered unprofessional by the Federal Council of The Institute.

Confidentiality

Disclosing, or permitting to be disclosed, confidential information regarding a client's business.

Consulting Fees

Calculates their remuneration on any basis other than a fee agreed in advance or charges for their services in any way considered unprofessional by Federal Council.

In general, fees should be based on the assignment difficulty and the time expected to be invested.

Under no circumstances will two or more consultants from separate practices knowingly accept assignments from a client for simultaneously rendering the same service but, in this regard, two or more practices independently submitting an opinion or undertaking an analysis of the same project would not be considered as rendering the same service.

To give specific examples of the manner in which this wording should be interpreted:

  • Paid surveys which may or may not lead to further assignments for additional fees are acceptable,
  • Competitive surveys, whether paid or unpaid, are acceptable, and
  • Check opinions, for which the consultant is paid, are acceptable.

Work done on the basis of payment on results is considered unethical. For example:

  1. The conduct of work associated with take-overs and mergers where a fee is payable on a successful result and then as a percentage of the consideration,
  2. The circulation of executive listings to clients or prospective clients on the commercial arrangement that a fee , or the substantial part of a fee, is payable only if an appointment is made, are unacceptable.
  3. Submission of applicant resumes to other consultants or to clients on the basis of a fee payable only if the applicant is accepted is considered unethical.

Discreditable Behaviour

A finding, by any Court of competent jurisdiction, that the member is guilty of any felony, misdemeanor or fraud or being adjudged bankrupt or insolvent.  

Independence

Entering into any arrangement which directly or indirectly reflects on the objectivity and impartiality of the advice given to clients. In particular, it would be unprofessional conduct for any member to:

  • Hold a Directorship or controlling interest in any business, which is in competition with a client to whom they have provided advice, without disclosing this interest to the client,
  • Have any financial interest in goods or services recommended or supplied to clients by or through them without disclosing their interest,
  • Have had any personal relationship which could be said to influence them, with any individual in a client's employ and who might have been affected by their advice, without disclosing that relationship to the client.

Information Gained

Using information gained under privilege for personal gain. Members will not obtain information without disclosure of its purpose, knowing that such information may ultimately be used to the disadvantage of the provider.

Professionalism

Exercising their profession without all the reasonable skill, care and attention expected of members of The Institute or practicing when their judgement is impaired.

Professional Standards

Failing to ensure that, in the conduct of their work, they have available an adequate body of knowledge for the execution of that work.  Members will refer work in which they are not proficient to a consultant qualified to advise them.

Promotion

Promoting their firm's practice or merits in a manner which draws unprofessional comparisons with other members of The Institute in a self-laudatory manner or in any other way which gives the impression of being undignified or unprofessional.