The world is complex and this complexity makes it imperative for all organisations to have guidelines for behaviour.
It is important for all your clients or customers, your staff and other stakeholders – to understand exactly what your organisation stands for and how they can expect you to conduct business.
A Code of Conduct is basically a set of standards describing the behaviour you expect of your own people. Relevant laws, regulations and internal policies do not govern all behaviour. A Code of Conduct should be an integral part of the way you work every day. The Code doesn’t change the basic nature of the business you undertake, but instead it should articulate the way you strive to conduct business.
Whilst no Code of Conduct or ethics management activity can guarantee the prevention of wrongdoing, a Code of Conduct, coupled with appropriate supporting activities, is considered a “best practice” that can help to sustain a culture in which integrity is valued and promoted through everyday business practice.
ASX Corporate Governance Council’s principle three relates to promoting ethical and responsible decision-making. It states in the section ‘Application of a code of conduct’:
“Companies should formulate policies on appropriate behaviour of directors, senior executives and employees. Companies should encourage the integration of these policies into company-wide management practices. A code of conduct supported by appropriate training and monitoring of compliance with the code are effective ways to guide the behaviour of directors, senior executives and employees and demonstrate the commitment of the company to ethical practices. Companies should ensure that training on the code of conduct is updated on a regular basis.”
We have developed Code of Conduct Services that take into account the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Guidelines as well as the Australian Standard AS 8002-2003 : Corporate governance – Organizational Codes of Conduct.
Our services include:
Developing or Reviewing a Code of Conduct
We have incorporated the Australian Standard AS8002-2003 as well as our own significant experience investigating unethical behaviour into a process for developing a tailored Code of Conduct. We believe that it is important to get buy-in from your stakeholders and this is achieved by focus sessions and/or questionnaires to ensure specific issues that your organisation has encountered or staff have been subject to in the past are incorporated into the Code of Conduct..
Once the feedback has been obtained from these focus sessions and/or questionnaires, we then develop a draft Code of Conduct in draft form that we discuss with you.
Implementing a Code of Conduct
Once a Code of Conduct has been developed or reviewed, we can assist with its implementation. It is important that the Code of Conduct is accessible to stakeholders. This includes considering widely publishing the Code of Conduct.
Code of Conduct training
It is important that stakeholders understand what the Code of Conduct represents. This is best achieved by face to face training that incorporates scenarios based on real life situations. This assists staff to understand and apply the concepts from the Code of Conduct.
We also can develop an induction component of the Code to ensure all new staff receive in the key concepts of what is expected of them during their employment.’
Warfield & Associates can help you design and communicate your Code of Conduct.