Principles of Ethical Conduct in Engineering Practice Under NAFTA
The privilege of practicing engineering is entrusted to those qualified and who have
the responsibility for applying engineering skills, scientific knowledge and ingenuity
for the advancement of human welfare and quality of life. Fundamental principles of
conduct of engineers include truth, honesty and trustworthiness in their service to
society, and honorable and ethical practice showing fairness, courtesy and good faith
toward clients, colleagues and others. Engineers take societal, cultural, economic,
environmental, and safety aspects into consideration, and strive for the efficient
use of the world's resources to meet long term human needs.
In the practice of engineering:
- Engineers shall hold paramount the health, safety and welfare of the public in the
practice of their profession.
- Engineers shall practice only in their areas of competence, in a careful and diligent
manner and in conformance with standards, laws, codes, and rules and regulations applicable
to engineering practice.
- Engineers shall examine the societal and environmental impact of their actions and
projects, including the wise use and conservation of resources and energy, in order
to make informed recommendations and decisions.
- Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
If representing a particular interest, the engineer shall clearly identify that interest.
- Engineers shall sign and take responsibility for all engineering work which they prepared
or directly supervised. An engineer may sign work prepared by others, but only with
their knowledge and after sufficient review and verification to justify taking responsibility
for that work.
- Engineers shall act as faithful agents for their employers or clients and maintain
confidentiality; they shall avoid conflicts of interest whenever possible, disclosing
- Engineers shall ensure that a client is aware of the engineer's professional concerns
regarding particular actions or projects, and of the consequences of engineering decisions
or judgments that are overruled or disregarded. An employee engineer shall initially
express those concerns to the employer.
- Engineers shall appropriately report any public works, engineering decisions or practice
that endangers the health, safety and welfare of the public. When, in an engineer's
judgment, a significant risk to the public remains unresolved, that engineer may ethically
make the concerns known publicly.
- Engineers shall commit to life-long learning, strive to advance the body of engineering
knowledge and should encourage other engineers to do likewise.
- Engineers shall promote responsibility, commitment, and ethics both in the education
and practice phases of engineering; they should enhance society's awareness of engineers'
responsibilities to the public and encourage the communication of these principles
of ethical conduct among engineers.
See an abstract of the Final Report to the National Science Foundation..