Code of Ethics





The Ethics Practitioners’ Association (the EPA or the Association) is committed to upholding ethical standards in all its activities, to maintaining the highest standards of ethical behaviour and to complying with all laws that are applicable to the Association.

The EPA is further committed to promoting ethical conduct, high ethical standards and legislative and regulatory compliance among its members and within the ethics profession.




The EPA Code of Ethics comprises two parts:

  1. Core Principles (or values) that are relevant to the profession and the conduct of all members of the Association. These describe the norms and standards of behaviour expected of all members and serve as the foundation of the Code of Ethics.
  2. Conduct Rules that describe and clarify what behaviours are not acceptable. These application of these rules supports the attainment of the Core Principles.

This structure of the Code is based on the recognition that ethical behaviour derives from both a commitment to ethical principles (or values) and compliance with applicable rules.

The purpose of the Code is to define the ethical standards of the Association. The Code of Ethics, together with other relevant policy documents and guidelines approved by the Association, also aims to provide practical guidance to members as regards living the Core Principles and giving effect to the Conduct Rules in their respective roles. The Code of Ethics is also a valuable framework for individuals and entities that provide ethics services.




The Code of Ethics binds all members of all membership categories of the Association, and all members have a responsibility to comply with the Association’s Core Principles and

Conduct Rules in the full scope of their organizational role and in their professional and personal capacity.

Breaches by members will be dealt with in terms of the relevant sections in the Association’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) and will be assessed on the individual circumstances and merits presented. Where a matter falls outside the mandate of the EPA, the complainant will be guided to refer or direct the matter to an appropriate authority.

Since the Code of Ethics cannot address every specific situation, nothing in the Code of Ethics prohibits or restricts the Association from taking disciplinary action on any matter pertaining to member conduct, whether or not they are expressly discussed in this Code.

Unethical conduct or unethical incidents pertaining to a member of the EPA can be reported to the Chairperson or the CEO of the Association via the email address reporting@epa- All members are expected to report to the Association any violation of the Code or action that contravenes the letter or spirit of the Code that comes to their attention.




Ethics professionals are required to apply, uphold and comply with the Core Principles of ethical leadership, integrity, independence and objectivity, confidentiality and competence.

Ethical Leadership: Ethics professionals conduct themselves as ethical role models who treat everyone fairly and with respect in accordance with the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, and who exercise responsibility and accountability relative to functions and roles

Integrity: Ethics professionals always act with honesty and integrity. This entails, for example, observing all applicable legislation, rules and regulations; making disclosures expected by the law and the profession when required; disclosing all material facts known to them that, if not disclosed, may distort the reporting of activities under investigation or review; and not knowingly being a party to any illegal activity or engaging in acts that would bring the ethics profession or the Association into disrepute. This establishes trust and provides the basis for reliance on their professional services, competence and advice.

Independence and Objectivity: Ethics professionals exhibit the highest level of professional independence and objectivity in the performance of their functions and duties. Ethics professionals always take a balanced view and make a balanced assessment, taking into account the interests and concerns of relevant internal and external stakeholders, and do not allow their own interests to give rise to conflicts of interest. The principles of independence and objectivity require that ethics professionals not accept any inducements or entertain any influences or relationships that may impair or be seen to impair their professional judgment.

Confidentiality: Ethics professionals take all reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of their duties; respect intellectual property rights; uphold the right to privacy; and respect the value and ownership of the information they receive. Ethics professionals do not disclose information without appropriate authority, and do not use

information for any personal gain or in any manner that would be contrary to the law or detrimental to others.

Competency: Ethics professionals take reasonable steps to maintain their professional knowledge and skills to ensure the delivery of a competent service based on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques. Ethics professionals only undertake work for which they have the necessary knowledge, skill and experience, and refrain from misrepresentations with regard to their competency.




The Conduct Rules provide support for the Core Principles. Ethics professionals are expected to comply with the following rules of the Association:


  1. Bribery, corruption and fraud: The Association adopts a zero-tolerance attitude towards bribery – either soliciting or offering a bribe – corruption and fraud and any conduct that contravenes the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (No. 12 of 2004).
  2. Discrimination – either direct or indirect – will not be tolerated on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other unfair discriminatory ground.
  3. Dishonest conduct: A zero-tolerance attitude is adopted towards dishonesty of any nature by This includes dishonesty, misrepresentation, forgery, theft, attempted theft, unauthorised possession (for example of stolen goods) and material non-disclosure.
  4. Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. This includes, amongst others, behavioural offences such as abusive language; indecency; victimization, harassment and/or intimidation; insubordination; and willful damage to property.
  5. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated, where sexual harassment is deemed to be unwanted and unsolicited conduct – physical, verbal or non-verbal – of a sexual nature.



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