Code of Conduct
Effective Date: November 2010
Review Date: June 2014
This code of conduct is intended to guide officers of the Vision CRC and staff members of participant organisations engaged in activities for, or on behalf of, the Vision CRC. It is designed to guide Officers and Staff in their dealings with colleagues, students, collaborator organisations, and the national and international community. The Code is written as a set of general principles rather than detailed prescriptions. The code stands beside but does not exclude or replace the rights and obligations of staff to their employing organisation or under common law. In addition, the Vision CRC recognises that many academic and professional groups are also bound by codes of conduct or ethics defined by learned or professional societies and groups.
The Vision CRC is a complex group of collaborating organisations, comprising a diversity of populations which have different relationships to one another. It is essential in such a collaboration that all members recognise and respect not only their own rights and responsibilities but also the rights and responsibilities of other members.
Vision CRC is proud of the diversity of the staff in its collaborator institutions and embraces people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and countries of origin. It is essential that persons acting on behalf of the Vision CRC recognise and respect the rights and responsibilities of every individual. Every participant member of Vision CRC has a duty to observe the highest standards of equity and justice in dealing with others.
In this regard, officers and staff should:
- treat other officers, staff members, students, and clients with respect;
- not allow personal relationships to affect professional relationships;
- refrain from all forms of discrimination and harassment;
- give due credit to the contributions of others;
- refrain from acting in any way that would unfairly harm the reputation and career prospects of others;
- intervene constructively where a colleague's behaviour is clearly in breach of this code;
- be prepared to report any suspected fraudulent, corrupt, criminal or unethical conduct to an appropriate officer of Vision CRC;
- consider the impact of all decisions on the well-being of others;
- respect individuals' rights to privacy;
- keep personal information in confidence, including information gained through sources outside the Vision CRC.
Harassment or discrimination against another staff member will not be tolerated under any circumstances. It is unlawful to harass a person on the grounds of sex (including pregnancy), race, age, marital status, disability or sexual preference. The term "harassment" is defined as unwelcomed or unreciprocated behaviour which makes a person feel offended, intimidated, belittled or apprehensive in the workplace. The Vision CRC will never countenance behaviour which is unlawful and officers and staff may be confident that appropriate action will be taken if an incident or incidents of harassment are reported.
Every officer of the Vision CRC and staff members of participant organisations engaged in activities for, or on behalf of, the Vision CRC should show responsible stewardship in the safeguarding of Vision CRC’s assets, the utilisation of Vision CRC's resources and protection of its reputation in the wider community by actng with the utmost integrity in dealing with all people that come into contact with Vision CRC.
In particular, officers and staff should ensure that:
- all confidential and trade secret information of Vision CRC and that provided to Vision CRC by collaborators, associated sponsors and partners be kept strictly confidential;
- Vision CRC’s Intellectual Property is protected and properly utilised;
- they comply with Occupational Health and Safety legislation and any associated organisational policies in force at their workplace, to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all;
- information relevant to the safe use of products, instruments and equipment be generated and effectively used;
- they refrain from representing themselves as spokesperson or as acting on behalf of Vision CRC unless authorised to do so;
- they refrain from engaging in any outside work that would compromise the integrity and independence of Vision CRC;
- nobody uses the resources of Vision CRC for private gain or the gain of a third party other than in a recognised and sanctioned way;
- collegiality and cooperation is fostered at all levels of Vision CRC.
Every officer and staff member should act appropriately when a conflict of interest arises between a staff member's own self interest and duty to Vision CRC.
Officers and staff should:
- take suitable measures to avoid, or appropriately deal with, any situation in which they may have, or be seen to have, a conflict of interest arising out of their relationship with a client, another officer or staff member or student;
- take care that their financial and other interests and actions do not conflict or seem to conflict with the obligations and requirements of their Vision CRC position;
- never demand or request any gift or benefit for themself or anyone else in connection with their work or activities associated with the Vision CRC. Under no circumstances should gifts of cash be accepted. The officer or staff must not accept any gift or benefit that the person offering the gift, or a fair observer, would expect to influence decisions or outcomes in the way that the officer or staff member performs his/her job as a result of the gift. Token gifts and benefits (of a trivial or modest nature, or of insignificant monetary value) should be accepted only if they are unlikely to be seen as compromising the officer, staff member, or Vision CRC;
- be aware that Intellectual Property may be developed either directly or indirectly during the course of an individual’s activities in the Vision CRC. Any ideas, innovations or improvement in any form that are a result of work on behalf of Vision CRC will remain the property of Vision CRC unless otherwise agreed in writing; and
- disclose any present or outstanding Intellectual Property obligations to other parties and any inventions that he/she has at the commencement of engaging in activities that should be excluded from the Intellectual Property assignment agreement required by Vision CRC upon commencement of employment.
Breaches of Code of Conduct
Breaches of this Code of Conduct will not be tolerated and according to the circumstances of the situation could result in informal or formal disciplinary proceedings or referral to external agencies such as ICAC and the police. Any breach of this Code should be reported to a supervisory officer independent of the breach
Review of Code of Conduct
The Code will be reviewed by the Board to ensure it remains consistent with Vision CRC’s objectives and responsibilities.
Publication of Code of Conduct
The Code is to be made available to stakeholders of Vision CRC upon request.