The policy outlined in this Code applies to every Sociocratic expert (and those in the process of being certified) who is certified and who is, in this capacity, a member of the network of Certified Sociocratic Experts (CSE-net).
This Code uses the term ‘client system’ in several places. This term includes all groups and persons within the principal organisation who have a reasonable stake in the execution of the commissioned assignment. Prior to acceptance of an assignment the composition of the pertaining client system and terms for participation are to be agreed upon and recorded.
The rules of conduct mentioned below have been confirmed in their present form by the General Circle of the Global Sociocratic Center.
A certified Sociocratic expert (CSE) must not have other interests that may be harmful to the process of execution of an assignment. If such involvement should occur, the assignment must be either refused or the situation must be presented as such to the client before acceptance of the assignment. Should any conflict of interest occur during execution of the assignment, this must be presented for discussion immediately.
A CSE must provide impartial advice. If he/she presents his/her services to any specific part of an organisation or serves a partial interest, this must be known within the whole client system.
A CSE has final responsibility for his/her assignment. In order to accept an assignment the CSE must have the necessary specific expertise. A CSE must make it clear to the principal what the actual execution of the assignment entails.
4. Care and secrecy
A CSE must treat with sedulous care any information gathered upon execution of the assignment. Confidential information may only be used for purposes of execution of the assignment. If such information is to the detriment of the source of this information, this source may not be identifiable. Confidential information may only be passed on to others upon agreement of the source of information.
A CSE must take the utmost care in passing judgement on individual persons. The interests of a person must always be carefully weighed against the interests of the client. An eventual judgement may only pertain to the actual execution of the function involved. It is highly desirable that persons who are subject to assessment of their functioning are informed about this prior to formulation of the assessment. Publication of identifiable data is subject to permission of the client system and also to permission of persons whose identity would be disclosed.
5. Assignments with competitors
A CSE must inform the client system about his/her views on consulting activities with competitors.
Advertisements by CSE’s, if any, must be according to the ethics and dignity of the profession.
Professional qualifications may only be defined on the basis of available knowledge, experience and reputation.
The service on offer may not be compared to that of other consultancies.
7. Guarantee of results
Although a CSE applies him(her)self to achieving results as defined in the assignment, he/she may not guarantee these results.
8. Limited assignment
A CSE may not accept any assignment that is limited to such a degree that the client cannot expect it to have any substantial effect.
9. Incompatibility of codes
If, upon acceptance or execution of an assignment a CSE is confronted with conflicting codes, the assignment must be refused, respectively terminated.
10. Declaration of intent
The content of and conditions for execution of an assignment must be clearly defined, preferably in writing. An assignment may not be accepted until a pertaining declaration of intent has been agreed upon. If preliminary research is required in order to arrive at a declaration of intent, the conditions that apply must be agreed upon prior to this research.
With regard to the terms of execution a declaration of intent must relate to subjects such as: outline of the client system, subjects not to be covered by the assignment, which kind of expertise is to be provided by principal and CSE, monitoring of the process, times of information transfer and persons involved therein, expected duration and eventual phasing of the assignment, recipients of advice and reports, evaluation, budgeting, funding, proprietary terms and copyrights and possible follow-up.
Should there be any deviation from the original agreement as expressed in the declaration of intent, CSE and client must negotiate adaptation of the agreement to suit the changing situation.
Any impediment to proper execution of the assignment which is not caused by the CSE will allow him to withdraw from the assignment.
A CSE must make sure that the client’s employees who are involved in the execution of an assignment know what this involvement entails. The CSE will keep the client informed about the progress of the work. A CSE provides the client with any available information that may lead to improved insights into the objective of the assignment and recommended methods and also into the information that led to the assignment.
A CSE keeps records of activities pertaining to the execution of an assignment, which may, among other purposes, serve to render account upon completion of the assignment. Confidentiality of documents or any other records involved must be guaranteed.
The consultant will establish fees for service in a way that maintains the consultant’s objectivity and independence from the client and the client’s results.
12. Relations with other consultancies
In cases where there is already one CSE working with a client, other CSEs will respect that relationship and will not attempt to take business from the original CSE.
If a client has a relationship with one CSE and then approaches a second CSE, the second CSE will refer the client to the first CSE and than attune with the first SCE.
A CSE may not talk in a negative way to a client or potential client about another CSE.
A CSE may not judge the work of another consultancy or CSE for the same client if this is not known by the other consultancy or CSE.
13. Responsibility towards colleagues
A CSE must take care that the behaviour of colleagues working under his supervision is according to the applicable Code.
14. Offers of employment
A CSE may not take the initiative to offer employment to any of the client’s employees, whether for his/her own consultancy or for any other.
Recruitment and selection activities for third parties are allowed under the condition that the CSE does not accept fees from any individual for employment obtained.
Neither may the CSE approach client’s employees directly for alternative employment unless the person involved has clearly and of his/her own accord expressed the wish for a change in employment. The latter condition applies from the commencement of an assignment until four years after completion of the last assignment by the client involved.
Whoever wishes to file a complaint against a CSE must do so with the manager of CSE-net, who will then indicate how the complaint is to be lodged and which procedure is to be followed.