Standards of Conduct for Technical Safety BC Employees

Scope

 This Standards of Conduct policy applies to employees, the Board of Directors (“Board”), leadership as well as third parties with a business relationship with Technical Safety BC.

This document contains an outline of the standards of conduct that all individuals at Technical Safety BC need to understand and adhere to all aspects of this document and, if necessary, seek clarification in order to avoid placing themselves in conflict with the standards.

The standards of conduct are intended to protect Technical Safety BC and its employees by ensuring that circumstances do not arise that damage the reputation of either Technical Safety BC or its employees. These standards are also intended to help employees avoid or prevent activities that could negatively impact their job performance.

Technical Safety BC will investigate allegations of misconduct by the Board of Directors, leadership, employees and/or third parties engaged by Technical Safety BC in a timely manner. Anyone found to have contravened the Standards of Conduct policy is subject to disciplinary action by Technical Safety BC that may be accompanied by civil action or criminal prosecution where warranted.

 

Principles

Technical Safety BC believes that the highest standards of conduct among employees and third parties are essential to maintain and enhance the public’s trust and confidence in Technical Safety BC.  Technical Safety BC is committed to ethical business practices within its operations. Under no circumstances is Technical Safety BC tolerant of misconduct, either through the actions of its personnel or those working on its behalf. Our conduct with all stakeholders needs to be transparent and balanced with confidentiality requirements.

Technical Safety BC employees have a duty of loyalty to their employer and are required to serve Technical Safety BC to the best of their ability. Impartiality, honesty and integrity must be exercised by every Technical Safety BC employee in the conduct of their duties.  Employees’ conduct should instill confidence and trust and must not bring Technical Safety BC into disrepute.

Confidentiality  

Confidential information that employees receive through their employment must not be divulged to anyone other than persons who are authorized to receive the information.  Employees who are in doubt as to whether certain information is confidential must ask the appropriate authority before disclosing it.  Caution and discretion in handling confidential information extends to disclosures made inside of Technical Safety BC and continues to apply after the employment relationship ceases.

Confidential information that employees receive through their employment must not be used for the purpose of furthering any private interest, or as a means of making personal gains. See the Conflicts of Interest section of this document for details.

Public Comments

Technical Safety BC employees are free to comment on public issues but must exercise caution to ensure that by doing so they do not jeopardize the perception of impartiality in the performance of their duties.  For this reason, care should be taken in making comments or entering into public debate regarding Technical Safety BC policies.  Technical Safety BC employees must not use their position to lend weight to the public expression of their personal opinions.

Political Activity

Technical Safety BC employees are free to participate in political activities including belonging to a political party, supporting a candidate for elected office and actively seeking elected office.  Employees’ political activities, however, must be clearly separated from activities related to their employment.

If engaging in political activities, employees must be able to retain the perception of impartiality in relation to their duties and responsibilities.  Employees must not engage in political activities during working hours or use Technical Safety BC’s facilities, equipment or resources in support of these activities. Partisan politics at the local, provincial or national levels are not to be introduced into the workplace.  This does not apply to informal private discussions among co-workers.

Service to the Public

Technical Safety BC employees must provide service to the public in a manner that is courteous, professional, equitable, efficient and effective.  Employees must be sensitive and responsive to the changing needs, expectations and rights of a diverse public while respecting the legislative framework within which service to the public is provided.

Workplace Behaviour

Employees are to treat each other in the workplace with respect and dignity and must not engage in discrimination or harassment based on any of the prohibited grounds covered by the BC Human Rights Code.  The prohibited grounds are race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political belief or conviction of a criminal or summary offence unrelated to the individual’s employment.  Employees and supervisors should refer to the Respectful Workplace Program for additional information on appropriate workplace behaviour.

The conduct and language of employees in the workplace must meet acceptable social standards and must contribute to a positive work environment.  An employee’s conduct must not compromise the integrity of Technical Safety BC.

All employees have the right to expect, and the responsibility to create, a workplace where all employees are safe.  Violence in the workplace is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  Violence includes any attempted or actual action by any person, including another worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker and includes any express threat of violence.

Employees must report any incident of violence directed towards themselves or their co-workers.  Any employee hearing a threat, including a threat to a co-worker, must report that threat if he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the threat is serious.  

Report violent incidents as soon as possible to your Leader and complete an Employee Incident Report form.  Any incident or threat of violence in the workplace must be addressed immediately by a leader in consultation with HR & Learning. 

Fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of personal gain or for inducing another to act upon it to his or her injury.

Examples of actions that may constitute fraudulent activity(ies) include, but are not limited to:

  • Dishonest financial reporting
  • Forgery or alteration of documents
  • Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files or data
  • Misappropriation of Technical Safety BC resources such as funds, supplies or other corporate assets (furniture, fixtures and equipment)
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed
  • Authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked
  • Destruction, removal or inappropriate use of records contrary  to Technical Safety BC’s record retention policy or IT security guidelines
  • Profiteering or benefiting as a result of insider knowledge of company activities
  • Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to unauthorized parties including investment activities

Employees must not participate in any fraudulent activities and must promptly report any fraudulent activity carried out by other employees, third parties or Board members.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an employee’s private affairs or financial interests are in conflict, or could result in a perception of conflict, with the employee’s duties or responsibilities at Technical Safety BC in such a way that:

  • The employee’s ability to act could be impaired; or
  • The employee’s actions or conduct could undermine or compromise:
    • The public’s confidence in the employee’s ability to discharge work responsibilities, or
    • The trust that the public places in Technical Safety BC.

Examples of conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • An employee uses Technical Safety BC’s property or the employee’s position, or office affiliation to pursue personal interests;
  • An employee is in a situation where the employee is under obligation to a person who might benefit from or seek to gain special consideration or favour;
  • An employee provides information to individuals which allows them an unfair advantage over others (e.g., providing exam questions, providing competitor information);
  • An employee uses Technical Safety BC stakeholders, employees, or information to achieve personal gain or pursue personal interests;
  • An employee, in the performance of official duties, gives preferential treatment to an individual, corporation or organization, including a non-profit organization, in which the employee, or relative or friend of the employee, has an interest, financial or otherwise;
  • An employee recommends to asset owners, third party business entities or consultants, a specific training program and training institution or a technical subject matter expert who can provide advice on work that is subject to Technical Safety BC’s act and regulations;
  • An employee deliberately acting in a conflict of interest may constitute fraud.

While Technical Safety BC recognizes the right of employees to be involved in activities as citizens of the community, conflict, or the perception of conflict, must not exist between employees’ private interests and the discharge of their Technical Safety BC duties. Employees with questions regarding interpretation of the policy may discuss them with Technical Safety BC’s with a Leader within Human Resources & Learning department.  Employees who find themselves in an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest must promptly disclose the matter to the designated Technical Safety BC’s contact, their supervisor or manager.  Employees who fail to disclose may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Technical Safety BC Board and officers are also subject to the Conflict of Interest Policy set out in Tab 4.3 of Technical Safety BC Governance Manual.

Acceptance of Gifts

To avoid a conflict of interest employees may not accept from an individual, corporation or organization, directly or indirectly, a personal gift or benefit that arises out of their employment in Technical Safety BC except in the following circumstances:

  • The exchange of hospitality between persons doing business together (e.g., lunch or dinner),
  • Tokens exchanged as part of protocol (e.g., minor electronic gadgets, memory sticks), or
  • The normal presentation of gifts to persons participating in public functions.

Employees must follow these guidelines:

  • All gifts exceeding $50 must be reported to the employee’s supervisor,
  • Items over $250 in value must be approved in advance by the CEO, this would occur in very rare situations.

Gifts cannot be accepted if:

  • There is an open tendering process and the individual, corporation, or organization offering the gift is participating in that process,
  • Acceptance of the gift will impinge the employee’s judgment or give others the perception that the employee’s judgment is impinged by accepting the gift, or
  • We are pursuing enforcement action with the individual, corporation, or organization offering the gift.

Outside Remunerative and Volunteer Work

Employees may engage in remunerative employment with another Employer, carry on a business, receive remuneration from public funds for activities outside their position or engage in volunteer activities provided it does not:

  • Interfere with the performance of their duties as a Technical Safety BC employee;
  • Bring Technical Safety BC into disrepute;
  • Directly or indirectly compete with Technical Safety BC clients;
  • Result in work that is subject to Technical Safety BC’s regulations and inspection;
  • Provide an advantage to any party in regards to Technical Safety BC’s business or regulatory responsibilities;
  • Represent a conflict of interest or create the reasonable perception of a conflict of interest;
  • Appear to be an official act or to represent Technical Safety BC's opinion or policy;
  • Involve the unauthorized use of work time or Technical Safety BC premises, services, equipment or supplies to which they have access by virtue of their employment; or
  • Gain an advantage that is derived from their employment as a Technical Safety BC employee.

Procedure to be followed:

  1. Technical Safety BC employees are required to provide details of existing and intended outside work including responsibilities, duration and who they will be working for to their supervisor or the manager responsible for the program. 
  2. The supervisor or manager will review outside work disclosures with Human Resources and identify potential conflicts.  Further information may be needed from the employee as to the nature of the outside work to determine whether or not a conflict exists.
  3. A potential conflict identified by Human Resources will be discussed with the supervisor or manager for the applicable region or technology.
  4. Where a conflict is present in intended outside work, the employee will be advised in writing that that they are prohibited from taking up the work.
  5. Where a conflict is present in existing outside work, the employee will be required to cease involvement in the work as soon as possible having regard to the nature of the engagement as determined by the employee’s supervisor.
  6. Employees who engage in outside work that results in a perceived or actual conflict, and fail to report it or abide by their supervisor’s directions in respect of that work, will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Special Note Regarding Technical Training 

Employees are not permitted to teach or provide education in any of Technical Safety BC’s regulated areas, outside of their role as a Technical Safety BC employee.  Exceptions may apply for teaching on a voluntary basis with the advance written approval of the employee’s Director. 

An employee who has received approval to teach or provide external education under this section must meet the following conditions prior to and during the time they are teaching:

  • The employee must not have access to any confidential exams related to the course or any other material which is not publicly available and could represent an advantage to course participants;
  • The employee must not use Technical Safety BC’s client lists or client contact information, property, or company time to perform duties associated with the course;
  • The employee must provide a disclaimer at the start of the course and on the course material that they are not representing Technical Safety BC, rather they are delivering the course on behalf of the organization that they are supporting through volunteer time;
  • The employee must not advertise or permit any advertising or conduct the course in such a way that relevant stakeholders and the public would have a reasonable basis to perceive a conflict of interest between the employee’s regulatory duties and the course;
  • The employee must not receive any form of payment, or gifts in kind outside of the gifts policy contained in the Standards of Conduct, for their services.

Employee Protocol for Business Relations between Board Members and Technical Safety BC Employees

Employees may find themselves dealing directly with Technical Safety BC Board members or Technical Safety BC officers (e.g., President, Vice President, etc.) either as a consumer of Technical Safety BC services (e.g., buying permits, receiving inspections) or in the case of Board members as a person who works in a regulated industry.  In order to protect board members, officers and Technical Safety BC employees from perceived conflicts of interest, the following responsibilities need to be fulfilled:

  1. Employees should treat Board members and officers as they would any other consumer of Technical Safety BC services or person who works in a regulated industry.
  2. When an employee is knowingly conducting business directly with a Technical Safety BC Board member or officer, the employee is to inform their manager as soon as possible if he or she is feeling any pressure to deviate from normal business practices.
  3. Managers who are informed of these situations by their employees must inform their own manager, or an Executive (other than an Executive involved in the situation), or the President  & CEO about the situation.  Where the situation involves the President & CEO, the Chair of the Board must be informed,
  4. Managers, Executive and the President & CEO are responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy.

Reporting of Misconduct

Misconduct is defined as any violation or suspected violation of Technical Safety BC’s policies and procedures, as well as, applicable laws and regulations with which the organization must comply.

Employees must report any situation that they believe contravenes the law, is a violation of this policy or other Technical Safety BC policies, misuse of Technical Safety BC funds or assets, represents a danger to health and safety or significant danger to the environment.  Employees can expect such matters to be treated in confidence, unless disclosure of information is authorized or required by law (for example, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).  Employees will not be subject to discipline or reprisal for bringing forward, in good faith, allegations of wrongdoing in accordance with this policy.

An individual who discovers or suspects wrongdoing or has concerns of suspected fraudulent activities and/or misconduct that is contrary to this policy are encouraged to report immediately using one of the reporting mechanisms available:

  1. Directly in person or via email to a leader within Human Resources department
  2. Directly in person or via email to your leader (or another member of the leadership team if you are uncomfortable talking to your leader or if your concerns are about the behavior of your direct leader)
  3. Use “Integrity Counts” an independent third party service specializing in confidential reporting – 
    • Verbal reports are submitted via their toll free lines between the hours of 6:00 am to 4:30 pm PST at 866-921-6714.  
    • Employees or third parties may also submit written reports via Technical Safety BC’s website contact quick link: https://www.integritycounts.ca/org/technicalsafetybc
    • Once a report is submitted, Integrity Counts will provide the reporting person with a number and password that enables them to receive updates anonymously by logging on to the website.
  4. Individuals can report confidentially to Director, Internal Audit where there are suspected fraudulent activities.

Any employee may submit in good faith concern or potential violation involving fraud or misconduct without fear of dismissal or retaliation. Retaliation is defined as any direct or indirect detrimental action recommended, threatened or taken, because an individual provided in good faith report of fraud or misconduct to Technical Safety BC or cooperated in assigned fact-finding activities. 

Investigation will be conducted without regard to suspected personnel or third party’s length of service, position/title, or relationship to Technical Safety BC. Disposition of matters, as well as decisions to prosecute or refer to regulatory agencies and /or law enforcement will be made in conjunction with legal department, Executive team and the Board of Directors, as appropriate.

Legal Proceedings

Employees must not sign affidavits relating to facts that have come to their knowledge in the course of their duties for use in court proceedings unless the affidavit has been prepared by a lawyer acting for Technical Safety BC in that proceeding or unless it has been approved by Technical Safety BC’s solicitor.  Refer to SOP 2043.

A written opinion prepared on behalf of Technical Safety BC by any legal counsel is to be treated as subject to solicitor/client privilege and is, therefore, confidential.  Such an opinion is not to be released to persons outside Technical Safety BC without prior written approval by the Chief Executive Officer.

Working Relationships

Employees who are direct relatives or who permanently reside together may not be employed in situations where:

  • A reporting relationship exists where one employee has influence, input or decision-making power over the other employee’s performance evaluation, salary, premiums special permissions, conditions of work and similar matters; or
  • The working  relationship affords an opportunity for collusion between the two employees that would have a detrimental effect on Technical Safety BC’s interest.

The above restrictions on working relationships may be waived provided that the Chief Executive Officer is satisfied that sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure that the Employer’s interests are not compromised.

Personnel Decisions

Employees are to disqualify themselves as participants in personnel decisions when their objectivity would be compromised for any reason or a benefit or perceived benefit could accrue to them. For example, employees are not to participate in staffing actions involving direct relatives or persons living in the same household.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your particular situation, you are encouraged to contact your supervisor or Human Resources for advice and assistance.

 

Revision History

Revision Revision Date Revision History Revised by

01

January 18, 2017

New release

Kum Dhakshina

02

October 20, 2017

Updated branding

Robert Desprez

03

January 30, 2018

Updated references to Technical Safety BC Governance Manual

Robert Desprez

04

February 08, 2019

Added Reporting Misconduct section; removed signature lines

Amanda Klassen

05

July 18, 2019

Added Special Note Regarding Consulting and revised Special Note Regarding Technical Training

Jason Downing

 

This document has been approved for adequacy by:

Kate Parker
Vice President, People

Date: July 31, 2019