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Standards of Practice

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Standards of Practice

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    The purpose of these Standards of Practice is to establish and define a set of standards of practice which will guide and direct true professionals as each pursues his or her Web profession. It is incumbent upon honest professionals to provide their services in a manner which instills a strong sense of trust and confidence between themselves and their employers, clients, peers and all professionals of the general public. Professional competence, character, integrity, fairness, commitment, and trustfulness provide the foundation for the establishing and maintaining of all professional relationships. Therefore, web professionals should dedicate themselves to a course of conduct which manifests respects, confidence and trust on the part of the general public and all users of Web services.

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INDEX

  1. QUALITY OF SERVICE
  2. FULL DISCLOSURE
  3. FAIR AND REASONABLE RATES
  4. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
  5. ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL PRACTICES
  6. LAWS AND CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
  7. GOOD CITIZENSHIP
  8. RELATIONSHIPS: EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER CLIENT/FORMER CLIENT

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STANDARD ONE:
    QUALITY OF SERVICE.

Quality of Service is an expectation and demand of all.

    A professional's quality of service is an outgrowth of technical competence, personal character, responsive and informative communication; and appropriate care of property.

Interpretation:

  1. Technical competence is knowledge and the appropriate skillful application of knowledge.
    1. Knowledge is possessing an informed understanding of the subject matter of a professional's field of practice or employment, based on education and experience. Because technical competence is not static, continuing education, both formal and informal, is necessary to maintain and improve a professional's knowledge and understanding.
    2. Skillfulness is the appropriate application of knowledge. It is the focusing of one's knowledge in the most effective manner resulting in diligently and thoroughly completed services. It includes the ability to recognize and acknowledge the need to obtain additional qualified assistance and or expertise when necessary.
  2. Personal character is a quality which is demonstrated through trustworthiness, truthfulness and professional conduct. It demands full disclosure of all pertinent information, data and records. It is manifested through providing services with the highest degree of integrity.
  3. Communication must be responsive, informative and accurate. Communication includes, but is not limited to timely responses to inquiries from others in an appropriate and needful manner; keeping of appointments; complying with client and employer requests for information; periodic updates to the client or employer on project progress, and informing the client or employer when deadlines will not be met.
  4. A client's or employer's property entrusted to a professional creates a fiduciary relationship which means that detailed and accurate records are kept and property is not commingled or used personally.

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STANDARD TWO:
    FULL DISCLOSURE.

    Full disclosure of all pertinent information requires, without reservation, disclosure to the client, employer or public, all relevant information a professional possess with regard to the professional's employment.

Interpretation:

  1. Full disclosure to the client/employer means disclosure of:
    1. Conflicts of interests (including, but not limited to such items as personal, financial, emotional, employment; prior or current, or others.)
    2. Lack of competence/experience.
  2. Full disclosure to the public with whom the professional has business means disclosure of:
    1. All pertinent project information (e.g., nature of project, rights acquired and rights retained, project schedule, basis of payments);
    2. All statutory and equitable rights available.
  3. Full disclosure does not include privileged information, except when required to do so by due process of law.

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STANDARD THREE:
    FAIR AND REASONABLE RATES.

    A professional shall at all times charge fair and reasonable fees commensurate with the service being provided and fully disclose the amount of such fees prior to the time the service is to be provided. At no time shall the professional accept remuneration from more than one party for services rendered without full knowledge and written agreement of all parties involved.

    All fees charged for services shall be in accordance with applicable statutory provisions and/or local established rules and customs.

    A fee is fair and reasonable if it is one which can be justified in the light of all pertinent circumstances, including the factors mentioned herein.

Interpretation:

  1. The professional should assure written contractual relationships in all matters in order to avoid any misunderstanding and to assure a better service to the professional's client(s).
    1. The professional, for the protection of all parties with whom the professional transacts business, should assure that all financial obligations and commitments are in writing, prior to the beginning of work, expressing the exact agreement of the parties; and that copies of such agreements, at the time of execution are placed in the hands of all parties to the agreement, and shall be dealt with in accordance with the instructions of the parties involved.
      1. A professional shall not receive directly or indirectly any rebate, fee, commission, discount or any other benefit without the full knowledge and prior written consent of all parties.
    2. The fiduciary relationship between the professional and the professional's client requires full disclosure in all financial matters between them and prohibits the acceptance by the professional of any hidden fees.
    3. No fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate, agency or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to professional employment maybe taken by the professional from anyone other than the client without full disclosure to and the consent of the client and, where the professional's fees are being paid by someone other than the client(s), the consent of such other person.
    4. The entering into an agreement with the client imposes upon the professional an obligation of rendering a skilled and conscientious service. When the professional is unable to render such service alone, it is incumbent upon the professional to obtain assistance from another person having the appropriate expertise and qualifications. The professional should not engage, recommend or suggest the use of services of any other organization or business without prior disclosure to the client. The professional shall not accept any rebate or profit on expenditures, made on behalf of the client without the client's written consent and knowledge. A professional must render a proper accounting to the client with respect to direct or indirect costs relating to additional services.
      1. A professional shall not provide service where the professional's level of expertise is not on a level that could be reasonable required under the circumstances. Where services are required in such areas and the professional does not have the appropriate level of expertise, such services should not be provided without the aid of another person who is properly qualified in the area of activity being contemplated.
      2. The professional shall not recommend or suggest to a client or a third party the use of services of any other organization or business in which the professional has a direct or indirect interest, without disclosing such interest, in writing, at the time of the recommendation or suggestion.
      3. The professional must be alert to recognize his lack of competence for a particular task and the disservice he would do his client if he undertook that task. The professional must either decline to act or shall retain, consult or collaborate in that field, or refer the client to an individual who is competent in that field.
  2. A fair and reasonable fee will depend upon and reflect such factors as;
    1. The time and effort required and spent;
    2. The difficulty and importance of the matter;
    3. The likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the professional;
    4. The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services by individuals with similar credentials;
    5. The amount involved and the results obtained;
    6. The time limitations imposed by the employer, client, or by the circumstances;
    7. The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client or employer;
    8. The experience, reputation, and ability of the professional performing the service;
    9. Whether the fee is fixed or contingent;
    10. The informed consent of the client or employer to the fee or employment agreement;
    11. Fees authorized by statute or regulation;
    12. The professional should not attempt to set fees for services to be offered by suggesting or implying directly or indirectly, that the level of fees being suggested is based on direction from the Association, Institute, Society or Council to which a professional also belongs;
    13. A professional should be ready to explain the basis for his charges,
      (especially if the client is unsophisticated or uninformed as to the proper basis
       and measurement for fees).
  3. The professional should avoid controversy with his client respecting fees, Controversy and misunderstandings respecting fees and financial matters bring the professional's profession into disrepute. He should give the client a fair estimate of fees and disbursements, pointing out any uncertainties involved so that the client may be able to make informed decisions.
  4. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any gratuity, gift, or similar item which may otherwise be permitted by rules, regulations, or policies established by the professional's employer and/or client.

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STANDARD FOUR:
    CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

    A professional shall hold in strict confidence all information provided in confidence by a client or person requesting confidentiality. In addition to the professional's fiduciary obligation to the client, professional shall at all times exercise loyalty to the interests of the client with respect to confidential information and shall not engage in any activity which could be reasonably construed as contrary to the best interests of the client. The professional shall not use confidential information for personal purposes or personal gain.

    The professional shall not disclose to a third party any confidential or proprietary information concerning the client's business or personal affairs unless the disclosure is required or compelled by law or regulations. All obligations and duties of the professional to clients, firms and employers shall also apply to relationships with former clients and former firms and employers. The professional shall act in a professional manner when, for whatever reason, relationships are terminated between the professional and clients.

Interpretation:

  1. The professional has a duty to hold in strict confidence all information acquired in the course of the professional relationship concerning the business and affairs of the client, and the professional should not divulge any information unless he(she) is expressly authorized by the professional's client(s) or as required by law, to do so.
  2. The professional owes the duty of confidentiality to every client without exception, regardless of whether he is continuing or casual client. The duty survives the professional relationship and continues indefinitely after the professional has ceased to act for the client whether or not differences may have arisen between them.
  3. The professional cannot render effective professional service unless there is full and unreserved communication between the professional and his(her) client. At the same time the client(s) must feel completely secure and he(she) is entitled to process on the basis that, without any express request or stipulation on his(her) part, matters disclosed to or discussed with a professional will be held confidential.
  4. Disclosure by the professional may also be permitted or required in order to defend himself(herself) or the professional's associates or employees against any allegation of malpractice or misconduct, or in legal proceedings to establish or collect the professional's fee, but only to the extent necessary for such purposes.
  5. The relationship between the professional and the professional's client(s) forbids that the professional use any confidential information for the benefit of himself(herself) or a third person or to the disadvantage of the professional's client(s).

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STANDARD FIVE:
    ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL PRACTICES.

    professionals shall only use those advertising and promotional practices which fairly and accurately inform prospective clients and the public of the professional's services, qualifications, credentials, and other relevant professional information.

Interpretation:

  1. Professionals shall use logos, emblems, designations, and registered trademarks only in accordance with associated membership guidelines.
  2. Without specific authorization, professionals shall refrain from using logos, emblems, designations or registered trademarks in a manner which could be construed as representing the associated company, organization or entity as to acting or speaking on behalf of the entity.

Interpretation:

  1. A professional's advertising and promotional practices shall fairly and accurately reflect the professional's professional and educational qualifications, experience, professional designation(s) and areas of specialization.
  2. Resumes and statement of qualification should only be presented in a manner that is positive, factual and not misleading.
  3. The professional designation may be used only by those professionals upon whom it has been conferred by the specific entity.
  4. All advertising and promotional practices shall be in good taste and shall not offend or be contrary to the public or the associated entity.
  5. All advertising and promotional practices shall not create unrealistic expectations in clients or the public.

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STANDARD SIX:
    LAWS AND CONDUCT OF BUSINESS.

    A professional shall abide by all laws, rules, regulations, certification and licensing requirements applicable to his or her profession. All business or professional practices shall be in strict accordance with all applicable laws, rules, professional standards, and regulations governing the professional's business, practice or profession.

Interpretation:

    Compliance with all laws, regulations, rules, certification and licensing requirements shall also include the following:

  1. In hiring or performing services professionals shall follow non-discriminatory practices without regard to race, creed, sex, national origin or other legally protected classes.
  2. professionals shall cooperate fully with the Association in the enforcement of its rules and regulations.

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STANDARD SEVEN:
    GOOD CITIZENSHIP.

    professionals shall conduct themselves in their daily lives in a manner which looks beyond self or corporate interest to the interest of others and society as a whole, not just the avoidance of harm.

Interpretation:

  1. As a minimum professionals shall avoid conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud or misrepresentation.
  2. A professional shall at all times conduct his or her business and personal activities with knowledge of and in conformance with the highest moral and ethical standards consistent with professional practice of the industry.

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STANDARD EIGHT:
    RELATIONSHIPS: EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER CLIENT/FORMER CLIENT.

    A professional has a duty of loyalty and allegiance to his or her client/employer so long as such does not result in the breach of the Code of Ethics of the Professional Practice.

Interpretation:

  1. A professional shall always act within the scope of his or her employment.
  2. Disclosure of confidential information obtained during the course of his (her) employment may be controlled by employment contracts, covenants not to compete as part of the sale of a business and/or the subsequent publication of previously confidential information. The professional shall always use the utmost discretion when disclosing previously confidential information to a third person.
  3. A professional shall disclose all dual employment which may cause a conflict with the professional's primary employment or when the professional's employer requires such disclosure.

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    CREDITS: These Standards of Practice was based upon the listed "Standards of Practice" of the  International WebMaster Association. The primary difference being that ours is adhered to by our company and staff.

The best Rates on the best Hotels & Resorts at all the best Locations. Click here for Ova Yonda Travel Centre & Hotels Reservation Network, United States Lodging Centre.

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Last Revised: July 29, 2006 11:03 PM.

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