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Canons of Ethics
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Canons of Ethics

 

It shall be considered unprofessional and inconsistent with honorable and dignified conduct and contrary to the public interest for any member of the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors:

 

1. To act for the practitioner’s client or employer otherwise than as a faithful agent or trustee.

2. To accept remuneration for services rendered other than from the practitioner’s client or employer.

3. To attempt to supplant another Land Surveyor in a particular engagement after definite steps have been taken toward the practitioner’s employment.

4. To attempt to injure, falsely or maliciously, the professional reputation, business, or employment position of another Land Surveyor.

5. To review the work of another Land Surveyor for the same client, except with the knowledge of such Land Surveyor, unless such Land Surveyor’s engagement on the work which is subject to review has been terminated.

6. To advertise Land Surveying services in self-laudatory language, or in any other manner derogatory to the dignity of the profession.

7. To use the advantages of a salaried position to compete unfairly with other Land Surveyors.

8. To exert undue influence or to offer, solicit or accept compensation for the purpose of affecting negotiation for any Land Surveying engagement.

9. To act in any manner derogatory to the honor, integrity or dignity of the Land Surveying profession.

10. To state on a map, plat or otherwise that the survey meets the minimum standards set forth in the NYSAPLS Code of Practice, when it does not.

 

Foreword

 

Land Surveying is your profession and, as Licensed Land Surveyors in New York State, the Law has reserved to each of you exclusively the right to practice your profession.

You are presumed to have accepted this right along with the attendant obligations implied by such a mandate which, in order of responsibility, is first to the public, second to the profession and to your colleagues within the profession, and third to you, the individual practitioner.

Because of this unique situation in which the Land Surveyors are placed by virtue of their special knowledge and skill and, as it is with all professions, certain distinctive fundamental qualities of conduct and decorum are assumed.

Only however, by the creation and application of effective and realistic precepts and guide lines within these areas can any profession hope to survive and retain the public recognition and support to which it aspires.

It is important, therefore, that a Profession Association establish within its organizational framework the Fundamental Principles of Professional Conduct that will uphold and advance the honor and dignity of the profession in keeping with its highest standards of devotion, competence, knowledge and skill toward the discharge of the moral obligations it has acknowledged to the public, to the profession, and to the fellow practitioner.

We believe the Canons of Ethics presented here will serve the best interests of the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors and its membership.

Adopted September 24, 1966. Latest revision, July 21, 2017.

 

 

 

Guide to Professional Practice Under the Canons of Ethics

Article 1: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To act for the practitioner’s client or employer otherwise than as a faithful agent or trustee.”

1. The practitioner shall not undertake any assignment which would create a potential conflict of interest between the Land Surveyor and his or her client or employer.

2. The practitioner shall not disclose information concerning the business affairs of his or her clients or employer without their consent.

3. The practitioner shall not use information coming to him or her confidentially in the course of his or her assignment as a means of making personal profit if such action is adverse to the interest of his or her client or employer or the public.

4. The practitioner shall not divulge any confidential findings of studies or actions of a Land Surveying commission or board of which he or she is a member, without official consent.

5. The practitioner shall not give professional advice which does not fully reflect his or her best professional judgment.

6.  The practitioner shall not misrepresent his or her qualifications to a client, to an employer, or to the profession.

7. The practitioner shall not knowingly accept an assignment the results of which he or she will later act upon as a member of a public or quasi-public board.

8. The practitioner shall act with fairness and justice to all parties when administering the terms of any contract.

9. The practitioner shall engage, or advise engaging, experts and specialists when in his or her judgment such services are to his or her client’s or employer’s best interests.

 

Article 2: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To accept remuneration for services rendered other than from the practitioner’s client or employer.”

1. The practitioner shall not accept compensation from more than one interested party for the same service, or for services pertaining to the same work under circumstances where there may be conflict of interest without the consent of all interested parties.

2. The practitioner shall not accept any royalty or commission on any work for which he or she is responsible, without the consent of his or her client or employer.

 

Article 3: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To attempt to supplant another Land Surveyor in a particular engagement after definite steps have been taken toward his or her employment.”

1. The practitioner shall not continue to seek employment on a specific engagement after being advised that another Land Surveyor has been selected subject to approval of detailed arrangements.

2. The practitioner shall not knowingly accept employment from a client who already has a Land Surveyor under contract for the same work not yet completed or paid for.

3. The practitioner shall not, in the event that another Land Surveyor has made a study and report on a specific project, approach the prospective client regarding subsequent phases of the project, unless such contact is initiated by the client.

 

Article 4: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To attempt to injure, falsely or maliciously, the professional reputation, business, or employment position of another Land Surveyor.”

This does not remove the moral obligation to expose unethical conduct before the proper authorities. Neither does it preclude a frank but private appraisal of employees being considered for employment.

 

Article 5: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To review the work of another Land Surveyor for the same client, except with the knowledge of such Land Surveyor, unless such Land Surveyor’s engagement of the work which is subject to review has been terminated and he or she has been compensated for his or her work.”

The article as stated is believed to be sufficiently explicit. However, even though the first Land Surveyor’s services have been terminated, it is a matter of common courtesy to let him or her know that their work is being reviewed.

 

Article 6: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To advertise Land Surveying service in self-laudatory language, or in any other manner derogatory to the dignity of the profession.”

1. The following are considered to be permissible:

a. Professional cards and other factual representations in recognized dignified publications and listings in rosters or directories published by responsible organizations provided that the cards or listings are consistent in size and content, and are in a section of the publication regularly devoted to such professional cards. Information given must be factual, dignified, and free from ostentatious, complimentary or laudatory implications.

b. Brochures and other factual representations of experience, facilities, personnel and capacity to render service, providing they are not misleading with respect to the Land Surveyor’s direct participation in projects described.

c. A statement of a practitioner’s name or the name of his or her firm and statement of his or her type of service posted on projects for which he or she renders services.

d. Preparation or authorization of descriptive articles for the lay or technical press, which are factual, dignified and free from ostentatious or laudatory implications. Such articles shall not imply anything more than his or her direct participation in work described.

e. Permission by a Land Surveyor for his or her name to be used in commercial advertisements, such as may be published by dignified notation acknowledging the Land Surveyor’s participation in the project described.

 

Article 7. “It shall be considered unprofessional… To use the advantages of a salaried position to compete unfairly with other Land Surveyors.”

1. The practitioner shall not engage in outside Land Surveying work to an extent prejudicial to his or her salaried position or detrimental to established Land Surveying services, or which would result in a conflict of interest.

2. If permitted by the practitioner’s employer, outside activities should preferably be confined to consultation on phases of Land Surveying for which he or she has special qualifications not inherently available in usual Land Surveying practice.

 

Article 8: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To exert undue influence or to offer, solicit or accept compensation for the purpose of affecting negotiations for any Land Surveying engagement.

1. The practitioner shall not make political contributions for the purpose of influencing the selection of Land Surveyors on future engagements.

2. The practitioner shall not give or receive any payments for the purpose of influencing the selection of Land Surveyor for any Land Surveying engagement.

3. The practitioner shall not create obligation on prospective clients or employers through extravagant entertainment, gifts or similar expenditures.

4. The practitioner shall not engage in “fee splitting” or other distribution of fees for other than services performed and in proportion to the value of such services.

5. The practitioner shall not solicit or accept a Land Surveying engagement, or submit a proposal or contract covering Land Surveying services when such payment is contingent upon results supporting a predetermined conclusion.

6. The practitioner shall not request, propose or accept a Land Surveying engagement on a contingent fee basis if the contingent basis or the contingent services performed influence the selection of the Land Surveyor.

 

Article 9: “It shall be considered unprofessional… To act in any manner derogatory to the honor, integrity or dignity of the Land Surveying profession.”

1. The practitioner shall not be associated in responsibility for work with Land Surveyors who do not conform to these ethical practices.

2. The practitioner shall express an opinion only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction while he or she is serving as a witness before a court, commission, or other tribunal.

3. The practitioner shall not issue statements, criticisms, or argument on matters connected with public policy which are inspired or paid for by private interests, unless he or she indicates on whose behalf he or she is making the statement.

4. The practitioner shall not endorse products or processes in commercial advertisements.

5. The practitioner shall refrain from expressing publicly an opinion on any Land Surveying subject unless he or she is informed as to the facts relating thereto.

6. The practitioner shall exercise due restraint in criticizing another Land Surveyor’s work.

7. This article appropriately may be considered as a summation of the Canons of Ethics for Land Surveyors. It requires that a member of the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors shall act in accordance with high standards of moral conduct under any and all circumstances.

 

Article 10: “It shall be considered unprofessional…

To state on a map, plat or otherwise that the survey meets the minimum standards set forth in the NYSAPLS Code of Practice, when it does not.

1. The practitioner shall not mislead the public by making statement(s) of fact if the statement is not supported by the requirements.

NYSAPLS, Inc.
146 Washington Avenue
Land Surveyors Building
Albany, NY 12210
518-432-4046 -- (f) 518-432-4055
info@nysapls.org

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