PROFESSIONAL ETHICS The Engineer as a Professional • Engineering is predominantly an employee profession - absence of a personal practitioner-client relationship • Engineers

tend to practice their profession as members of teams, led and managed by senior engineers who are employees, even though they also assume the role of employers in many aspects of their relationships with their juniors • The more senior engineers tend to be concerned with the leadership and management of large resources of men, materials and finance over which they have control • It is the juniors who are more involved in the detailed technical practice of the profession; and technical direction comes from middle levels of the organizational structure • Management implies responsibility and in engineering management, the professional engineer is responsible in a very direct sense for control over the resources of the community • Engineering therefore, is a unique profession in which professional man have crucial importance: o he must have high-level skills and he must develop different skills as his career advances o he must have a strong motivation for service because everything he does impinges on the community in some way or other • The whole community is the ultimate client rather than the individual clients as in the case with other professions all of the marks of the

even requiring. it carries an additional connotation of “rightness” • The Code is a statement of the principles of “rightness”. of broad scope and with enough detail to enable an intelligent man to deduce for himself the course of his own professional conduct • The essence of all professional codes is that the professional man must be worthy. through his conduct. the loyalty of each engineer as an expression of his identity as a professional engineer .Ethics and Professionalism • • Engineering is closely involved in human relations and in business and commerce A great many of the special problems in personal conduct met by engineers are likely to arise from this fact • Ethics means something more than “law” and “morals” . of the trust placed in him by the community and his colleagues • To act every situation in a manner that will add to the confidence and esteem in which his profession is held by the community • A profession is no better than its individual members. If they do not have the professional attitude and live by the rules of the profession. they have no profession • Most professional engineers adopt an institutional view of the organizations of the profession: o deserving.

a universal set of qualities which pertain to any job or occupation like dedication. and laws are morally justified • It refers to moral values that are sound. diligence and honesty • A second set of positive qualities are those which are particular to the job or occupation at hand • The third category is professional ethics and this is the category of social and moral awareness of the implication or effects of one’s job on the wider community and environment Ethics • Ethics is the study of morality. there are various sets of positive qualities. It studies which actions. on the basis of an expected return in some tangible form • The instrumental view should have no place in the value system of the man who aspires to true professional status Code of Ethics • In every profession. policies and laws that are desirable . goals.o organizations are the manifestation of the professional entity and they require the giving of effort. actions that are morally required (right) or morally permissible (all right). loyalty and financial support without thought to direct personal gain • Instrumental view of the professional organizations: support is given. sometimes grudgingly. One. policies. principles.

a skill needed to express and support one’s moral views adequately to others Moral reasonableness: The willingness and ability to be morally reasonable . and willingness to help people in severe distress • • And it implies minimizing suffering to animals and damage to the environment As related to engineering ethics. 5. policies. these skills include the following: 1. and values that are morally desirable in engineering practice and research • • Morality concerns respect for persons. Moral awareness : proficiency in recognizing moral problems and issues in engineering Cogent moral reasoning : Comprehending. and assessing arguments on opposing sides of moral issues Moral coherence: Forming consistent and comprehensive viewpoints based upon a consideration of relevant facts Moral imagination : Discerning alternative responses to moral issues and receptivity to creative solutions for practical difficulties Moral communication: Precision in the use of a common ethical language. such as integrity. and not causing unnecessary harm by dishonesty and cruelty • In addition. meeting obligations and respecting rights. and also of desirable ideals and personal commitments in engineering • Engineering ethics is the study of the decisions. 4. clarifying. both others and ourselves It involves being fair and just. it involves ideals of character. 3. 6.• Accordingly. gratitude. engineering ethics consists of the responsibilities and rights that ought to be endorsed by those engaged in engineering. 2.

8. and integrating one’s professional life and personal convictions. 10. Respect for persons: Genuine concern for the well-being of others as well as oneself Tolerance of diversity: Within a broad range. and acceptance of reasonable differences in moral perspectives Moral hope: Enriched appreciation of the possibilities of using rational dialogue in resolving moral conflicts Integrity : Maintaining moral integrity. respect for ethnic and religious differences.7. Importance of codes of ethics • • Codes of ethics state the moral responsibilities of engineers as seen by the profession and as represented by a professional society Because they express the profession’s collective commitment to ethics. 9. codes are important in stressing engineer’s responsibilities and also the freedom to exercise them • The essential roles of codes of ethics: (1) serving and protecting the public (2) providing guidance (3) offering inspiration (4) establishing shared standards (5) contributing to education (6) deterring wrongdoing (7) strengthening a profession’s image .

• • • When we speak of a Code of Ethics. our concern is with what is morally right or wrong Situations which require the Professional Engineer to consider the morality of his actions arise under circumstances in which they may exist conflict of interest between the individual professional and any or all of the entities with which he has to interact i.Regulations on professional conducts • All professional groups have two main characteristics: (1) Professionals in the same discipline institutionalize themselves into a professional body with recognized standards of academic and practice qualifications for membership. Employer. Community.e. Clients and/or Peers • The professional owes a duty of care towards those he serves in ensuring that their interests are protected. and in this respect. we are not talking about law In the Code of Ethics. there is a guideline which is what the Code of Ethics is all about • The three Professional Engineering bodies in Malaysia have complementary functions in the regulation of professional conduct • All three bodies have their own Code of Ethics designed to suit their specific requirements according to the objectives for which each body is constituted . (2) The professional body has a Code of Ethics to govern the conduct of its members and disciplinary procedures in the event of breach of such Code.

Most PE is IEM members. which is a learned society registered under the Society’s Act. 3. Its objective is to promote the interest of Consulting Engineering as a profession. BEM & ACEM code of ethics The three major Professional Engineering bodies to which engineers may be affiliated are: 1. Issues of morality and philosophy would be ineffective in law since it is impossible to legislate moral or philosophical principles. The Association of Consulting Engineers.Therefore. which is a statutory body governed by the Engineer’s Act 1967 and with which an Engineer must registered before he/she can be employed or practice as an Engineer. the BEM code can distinguished between legal and illegal cases. The IEM Regulations on Professional Conduct tend to be general because IEM members comprise of various engineering disciplines. as well as types of professional employment and businesses. Malaysia (IEM). 2. Malaysia (ACEM).Complementary functions of IEM. IEM Code embraces many areas involving moral and philosophical considerations . All the three bodies have their own Code of Ethics designed too suit their specific requirement according to the objectives of each body constituted. BEM lays down minimum baseline rules which are enforceable in law and must be observed by all engineers registered under the Engineer’s Act. BEM Code of Professional Conduct are amenable and have clear interpretation because of its legal connotations and would be enforceable in law. Membership is voluntary but the professional standards set by IEM for membership are accepted by BEM as qualifications for registration as a Professional Engineer (PE). The Institution of Engineers. The Board of Engineers (BEM). is a non-profit organization comprising of Consulting Engineers.

There is a provision in the IEM by-laws that disciplinary cases are referred to BEM for appropriate action. The ACEM Code is designed to maintain strict discipline amongst their members to ensure that they maintain their independent professional status without excessive commercial involvement which may give rise to conflict of interest. upgrading of technology. ACEM members are bound to observe the Codes of both BEM and IEM (if they are also IEM members) and details rules to govern the conduct of Consulting Engineer’s business. fees and other remuneration. The ACEM Code is designed to order conduct of Consulting Engineers in areas like advertising and promotion of works. engineers responsibility and the conduct of affairs between Engineer and employees. submission of bids or proposals and related subject. competition with other members. . conservation of resources & environment.including public safety & health. clients and peers.

upgrading of technology. clients and peers o While the dos and don’ts are clear cut and easily understood. the moral and philosophical issues can be subject to various interpretation . conservation of resources and environment. lays down general guidelines for the conduct of members vis-à-vis his relationships and transactions with: (1) The community (2) The Employer (3) Clients (4) Peers o The IEM Regulations on Professional Conduct tend to be general because the IEM comprises a very wide cross-section of engineering disciplines as well as types of professional employment and businesses o IEM Code embraces many areas involving moral and philosophical considerations including public safety and health.IEM Code of Ethics o The Code of Ethics of IEM. assuming responsibility within one’s competence o The IEM code also includes the do’s and don’ts in the conduct of affairs between Engineer and employee.

dishonesty or moral turpitude. the Board may order the cancellation of the registration of any engineer. (3) he fails to disclose to his client any vested financial interest in his dealings with the client o This “Code of Professional Conduct” has the force of law and breach of any of the rules embodied in the BEM code may subject the offender to penalties provided for under the Engineer’s Act including the ultimate penalty of deregistration o Therefore. and may be regarded as the baseline or minimum level of ethics that ought to be maintained o All the rules in the Code except two consist of clear cut “Do’s and Don’ts” o These rules concern what an Engineer shall or shall not do in the course of his employment or private practice and are extremely clear cut and unambiguous . (2) he accepts illicit commission. its power to act in law must be taken into account o BEM code can at best distinguish between what is legal and what is not.Board of Engineers Malaysia’ Code of Professional Conduct o Under Section 15 of the Engineers’ Act 1967. if:(1) he is guilty of fraud. in viewing the role of the BEM as a regulating body.

o All these rules are concerned with the prevention of situations which may possibly give rise to conflict of interest between the Engineer. are more abstract and tend towards issues of morality which may have no useful function in law simply because they are subjective and unenforceable . 25 and 26. his employer or his clients o The other two. Rule No. .

to the rules of the professional Institution or Institutions to which he belongs and to the public interest”.• Association of Consulting Engineers. shall have full regard to these rules. it is covered by Rule 16 which reads: “Every member. fees and other remuneration. o As for moral and philosophical issues. advertising and promotion of works. in his responsibility to his clients and the profession. especially those which are of a nature related to his practice o The ACE Code is designed for areas like. . the ACE has gone to great lengths to be more specific and detailed than either the BEM or IEM. Malaysia (ACEM) o The affairs of the ACE are governed by their memorandum and articles of association o The Association of Consulting Engineers has prescribed rules in their memorandum and articles of association and these rules are more specific to Engineers who practice as Consultants o The ACE Code of Ethics is enunciated under the heading “Duties of Members” as set out in Articles 16 to 27 of their articles of association o A study of these articles will reveal that when it comes to practice matters. competition with other members. and have laid down some clear and strict rules o This is due to a Consulting Engineer’s excessive involvement in business or other commercial ventures. submission of bids or proposals and related subjects.

o Code of ACE places an onerous duty on its members to conform to both the IEM and BEM Codes as well as their own specific rules governing the conduct of Consulting Engineering business .

and managerial skills and procedures) • A novel setting is any situation containing at least one new variable relevant to the success or failure of a given technology: example. and exchange of ideas and culture • Global interdependency affects engineering and engineers in many ways as in multinational corporations where moral challenges arises: o Who loses jobs at home when manufacturing is taken offshore? o What does the host country lose in resources. and political independence? o What are the moral responsibilities of corporations and individuals operating in less economically developed countries? • Technology transfer is the process of moving technology to a novel setting and implementing it there • Technology includes both hardware(machines and installations) and technique (technical.Applying global ethics in engineering organizations • Globalization refers to the increasing integration of nations through trade. the setting may be a foreign country • Appropriate technology refers to identification. organizational. control over its own trade. transfer. transfer of technology. and implementation of the most suitable technology for a new set of conditions and it includes social factors . investment.

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