PRSM Code of Ethics Policy
Revised: September 6, 2017
The purpose of this Policy is to establish guidelines for ethical conduct among PRSM members, and to provide a process for responding to allegations of conduct that violates those guidelines.
I. CODE OF ETHICS
A. PRSM members shall treat each other, and all persons with whom they interact in the course and scope of PRSM activities, with courtesy, integrity and respect.
B. PRSM members will hold their membership as a privilege and a responsibility, and agree that the Bylaws, Policies and related rules of the Association, including this Ethics Policy and the PRSM Events Code of Conduct, as modified and amended from time to time by its Board of Directors, shall govern their conduct at all times.
C. PRSM members may not seek favors or unfair advantage for themselves, their employers or others by dishonest, unethical or questionable conduct.
D. PRSM members shall maintain the confidentiality of any information they obtain in the conduct of PRSM activities, including without limitation information that a reasonable person would recognize as confidential concerning competitors, other members and their respective employers.
E. PRSM members will refrain from personal conduct that damages the reputation of the Association, including without limitation behavior in conjunction with PRSM activities, in public or private, that offend prevailing moral standards.
F. PRSM members will immediately disclose any conflict of interest, or potential conflict of interest, whether financial or otherwise, with the interests of the Association, and agree to abide by the determination of the PRSM Board as to the disposition of the conflict.
G. PRSM members shall not use the Association membership directory as a mailing list for commercial purposes, nor permit its use by a nonmember for any purpose.
H. PRSM members shall disclose in confidence to the Association CEO, any personal, professional or legal matters that might reasonably cause embarrassment if subsequently associated with their PRSM membership, including without limitation any conviction of a felony or crime of moral turpitude, termination of employment for cause, and involuntary dismissal from a position of leadership in another nonprofit organization.
II. Remedial Process
A. PRSM membership is a privilege, not a right, and may be qualified, suspended or terminated for cause duly determined under this Policy.
B. The standing PRSM Ethics Committee, appointed by the PRSM Board and comprised of PRSM members in good standing and chaired by 2 (two) members appointed by the Board of Directors, shall be responsible for implementing this Remedial Process, except as to matters on appeal as described herein.
C. The Ethics Committee shall maintain a Complaint Form, available for submission in paper form and through a discreet and confidential link on the Association website, by which a report of conduct allegedly violating this Policy may be sent to the Committee or its designated representative. The complaint should contain the name of the person submitting the complaint, the name of the accused person, a description of the alleged conduct including date(s), time(s) and place(s), the names and contact information for any witnesses, and any corroborating information, materials or other evidence supporting the complaint. If an accuser seeks to remain anonymous, he or she may contact the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee, whose contact information will be available on the Association website, in confidence to discuss the accusation, and the Chairperson, in consultation with PRSM legal counsel, will then determine how to proceed under this Remedial Process.
D. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Ethics Committee shall:
- Review the accusation and the evidence submitted, and determine whether, if true, the reported conduct violates this Policy.
- If so, the Ethics Committee will within ten (10) days of its determination send written notice to the accused person including a summary of the accusation, a description of any subsequent investigation the Ethics Committee intends to pursue, and a request for a response to the accusation within thirty (30) days of the notice, including any relevant evidence, in writing or by personal appearance before the Ethics Committee or both.
E. The Ethics Committee may investigate a complaint by interviewing the accuser, the accused, witnesses and other persons with knowledge of the alleged conduct, and by obtaining relevant documents, records and related evidence.
F. The Ethics Committee shall maintain a record of its investigation including its notes, copies of documents and all evidence obtained, which record shall be confidential and may not be disclosed to any non-member of the Committee except as to matters on appeal as described herein, and as may be required under lawful order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
G. Upon the termination of this Remedial Process, the Ethics Committee may, at its sole discretion, destroy its record of the complaint, preserve its record for a specified time period, or permanently preserve its record.
H. Upon the completion of its review of a complaint and its further investigation, if any, and following the response of the accused person or the expiration of the time within which the accused person may respond, the Ethics Committee shall:
- Decide whether the reported conduct violated this Policy, and if so, what remediation is appropriate under the totality of the circumstances.
- Without limitation, and providing the Ethics Committee broad latitude to determine appropriate remediation, it may, separately or in combination:
a. Sanction the accused person privately, with or without a period of probation;
b. Sanction the accused person publicly through posting of its determination on the PRSM website, with or without a period of probation;
c. Require the accused person to take remedial action directly with persons or parties impacted by the conduct in violation of this Policy;
d. Suspend PRSM membership of the accused person for a specified time period, with or without a subsequent period of probation at risk of termination;
e. Terminate PRSM membership of the accused person, with or without permanent expulsion.
I. The Ethics Committee shall within ten (10) days of its determination under H. herein, send written notice to the accused person confirming its determination and remediation, via certified mail, overnight express or verified electronic communication.
J. The accused person may appeal the determination and remediation by submitting written notice to the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee within thirty (30) days of receiving the notice of determination and remediation, after which the determination and remediation are final and may not be appealed
K. Upon receipt of notice of appeal, the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee shall within ten (10) days, forward such notice to the Chair of the PRSM Board of Directors, who shall promptly appoint a three-person Appeal Panel comprised of persons having served on the Board of Directors (but are not then serving on the PRSM Board) or the Ethics Committee (but are not then serving on the Ethics Committee).
L. The Appeal Panel shall, in consultation with PRSM legal counsel, convene as it sees fit, review the complete Ethics Committee record of the complaint, confer with the Ethics Committee at its sole discretion, and give notice to the accused person of the opportunity for a hearing wherein the accused person may offer testimony and other evidence, with or without counsel, at a date not more than sixty (60) days from the notice date.
M. Following its review of the record, input from the Ethics Committee, and a hearing, if any, with the accused person, the Appeal Panel shall within thirty (30) days render its opinion in writing, whether the Ethics Committee determination and remediation shall stand, or whether the determination and remediation should be modified.
N. If the Appeal Panel decides the determination and remediation should be modified, its opinion shall include substitute language to that end, with or without explanation.
O. The Appeal Panel opinion may not, in any event, impose remediation more severe than that of the Ethics Committee.
P. The opinion of the Appeal Panel is final and conclusive.