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Business Ethics for AIA/CES Providers

What is business ethics? It involves the moral rules and regulations that ultimately govern how business is conducted. It is an approach that once followed will keep you in business for the long run. The moral rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. In the business world there are many people with whom you interact in order to conduct business and to whom you have a responsibility: customers, stakeholders and clients. It identifies the duties that business people should be guided by when they conduct business. What are these duties? To follow those ethical codes and principals: respect for intellectual property, confidentiality, respect for colleagues, social responsibility, competence, and legality -- to name a few. It is by following these ethical duties that businesses are able to engage in business in an open and free manner without deception or fraud.

Ethics impact our lives in one way or another. They guide our determination to do right or wrong. Our laws and rules dictate how our lives function day to day. Rules govern our tendency to act only in our self-interest. We all have our own perceptions of ourselves and situations we face, as well as differing views of what is ethical and what is not. Imagine no rules on the road. There would be slow drivers and fast drivers both thinking they were being safe and mindful. Yet, the results of no rules would certainly be chaos and collision.

Companies and professional organizations often set their own ethical standards as an attempt to offer some guidance when faced with making difficult decisions. AIA/CES has developed policies that will hopefully serve as a guide for Providers. Providers are expected to develop and create content that is their “intellectual” content and not take content from other Providers without authorization. Providers are expected to develop and create educational activities that are free from commercial and product specific content. Providers are expected to follow AIA/CES policies to submit content for timely approval, to report member credits timely, to maintain files for a period of six years, to advise AIA/CES when there is “subsidiary” company and to seek separate AIA/CES provider status for that company and to use the AIA/CES logo in an appropriate manner befitting of their Provider status. Adhering to the basic tenants of business rules and laws ensures that all parties are in good faith following ethical behavior.

In essence, ethics involves a reasoned justification for our choices and behavior when it affects others, and reasoned justification for our praise or criticism of other people's behavior. Often there can be a conflict when business ethics goes up against our personal ethics, thus it is important for organizations to develop clear and concise policies that outlines what is acceptable behavior and what is not. AIA/CES hopes that by giving Providers such a guideline that they can better serve our members with the constant approach of always providing quality educational content.


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