ILTSA Code of Conduct
Practicing members of a professional body have a responsibility to carry out their duties with the utmost skill, integrity and respect for confidentiality. There may, however, be occasions when they might inadvertently fail to recognise or fulfil their professional duties; and they should, therefore, be aware of the guidelines provided by their Institute's Code of Conduct.
This Code is binding, and failure to follow it does not in itself constitute misconduct; but its standards are those which will be applied when members are asked to explain their action to the Disciplinary Committee, or to justify actions about which the Council of Management has received complaints.
For the purpose of this document:
- The word "Member" embraces all categories of membership (student, associate, fellow, honorary fellow)
- Words implying the masculine gender also imply the feminine gender
- A Member should carry out his professional work in conformity with the technical and professional standards expected of him and in accordance with the regulations governing Code of Conduct hereinafter contained.
- A Member should, throughout his professional duties, conduct himself towards clients and members of the general public with courtesy and consideration, and in a manner consistent with the good reputation of the Institute.
- A Member should not obtain work in an unprofessional manner, or by means which place him in breach of the Code of Conduct. He should have regard to other practicing Members within his area, and should observe the appropriate standards of etiquette in relation to fellow members of the Institute.
- A Member (whether practicing or not) who is in doubt as to the ethical or professional implications of any of the provisions of this Code of Conduct should resolve his doubts before proceeding, by contacting the Secretary, through the Institute's office, to obtain the necessary clarification.
A Member requested to carry out a stocktake, whether on a regular basis or on a single occasion, must take all reasonable steps to ascertain whether another Institute Member is currently employed. If he finds, or suspects, this to be the case, he should only accept an instruction to continue when all the following conditions are satisfied:
Written instructions have been obtained from the client confirming that the Member is to carry out a stock check for another member's client. Failing this the Member must put in writing confirming the instructions he has received from the said client to the other Member asking for permission to proceed. Suggested wording is as follows:
"We have been instructed by the above client, for whom we understand you have been working for to date, to provide a stocktaking service, and we trust that you have no objections. Please forward to us any relevant information which will enable us to provide a continuous service, indicating any items in your closing figures representing returns to suppliers for which credit is awaited, any items borrowed or on loan"; the member previously employed has been given the opportunity to be present at a stock check (unless specific instructions to the contrary have been given in writing by the client).
- A Member requested to undertake work ancillary to that already carried out by another Member, still retained, should as a matter of professional courtesy notify the retained stocktaker of the nature of the work he has been asked to undertake.
- A Member may undertake a private stocktake for a steward or manager only when prior written permission has been granted by the relevant committee, director(s) or owner(s). In the event of not obtaining written permission the member must confirm his instructions back to the relevant committee director(s) or owner(s).
- A Member who is an employee of a company, group practice, partnership or firm may not undertake to service clients independently of his employers without prior written permission or approval, unless such servicing is allowed by the terms of the Member's employment contract.
- A Member who leaves a company or group practice to set up in private practice must not encroach on his former firm's clientele unless approached by clients seeking his services. He must then, before proceeding, obtain a formal letter of instruction and abide by the provisions of clause I of Conduct above.
- A Member (whether practicing or not) who leaves a company, group practice, partnership or firm must not without written consent use information gained from his previous position to or for his own personal advantage.
- A Member in a group or company practice whose practicing stocktakers are not all qualified members of the Institute must not permit students or non-members to use the titles or designatory letters of fully qualified Members of the Institute.
- A Student Member must not, at any time, before qualifying claim to be a qualified member of the Institute.
- A Member may advertise his services and qualifications, but must have regard, in so doing, to the guidelines laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority.
- A Member should not, in his advertising, claim or imply superiority for his services over those offered by other Members.
- A Member may, in his advertisement, include a list of services provided or available, but must not quote fees or make fee comparisons.
- A Member may make use of any relevant form of marketing, but must at all times adhere to the advertising and other regulations of this Code of Conduct.
- Any Member wishing to use the Institute's name and logo on letter headings or advertising must ensure:
...that all Stocktaking staff are registered with the Institute. New employees need not take up membership for a period of six months BUT should, during this time, be monitored or supervised by a Member.
...that such advertising is in accordance with that specified by the Institute. Drafts should be sent for approval to the Secretary, to ensure that copyright is not breached.
- Any stocktaking company, firm, partnership or group practice wishing to lodge a complaint with the Council, under this Code of Conduct, must have at least 75% of its stocktaking staff as Members of the Institute.
- A complaint under this Code of Conduct must, in the first instance, be lodged in writing to the Secretary's office. The Secretary will make every effort to resolve the problem to the satisfaction of both parties, failing which a Disciplinary Committee will be formed.
- A Disciplinary Committee will be set up to consider the complaints. This Committee will be empowered to take any steps (including the contacting of third parties) necessary to evaluate, fairly, any claims and counter-claims. Representation will be invited from both parties to attend and put forward their view or to produce relevant documentation.
- If a complaint is upheld, the following measures will be available to the Disciplinary Committee:
written warning; fine, or payment of compensation to the aggrieved party; downgrading of Membership status; suspension from the Institute; expulsion from the Institute; any other measures the Committee deems necessary
If the Disciplinary Committee finds in favour of the Defendant, it may at its discretion levy compensation from the Plaintiff.
- Any appeal must be lodged at the Secretary's office within 28 days of the date of the original judgment.
- In the event of an appeal, an appropriate deposit will be lodged with the Secretary's office, the scale of which will be advised on application.
- If an appeal is lodged for a review of the original judgment, then an Appeals Committee will be formed for the sole purpose of re-considering the original complaint and its supporting documentation.
- If an appeal is lodged for submission of fresh evidence, then the Disciplinary Committee will be re-convened to review all relevant information, and to assess the original judgment in the light of the new evidence.
- If an appeal is unsuccessful, the appellant will be responsible for all costs incurred.
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