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Standards on Ethics and Integrity

NEWLY Revised AHRD Ethics Standards

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Purpose:

The Standards on Ethics and Integrity for the Academy of Human Resource Development provide guidance for HRD professionals engaged in practice, research, consulting, and instruction/facilitation/teaching. Although these principles are aspirational in nature, they provide standards of conduct and set forth a common set of values for HRD professionals. Adherence to these Standards builds ethical, professional, and research-driven accomplishments for HRD professionals and adds to the further definition and clarification of HRD as a profession. The primary goal of these Standards is to define more clearly a holistic balance among individuals, groups, organizations, communities, and societies whenever conflicting needs arise.

To ensure this balance, these Standards identify a common set of values upon which HRD professionals build their professional and research work. In addition, the Standards clarify both the general principles and the decision rules that cover most situations encountered by HRD professionals. The Standards have, as their primary goal, the welfare and protection of the individuals, groups, and organizations with whom HRD professionals work.

Adherence to a dynamic set of standards for a professional’s work-related conduct requires a personal commitment to the lifelong effort to act ethically; to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervisors, employees, and colleagues as appropriate; and to consult with others, as needed, concerning ethical problems. It is the individual responsibility of each professional to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct. Such professionals respect and protect human and civil rights and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.

In providing both the universal principles and limited decision rules to cover many situations encountered by HRD professionals, this document is intended to be generic and is not intended to be a comprehensive, problem-solving, or procedural document. Specific statements and solutions for special HRD-related situations will emerge from the development of case studies appended in these Standards. Each professional should use their personal experience as well as his or her individual and cultural values to interpret, apply, and supplement the guiding principles set forth in these pages.

This document has been prepared primarily as an educational vehicle. It serves to articulate the values to which HRD professionals aspire in their work. Other documents will follow which further elaborate these principles.

Making ethical decisions can be difficult because long-range social responsibility considerations may conflict with immediate needs; or, ethical principles may seem even to be in conflict with one another. At times, situations force us to choose among bad options. When placed in these situations, HRD professionals aspire to weighing their options and making the best (ethical) decision they feel they can, based upon an attempt to be socially responsible. The following statements provide brief summaries of the Standards. The links provide access to the complete Standards.

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