The business practices of Permit Holders and individual
practitioners, when providing professional services to their clients,
must conform to the standards of conduct required by Association members.
Such business practices should also respect and complement the legislated
duties and professional ethics of design professionals who are not APEGGA
The engagement of Prime Consultants and Subconsultants including fee negotiations, agreements covering scope of services and payment of accounts are examples of business practices to which the Code of Ethics is directly applicable.
The following principles should guide the actions of APEGGA members involved in that process:
1. The Code of Ethics takes precedence over contractual requirements in both spirit and letter.
2. The scope and schedule of assignments should be established contractually and should not be restricted to the extent that the long range best interests of the public are adversely affected. An APEGGA member cannot contract out of his responsibility to protect the public interest.
3. The process of engagement and the terms of agreement between APEGGA members and their clients should reflect the following ethical considerations:
• act towards others with fairness and good faith
b) Consultants must avoid conflict of interest or, as a minimum, formally acknowledge and declare its existence to the affected parties and request their formal approval to continue to act. A conflict of interest can occur not only between the interests of two or more third parties by also between the financial interests of a Consultant and the performance expectations of his Client or the public.
c) In requesting and/or responding to proposals, including fee negotiations, APEGGA members should adopt a basis of fee which is not in conflict with their duty to protect the public interest and to provide cost effective solutions to their client's needs.
d) Client/Consultant/Subconsultant agreements including standard forms (see Appendix B) do not normally cover all aspects of the relationship and rely on professional ethics to replace that detail. Accordingly, each party to the agreement, and third parties affected by the agreement, are entitled to assume that the professional members will act in accordance with the Code of Ethics in all matters, of both a business and professional nature, pertaining to the project. In essence, an assumption of mutual trust is developed, based on this reliance.
e) The Prime Consultant is responsible for engaging the best possible qualified Subconsultants to respond to the expressed needs of the Client.
4. In some cases, the Client may be directly involved in the selection and engagement of Subconsultants and may elect to contract directly with them or be included as a party to the Prime/Sub agreement. While such arrangements will affect the contractual relationships between the parties, the ethical considerations are unchanged.
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