These principles complement and extend the Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct.
The main principles of collaboration between Institute members are:
Trust between Parties
Complete trust and a cultural fit between members in relation to professionalism, competence and ethical behaviour is essential to ensure a good working relationship.
Working within Competencies
Members will only accept work that they are qualified to perform and in which the client can be served effectively; a member will not make any misleading claims and will provide references from other clients if requested.
Honour the Prospector
Creating prospects takes time and money. When assignments result from other members’ work, proper commissions are payable.
Agree in Writing
Collaborative arrangements must (as set out in the Code of Professional Conduct) be agreed in advance and, except in the case of the very smallest and simplest, put in writing to reduce the risk of subsequent disputes.
The confidentiality of members’ and associates’ business, clients etc. must be respected at all times. As set out in the Code, all client (and associate) information must be treated as confidential).
Other important principles include:
Market and Client Driven
The main emphasis in all collaboration is on the requirements and expectations of the market and the individual client.
Fair and Orderly Competition
Members should not take advantage of knowledge gained in discussions to obtain a competitive advantage over other members with known clients or prospects.
Disclosure and Openness
Members should not be unnecessarily secretive, even in situations where there may be competition between practices.
Freedom of Association
Members are free to associate with other members as they choose. Equally members may decline to be associated with other members and may not allow their names to be linked in any way.
Members must take no action that might lower the reputation of other members or the Institute.
Obligation to Assist
Members should be willing to help one another with advice, information and support on request – and without charge in the first instance.
The Proposal sets the Scene
Arrangements for collaboration on an assignment must accord with the client proposal, which must therefore be disclosed in the major part to all collaborators.
Courtesy, Good Manners and Goodwill
These are all highly desirable between members to maintain good relations and minimise the effects of disagreements.