The Organisation of Energy Assessors (the “OEA”) encourages the highest professional and ethical standards in energy assessment.
The Board and membership of the OEA look to all members to meet these standards and to maintain the reputation of the OEA by following this Code of Ethics and Conduct (the Code). It sets down the principles which all members should follow in the course of their professional duties.
Members are obliged to comply with this Code. If they do not comply, this may result in the OEA taking disciplinary action against the member.
a) Behaving with responsibility and integrity in their professional life and taking into account their wider responsibilities to society as a whole. Acting in a courteous, honest and fair manner towards anyone with whom they deal. Being trustworthy and never putting their interests or the interests of others above the legitimate interests of their customers;
b) Complying with all relevant Laws and meeting the requirements of all applicable regulatory authorities, and appropriate codes of practice and codes of conduct.
c) Demonstrating professional competence and due care including:
i) Meeting the technical and professional standards relating to their level of qualification, role and position of responsibility;
ii) Completing their duties with due skill, care and diligence;
d) Upholding professional standards in all dealings and relationships;
e) Respecting the confidentiality of information;
f) Applying objectivity in making professional judgements and in giving opinions and statements, not allowing prejudice or bias or the influence of others to override objectivity.
A member operating in a professional capacity has duties, arising from these key values, to a number of different groups. Within these relationships a member should always act ethically and their behaviour and conduct should meet the following principles:
1. Relations with customers
Members will seek to earn and maintain the trust of their customers at all times and should:
1.1. Give fair and proper consideration and the appropriate priority to the interests and requirements of all customers. Obtain and provide relevant information, including all necessary documentation and respect the confidentiality of information;
1.2. Avoid conflict between personal interests, or the interests of any associated company, person or group of persons, and their duties to all customers;
1.3. Avoid conflict between any competing interests of one or more customer(s), stepping aside in one or all matters if such conflicts cannot be resolved;
1.4. Act at all times with due skill, care and diligence;
1.5. Act only within the limits of personal competence and any limits of authorisation;
1.6. Act openly, fairly and respectfully at all times, providing all customers with due respect and consideration;
1.7. Be honest and trustworthy with customers and communicate with them in a clear, prompt and appropriate manner;
1.8. Comply with all Laws and Regulations regarding the supply of goods and services to customers;
1.9. Not provide or accept money, gifts, entertainment, loans or any other benefit or preferential treatment from or to any existing or potential customer or provider, other than occasional gifts, entertainment or remuneration, which are provided as part of accepted business practice, and which are not likely to conflict with duties to customers.
2. Relations in employment
Members should aim to ensure good relations with their employer and employees and should:
2.1. Avoid conflict between personal interests, or the interests of any associated company or person, and their duty to their employer;
2.2. Not make improper use of information obtained as an employee or disclose, or allow to be disclosed, information confidential to their employer;
2.3. Seek to be a responsible employer or employee and be honest and trustworthy at work;
2.4. Act openly, fairly and respectfully at all times, treating other employees, colleagues, customers and suppliers with equal respect, consideration and opportunity;
2.5. Aim to take every opportunity to improve their professional capability, knowledge and skills;
2.6. Accurately and completely account for and report in employer records all business dealings;
2.7. Not provide or accept money, gifts, entertainment, loans or any other benefit or preferential treatment from or to any existing or potential supplier or business associate, other than occasional gifts, entertainment or remuneration, which are provided as part of accepted business practice, provided this is not likely to conflict with any duty that is owed to their employer.
In addition, where a member holds a position of influence within an organisation they should:
2.8. Provide, or encourage their employer to provide, suitable arrangements for the internal review of decisions, policies and actions where an employee raises concerns of unethical behaviour. (Employees should not be penalised for raising matters of ethical concern even if this results in a loss to the organisation or a customer);
2.9. Incorporate, or encourage their employer to incorporate, ethical standards into the organisation's governance standards, including the development of an ethical code.
(This part of the Code will operate alongside any employer policies, guidance, work rules, contracts and conduct documents. Where this part of the Code sets higher standards, the Code should be followed.)
3. Relations with Regulators and the Law
Members must respect all Laws and abide by all Regulations that affect their business and must:
3.1. Ensure they operate within the Law and within the spirit of the Law, at all times;
3.2. Ensure they deal with regulators in an open, transparent and co-operative manner and meet any requirements correctly made of them.
4. Relations with the community and the public
Members should recognise the important wider role that they play as professionals and should:
4.1. Seek to advance the reputation of energy assessment and commercial property inspection through their own conduct;
4.2. Operate in a way that respects environmental concerns and issues;
4.3. Act in a socially responsible manner within the regions and societies in which they operate;
4.4. Strive to be trusted individuals and fulfil their responsibilities to the societies and communities in which they operate professionally.
5. Relations with the Awarding Body
Members receive various benefits as members, but they also have responsibilities to the awarding body and its members.
5.1. Act at all times according to the laws of the OEA (including this Code of Ethics and Conduct);
5.2. Ensure a transparent relationship with the awarding body, based on trust, respect, responsibility and integrity;
5.3. Have pride in their status as a registered or accredited individual and any qualifications they hold;
5.4. Ensure they do not make improper use of information or disclose, or allow to be disclosed, information confidential to the awarding body;
5.5. Aim to seek opportunities to support the work of the OEA and to promote its values to others, especially industry bodies, employers and prospective members;
5.6. Aim to seek opportunities to support local organisation activities;
5.7. Demonstrate to others the value of professional qualifications and Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”);
5.8. Treat OEA officers, other members and OEA employees with the same respect they would wish to be given;
5.9. Act fairly and responsibly towards other members of the OEA and with appropriate integrity.
5.10. Members registered with the OEA should display on its business literature a designation to denote that it is regulated by the OEA’s Code.
5.11. Corporate members shall promote its professional services only in a truthful and responsible manner.
5.12. Members shall ensure that their personal and professional finances are managed appropriately.
5.13. Corporate members shall have in place the necessary procedures to ensure that all its staff are properly trained and competent to do their work.
5.14. Ensure that their membership of the OEA is not publicised in any way that might suggest that they hold a professional qualification to which they are not entitled to;
5.15. Ensure that any conduct, promotion or public announcement, with which a member, their name or qualification are connected, does not bring the OEA, another member or their profession into disrepute;
5.16. Advise the OEA of any members who are not following its rules or this Code, and advise the OEA of anyone wrongly representing themselves as a member;
5.17. Aim to ensure the expected standard of technical competence is maintained and that they remain informed of current developments (to ensure they remain competent to carry out their role) by undertaking appropriate professional development;
5.18. Qualified members, using designatory letters should comply with the requirements of the OEA’s suggested scheme for CPD appropriate to their level and conditions of membership.