CLIENTS RULE! THE CHIRON CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT & ETHICAL STANDARDS
Business consultancy is an honourable profession in which an individual’s ethical conduct, reputation, trustworthiness and integrity are among the most important attributes for success. Chiron! the business doctor.™ understands the importance of this. Consequently, he sets the Chiron Code of Professional Conduct & Ethical Standards bar very high
Warning: This webpage guide to the Chiron Code of Professional Conduct & Ethical Standards is information-rich. I understand how important this information is to you when making up your mind as to who can best help you with the expansion of your business. Consequently, as the guide covers a lot of ground, expect a long read.
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- Chiron! the business doctor.™: proudly independent; proudly ethical; proudly Australian!
- Why do companies hire consultants? The perennial rhetorical question
- The key characteristics of the professional consultant
- Relationships with clients
- The management of client assignments
- Professional fees, charges and expenses
Chiron! the business doctor.™: proudly independent; proudly ethical; proudly Australian!
Chiron! the business doctor.™. Trading as Chiron! the business doctor.™, I conduct an ethical and independent business consultancy as a freelance sole-proprietor. I established Chiron! the business doctor.™ to help small and mid-size business enterprises. Why did I do this, you may ask? I find that a hard question to answer.
Helping others is its own reward. I have a number of reasons swirling around inside me as to why I became a consultant. One is the desire to do something useful with the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years. Another is a feeling of anger and hostility at the way that big business and governments continually ride roughshod over the hard-working business people who make up the very valuable small and mid-size business sector of our economy. Perhaps the best reason is that I simply like the work; I like helping people. There is no better feeling than helping someone to get their business humming along on all cylinders and achieving a desired and well-warranted success.
Why do companies hire consultants? The perennial rhetorical question
The ‘consultant’ dilemma. The question is often asked ’why do companies hire consultants?’, when generally speaking they already employ executives with a high degree of expertise in a number of business disciplines. In many cases, the employed executives are probably more highly qualified than the consultant. However, there are valid reasons why companies hire consultants, and hire them repeatedly. I discuss this phenomenon in some detail in my webpage Why Use Consultants?
Consultancy is a profession. First and foremost in why a particular consultant gets hired again and again is the fact that business consultancy is a profession in which an individual’s ethical conduct, personal reputation, trustworthiness and integrity are among the most important components for success. Moreover, successful consultants pay a great deal of attention to their client relationships. Successful consultants make sure that their client relationships inevitably reflect the consultant’s ethical conduct, personal reputation, trustworthiness and integrity. I am sure that you realise that it is this combination of attributes that leads to a client having confidence in the consultant concerned.
The key characteristics of the professional consultant
Importance of rapport. Consultancy assignments are not awarded to a consultant because of advertisements or promotional activities. A rapport has to be established between the consultant and the client before any consultancy assignments are awarded, and it takes time and effort to build such rapport. In building such rapport however, the consultant must be seen to consistently exercise self-discipline, responsibility, reliability, competency and professionalism, particularly in connection with his or her dealings with clients and potential clients.
Within that context, the consultant must demonstrate a commitment to high levels of Professional Conduct & Ethical Standards. This means that the consultant must not accept any assignments for which he or she is not competent to carry out. This requires the consultant to know his or her limitations and accept them.
Relationships with clients
In my dealings with clients, I unequivocally pledge that:
1. I will serve my clients with integrity, competence and objectivity.
2. I will keep client information and records of client assignments confidential and safeguarded.
3. I will respect the proprietary intellectual property rights of clients and not use proprietary intellectual property rights or client information or methodologies for any purpose other than in the proper performance of the duties associated with compliance with the terms of specific client assignments.
4. I will not at any time either during the currency of a client assignment or after the completion of a client assignment divulge either directly or indirectly to any person or company any knowledge or information which may be acquired during service with the client concerning the affairs or property of the client or any business, property or transaction in which the client may be or may have been concerned or interested, except
- in the rightful course of service with the client, or
- in the performance of service with the client ,or
- under compulsion of law when directed to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction, or
- when directed to do so by an authorised officer or auditor of the client.
5. I will not take advantage of confidential client information for myself or colleagues.
6. After accepting an assignment from a client and during the conduct of that assignment, I will not accept new assignments from companies in the same industry as the client, without that client’s approval.
7. I will not permit conflicts of interest to arise that can provide a competitive advantage to one client through his or her use of confidential information gained from another client who is a direct competitor of the first client.
8. I will disclose to a client prior to the commencement of an assignment, full details of any transactions or other business dealings or relationships:
- between myself and the client, or
- between any member of my immediate family and the client, or
- between any company of which I or a member of my immediate family is a director or shareholder that has business dealings or other financial or legal relationships with the client, or
- between myself and major competitors of the client, or
- between any member of my immediate family and major competitors of the client, or
- between any company of which I or a member of my immediate family is a director or shareholder that has business dealings or other financial or legal relationships with major competitors of the client.
9. I will not advertise my services in a deceptive manner.
The management of client assignments
In relation to the conduct and management of client assignments, I unequivocally pledge that:
1. I will only accept assignments for which I am competent to carry out.
2. I will render impartial, unbiased, and independent advice to clients.
3. I will develop and recommend realistic and practical solutions to client problems and difficulties that are within the client’s available resources to implement.
4. I will not do anything or take any action, individually or conjointly with others, which will adversely affect the activities, business and value of a client.
5. Except as is necessary during the conduct of a client assignment, I will not:
- seek to obtain confidential information to which I have not been granted access,
- remove any confidential information from a client’s premises without permission of the client,
- make any copies of confidential information without permission of the client, or
- bring any computer software or discs onto the client’s premises without permission of the client.
6. Within a period of six months following completion of a client assignment, I will not, individually or conjointly with others, commence business activities that can be reasonably identified as being in competition with the client, unless the client is in agreement with such action.
7. I will, where necessary, only assign staff to client assignments in accordance with their experience, knowledge and expertise.
8. I will immediately acknowledge to a client any adverse influences on my objectivity or integrity that may arise after acceptance of a client assignment, and will offer to withdraw from the assignment where the client considers that my objectivity or integrity is impaired to the extent that my ability to complete the assignment may be prejudiced.
9. I will immediately acknowledge to a client any conflict of interest that may arise after acceptance of a client assignment, and will offer to withdraw from the assignment where the client considers that the conflict of interest may prejudice my ability to complete the assignment impartially.
Professional fees, charges and expenses
In relation to the setting of professional fees, charges and expenses, I unequivocally pledge that:
1. I will independently and personally determine my professional service fees, charges and expenses.
2. I will advise clients prior to the commencement of an assignment of the quantum of the fees, charges and expenses that are commensurate with the value to be delivered to the client.
3. I will disclose to clients in advance if I become entitled to receive any fees or commissions from third parties for commercial or industrial products, equipment, supplies or services that I may recommend to clients as part of the resolution of a client assignment.
In that regard, I am not an appointed agent or representative for any commercial or industrial products, equipment, supplies or services. However, the nature of many client assignments involves the selection and purchase of commercial or industrial products, equipment, supplies or services. This selection and purchase process will be conducted in full consultation with the client so as to ensure that the most suitable commercial or industrial products, equipment, supplies or services will be selected and purchased.
Thanks for staying with me through this important material. I know it’s a bit dry but it is essential in allaying your fears as to how I conduct myself during the course of any assignments that you may be good enough retain me to undertake. Please feel free to visit my other webpages, which I am sure you will probably find much more interesting than this page.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues I have referred here, please call me on 61 (0) 405 702 644 or email me.
Chiron! the business doctor.™ ... relieves business pain!™.
- Telephone (International): 61 405 702 644
- Telephone (Australia): 0405 702 644
- Telephone (Skype): graham.segal1
- Web: http://chironthebusinessdoctor.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Graham Segal, Author. March 2013. All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons Licence:
This website and the associated webpages content are produced by Graham Segal trading as Chiron! the business doctor.™. They are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License based on Graham's work at http://chironthebusinessdoctor.com.
Date this webpage last reviewed/updated: 5 May 2013