Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 3 – Professional code of conduct

I’m sure we’ve all done something in the heat of the moment that we’ve regretted days, weeks or even months later.  How many times have you wished that someone, somewhere had invented a time machine that could allow you to go back and undo whatever it was that even now, sends waves of pink rushing up your face that threatens to blow off the tops of both ears.  Unfortunately, despite images portrayed in Star Trek and Dr Who they haven’t and we are left to try and come to terms with, and move on from whatever it was that we had done. As professionals we hope that we can limit the number of times that we make serious mistakes, and errors of judgement and more importantly that we can learn from them and hope we haven’t damaged our professional reputation too badly in the process.

This month’s issue will be covering the Contractors Professional Code of Conduct that we ask you all to abide by. If you have any questions or would like further information, please telephone the office on 08 9335 2533.

In this issue…
We will be looking at the Contractors Professional Code of Conduct, including:
• Punctuality, Dress Standards, Behaviour; Client’s Property, Health & Safety, Duties, Confidentiality & Employment Opportunities;
• Breaches of the Code of Conduct
• Did You Know?
• A Bit of Light Relief;
• A thought to Ponder.

The Professional Code of Conduct
Punctuality – You must report for work at the specified time, and observe the stated lunchtime. The minimum legal requirement is a 30 minute break for every 4 hours worked. If you require additional time off during the day it is vital that you speak to the client BEFORE doing so.  Working times and/or days may be varied at the discretion of the client and yourself.

Dress Standards – You are required to present a professional image in respect to your dress standards at all times.  You must always wear the personal protective clothing and equipment provided by the client if deemed necessary.

Behaviour – It is vital that that you conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.  You must not intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass fellow employees by using physical violence, improper language (written or spoken) or other disorderly conduct.  Please note, this also applies to any social function that you may be invited too.

Client’s Property – Do not abuse, deface or wilfully damage client’s property. Do not use the client’s telephones for personal calls except in an emergency, or use the client’s Internet or e-mail system for the access, download or transmission of offensive or pornographic material.  

Health & Safety – Smoke only where smoking is permitted. Do not carry any form of weapon, explosive or inflammable substance onto IEA’s and/or the client’s premises.  In the event of an emergency, follow the client’s evacuation procedure.

Duties – There may be occasions when the client will ask you to undertake work that is not stated in your contract. If this occurs please contact the office so that we can determine if you need additional training, and/or if we need to negotiate a new contract with the client.

Confidentiality – It is essential that you hold in strict confidence all data, information and records sighted or handled by you in the course of your contract and not divulge such, or any part, to any person or organisation. In addition you may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before joining the organisation and in some cases a police clearance will be required.  You will be advised if this is the case.

Employment Opportunities – You should not use your position to obtain opportunities for further employment with the client, as you may be seen to be in direct competition with IEA and further work through IEA may not be offered.  Nor should you use, or take advantage of, confidential information that may lead to gain or profit obtained in the course of your duties, until such time as it has become publicly available. If a client does approach you with the offer of work, please notify IEA.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct
In the event of a client complaint being received by IEA, the matter will be investigated and an appropriate course of action will be taken to prevent a re-occurrence of the incident.
This can include, verbal and written warnings and instant dismissal for serious and/or repeated occurrences by the same person. 

This information can be found on pages 52-59 of the Registrants Handbook.  If you do not have a copy you will need to attend IEA’s Induction Program “Information, Education and Awareness”.  Courses are run regularly throughout the year, so please contact the office to book your place.

Please note that you must attend an induction program before being eligible for work through IEA.

Did you know
Clients monitor the use of their Internet and e-mail system, and that if you are caught downloading offensive or pornographic material from the Internet, and/or using the e-mail system for distribution of the same you will be dismissed.

A Bit of Light Relief

Performance appraisal terms unmasked:
Good communication skills – Spends a lot of time on the phone
Average employee – Not too bright.
Work is first priority – Too ugly to get a date
Socially active – Drinks a lot
Independent worker – Nobody knows what he/she does
Quick thinking – Offers plausible excuses
Careful thinker – Won’t make a decision
Meticulous attention to detail – A nit picker
Career minded – Back Stabber
Loyal – Can’t get a job anywhere else.

A Thought to Ponder
Learning costs. Ignorance costs more
John P. Williamson