Ethics Process


AACE members should uphold and advance the honor and dignity of cost engineering and the cost management practice and in keeping with the high standards of ethical conduct shall: (1) be honest and impartial; (2) should serve employer, clients, and the public with dedication; (3) strive to increase the competence and prestige of their practice; and (4) should apply knowledge and skill to advance human welfare.

I. Members should hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public, including that of future generations.

  1. Members should endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of cost engineering and cost management and its achievements, and should oppose any untrue, unsupported, or exaggerated statements regarding cost engineering and cost management.
  2. Members should be dignified and modest, ever upholding the honor and dignity of their practice, and should refrain from unsubstantiated self-laudatory advertising.
  3. Members should be objective and truthful in technical reports, statements, or testimony. They should include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements, and testimony.
  4. Members should express opinions on a cost engineering or cost management subjects only when they are founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction.
  5. Members should issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on cost engineering or cost management matters, that are inspired or paid for by an interested party or parties, unless they preface their comments by identifying themselves, by disclosing the identities of the party or parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by revealing the existence of any pecuniary interest they may have in matters under discussion.
  6. Members should approve only those documents, reviewed or prepared by them, which are determined to be safe for public health and welfare in conformity with accepted cost engineering, cost management and economic standards.
  7. Members whose judgment is overruled under circumstances where the safety, health, and welfare of the public are endangered should inform their clients or employers of the possible consequences.
  8. Members should work through professional societies to encourage and support others who follow these concepts.

II. Members should act in all matters as a faithful agent or trustee for each employer or client.

  1. Members should act in technical matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
  2. Members should avoid all known or potential conflicts of interest with their employers or clients and should promptly inform their employers or clients of any business association, interests, or circum-stances that could influence their judgment or the quality of their services.
  3. Members should not solicit or accept gratuities, directly or indirectly, from contractors, their agents, or other parties dealing with their clients or employers in connection with work for which they are responsible.
  4. Members should provide clients and employers with fair, honest, complete and accurate information concerning: (1) their qualifications; (2) their technical services; (3) the estimated costs of services; and (d) the expected results.
  5. Members should act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors and should not accept any commissions or allowances from vendors or contractors, directly or indirectly that could create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  6. Members should inform their employer or client of financial interest in any potential vendor or contractor, or in any invention, machine, or apparatus that is involved in a project or work for either employer or client. Members should not allow such interest to affect any decisions that they may be called upon to perform.
  7. When, as a result of their studies, members believe a project(s) might not be successful, or if their cost¬ engineering and cost management or economic judgment is overruled, they should so advise their employer or client.
  8. Members should undertake only those cost engineering and cost management assignments for which they are qualified. Members should engage or advise their employers or clients to engage specialists whenever their employer’s or client’s interests are served best by such an arrangement. Members should cooperate fully with specialists so engaged.
  9. Members should treat information coming to them in the course of their assignments as confidential and should not use such information as a means of making personal profit if such action is adverse to the interests of their clients, their employers, or the public.
  10. Members should not disclose confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former employer or client or bidder under evaluation, without consent, unless required by law.
  11. Members should not reveal confidential information or finding of any commission or board of which they are members, unless required by law.
  12. Members should not duplicate for others, without express permission of the client(s), designs, calculations, sketches, etc, supplied to them by clients.
  13. Members should not use confidential information coming to them in the course of their assignments as a means of making personal profit or advantage.
  14. Members should 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.
  15. Employed members should not engage in supplementary employment or consulting practice without the consent of their employer.
  16. Members should not use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of their employers to carry on outside private practice without the consent of their employers.
  17. Members should not solicit a contract from a governmental body on which a principal officer or employee of their organization serves as a member.
  18. The member should act with fairness and justice to all parties when administering a contract.
  19. Before undertaking work for others in which the member may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or records that may justify copyrights or patents, the member should enter into an agreement regarding the rights of respective parties.
  20. Members should admit and accept their own errors when proven wrong and refrain from distorting or altering the facts to justify their decisions.
  21. Members should not attempt to attract or recruit an employee from another employer by false or misleading representations.

III. Members should act in good faith toward all other members, other professionals and the AACE International on all matters.

  1. Members should not attempt to supplant other cost engineers or cost management practitioners in a particular employment after the other practitioner has been employed.
  2. Members neither should not maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, injure the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of another, nor should they indiscriminately criticize another’s work. Proof that another cost practitioner has been unethical, illegal, or unfair in his/her practice should be cause for advising the proper authority.
  3. Members should cooperate in advancing the cost engineering and cost management practice by exchanging non-proprietary information and experience with other cost practitioners and students, by contributing to public communication media and by contributing to cost engineering, cost management and scientific societies and schools.
  4. Members should not request, propose, or accept commissions on a contingent basis under circumstances that compromise their technical judgments.
  5. Members should not falsify or permit misrepresentation of their own or their associates’ academic or professional qualifications. They should not misrepresent or exaggerate their degrees or responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment should not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint ventures, accomplishments, or membership in technical societies.
  6. Members should only prepare articles for the lay or technical press that are factual, dignified, and free from ostentatious or laudatory implications. Such articles should not imply credit to the cost practitioners for other than their direct participation in the work described unless credit is given to others for their share of the work.
  7. Members should not plagiarize, borrow or copy material in any publications, books, brochures, reports, submissions to the AACE International or on any report from other individuals or organizations without proper attribution. The AACE International shall not publish, promote distribute or accept for any purposes materials from any source that it deems to be plagiarized, borrowed or copied without proper attribution.
  8. Members should not seek to acquire any exam or test questions, material or material derived from exams or test questions, except as they may be distributed as part of an approved test study guide published by the AACE International.
  9. Members should not campaign, solicit support, or otherwise coerce other members to support their candidacy or the candidacy of a colleague for elective office in the AACE.
  10. Members should uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in cost engineering and cost management work, including those in subordinate capacity-ties.
  11. Members should endeavor to provide opportunity for the technical development and advancement of individuals in their employ or under their supervision.

IV. Members should abide by the bylaws, policies, rules, requirements and procedures of AACE International, and should not knowingly engage in any activities intended to compromise the integrity, reputation, property, and or legal rights of AACE International or any of its members.

  1. Members should be dignified and modest in explaining their work and merit and should avoid any act tending to promote their own interests at the expense of the integrity, honor, and dignity of the practice.
  2. Members, when serving as expert witnesses, should express cost engineering and cost management opinions only when it is founded upon adequate knowledge of the facts, upon a background of technical competence, and upon honest conviction.
  3. Members should continue their technical development throughout their careers and should provide opportunities for the technical development of those cost practitioners under their supervision.
  4. Members should keep current in their specialty fields by engaging in a technical practice, participating in continuing education courses, reading in the technical literature, and attending technical meetings and seminars.
  5. Members should encourage their cost engineering and cost management employees to become certified at the earliest possible date.
  6. Members should encourage their cost engineering and cost management employees to attend and present papers at technical society meetings.
  7. Members should uphold the principle of mutually satisfying relationships between employers and employees with respect to terms of employment including grade descriptions, salary ranges, and fringe benefits.
  8. Members should not represent themselves as speaking officially on behalf of the AACE International to any organization, company or governmental entity unless specifically authorized by the Association’s bylaws, policies and approved procedures or appointed for that purpose by the AACE President.
  9. Members should report or advise AACE International of any violations of any of these Canons of Ethics by communicating the time, substance, and participants of the violation to the Ethics Committee and should cooperate with the Ethics Committee in any subsequent investigation.

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