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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    Member Code of Ethics and Procedures

    Member Code of Ethics and Procedures

    A Guideline for Professional Conduct

    The AIAA Board of Directors at its meeting on February 10, 1978, approved an “AIAA Code of Ethics” and an accompanying “Code Administration” procedure, subsequently approved by the AIAA membership in the fall of 1978. The Code of Ethics and Code Administration procedures are presented below.

    AIAA Code of Ethics

    The AIAA member to uphold and advance the honor and dignity of the aerospace profession and in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct:

    I. Will be honest and impartial, and will serve with devotion his employer and the public;
    II. Will strive to increase the competence and prestige of the aerospace profession;
    III. Will use his knowledge and skill for the advancement of human welfare.

    1.1 The AIAA member will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties.
    1.2 The member will endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of aerospace science and its achievements.
    1.3 The member will be dignified and modest in explaining his work and merit and will ever uphold the honor and dignity of his profession.
    1.4 The member will express an opinion on a professional subject only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction.
    1.5 The member will preface any ex parte statement, criticisms, or arguments that he may issue by clearly indicating on whose behalf they are made.

    2.1 The AIAA member will act in professional matters as a faithful agent or trustee for each employer or client.
    2.2 The member will act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors, and will not accept from vendors or contractors any commissions or allowances which represent a conflict of interest.
    2.3 The member will inform his employer or client if he is financially interested in any vendor or contractor, or in any invention, machines, or apparatus, which is involved in a project or work of his employer or client. The member will not allow such interest to affect his decision regarding services which he may be called upon to perform.
    2.4 The member will indicate to his employer or client the adverse consequences to be expected if his judgment is overruled.
    2.5 The member will undertake only those professional assignments for which he is qualified. The member will engage or advise his employer or client to engage specialists and will cooperate with them whenever his employer’s or client’s interests are served best by such an arrangement.
    2.6 The member will not disclose information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former employer or client without his consent.
    2.7 The member will not accept compensation—financial or otherwise—from more than one party for the same service, or for other services pertaining to the same work, without the consent of all interested parties.
    2.8 The member will report to his employer or client any matters within his area of expertise which the member believes represent a contravention of public law, regulation, health or safety.

    3.1 The AIAA member will take care that credit for professional work is given to those to whom credit is properly due.
    3.2 The member will provide a prospective employee with complete information on working conditions and his proposed status of employment, and after employment will keep him informed of any changes in them.
    3.3 The member will uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in professional work, including those in subordinate capacities.
    3.4 The member will endeavor to provide opportunity for the professional development and advancement of those in his employ or under his supervision.
    3.5 The member will not injure maliciously the professional reputation, prospects, or practice of another professional.
    3.6 The member will cooperate in advancing the aerospace profession by interchanging information and experience with other professionals and students, and by contributing to public communication media, to the efforts of engineering and scientific societies and schools.

    Code Administration

    Establish a three-member Ethical Conduct Panel (ECP) reporting to the Board of Directors to:

    • Review all complaints, recommendations, criticism of, and questions concerning a code of ethics for all AIAA members and insure the privacy of all inquiries.
    • By unanimous vote recommend a course of action merited by the applicant.
    • Where appropriate, present the ECP recommendations to the AIAA Board of Directors for approval and implementation.
    • Report to each regular AIAA Board of Directors’ meeting the disposition of all cases, including decisions not to act, received by the ECP in the period preceding each meeting.

    The Ethical Conduct Panel (ECP) will consist of three AIAA members selected by the Board of Directors. A member will serve for three years. One member will be appointed each year to provide two-thirds member continuity. If a member of ECP disqualifies himself or herself the Board shall appoint a replacement.

    Ethical Conduct Panel (ECP) Operating Procedure

    1. PURPOSE
    The purpose of the Ethical Conduct Panel (ECP) is to review all complaints, recommendations, criticism of, and questions concerning a code of ethics for all AIAA members and ensure the privacy of all inquiries.

    The ECP will consist of three AIAA members selected by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will designate the Chairman of the ECP, who will report to the Board of Directors on the disposition of all cases, including decisions not to act, received by the ECP in the period preceding each Board of Directors meeting.

    A member of the ECP will normally serve three years. However, for the first ECP, one member will serve three years, one member will serve two years, and one member will serve one year. One member will be appointed each year to provide a two-thirds membership continuity. No member shall be eligible for more than two consecutive terms. The normal term of office for each panel member shall begin on October 1 of the year he or she is appointed.

    Any member of the ECP who has prior knowledge of the complaint or is employed by an organization involved in the case, shall declare a conflict of interest and disqualify himself or herself. If a member of the ECP disqualifies himself or herself for a particular case, the Board of Directors shall appoint a temporary replacement.

    All complaints, criticism of, and questions concerning the AIAA Code of Ethics shall be addressed to the Chairman of the Ethical Conduct Panel, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, Virginia 20191. These complaints shall be forwarded unopened by AIAA headquarters to the Chairman of the ECP to preserve confidentiality. The Chairman shall note the date received and distribute a copy of the complaint to each of the other ECP members.

    Any AIAA member or non-member may file a written complaint, recommendation, criticism or question provided that it is signed. The complaint shall specify the section of the Code of Ethics which is alleged to have been violated. It shall state the facts of the alleged violation and provide any available evidence in support of its allegations.

    The ECP shall make sure that the privacy of the complainant is respected. However, it may be necessary to conduct an investigation to determine all of the facts of the case without revealing the identity of the complainant. In some instances, this may be very difficult, unless permission is received from the complainant to contact specific individuals, organizations or employers.

    The ECP shall determine at the outset of each case whether or not the complaint alleges facts which, if true, would constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics and whether or not sufficient evidence to provide an infraction is reasonably obtainable. If both conditions are satisfied, the ECP shall initiate an investigation. If the ECP decides not to conduct an investigation, it shall close the case and so notify the complainants. The ECP may decline to process any complaint that it deems frivolous, inappropriate to the ECP purposes, or unjustifiable.

    he ECP will normally act on all complaints as expeditiously as practical. However, it is recognized that some complaints may require more deliberation and investigation than others. A reply to the complainant should be given within fifteen (15) days acknowledging receipt of the complaint. If the action on the complaint is not completed within sixty (60) days, a follow-up letter should be sent to the complainant indicating the progress made and the estimated time for completion of the action.

    If the ECP determines that an investigation should be conducted, it shall write the procedures to be followed in investigating the complaint. The ECP may appoint additional AIAA members, AIAA staff members or request AIAA legal counsel to assist in the investigation of the complaint. The ECP shall review relevant documents, interview concerned parties and witnesses and, where necessary, obtain technical advice from AIAA members or non-members. The ECP shall prepare a written report containing all pertinent facts and views expressed and shall draw conclusions based on its findings.

    9.1 Employer Involvement
    If any employer is involved, and the ECP contacts the concerned employer in any way (by telephone, letter, in person, etc.) for any purpose whatsoever, it shall be necessary for the ECP to obtain from the complainant a letter of waiver and send to the employer a letter stating that the ECP is not acting in a collective bargaining capacity, rather that it is seeking to advance professional ethics.

    9.2 Case Findings
    Once a unanimous decision is made, a written report is prepared and a recommendation is sent to the AIAA Board of Directors for approval and implementation. The result of the Board of Directors' decision is then transmitted in writing to the complainant with any explanations required. Where a unanimous decision cannot be reached by the ECP, the case will be reported to the Board of Directors for further direction and guidance on disposition before transmitting the status of the case to the complainant.

    This procedure may be modified, amplified or amended by the ECP with the approval of the AIAA Board of Directors. Any amendments to the ECP operating procedure after the initial approval by the Board will be submitted to the Board for review.

    Amended and approved by the AIAA Board of Directors on 9 September 1988.