Section: 6.51



The Professional Conduct Committee is a standing committeeestablished in accordance with the Society Bylaws. The Committee's purpose is to adjudicate the Society Code of Professional Conduct, thereby protecting the reputationof the Society, its members, and the professionwhile clarifying expectations, providing a mechanism for addressing disputes, and declaring Societyvalues to the outside world.  :
Its responsibilities are to

  • Review allegations that a Society member has failed to abide by the ASSE Code of Professional Conduct , Society Bylaws, or has otherwise acted  in a manner that is prejudicial to the interests of the Society
  • Recommend for Board of Director's approval the names of members who should be removed from an    elected or appointed office as a result of Committee's review and investigation of allegations brought against that member.
    • Be empowered to remove a person's membership from the Society (appeal process explained later in this document).
    • Report to the membership via the procedures stated elsewhere in this document punitive actions taken against members as a direct result of fulfilling its function of accepting and investigating allegations brought against members.
    • Determining if and when the Society's Code of Professional Conduct should be revised and recommending same to the Board of Directors
    • Reporting to the Board of Directors on professional conduct and ethics issues affecting the safety profession and the members of the Society
    • Providing a central resource within the Society to address ethics and professional conduct issues
    • Educate and offer guidance to members regarding the Code of Professional Conduct.


The Committee shall consist of 7 members, including a Chairperson. Each member will serve one three (3) year term with the possibility of a second three year term upon reappointment by the President-Elect, for a maximum of six years total. Members will serve staggered terms for continuity. Members shall be appointed by the President-Elect as specified in the Society Bylaws.


The Committee has line authority and is accountable to the Board of Directors, who maintains the final responsibility for the Committee's activities. The primary Board member to whom the Chair of the Committee reports is the President of the Society, who has primary oversight of the Committee's activities. The Society President is accountable to the Board of Directors for reporting and addressing any activities of the Committee that may be the focus of any discussion within the Board's various meetings. The Executive Director of the Society will be the Committee's staff liaison and will act as the official custodian of the "for record" file (explained in a later subsection of this document) of each case being reviewed.


Receiptof Allegations of Misconduct

The scope of the Committee's responsibilities will not include allegations against a non-member.

Allegations of professional misconduct against a member may be initiated by either a member or non-member of ASSE. Such allegations must be detailed in a written statement forwarded with supporting documentation to the Chair of the Committee, in which the facts supporting the charge or charges are clearly and concisely outlined. By written correspondence, the Chair will confirm receipt to the originator with a copy of the Committee's Operating Procedures.

Upon review of initial allegations, the Chair of the Committee, in consultation with the Executive Director, shall determine if the allegation statement reasonably warrants the initiation of a review by the full Committee. If so, the Chair shall immediately forward a copy of the allegation to each member of the Committee and will schedule a conference call.

If the Chair deems that insufficient facts have been provided to warrant a review of the matter, the Chair will request additional information or documentation from the person or persons making the allegations.

If the Chair finds that the information provided does not justify a charge of misconduct the person making the allegations will be so notified.

The Executive Director will initiate and maintain a file for each allegation. The file will contain all original correspondence, copies of responses by the Committee and/or Chair of the Committee, minutes of teleconferences as recorded by the Executive Director and any other supporting documentation received independently by the Committee. No material in the official file may be duplicated and released to any third party without consent of the Chair of the Committeeand concurrence of the Executive Director or legal counsel.


Schedule: Meetings will be scheduled as necessary and normally will be conducted via teleconference.

Quorum: A quorum shall be a simple majority of Committee members. No discussions of allegations will be conducted by teleconference without a quorum.

Agenda: The agenda for each teleconference will be developed by the Chair and forwarded to each member no less than 10 working days from the scheduled date of the teleconference.

Parliamentary procedure: For matters not governed specifically by Committee procedures or Society Bylaws, the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order (Newly Revised) shall guide the transaction of business at Committee meetings. If necessary, the Chair may appoint a parliamentarian for each meeting from among Committee membersor staff.

Ballots: Official business of the Committee may also be transacted by emailballots. Such ballots require a simple majority of ballots received within a deadline prescribed bythe Chair.

Minutes: The staff liaison will prepare minutes for all Committee meetings and distribute the minutes to all Committee members for review, comment and approval at the next scheduled meeting. A copy of the approved minutes will be sent to the Society President marked "Confidential".

Reports: Reports of activities will be summarized and submitted to the Society President for review and inclusion in the materials prepared for each Board of Directors meeting.

Budgeting and Finance: The Committee operates within the Society budget

Procedures for Allegation Review and Action: If a quorum of the entire Committee believes the initial allegations need to be continued through the review and action process, the Chair will send a copy of the allegation to the member charged, along with a copy of the Committee's Operating Procedures, and shall certify that a copy was delivered. Written answers to the allegations from the member shall be requested by the Chair.In this event, the Chair will likewise notify the originator of the allegations that the process will be continued.

  • During the formal review process, the Committee on Professional Conduct will: Review written responses to the allegations from the affected member.
  • Examine records and consult with parties most knowledgeable of the allegations.
  • Request additional information as appropriate.
  • Consult the Society legal counsel, as appropriate.

Initiate additional, independent investigation activities, after receiving legal counsel regarding same; and may conduct hearings at which testimony is given under oath. Rules of procedure for each hearing will be closely monitored by the Society's legal counsel.When the Committee accepts a case for review, the Committee shall remain intact until completion of the case. Those members whose terms may expire during a review shall continue to participate as "ad hoc" members (i.e. no voting privilege) in the case until a decision is reached. This will not preclude new appointments to the Committee on Professional Conduct as required to fill expired terms. Newly appointed members of the Committee will participate in cases pending from previous Committees and will have full voting authority.

Official actions of the Committee will be one of the following categories:

  • Revocation of membership - minimum of three (3) years - after which the individual may appeal to the Professional Conduct Committee for consideration of renewedmembership (for those in elected offices of the Society, this revocation action in effect removes them from office)
  • Suspension of membership privileges - for a minimum of one (1) year the individual will maintain membership but will not have any privileges (i.e. voting in elections, discounts on purchases and seminar registrations, etc.)
  • Censure - a "for record" statement admonishing the conduct of the member
  • Reprimand - same as "censure" except it will not be "for record"
  • Recommendation to the Board for removal from elected or appointed office or position within ASSE - this action will be validated by a vote of the Board of Directors within thirty (30) days of recommendation by the Committee on Professional Conduct before it may be implemented.

All of the above actions may be implemented by the Committee, except for the last listed.

All of the above actions of the Committee, except for "Reprimand," will be announced to the membership of ASSE by way of the next available edition of Professional Safety.

Members impacted by the actions of the Committee on Professional Conduct may appeal the decision directly to the Board of Directors.Such an appeal must be made in writing within 30 days of receipt of committee decision.

Decisions of the Board may be appealed to a special committee of members of the House of Delegates, consisting of five (5) delegates, appointed by the Chair of the House of Delegates at the time the appeal is submitted provided that written request for appeal is received by the Executive Director within 30 days of receipt of the notice of disciplinary action. With the exception to the parties involved in the cases, the case-load of the Committee, and the subject matter of same, will be confidential and privileged only to the Committee, staff liaison and legal counsel.

Recognizing that the membership of ASSE is not restricted to the borders of the United States, the Committee will nevertheless use the social norms and customs of the United States as the primary factor for assisting in determining misconduct. However, the norms and customs of professional conduct that are unique to another country will be reviewed if necessary for any allegations involving international members.

The original files will be maintained in the Headquarters offices. The Executive Director will be the primary transmitter and recipient of legal inquiries with the Society's legal counsel.

Approved By/Date: Board of Directors 6/15
Replaces Edition Dated: 2/10/96
Next Revision Due: 6/18


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