Code of Ethics
CZDN Members are dedicated to providing competent and ethical service in the field of co-operative development and management consulting. They strive to provide professional services to their clients and are dedicated to the delivery of the highest professional standards in their activities as developers and consultants. They have the responsibility to:
- hold client affairs in the strictest of confidence,
- strive continuously to improve their professional skills,
- advance the professional standards of the CZDN,
- uphold the honour and dignity of the CZDN,
- abide by the principles laid out in the code of ethics and rules of professional conduct of the CoopZone CDI AS Partners,
- maintain high standards of professional conduct,
- keep informed of the Code of Ethics and the profession’s common body of knowledge, and
- support the Code of Ethics by reporting violations to the CZDN.
Objectivity: A member will act in the best interests of the client, providing professional services with integrity and objectivity.
Confidentiality: A member is duty-bound to keep in confidence the affairs of any colleague, client or organization, and shall not disclose confidential information obtained in the course of professional activities. Nor shall a member, in any way, exploit information obtained in the course of their duties, to their personal advantage.
Conflict of Interest: A member shall inform a client of any interests, relationships, or circumstances which may impair or may seem to impair their professional judgment or objectivity. In cases where impartiality is seen not to exist, the member will refer the client to another member of the CZDN.
A member will not provide to any client proprietary information learned from previous clients without first obtaining the consent of the previous clients, nor knowingly, without permission, use the copyright materials and proprietary data, procedures, materials, or techniques that others have developed but not released for public use.
A member will not accept any reward from individuals or organizations for recommending the equipment, supplies, or services of such individuals or organizations, nor take personal, financial or other related advantage of information resulting from their professional relationship with clients. They will not provide material or information to others who might take advantage of clients.
Suspension or Expulsion: A member shall be liable for suspension or expulsion from the membership where that member has behaved in a manner unbecoming to the profession, as judged by the Steering Committee of CoopZone.
Code of Professional Conduct
Members strive to provide professional services to their clients and are dedicated to the delivery of the highest professional standards in their counseling and client activities. In doing so, they adhere to a code of professional conduct to guide their clients, peers, and professional relationships.
Understanding of Client Needs: A member shall reach a mutual understanding with the client as to the objective of the assignment, the scope of the assignment, the work plan, and the costs (when applicable). The CZDN member will gain sufficient detail from a new client to gain an understanding of the perceived problem, the objectives to be achieved, the scope of assistance needed, and the possible benefits that may accrue to the client.
Objectivity: Members shall ensure that advice to clients is based on impartial considerations of all relevant facts and opinions.
Competence: A member will demonstrate a commitment to the quality of their advice, assistance, and resulting products through sufficient planning, reviews, and controls.
A member will ensure that sufficient relevant information is evaluated in developing conclusions and recommendations. Solutions should be realistic and practical, clearly understood by the clients, and capable of being implemented by the client. A member will accept only those assignments that the member has the knowledge and skills to perform. Assignments beyond the scope of the member’s expertise will be referred to Network members who are more qualified to provide assistance.
Responsibility to Other Members: A member will treat all other members with the respect and consideration due between professional colleagues. A member will endeavour to continuously raise the standards of the profession by sharing new methodologies that contribute to the understanding of better ways to manage co-operatives or to counsel them. This contribution may be through information to peers as well as the public.
Where a client seeks to hire a member and has previously worked with another member or consultant, the member to be hired will consult with the previous developer. The purpose of this to obtain sign-off from the previous developer, and to ensure that there are no outstanding amounts owing, either to the developer or to others.
A member who has been requested to review (or critically assess) the work of another member shall inform the member before undertaking that work.
A member shall contribute back to the profession by assisting the professional development of other members.
*The Code of Ethics and the Code of Professional Development have been adapted from the codes developed by the Atlantic Institute of Small Business Counselors.