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Code of Ethical Conduct

Note: for the purpose of this document, “employee” shall be interpreted to mean a staff member, volunteer, student, and/or member of the Board of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit.
 
In the course of work related activity, it is expected that every Health Unit employee shall conduct himself/herself according to the following guidelines: 
  1. Competence – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit shall strive to maintain high standards of competence in their work. They shall recognize the boundaries of their particular abilities and the limitations of their expertise. They provide only those services and use only those techniques for which they are qualified by education, training, or experience. 
  2. Integrity – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit are honest, fair and respectful of others. In describing or reporting their qualifications, services, products or fees, they shall not make statements that are false, misleading or deceptive. Employees of the Northwestern Health Unit strive to be aware of their own belief systems, needs and limitations, and the effect of these upon their work.
  3. Professional Responsibility – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit shall uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and adapt their methods to the needs of different populations. Employees shall ensure the communication of rights, responsibilities and information to clients in order to foster informed decision-making.
  4. Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit shall respect the fundamental rights, dignity, and worth of all people. They shall respect the indisputable rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination, and autonomy. Employees of the organization shall be aware of cultural, individual, and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status.
  5. Respect for the Law – Employees of the Northwestern Health Unit are expected to at all times abide by and obey the laws of the land.
  6. Maintaining Expertise – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit who engage in assessment, treatment, teaching or other professional activities shall maintain a reasonable level of awareness of current scientific and professional information in their fields, and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence in the skills and knowledge they use.
  7. Commitment – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit shall be committed to the mission, vision, and values of the organization and to the practices and principles of continuous quality improvement.
  8. Promotion – All employees of the Northwestern Health Unit shall promote public education and understanding of health and health services. They also shall promote effective and efficient use of the Health Unit’s resources.
  9. Documentation – Employees of the Northwestern Health Unit shall appropriately document their professional work. This is done to facilitate subsequent provision of services by them or by other professionals, to ensure accountability and to meet other requirements of the Health Unit, other professional governing bodies, or the law. Employees of the Health Unit shall create, maintain, disseminate, store, retain, and dispose of records and data relating to their work in accordance with Northwestern Health Unit policy and all applicable regulations and laws. Employees of the Health Unit shall ensure that all records are accurate, complete, and contain no false or misleading information.
  10. Client Service – The Northwestern Health Unit does not discriminate on in-take criteria for race, ancestry, ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, handicap or socioeconomic status.
  11. Improper Use of Funds – The Northwestern Health Unit prohibits any type of payment or consideration of value offered with the intent to influence a decision on grounds not directly related to professional merits. Prohibited inducements include gifts or considerations to government employees, politicians, physicians, or any other party who are in a position to influence community services.
  12. Reporting and Resolution of Non-Business Related Ethical Violations – When an employee of the Northwestern Health Unit believes there may have been an ethical violation by another employee, he or she should attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of the individual if an informal resolution appears appropriate, and the intervention does not violate any confidentiality rights. Employees of the organization exercise professional judgment in notifying management of their perceptions. If any apparent ethical violation is not appropriate for informal resolution, or is not resolved properly in that fashion, employees of the organization may take further action through the Northwestern Health Unit management structure, the Human Resources Department, and/or appropriate grievance procedure.
  13. Reporting and Resolution of Business Related Ethical Violations – Reporting of ethical problems that are workplace related is to follow the notification process. The employee may report the violation to his/her immediate manager, or anonymously to the Director of Operations, or the Chief Executive Officer.
  14. Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands – If the demands of the Northwestern Health Unit conflict with the Code of Ethical Conduct, employees of the organization shall clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Code of Ethical Conduct and, to the extent feasible, seek to resolve the conflict in a way that permits the fullest adherence to the Code of Ethical Conduct.
(Adapted from Dryden Regional Health Centre Policy & Procedure, “Code of Ethical Conduct”, with permission and gratitude) 
Approved by the Board of Health April 20, 2007