Code Of Conduct
A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual, party or organization. Related concepts include ethical codes and honor codes.
"Principles, values, standards, or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of an organization in a way that
(a) contributes to the welfare of its key stakeholders, and
(b) respects the rights of all constituents affected by its operations."
- Every day each one of us is faced with challenging and difficult choices. It is simply a part of living and working in a demanding and complex business environment.
- Our Code of Conduct provides a clear set of standards for our business conduct. It presents each of us with an ethical and behavioral framework to guide our response to the challenging and sometimes difficult choices we face. It also reflects the commitments outlined in our values.
- Whenever we encounter an ethical issue, each of us has the responsibility to respond in a manner that reflects our values in action. While most issues can be resolved locally, you will find information within this Code about additional support and resources available to all of us.
- Full compliance with the Code of Conduct is essential and I ask each of you to make a personal commitment to abide by it.
- By living up to the commitments contained in the Code, we send a clear message to those we work with about the strength of our commitment to ethical behavior and the delivery of Quality in Everything We Do. In this way we protect and enhance the reputation of Akeydesigns, and meet the expectations of our people, clients and communities.
We expect everyone who works at Akeydesigns to behave in accordance with the principles contained in the Code of Conduct. If you do not understand the principles contained within the Code, or are not sure how to apply them, you should consult with an appropriately-qualified colleague to get your questions answered.
The Code of Conduct applies to everyone at Akeydesigns, regardless of their individual role, position or practice.
Working with one another
- We promote and support the Code of Conduct in our day-to-day business activities, through both personal leadership and business practice.
- Each of us is expected to behave according to the principles contained in the Code of Conduct. We encourage consultation and the seeking of advice, as appropriate, from the resources available to assist in application of the Code.
- We understand that deviations from or violations of the Code of Conduct are unacceptable and that we should feel able to raise them, without fear of retaliation, with an appropriate colleague or to the relevant ethics hotline. Akeydesigns does not permit discrimination or retaliation of any kind for good faith reports of illegal or unethical behavior.
- We acknowledge that breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in our practices taking disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
- We affirm in writing our understanding of the principles contained in the Code of Conduct and our commitment to abide by them.
Working with clients and others
- We build relationships with each other based on a shared trust and confidence that each of us has a personal and professional commitment to do the right thing.
- We are committed to communicating openly and honestly.
- We are committed to working in diverse teams and are personally accountable to other team members for the contribution we make.
- We rely upon each other to deliver quality service to our clients and for our individual development.
- We nurture integrity, respect and teaming.
- We consult with each other and value the perspectives of those who are different from us, as well as those who challenge our own point of view.
- We embrace multicultural experience and diversity as strengths of our global organization. As such, we respect one another and strive for an inclusive environment free from discrimination, intimidation and harassment.
- We encourage and support the professional development of our colleagues and promote individual achievement and continuous learning.
- We expect and deliver feedback regularly, candidly and constructively, and positively recognize success.
No client or external relationship is more important than the ethics, integrity and reputation of Akeydesigns.
Working with clients …
- We commit ourselves, as professionals, to uphold the trust placed in us by others.
- We are committed to delivering quality services that reflect our professional capabilities and are appropriate to the specific issues and needs of our clients.
- We are robust and courageous in our challenge to clients and are not afraid to deliver unwelcome information to them.
- We support our people and will withdraw from working for any clients that put our people under undue pressure or threaten them in exercising their professional duties.
Working with regulators …
- We uphold the professional standards and rules applicable to us, and our firms actively work with the regulators who oversee our professional conduct to ensure that these rules and standards meet the continuously changing needs of the market.
Working with others …
Acting with professional integrity
- We reject unethical or illegal business practices in all circumstances.
- We avoid working with clients and others whose standards are incompatible with our Code of Conduct.
- We coordinate, as appropriate, with other members of our profession in matters of public interest.
- We recognize our responsibility as an organization in playing an active and positive role in supporting a successful and sustainable society
Our professional integrity …
- We comply with laws, regulations and standards that apply to us in our professional conduct.
- We uphold the Akeydesigns name. We do not misrepresent the position that Akeydesigns takes in professional and other matters.
- We promote a culture of consultation. We address questions of ethics and consult appropriately to help resolve them. We do not hide from or ignore issues.
- We provide ethics hotlines to deal with sensitive ethical issues.
- We understand and comply with Akeydesigns policies and procedures.
Our competitive approach …
- We recognize that our competitive advantage is achieved through the excellence of our professional advice and the quality of our service delivery.
- We compete energetically and vigorously, and recognize the need to be honest in our competitive behavior.
- We do not offer personal inducement to secure work.
Documenting our work …
- We properly document our client engagements and business operations in accordance with Akeydesigns policies and relevant legal and professional requirements.
- We never destroy or alter documents, or recommend their destruction or alteration, for any illegal or improper reason.
Our fees …
- We charge appropriate fees for our services in accordance with our engagement terms and our professional rules.
Time and expenses …
Maintaining our objectivity and independence
- We require actual hours worked and expenses incurred to be reported.
- We incur expenses in accordance with Akeydesigns policies or, where agreed, our clients’ expense policies.
Our objectivity …
- We maintain and affirm our objectivity and independence, recognizing that these are critical to our professional responsibilities.
- We employ professional skepticism.
- We reject inappropriate pressure from clients or others.
- We are alert for personal and professional conflicts of interest and take immediate and appropriate steps to resolve or manage any that may arise.
- We do not accept payments or items of value if this could reasonably be viewed as influencing our conclusions or advice.
Our independence …
Company Owned and Supplied Devices or Vehicles
- We comply with Akeydesigns independence rules, including the restrictions applicable to our families. We understand that these may sometimes be more rigorous than applicable professional and legal requirements.
- We avoid relationships that impair — or may appear to impair — our objectivity and independence.
- We continuously monitor our independence.
An office personals who uses a company-supplied device or a company-supplied vehicle is prohibited from using a cell phone, hands on or hands off, or similar device while driving, whether the business conducted is personal or company-related. This prohibition includes receiving or placing calls, text messaging, surfing the Internet, receiving or responding to email, checking for phone messages, or any other purpose related to your employment; the business; our customers; our vendors; volunteer activities, meetings, or civic responsibilities performed for or attended in the name of the company; or any other company or personally related activities not named here while driving. Use of company owned vehicles or devices for personal business is discouraged.
Cell Phones or Similar Devices at Work
Company is aware that office personals utilize their personal or company-supplied cellular phones for business purposes. At the same time, cell phones are a distraction in the workplace. To ensure the effectiveness of meetings, employees are asked to leave cell phones at their desk. Or, on the unusual occasion of an emergency or anticipated emergency that requires immediate attention, the cell phone may be carried to the meeting on vibrate mode.
Office personals who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
Client Code of Conduct
Refusal of Service
- Treat staff with respect & honesty.
- Inform staff of needs and changes in circumstances in order to receive relevant services.
- Give advance notice of their need to access services in order to ensure the services can be provided in a timely manner.
- Be prepared to work with the Support Coordinator, or be willing to wait until the Support Coordinator is available.
- Understand that AkeyDesigns works with many individuals with many levels of needs, and staff may need to prioritize their time to deal with emergency or high need situations.
- Maintain confidentiality of other clients and staff.
- Understand that Akeydesigns and its staff have limitations in regards to the services they provide.
- Realize that access to services may have limits and eligibility does not automatically ensure services.
- Understand that staff may not be available on a drop in basis, an appointment may be necessary.
- Deal with problems and concerns in a mature manner according to AkeyDesigns Policies & Procedures.
Service users have a responsibility to be respectful and considerate of other service users, employees and staff of the Akeydesigns.The decision to refuse service is usually made by the employee/staff in consultation with the Executive Director. Wherever possible, if a service user is refused service, that service user is provided with a referral to other Akeydesigns services and / or other appropriate sections.
Individuals may be refused service:
Respecting intellectual capital
- Where a manager and an employee agree that a service user has contravened the above responsibility.
- Where a service user in a support group threatens or harms fellow group members, is disruptive to the groups ability to function, or breaches the group confidentiality requirement.
- Where a service user behaves violently.
- Where a service user is threatening or obscene in interaction with employees, staff or other service users.
Where to find support
- We respect and protect confidential information obtained from, or relating to, our clients or third parties, as well as personal information about our people, in accordance with local law and professional standards.
- We take proactive measures to safeguard our documents, computers and other data devices that contain personal or confidential information.
- We do not use confidential information for personal gain.
- We obtain, develop and protect intellectual property in an appropriate manner. We respect the restrictions on its use and reproduction.
- We use and share internal and external knowledge in accordance with Akeydesigns policies and our legal and professional obligations.
- We acknowledge that each of us is responsible for keeping our professional knowledge up-to-date and for sharing best practices.
In developing this Code of Conduct, the leadership of Akeydesigns recognizes that no code can cover every eventuality — and that from time to time we may require the advice and support of others in addressing some of the situations that arise during the normal course of daily business life.
We have long promoted a consultative culture at Akeydesigns. In addition to established internal relationships, we have created a support network that is available for consultation and advice, to help each of us live up to our commitments under the Code.
Putting it into action
This Code of Conduct gives everyone at Akeydesigns an ethical framework to help make the right decisions. The principles contained in the Code provide us with a clear set of standards, grounded in our values, on which to base our behavior across all areas of our professional activity.