Clear Ethical Guidelines Create Stronger Environmental Professionals

ECO Canada has developed, with the support of subject-matter experts, an extensive Guideline for Ethical Practice that all members must adhere to. The philosophy behind the updated EP Code of Ethics and the central tenets contained within the Guideline of Ethical Practice is to support the vision, values, rules of conduct, and standards of practice for EP members. The EP Code of Ethics provides a common set of values within the profession.

The Guideline for Ethical Practice is a useful document for the practicing EP who wishes to reinforce professionalism, for the new EP who is gaining autonomy and professional recognition, and for the Environmental Professional in-training (EPt) who is preparing to upgrade their designation. To protect the public welfare, EPs must continually conduct themselves to the highest ethical and professional standards.

Download our Guidelines for Ethical Practice Document to learn more, or continue reading below.


Environmental Professional Code of Ethics

Overview on the Central Tenets

1.1        Environmental Stewardship

Upholding the duty to protect, steward, and promote the environment

Environmental Professionals (EPs) should recognize the value of environmental efficiency and sustainability, determine the benefits and costs of additional environmental stewardship, and continue to implement efficient sustainable solutions.

1.2             Environmental Advocacy

Protecting the public and the natural world, working to influence the social, economical and cultural segments to bring positive change. EPs should be empowering the communities around them, enhancing the dignity and reputation of both the profession and the designation, as well respecting the welfare, health and safety of all persons.

1.3        Professional Responsibility

Obtaining and maintaining an ongoing level of competence suitable for the required work with an accurate representation of qualifications. EPs will adhere to the ethical guidelines, understand the rules of conduct and uphold the standard of practice. To maintain accountability, understand their responsibility, work within the rules and regulations, and always conduct themselves to the maximum of their expertise.

1.4        Ethical and Moral Standards

Conducting all professional practices honestly, fairly, in good faith, with integrity and with due care. Refusing to consciously associate with any material report, statement, or representation known to be false or misleading. Reporting any professional misconduct that breaches the EP Code of Ethics. They are duty-bound to promote the environment but must do so within the ethical framework for EPs.

1.5        Confidentiality

Holding in strict confidence, except as required by law, all information concerning the business and affairs of the employer/client/stakeholder an EP acquired during the professional relationship, and not using this information for personal gain.

Ethics Examination

Whatever area of the environment you specialize in, ethics is an important component and touches every type of project or activity. As such we’ve developed an exam that all EP applicants must pass in order to become certified. (this exam excludes EPts; EP Auditors have their own examination process)

The Ethics Exam includes multiple choice and short answer questions with focus on core knowledge as it relates to ethical considerations. The Guideline For Ethical Practice is used as a study guide and will be provided to applicants along with details as to the exam administration process.

EPts will be educated on this important component as part of their training framework. Upon entering Year 5 of their training, an ethics module will be required for completion and preparation to take the Ethics Exam when ready.

Overview on the Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure

Along with the Guideline of Ethical Practice ECO Canada has updated the Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure to offer clarification to the EP community and the public on what the appropriate steps are if they feel that an EP has not conducted themselves according the EP Code of Ethics.

1.1        Policy Purpose and Principles

ECO Canada endeavors to handle complaints against certified persons in a constructive, impartial and timely manner, wherein all parties are treated fairly and equitably.

1.2        Interpretations

Understanding the information collected and the deliverables, the process and the parties involved.

1.3        Filing a Complaint

Along with the Guidelines for Ethical Practice, ECO Canada has updated the EP Code of Conduct – Complaints Procedure to offer clarification to the EP community and the public on what the appropriate steps are if they feel an EP has not conducted themselves according to the EP Code of Ethics.

1.4        Preliminary Review of the Complaint

Acknowledgement of the complaint, gathering & verifying the necessary information corresponding with the complaint.

1.5        The Investigating Panel

A group of three or more members that are selected from the ECO Canada Roster who have met all the eligibility requirements will make up the investigating panel review the complaint.

1.6        Investigation Proceedings

The steps involved in processing the complaint and the timelines they need to adhere to to determine an outcome.

1.7        Evaluation of Complaint

Evaluating the complaint, determining if Subject member has not adhered to the code of ethics based solely on the evidence collected by the investigating panel and providing recommendations of the sanctions.

1.8        Review of the Proceedings

The Subject member will have the right to review the proceedings for procedural error. the EDSC and the approvals board will review the procedures within a set deadline to ensure no errors were made.

1.9        Enforcement

The approvals board has a set of sanctions they may impose according to the EDSC’s Judgement Document and recommendations.