Code Of Conduct Template

					A code of conduct or code of ethics is a corporate governance document that explains
what standards are expected of a company and of all its employees in relation to a wide
variety of stakeholders. The code of conduct makes explicit what the company values
and communicates these values to all stakeholders, internal or external. The following
template may be adjusted to fit the unique array of values important to a company and
its stakeholders. Please note that each section contains sample language that is greatly
abbreviated from what would normally appear in a robust code of conduct and ethics.
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Table of Contents

1. Title Page ...............................................................................................................................3
2. Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................4
3. Introductory Materials ...........................................................................................................5
    3.1 Letter from CEO or Owner ............................................................................................5
    3.2 Introduction and Purpose of Code ..................................................................................5
    3.3 Guiding Principles ..........................................................................................................6
    3.4 Organization Basics .......................................................................................................6
    3.5 History or Background of Code Development ...............................................................6
4. Relationships with the Company and Each Other .................................................................7
    4.1 Respecting the individual and Diversity ........................................................................7
    4.2 Avoiding conflicts of interest .........................................................................................7
    4.3 Creating a Positive Work Environment..........................................................................7
    4.4 Respecting Each Other’s Privacy ...................................................................................8
    4.5 Protecting Company Information and Property .............................................................8
    4.6 Accuracy in Accounting and Reporting .........................................................................8
5. Relationships with Customers................................................................................................8
    5.1 Obeying all Laws and Regulations .................................................................................8
    5.2 Focusing on Quality .......................................................................................................9
    5.3 Accurate Billing .............................................................................................................9
6. Relationships with the Community........................................................................................9
    6.1 Obeying Local Laws ......................................................................................................9
    6.2 No Improper Political Contributions ..............................................................................9
7. Relationship to the Environment .........................................................................................10
8. Company Compliance Program ...........................................................................................10
    8.1 Responsible Officer and Staff ......................................................................................10
    8.2 Communications ...........................................................................................................10
    8.3 Seeking Advice or Reporting Misconduct ...................................................................10
    8.4 Investigations................................................................................................................10
    8.5 Dispute-Resolution Process ..........................................................................................10
    8.6 Reporting on Compliance Data ....................................................................................10
    8.7 Process for Evaluating and Changing the Program ......................................................10
9. Related Policies and Procedures ..........................................................................................11
    9.1 Business Ethics Officer Duties and Responsibilities ...................................................11
    9.2 Non Retaliation Policy .................................................................................................11
    9.3 Confidentiality Policy or Agreements ..........................................................................11
    9.4 Education and Training policies ...................................................................................11




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1. (Title page. The title page should prominently feature your company’s logo displayed along
with a title that captures the overall essence of your company’s approach to its code of conduct.)

Example:


                                    Doing Well By Doing Good
                                             Code of Conduct and Ethics


[Create your title page here]




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2. (Table of Contents. Whether your code of conduct is 4 pages or 40 pages, include a detailed
table of contents with page numbers. Your code of conduct needs to be as accessible and
navigable as possible for a wide range of users.)

Example:
                                                Table of Contents
Introductory Materials ............................................................................................................4
 Letter from CEO or Owner ......................................................................................................4
 Introduction and Purpose of the Code .....................................................................................4
 Guiding Principles ...................................................................................................................5
 Organizational Basics .............................................................................................................5
 Background or History of Code Development ........................................................................5
Guidelines Organized by Relationship...................................................................................6

[Create your table of contents here]




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3. Introductory Materials
(This section of the code of conduct document will contain several different introductory items;
below are several potential items to include.)

3.1 Letter from CEO or Owner
(Including a letter from the top executive of the organization shows a commitment to ethical
behavior. This is a good spot to give a quick overview of the procedures used to report possible
violations as well.)

Example:
ABC Corporation is built upon a foundation of doing well while doing good. Each and every day
brings new challenges and difficulties in this business, but we are committed to conducting all
our activities with the highest degree of integrity and to treating everyone with respect.

If you are aware of a situation that compromises any of our values or our compliance with the
law, please report it immediately either to your supervisor, the human resources department, the
compliance department, or to the anonymous tip line at 123-1234.

By working together with accountability, we will continue to make ABC Corporation great.

Sincerely,

John Doe, President and CEO

[Put your CEO letter here]

3.2 Introduction and Purpose of the Code
(In this section, an overall summary of the document’s contents and purpose is important to
convey to readers.)

Example:
ABC Corporation was founded on the idea of being different, not just in terms of the products
and services offered, but also in the way that business gets done. From the beginning, ABC has
been committed to doing well while doing good. In fact, we believe that you can really only do
well in business in the long run if you accomplish a great deal of good along the way. This
means that every day, we conduct our business activities in the right way. This document spells
out in very clear language the standards that ABC upholds in its operations and relationships
with others. We need to live our values.

There’s no way for such a document to cover every conceivable situation, but we think we’ve
captured much of what we have experienced in our years of business. Please get in touch with
the compliance department if you have ideas for modifying this code in ways that will make it
and ABC more successful.

[Put your intro/purpose here]



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3.3 Guiding Principles
(If your company holds a few key values or principles that it finds are the most important, use a
page to highlight those.)

Example:
INTEGRITY is the key to everything we do, because we are honest and ethical. ABC aims to
   build a high degree of trust throughout all levels of the company as well as in our
   relationships to external stakeholders.
RESPECT is another foundational principle important to ABC. Beyond respecting the dignity of
   each person, we encourage everyone to actively listen to the diversity of perspectives and to
   the ideas of others.
ACCOUNTABILITY is needed throughout ABC. Each of us must take responsibility for our
   own actions while supporting those around us. We must work together to make ABC
   successful.
EXCELLENCE is what we strive for in everything we do. We will be judged by the outside
   world according to what we do, not by what we say. These values will help us get there.

[Put your guiding principles here]

3.4 Organizational Basics
(Take a page or two to present some basics about your company. Items that might appear in this
section include mission statement, vision statement, statement of purpose, statement of values, or
other similar documents. Your company probably already has these documents, so examples are
not provided.)

[Insert your organizational basics here]

3.5 Background or History of Code Development
(This section might include historical background about a particular crisis that resulted in the
need for a code of conduct. It could also highlight why such codes are needed in general or
explain the process of how this particular code was put together.)

Example:
Because of the importance ABC places on conducting our business in an ethical manner, we
gathered input for this code of conduct from every level of the organization. We did so over a
two-day retreat rich with small-group breakout sessions to discuss every single item, air
concerns, and make sure we didn’t miss anything. It was a rewarding experience, which resulted
in the code of conduct you are now reading.




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(There is no wrong or right way to organize your company’s code of conduct, but many
companies choose to spell out their standards as they apply to all the different categories of
stakeholders. Some companies word these as positive action statements such as “we respect each
other’s privacy” or “we avoid conflicts of interest.” Potential provisions are found below.)

4. Relationships with the Company and Each Other

Example:
YOU are ABC’s most important resource. It is the people who make ABC what it is. Because of
this, how we relate to the company and to each other is very important.

[Insert your text here]

4.1 Respecting the individual and diversity

Example:
ABC values, recognizes and respects the dignity of every person. ABC aims to provide living
wages, competitive benefits, and rich opportunities for self-development and training to all
employees. ABC is an equal-opportunity employer and never discriminates on the basis of race,
age, color, gender, ancestry, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, family
status, or disability. ABC values diversity and the richness it brings via different ideas and
perspectives.

[Insert your text here]

4.2 Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

Example:
Everyone at ABC needs to avoid any situation that might give even the appearance of a conflict
between personal interests and the interests of the company. This could involve something like
accepting a gift or loan from someone with whom the company does or might do business or
using confidential company information or property for personal gain. Both are strictly
prohibited, and if you become aware of any potential conflict of interest, please report it
immediately to the compliance department.

[Insert your text here]

4.3 Creating a Positive Work Environment

Example:
ABC seeks to provide all employees with a positive work environment. All illegal drugs are
strictly prohibited on-site as is the consumption of any alcohol or other substance that has a
negative effect on productivity. Treating others with respect entails avoiding any behaviors or
speech that demeans or harasses others in any way, including all forms of unwanted sexual



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advances. You need to use good judgment when making or telling jokes that might be distasteful
to others. Violence of any kind is strictly prohibited as is verbal abuse or derogatory gestures.

[Insert your text here]

4.4 Respecting Each Other’s Privacy

Example:
ABC respects employee privacy, keeping only those records needed for business, legal and
contractual purposes, with access to such records limited only to those who need it. In addition,
each employee has a right to see the contents of his/her own personnel record at any time, and
ABC will fully comply with all laws related to the disclosure of personal information.

[Insert your text here]

4.5 Protecting Company Information and Property

Example:
Keeping ABC’s assets safe is very important to our continued success. Assets include all
physical property as well as intangible things like patents, software, copyrights, trademarks, and
intellectual property in the form of how we operate. Anyone caught stealing or destroying
company assets will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

[Insert your text here]


4.6 Accuracy in Accounting and Reporting

Example:
ABC's financial reporting and accounting, as well as other reporting, will be accurate concerning
the company’s status and be conducted according to generally accepted practices and standards,
government regulations, or stricter company standards.

[Insert your text here]

5. Relationships with Customers

Example:
Without customers, ABC would be out of business. The way we interact with customers must be
the focus of all ABC employees, whether you ever have personal contact with them or not.
Please be aware of the following guidelines:

[Insert your text here]

5.1 Obeying All Laws and Regulations




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Example:
In selling our products and services to customers, ABC will adhere to all pertinent laws and
regulations.

[Insert your text here]

5.2 Focusing on Quality

Example:
In everything we do at ABC, the goal is to meet or exceed customer expectations. We strictly
prohibit receiving kickbacks, bribes, or gifts in exchange for any kind of preferential treatment
given a customer. Reasonable business entertainment or gifts of nominal value may be accepted
as a normal aspect of customer relations and contract negotiation. All advertising and promotion
of ABC products and services will be truthful and accurate.

[Insert your text here]

5.3 Accurate Billing

Example:
ABC strives for fair and accurate billing to its customers. Invoices will accurately reflect agreed-
upon pricing and will be accurately entered into the financial accounting books. All employees
must help maintain accurate records for the company.

[Insert your text here]

6. Relationships with the Community

Example:
ABC recognizes that it does not exist in a vacuum. We are part of the community in which we
operate and desire to be a good citizen. Employees are encouraged to take part in worthwhile
civic and philanthropic causes.

[Insert your text here]
6.1 Obeying Local Laws

Example:
It is the policy of ABC to abide by not only all federal laws, but also any pertinent local laws and
ordinances. If local laws appear to be in conflict with federal laws, please consult the compliance
department for guidance.

[Insert your text here]

6.2 No Improper Political Contributions




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Example:
ABC does not use company funds to support any specific political party or candidate. ABC
encourages its employees to be active citizens and, should they wish, to use their personal funds
to forward their own political views and candidates, but not on company time.

[Insert your text here]

7. Relationship to the Environment

Example:
Respecting and enhancing the well-being of the earth is important. After all, it’s the only planet
we have, and all life depends upon it. ABC is committed to obeying all environmental laws and
regulations. However, we’re committed to more than just compliance with minimum standards.
ABC will act to both conserve and preserve natural resources. It requires the safe use and
disposal of any hazardous materials and at the same time, encourages more responsible but
effective alternatives to their use. ABC expects all employees to help protect the environment in
these ways.

[Insert your text here]

(NOTE: If your company does a substantial amount of business with any level or levels of
government, your code of conduct should include a section with those specific guidelines.)
8. Company Compliance Program
(If your company has a compliance program or compliance department, this section would
provide a full description of it, which would include the items below)

8.1 Responsible Officer and Staff
[Insert your text here]

8.2 Communications
[Insert your text here]

8.3 Seeking Advice or Reporting Misconduct
[Insert your text here]

8.4 Investigations
[Insert your text here]

8.5 Dispute-Resolution Process
[Insert your text here]

8.6 Reporting on Compliance Data
[Insert your text here]

8.7 Process for Evaluating and Changing the Program
[Insert your text here]


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 9. Related Policies and Procedures
(Your company might have a number of supporting policies and procedures that you would want
to include in this section. Options might include the following:)

9.1 Business Ethics; Officer Duties and Responsibilities
[Insert your text here]

9.2 Non Retaliation Policy
[Insert your text here]

9.3 Confidentiality Policy or Agreements
[Insert your text here]

9.4 Education and Training Policies
[Insert your text here]


(Finally, if your code of conduct ends up being quite long, consider adding an index at the end.)




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Description: A code of conduct or code of ethics is a corporate governance document that explains what standards are expected of a company and of all its employees in relation to a wide variety of stakeholders. The code of conduct makes explicit what the company values and communicates these values to all stakeholders, internal or external. The following template may be adjusted to fit the unique array of values important to a company and its stakeholders. Please note that each section contains sample language that is greatly abbreviated from what would normally appear in a robust code of conduct and ethics.