CODE OF ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
Members of the AGLIU are expected and encouraged to observe the code in the spirit as well as the letter. The code expresses in general terms the most important standards of ethical and professional conduct by which members of the AGLIU are expected to abide. Such a document is no guarantee of ethical and professional conduct and is not meant to diminish or replace the right and the duty of members to take personal responsibility for their actions.
The code has not been designed to cover explicitly, and in minute detail, all possible situations in which questions of ethics or professional practice may arise, either now or in the future. The varied and ever-changing circumstances of the practice of landscape architecture preclude such a possibility. Rather the aim has been to articulate a number of basic, ethical and professional standards upon which there are widespread agreement.
These standards will no doubt cover almost all cases, and their interpretation and application in such cases will ordinarily be beyond dispute. It is possible, however, that unanticipated or anomalous cases may arise. It is important to note that in such cases conduct may reasonably be judged unethical or unprofessional, and subject to disciplinary action, even though it does not explicitly violate one of the rules or principles set out below.
The code makes no claim to absolute completeness, and the AGLIU will not accept, as an excuse for conduct which is clearly unprofessional or unethical, that no explicit provision of the code was breached. The success of the code in helping to sustain a high level of ethical and professional conduct among members of AGLIU ultimately depends on the individual members themselves who must approach it in the spirit in which it is intended. In summary, the code must be approached as a guide to ethical and professional conduct, not a definitive, detailed statement of the limits of ethical and professional responsibility.
The section entitled Ethical Principles is meant to articulate general standards and ideals of ethical conduct underlying the practice of landscape architecture. These ethical principles are conceived as timeless, universal and immune to changes in specific business and professional practices as may occur over time. They are based on the assumption that gardeners & landscapers have ethical responsibilities towards themselves, their clients, society, and their profession -- in short to whomever might be significantly affected by the member's practice of landscape architecture.
Actions which violate the code's ethical principles, or some other ethical or moral responsibility not explicitly mentioned in the code, constitute a breach of ethics even when no specific rule of professional practice has been infringed. Interpretation and application of the rules of professional practice are to be guided at all times by the stewardship principle and the code's ethical principles.
1. Ethical Principle.
Members shall always respond morally and ethically to all personal, social, political, economic, environmental and technological influences to which they may be subject in the practice of landscape architecture.
In all aspects of the practice of landscape architecture, members shall act fairly, honestly and in a manner they would be prepared to defend publicly.
Members shall make every reasonable effort not to be professionally associated in any way with any other member or person whose professional practice involves unethical behaviour or professional misconduct.
Within the limits placed upon them by their responsibilities to the general public, their clients and the profession, members shall exert every effort towards the protection, preservation and enhancement of the earth's environmental resources.
Members shall always endeavour to provide the highest possible level of professional services to clients and employers consistent with their other ethical and professional responsibilities.
Members must never place their own commercial interests, or the commercial interests of their client or employer, above the health, welfare and safety of the public or the integrity of the profession.
Members shall not undertake to provide professional services for which the member is not qualified, and shall make full disclosure to a client or employer whether they have been granted custody and use of the Association seal.
Members shall not give, lend or promise anything of value to any person for the purpose of unduly influencing that individual's judgement or actions with respect to some matter related to the member's practice of gardening and landscaping.
Members shall not knowingly contravene, or counsel another to contravene, any law, regulation, by-law, relevant code of ethics or code of professional conduct.
Members shall not reveal the confidences entrusted to them in the course of their practice of gardening and landscaping unless it becomes necessary in order to protect the welfare of society or the profession.
Upon selection to provide required services, the member shall have reached agreement with the client or employer as to the nature and extent of such services and the compensation which will be forthcoming.
A member shall provide landscape and gardening services for remuneration that is fully disclosed to the client, and which is both fair and reasonable.
A member's remuneration should normally take the form of fees or salaries, and reimbursement of legitimate expenses. In any case in which remuneration takes another form, the member must take reasonable steps to ensure that the client is aware of any possibilities for conflict of interest.
A member has an obligation to render services in an efficient and cost-effective manner, so as serve and protect the client's or employer's interest while maintaining acceptable standards of safety and quality.
A member shall not withdraw services except for good cause and upon reasonable notice to the employer or client.
Any member, upon coming into contact with information concerning a breach of law or ethics on a project with which the member is associated, shall advise the employer or client, in writing, that such a breach exists. If steps are not taken to deal with the breach, the member must withdraw from involvement in the project.
A member shall not disclose, without consent or except as may be required by law, information concerning a client's or employer's business affairs, technical methods or processes.
3. Conflict of Interest.
A conflict of interest exists where a member has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his/her duties. An apparent conflict of interest is one where a reasonable third- party would think that the professional’s judgement is likely to be compromised.
Conflicts of interest involve the abuse, actual or potential, of the trust people have in professionals. Members should disclose at the first opportunity a conflict of interest, or a potential conflict of interest to clients, employers or the Association. Members must ensure discretion and confidentiality with regard to all professional relationships.
A conflict of interest occurs when a person has a duty to promote one interest but chooses to promote a competing interest instead. A conflict of interest exists whenever an Association member chooses to promote an interest in competition with the Association. In essence, a conflict of interest is a breach of the member’s duty to act always in the best interests of the Association.
Members shall make full disclosure to a client or employer of any financial or other personal interest which may in any way create or appear to create a conflict of interest for the member.
Council members shall make full disclosure to the AGLIU of any financial or other personal interest which may in any way create or appear to create a conflict of interest for the council member.
Members shall not disclose, without the consent of the AGLIU, confidential information to which the member has gained access as a member of AGLIU Council or an AGLIU committee, or as an official representative of the AGLIU.
No member shall disclose confidential information received from a client or employer, except as authorized by law or with the consent of the client or employer.
Members shall not permit any person, other than those who are appropriately entitled thereto, to inspect or have access to information, papers or documents which are confidential.
4. Use of Seal.
A full member shall use only the seal issued to the full member by AGLIU.
Full members who have custody and use of the Association’s seal shall affix an imprint of their seal to professional documents such as plans, drawings, details, reports and contract documents, related to their practice of landscape gardening and landscaping
prepared by them or under their control and supervision, or under their signature, unless they are employed in government where the affixing of a seal is prohibited, or when documents and plans are prepared under the control and supervision of another full member. This includes, but is not
limited to the following: applications for a building permit; submissions for regulatory approval; presentations to the public; situations in which the item is to be used for the construction of a landscape architectural item. 7.2 does not apply in the case of an approved, open competition in which anonymity is a requirement.
A full member shall in no instance affix an imprint of the full member's seal to any work which was not prepared in its entirety by the full member, or prepared under the direct, personal supervision of the full member.