Standards of Ethical Conduct


Ethical Professionals should be governed by two basic concepts:
1. 
They must be competent. This means: 
 
  • they must know the competencies for their area of practice, and
  • they must be able to successfully apply the competencies.
   
 2. 
They must have integrity. This means:
 
  • they must have a keen sense of responsibility to their client or employer and to their profession and the public, and
  • they must retain that sense of independence that will enable them to exercise their professional judgment without restriction or bias.

In order to comply with these two basic concepts the following Standards of Ethical Conduct apply to the Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) members of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada (AFOA). These standards serve to enhance confidence in the integrity and service of the CAPA. These Standards are not in any order of priority, rather they are to be used as required by the specifics of each situation.

1.
RESPONSIBILITIES TO INDIVIDUALS
   1.1 Be exemplary, courteous and tactful in all interactions.
   1.2  Ensure the communications of rights, responsibilities and information to foster informed decision-making.
   1.3  Respect the customs and beliefs of others, consistent with the mission of the organization.
   1.4  Respect the confidentiality of information, unless it is in the public interest or required by law to divulge information.
   1.5  Promote competence and integrity with individuals associated with the organization.
     
 2.  RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE ORGANIZATION
   2.1  Strive to provide quality services.
   2.2  Communicate truthfully and avoid misleading or raising unreasonable expectations in others.
   2.3  Use sound management practices and ethical use of resources.
     
 3.   RESPONSIBILITIES TO COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY
   3.1  Serve the public interest in an ethical fashion and consider the effects of decisions on the community and society.
   3.2 Abide by the laws of government and foster an environment where fairness applies and discrimination, harassment or abuse of any sort is opposed.
   3.3  Contribute to improving the climate for aboriginal financial management.
     
 4.  RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE PROFESSION
   4.1 Develop and maintain competence in aboriginal financial management and practice within one's abilities.
   4.2 Support AFOA in its efforts to enhance the profession of aboriginal financial management.
   4.3 Practice with honesty, integrity, respect, and good faith.
   4.4 Assist others to develop competence in aboriginal financial management and practice ethically.
   4.5 Understand these Standards and report to AFOA when there are reasonable grounds to believe a member has violated these Standards
     
 5.  CONFLICT OF INTEREST
   5.1 Conflict of interest exists when the CAPA uses position, authority or privileged information to:
   
  • obtain an improper benefit, directly or indirectly, or
  • obtain an improper benefit for a friend, relative or associate, or
  • make decisions that will negatively affect the organization.
   5.2 The CAPA Shall:
   
  • conduct all relationships in a way that assures those affected that decisions are not compromised by a conflict of interest;
  • disclose to the appropriate authority nay direct or indirect personal of financial interest, or appointment or election which might create conflict of interest;
  • either accept nor offer personal gifts or benefits with the expectation or appearance of influencing a decision; and
  • refrain from using CAPA designation and credentials to promote or endorse commercial products or services where it would be perceived as a endorsement by CAPA.
Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrators are members of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada and are required to comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct and the administration thereof. Failure to comply may be cause for termination of membership in the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada.

ADMINISTRATION OF ETHICAL CONDUCT STANDARDS


PREAMBLE
AFOA Canada has adopted Standards of Ethical Conduct for its members. The intent of this policy is to provide a reasonable and fair process for the administration of the standards.

1.
Lodging a Complaint
   1.1 Any AFOA member may lodge a complaint by notifying the President/Executive Director of the AFOA that a Certified Professional Administrator's (CAPA) conduct appears to be contrary to the Standards. Complaints must be in writing and signed.
   1.2 
The AFOA itself may formulate a complaint where information from a non-member or where the public record suggests conduct appears to be contrary to the Standards.
   1.3 Only complaints initiated within one year of the incident or activities complained of will be reviewed.
   1.4 The AFOA shall provide the member concerned with a copy of the complaint within thirty days of its formulation.
     
2.
 REVIEWING THE COMPLAINT
   2.1 The President of the AFOA shall appoint a senior experienced CAPA to conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaint. The CAPA shall not be a member of the Board or an employee of AFOA.
   2.2 The CAPA's investigation shall be a fact-finding mission regarding the conduct of the member accused. The CAPA shall secure evidence through documentation and interviews necessary for a Special Ethics Committee of the Board specifically established to consider the complaint. The CAPA must invite the member concerned to present documentation and all appropriate facts.
   2.3 The CAPA shall submit a full written report to the Special Ethics Committee within ninety days of the receipt of the complaint. The report should indicate whether or not a hearing is merited.
   2.4 Where a decision is made without a hearing, a recommendation will be brought forward to the Ethics Committee
     
3.  SPECIAL ETHICS COMMITTEE
   3.1
A Special Ethics Committee appointed by the Board when required shall receive the CAPA's report. No further action will be taken about the complaint if the committee indicates no possible breach of the Standards has occurred. Both the member and the complainant will be so informed.
   3.2 Where the committee determines that the findings of the preliminary investigation warrant that a hearing occur the Special Ethics Committee will notify the member and complainant that a hearing will be held.
   3.3 Notification shall specify that the member and complainant may be present, may be represented and may examine documentation and evidence received by the Special Ethics Committee. The notice shall also indicate the date and place of the hearing.
   3.4 If the member whose conduct is the subject of the hearing does not attend, the hearing may proceed in absence of the member.
   3.5 The hearing is not a judicial process. The principal of fairness and confidentiality shall characterize the hearings.
   3.6 The Special Ethics Committee should issue a decision to the member and the complainant within 30 days of the completion of the hearing.
     
4.
SANCTIONS
   4.1 Should the Special Ethics Committee determine that a breach of the Standards has occurred, the Special Ethics Committee may decide upon the following sanctions:  
   
  • Letter of Admonition: Where a minor impropriety has occurred but no breach of the Standards has occurred, the Committee can issue a letter of admonishment to the member.
  • Censure: Where a clear breach of the Standards has been found, but the breach is not of sufficient gravity to warrant a change in the member's status with AFOA, the Committee can issue a letter of censure.
  • Suspension and Probation: Where a clear breach of the Standards has been found, of a more severe nature, but still not warranting expulsion, the Committee can suspend and place the member on probation for a fixed period of time and with certain conditions.
  • Expulsion: For gross breaches of the Standards, the Committee can expel a member.
  • Bar from re-admission: Where a clear breach of the Standards have been found and the member resigns, the member will be barred from re-admission
   4.2 The sanction shall be in writing and placed in the member's file. For sanctions, except expulsions, the AFOA shall not publicize the member's name to other members of AFOA, or to the member's employer. Members who have been expelled from membership will have their names recorded in a notice to that effect; such notice shall be placed in the newsletter or magazine of AFOA.

   4.3 Where the Committee believes the membership as a whole might benefit from hearing about compliance or interpretation on matters pertaining to the Standards, the Committee may publish information in the newsletter without revealing the individual or location that prompted the interpretation.
     
5.
 APPEAL
    A member or complainant may be allowed to appeal the Special Ethics Committee decision. The appeal shall be made to the Board of AFOA and must be within 30 days of notification of the hearing's final decision. After due notice to all parties concerned, the Board of AFOA shall hear the appeal and make a decision. The decision of the Board is final.

     
6. 
 INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES
   6.1  A CAPA investigator will undertake a fact-finding mission regarding the conduct of the member accused:
   
  • Investigate any other conduct that comes to the attention of the investigator in the course of the investigation, whether or not  connected with the complaint under investigation
  • Require the person under investigation to provide information and answers to questions that relate to all matters under investigation in writing. Where they do not respond, the investigation will proceed and a notice will be issued
  •  Upon reasonable notice, enter the business premises of the person under investigation during reasonable business hours or at such other time as may be agreed to by the person under investigation. Consent must be given by the employer before entering business premises
  • Require the production of and examine any documents, files, records, storage devices or receptacles or other information that related to matter under investigation   relates to matter under investigation        
  • Make copies of, or remove, for making copies, any item referred to in the preceding section; where the item   is removed a receipt shall be given
  • Return the items borrowed for the purpose of copying with reasonable dispatch, giving recognition to the volume and complexity associated with the copying  
   6.2 The investigator shall complete the investigation within 90 days for the scope and circumstances of the investigation and shall prepare and submit a report to the special ethics committee at the completion of the investigation