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R193
Ethics: Standards of Conduct for Employees

Mark P. Rossow, Ph.D, PE Retired

In this online engineering PDH course, ethical standards of conduct for engineers in their role as employees are discussed. Most professional engineering societies publish codes of ethics that their members are expected to follow. These codes tend to be short and confined to statements of general principles, but in many situations a practicing engineer needs much more specific guidance than can be obtained from a statement of general principles. The Executive Branch of the Federal Government, which employs about two million civilians, has recognized the need for specific guidance on the ethical conduct of employees by issuing “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch“: thirty-nine thousand words of regulations comprising Part 2635 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Standards apply to employees of the executive branch of the federal government (many of whom are engineers). But many of the Standards would also be of interest to private-sector engineers, who should be just as concerned as government engineers about questions of conflicting financial interests, misuse of employer’s resources, appropriateness of gift-giving between supervisors and subordinates, and the awkward situation of seeking a job with one employer while currently working for another.

Even though the Standards are written and organized to meet the requirements for citations by lawyers and judges, they are accessible to the layman, thanks to almost two hundred examples that show how the regulations apply in actual situations. A subset of the examples has been selected to make up the contents of the present course.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.


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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.

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