204 Engineering Ethics: An Industrial Perspective
II. RULES OF PRACTICE
1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of
the public.
a. If engineers’ judgment is overruled under circumstances that
endanger life or property, they shall notify their employer or
client and such other authority as may be appropriate.
b. Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents that
are in conformity with applicable standards.
c. Engineers shall not reveal facts, data, or information without the
prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or
required by law or this Code.
d. Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in
business ventures with any person or firm that they believe are
engaged in fraudulent or dishonest enterprise.
e. Engineers shall not aid or abet the unlawful practice of
engineering by a person or firm.
f . Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this
Code shall report thereon to appropriate professional bodies
and, when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate
with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or
assistance as may be required.
2. Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their
competence.
a. Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by
education or experience in the specific technical fields involved.
b. Engineers shall not affix their signatures to any plans or
documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack
competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared under
their direction and control.
c. Engineers may accept assignments and assume responsibility for
coordination of an entire project and sign and seal the
engineering documents for the entire project, provided that
each technical segment is signed and sealed only by the
qualified engineers who prepared the segment.
3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and
truthful manner.
a. Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional
reports, statements, or testimony. They shall include all relevant
and pertinent information in such reports, statements, or
testimony, which should bear the date indicating when it was
current.
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National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics for Engineers 205
b. Engineers may express publicly technical opinions that are
founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the
subject matter.
c. Engineers shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on
technical matters that are inspired or paid for by interested parties,
unless they have prefaced their comments by explicitly identifying
the interested parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by
revealing the existence of any interest the engineers may have in
the matters.
4. Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or
trustees.
a. Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of
interest that could influence or appear to influence their
judgment or the quality of their services.
b. Engineers shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise,
from more than one party for services on the same project, or for
services pertaining to the same project, unless the circumstances
are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interested parties.
c. Engineers shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable
consideration, directly or indirectly, from outside agents in
connection with the work for which they are responsible.
d. Engineers in public service as members, advisors, or employees
of a governmental or quasi-governmental body or department
shall not participate in decisions with respect to services
solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private
or public engineering practice.
e. Engineers shall not solicit or accept a contract from a
governmental body on which a principal or officer of their
organization serves as a member.
5. Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts.
a. Engineers shall not falsify their qualifications or permit
misrepresentation of their or their associates’ qualifications.
They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their responsibility in
or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or
other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment
shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers,
employees, associates, joint venturers, or past accomplishments.
b. Engineers shall not offer, give, solicit or receive, either directly or
indirectly, any contribution to influence the award of a contract
by public authority, or which may be reasonably construed by the
public as having the effect of intent to influencing the awarding
of a contract. They shall not offer any gift or other valuable
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