Professional Code of Practice

1 PREAMBLE


Members of the Institute must practice in an ethical and responsible manner. The Professional Code of Practice forms the basis of planning practice by Members; it is enforceable through the disciplinary provisions of the OPPI By-law, as amended. In Ontario, all complaints regarding the conduct of the Members will be addressed by the OPPI Discipline Committee which shall have sole authority over the matter.

Further, the Institute refers Members to the Statement of Values, which follows, as a source of inspiration and guidance for professional planners, and, as well, to the Standards of Practice. These should be read in conjunction with this Professional Code of Practice. In the event of conflict, the Professional Code of Practice shall prevail. 

Statement of Values:

To respect and integrate the needs of future generations.
Members recognize that their work has cumulative and long-term implications. When addressing short-term needs, members acknowledge the future needs of people, other species and their environments, and are to avoid committing resources that are irretrievable or irreplaceable.

To overcome or compensate for jurisdictional limitations.
Members understand that their work has a potential impact on many jurisdictions and interests. They must therefore practice in a holistic manner, recognizing the need to overcome the limitations of administrative boundaries.

To value the natural and cultural environment.
Members believe that both natural and cultural environments must be valued. They assume roles as stewards of these environments, balancing preservation with sustainable development.

To recognize and react positively to uncertainty.
Members believe that the long-term future is unpredictable and that adaptable and flexible responses to deal positively with this uncertainty must be developed.

To respect diversity.
Members respect and protect diversity in values, cultures, economics, ecosystems, built environments and distinct places.

To balance the needs of communities and individuals.
Members seek to balance the interests of communities with the interests of individuals, and recognize that communities include both geographic communities and communities of interest.

To foster public participation.
Members believe in meaningful public participation by all individuals and groups and seek to articulate the needs of those whose interests have not been represented.

To articulate and communicate values.
Members believe in applying these values explicitly to their work and communicating their importance to clients, employers, colleagues and the public.

2 PROFESSIONAL CODE OF PRACTICE


1.0 The Planner's Responsibility to the Public Interest

Members have a primary responsibility to define and serve the interests of the public. This requires the use of theories and techniques of planning that inform and structure debate, facilitate communication. and foster understanding. Accordingly, a Member shall:

1.1 practice in a manner that respects the diversity, needs, values and aspirations of the public and encourages discussion on these matters;

1.2 provide full, clear and accurate information on planning matters to decision makers and members of the public, while recognizing both the client's right to confidentiality and the importance of timely recommendations;

1.3 acknowledge the inter-related nature of planning decisions and their consequences for individuals, the natural and built environment, and the broader public interest; and

1.4 identify and promote opportunities for meaningful participation in the planning process to all interested parties.


2.0 The Planner's Responsibility to Clients and Employers


Members must provide diligent. creative, independent, and competent performance of work in pursuit of the client's or employer's interest. Accordingly, a Member shall:

2.1 impart independent professional opinion to clients, employers, the public, and tribunals;

2.2 work with integrity and professionalism;

2.3 not perform work outside of his/her professional competence;

2.4 not neglect planning services which he/she has agreed to perform, nor render services without adequate preparation;

2.5 acknowledge the values held by the client or employer in work performed, unless such values conflict with other aspects of this Code;

2.6 respect the client or employer right to confidentiality of information gathered through a professional relationship;

2.7 inform the client or employer in the event of a conflict between the values or actions of the client or employer and those of this Code, in a timely manner;

2.8 ensure full disclosure to a client or employer of a possible conflict of interest arising from the Member's private or professional activities, in a timely manner;

2.9 inform all relevant parties and provide the Member's professional recommendation in situations that may adversely affect the public interest;

2.10 reject and not offer any financial or other inducements, including prospective employment, that could influence or affect professional opportunities or planning advice;

2.11 not as an employee of a public planning agency, give professional planning advice for compensation to a private client or employer within the jurisdiction of the public agency without written consent and disclosure to the agency;

2.12 not, as a consultant to a public planning agency during the period of contract with the agency, give professional planning advice for compensation to others within the jurisdiction of the agency without written consent and disclosure to the agency in situations where there is the possibility of a conflict of interest arising;

2.13 not, as a salaried employee of or consultant to any public planning agency, directly or indirectly advise the agency on the granting or refusal of an application which the Member has submitted or has an interest in to the agency; however, the Member may present the application;

2.14 not accept anything of value, or the promise of anything of value, including prospective employment, from any person when it could appear that the offer is made for the purpose of influencing the Member's actions as an advisor to a public planning agency; and

2.15 not, in order to obtain professional work, present himself/herself as, or permit himself/herself to be presented as, prepared to provide planning services where the quality of work is less than reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.


3.0 The Planner's Responsibility to the Profession and Other Members


The vitality and credibility of the planning profession and of the Institute are reflective of the quality of the Membership. To further the profession, Members will be expected to attain and maintain a high standard of professional competence and conduct, which extends to their relationship with other Members. Accordingly, Members shall:

3.1 take all reasonable steps to maintain their professional competence throughout their working lives and shall respect OPPI's continuing professional learning requirements as amended from time to time;

3.2 encourage healthy and constructive criticism about theory and practice of planning among colleagues and share the results of experience and research that contributes to the evolving body of planning knowledge;

3.3 maintain an appropriate awareness of contemporary planning philosophy, theory, and practice by seeking and receiving professional education throughout a planning career:

3.4 contribute to the professional education, mentoring, and development of planning students, Members, and other colleagues;

3.5 not in professional practice, extra-professional activities or private life, engage in dishonourable or questionable conduct that may cast doubt on the Member's professional competence or integrity or that may reflect adversely on the integrity of the profession;

3.6 ensure that advertising or promotional activities fairly and accurately communicate the expertise and skills offered;

3.7 advertise professional planning services in a manner that enhances the credibility of the profession;

3.8 accurately represent his or her professional qualifications and affiliations, education and experience, and those of colleagues;

3.9 act toward other Members and other colleagues in a spirit of fairness and consideration and not falsely or maliciously injure the professional reputation, prospects or practice of another Member and other colleagues;

3.10 respect the Member's colleagues in their professional capacity. and when evaluating the work of another Member, show objectivity and fairness and avoid ill-considered or uninformed criticism of the competence, conduct or advice of the Member;

3.11 not attempt to supplant another Member once the Planner has knowledge that definite steps have been taken toward the other's employment;

3.12 not sign or seal a final drawing, specification, plan, report or other document not actually prepared or checked by the Member;

3.13 not directly or indirectly discriminate against any person because of said person's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability in any aspect of job recruitment, hiring, conditions of employment, training, advancement or termination of employment;

3.14 report to the Institute the behavior of any Member believed to be in breach of this Code;

3.15 not make public statements on behalf of the Institute's Members unless authorized to do so;

3.16 comply with any reasonable request of the Institute for information or for the co-operation of the Member in pursuit of any Institute objective; and

3.17 implement and give full effect to the disposition of any discipline proceeding affecting the Member.