Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics & Practice Standards

As found in SIA Regulatory Bylaws, Schedule A

Agrologists have an obligation to conduct all business in an ethical manner, and share a moral and legal responsibility to protect the public interest, employers, other agrologists, and the profession of agrology.

The profession demands and holds agrologists accountable for integrity, competence and objectivity in their conduct as they fulfill their professional responsibilities to protect the public interest, the employer/client, the profession and other agrologists.

Professional Obligations to the Public

  • Practice only in those fields where the agrologists’ training, ability and experience make them professionally qualified.
  • Express a professional opinion only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and experience, and where agrologists have an understanding of the situation and context against which this opinion is being offered.
  • Advocate and practice good stewardship of agriculture, food and the environment based on sound scientific principles.
  • Extend public knowledge of agriculture and promote truthful and accurate statements on sustainable agricultural systems and environmental matters.

Responsibility to the Employer/Client

  • Act conscientiously and diligently in providing professional services on behalf of the employer.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of employer information unless given explicit consent, except as the law requires.
  • Obtain a clear understanding of the client’s or employer’s objectives.
  • Inform the client or employer of any action planned or undertaken by the client or employer that agrologists believe is detrimental to good stewardship or in breach of known laws or regulations.
  • Refuse any assignment that creates a conflict of interest, defined as:
    • Where there is reason to believe that a decision may be unduly influenced by a factor other than what is in the best interest of the client or public; or
    • A situation where you may be tempted to place your private interest above your duty to the employer or client.

Responsibility to the Profession

  • Inspire confidence in agrology by maintaining high standards in conduct and work at all times.
  • Support activities for the advancement of the profession.
  • Report to the Institute (Registrar) any alleged practices, professional incompetence, professional misconduct or any breach of The Act or bylaws.
  • State clearly on whose behalf professional statements or opinions are made.
  • Sign and seal only those plans, reports and other documents for which agrologists are professionally responsible and which were prepared by them or under their direction.

Responsibility to Other Agrologists of the Institute

  • Abstain from undignified or misleading public communication with or about agrologists.
  • Give credit for professional work to whom credit is due.
  • Share knowledge and experience with other agrologists, mentor new members and contribute to building a strong network of professionals.

Practice Standards

as found in SIA Regulatory Bylaws – Schedule B

The Institute provides minimum general practice standards with which all agrologists must comply. More specific practice standards are available for certain scopes and areas of agrology defined in the policies and procedures.

Practice standards represent a minimum level of performance that is used to evaluate the activities of its agrologists. Practice standards are developed to:

  • Ensure safe and ethical practices
  • Act as a guide for agrologists to the competencies and behaviors required to practice agrology in general and in specific areas
  • Provide a way to evaluate and measure the conduct of practice and competencies of agrologists against a transparent standard
  • Enable agrologists to improve their practice
  • Promote the role and accountability of agrologists to the public interest, other professionals, and peers
  • Act as a legal reference to describe reasonable and prudent practice in employment situations and complaints about a agrologist when presented to the Professional Conduct Committee or a Court of Law

Essential Competencies

These competencies are derived from the Code of Ethics and broadly define the minimum expectations for agrologists. All agrologists shall:

Integrity

  • Act towards other agrologists, the public, employers, clients, other professions and in general, with courtesy and good faith.
  • Respect social diversity.
  • Facilitate an understanding of the practice of agrology.
  • Read and be familiar with the Institute’s governance and operational structure and functions.
  • Use professional principles, performance management systems and methods relative to the agrologist’s area of practice.
  • Ensure the agrologist’s skills are consistent with the requirements of the specific area of agrology and that the skills are constantly improved and enhanced through continuing professional development.
  • Respect contributions by other professionals to the work product.

Competency in Area of Practice

  • Only undertake work for which the agrologist is competent and qualified.
  • Perform due diligence for all work undertaken, including becoming knowledgeable about the work to be performed, the client or employer for whom the work is to be performed, and any resources required to complete the work.
  • Maintain and demonstrate knowledge of developments in any area of practice relevant to any services that are undertaken.
  • Be aware of changes and issues within the agrologist’s area of practice, notify the Registrar and adapt their practice standards as appropriate.
  • Demonstrate client, employer, community and environmental sensitivity.
  • Clearly communicate to any affected parties the scope of any work undertaken, related priorities and decisions.
  • Maintain knowledge and awareness of developments in their area of practice, including any changes to the Practice Standards.
  • Employ quality assurance measures where appropriate.
  • Evaluate overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards.
  • Ensure any individuals over which the agrologist has control, have the appropriate qualifications and competencies.
  • Ensure all formal documentation is authenticated by signing, dating and sealing in accordance with The Agrologists Act, Bylaws and Policies and Procedures.

Objectivity

  • Act fairly to colleagues, clients, employers, subordinates and employees.
  • Recognize and promptly address any issues arising during practice that may affect the satisfactory outcome of any work that has been undertaken.
  • Determine if a potential or perceived conflict of interest exists before performing services. If performance of the work can reasonably be foreseen to result in a conflict of interest, the agrologist should not conduct the work. If there is a potential or perceived conflict of interest at any time before or during performance of the work, the agrolgist must document and inform all involved parties of the conflict.

Purpose

Practice standards represent a minimum level of performance that the SIA uses to evaluate the activities of its agrologists. Practice standards are developed to:

  • Ensure safe and ethical practices
  • Act as a guide for agrologists to the competencies and behaviours required to practice agrology in general and in specific areas
  • Provide a way to evaluate and measure the conduct of practice and competencies of agrologists against a transparent standard
  • Enable agrologists to improve their practice
  • Promote the role and accountability of agrologists to the public interest, other professionals, and peers

Essential Competencies

Essential Competencies

These competencies are derived from the Code of Ethics and broadly define the minimum expectations for agrologists. All agrologists shall:

Integrity

  • Act towards other agrologists, the public, employers, clients and other professions and in general, with courtesy and good faith.
  • Respect social diversity.
  • Facilitate an understanding of the practice of agrology.
  • Read and be familiar with the institute’s governance and operational structure and functions.
  • Use professional principles, performance management systems and methods relative to the agrologist’s area of practice.
  • Ensure the agrologist’s skills are consistent with the requirements of the specific area of agrology and that the skills are constantly improved and enhanced through continuing professional development.
  • Respect contributions by other professionals to the work product.

Competency in Area of Practice

  • Only undertake work for which the agrologist is competent and qualified.
  • Perform due diligence for all work undertaken, including becoming knowledgeable about the work to be performed, the client or employer for whom the work is to be performed, and any resources required to complete the work.
  • Maintain and demonstrate knowledge of developments in any area of practice relevant to any services that are undertaken.
  • Be aware of changes and issues within the agrologist’s area of practice, notify the Registrar and adapt their practice standards as appropriate.
  • Demonstrate client, employer, community and environmental sensitivity.
  • Clearly communicate to any affected parties the scope of any work undertaken, related priorities and decisions.
  • Maintain knowledge and awareness of developments in their area of practice, including any changes to the Practice Standards.
  • Employ quality assurance measures where appropriate.
  • Evaluate overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards.
  • Ensure any individuals over whom the agrologist has control, have the appropriate qualifications and competencies.

Ensure all formal documentation is authenticated by signing, dating and sealing in accordance with The Agrologists Act, bylaws and policies.

Objectivity

  • Act fairly to colleagues, clients, employers, subordinates and employees.
  • Recognize and promptly address any issues arising during practice that may affect the satisfactory outcome of any work that has been undertaken.
  • Determine if a potential or perceived conflict of interest exists before performing services. If performance of the work can reasonably be foreseen to result in a conflict of interest, the agrologist should not conduct the work. If there is a potential or perceived conflict of interest at any time before or during performance of the work, the agrologist must document and inform all involved parties of the conflict.

Review

The professional development and practice standards committee shall monitor and review policies, guidelines and procedures and propose to council amendments that will promote the practice standards set out in these bylaws.

The professional development and practice standards committee shall monitor and review the institute’s scopes of practice and areas of practice, published in the policy and procedures, and define the minimum academic training for each scope and area.

Practice guidelines and procedures shall be at two levels of application as follows:

  • General practice standards, at a broad level that are applicable to all practice areas. Such standards should be clearly defined with measurable assessment parameters.
  • Specific practice standards for those areas deemed to be of significant risk to the profession and/or public. Such standards to encompass at least:
    • Development of a descriptive list of knowledge, skill sets and capabilities required to be proficient in a given scope or area of practice; and
    • Development of specific practice standards that describes what is commonly accepted against which competence in that practice area is to be assessed.
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Other Resources

For a detailed explanation of these ethical responsibilities, or what it means to be a professional, view these other resources:

Concerned about the conduct or competency of an agrologist?

  • If you are concerned about the conduct or competency of an agrologist or individual practicing agrology without a license, a formal complaint process is available. The complaint process is how the SIA protects the public from the unauthorized or unprofessional practice of Agrology.