Code of Ethics Guidelines
The Code of Ethics for the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) consists of a Preamble and 10 brief principles of conduct. The Code is included in the Bylaws of the Association and was approved by the membership in 1991.
These Guidelines and Commentary on the Code of Ethics are intended to assist APEGBC members in dealing with ethical situations and to assist others in their understanding and application of the Code.
Hypothetical examples are also included.
The Code of Ethics defines mandatory conduct for professional engineers and geoscientists. This document is intended as a guide only, and should not be considered as giving mandatory instruction. Each member of APEGBC is expected to exercise individual judgment at all times and in all situations. The Code of Ethics applies to all APEGBC members whether they are actually engaged in engineering or geoscience work or are working in other areas.
A profession is a learned calling with specialized skills, distinctive functions and recognized social obligations and has unique characteristics. •
It renders services based upon advanced knowledge, skill and judgment. It is charged with a substantial degree of public obligation and performs its services largely in the general public interest.
It is bound by a distinctive ethical code in its relationships with clients, employees, colleagues and the public.
It assumes responsibility for actions related to professional services provided in a personal or supervisory capacity.
Professions such as engineering and geoscience are generally highly organized; they have definitive standards of admission (which are minimum standards only and make no distinction between the least competent persons and the outstanding leaders of the profession); they regulate the activities of their members; they promote the advancement of knowledge, skill and experience; and they encourage the formulation of standards. While professionals should be fairly remunerated for their services, they are expected to put service above gain, excellence above quantity, rewards of selfexpression above any pecuniary incentive, and a code of honour above competitive spirit.
CODE OF ETHICS GUIDELINES
Professional engineers and geoscientists should be accountable for their profession generally, their own professional practice and for the professional practice of those under their supervision. They also have an obligation to conduct themselves and practice their professions in accordance with ethical standards. Professionals depend on confidence of two kinds for effective pursuit of their work — the personal confidence of the client or employer in the technical competence of the engineer or geoscientist and the confidence of the public at large in the integrity and ethical conduct of the professions as a whole. This, in turn, imposes a correlative duty and responsibility upon both the professions and the individual engineer and geoscientist to justify the trust they enjoy from the public, the client or the employer.
The accountability and responsibility accepted by professionals are also a part of their obligations to society. In their practice they are concerned about maintaining the physical environment so as to ensure the well-being of future generations.
The word “ethics” comes from the Greek word “ethos” and is defined as the study of standards of right and wrong; that part of science and philosophy dealing with moral conduct, duty and judgment. Ethics deals with voluntary actions specifically taken by an individual with sufficient knowledge of the options available to him or her.
Codes of ethics are drawn up to express the expectations of a group of persons of common vocation with regard to their conduct.
The professional engineer or geoscientist has specific...