Code of Ethics

The purpose of this Code is to govern the professional conduct of members of the Society of Irish Foresters.

Compliance with this Code demonstrates the respect of the Society of Irish Foresters members for the land and the social, economic, environmental and cultural values of forests. It demonstrates commitment to sustainable forest management and the wise management of ecosystems. It will ensure just and honourable professional and human relationships, mutual confidence and respect, and serves to guarantee the availability of competent professional services to clients, employers and the wider society.

All members of the Society of Irish Foresters are required to:

  • Safeguard and enhance the legitimate public interest in forestry
  • Uphold the dignity and reputation of the profession of forestry
  • Strive to optimise the positive contribution of forestry to:
    • The sustainable development of society especially in the development of rural areas
    • The provision of renewable resources
    • The protection of local and global environment
    • The global carbon and hydrological cycles
    • The conservation of biological diversity
  • Strengthen links between the profession and society by increasing dialogue and mutual understanding on sustainable forest management
  • Foster a partnership between forestry and society
  • Exercise their professional skills and judgement to the best of their abilities and discharge their professional responsibilities with integrity

This code will be adopted by the membership of the Society and can only be amended by the membership as set down in the Constitution of the Society of Irish Foresters. Procedures for processing charges of violation of these principles are outlined in the Procedure for Complaints and Discipline set out herewith.

All current and future members, upon joining the Society, agree to abide by these principles and the Following Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct as a condition of membership. The Council of the Society of Irish Foresters will maintain the Code which will be available for public inspection.

A member may be held responsible for the acts of his/her staff insofar as they relate to the scope of their practice, whether or not their staff are members of the Society of Irish Foresters.

Professional Ethics – Fundamental Principles

  1. Every member shall order his/her conduct so as to uphold the integrity and standing of the Society of Irish Foresters and of the forestry profession
  2. Every member shall observe the principles and practices of sustainable forest management for the needs of future, as well as present generations
  3. Every member shall behave with integrity in all professional business relationships
  4. Every member shall advocate and practice his or her profession with due regard to sound ecological, social, economic and environmental principles and with courtesy and consideration towards all with whom s/he comes into contact during the course of his/her work
  5. Every member shall strive for increasing an objective knowledge of trees and forestry in all their contexts and apply this knowledge to the benefits of society
  6. Any statements made on the Society of Irish Foresters’s behalf will be made only by spokespersons approved by the Council of the Society
  7. Every member shall carry out his/her professional work with due skill, care, diligence and expedition and with proper regard for the technical and professional standards expected of a member

Professional Conduct

The following will apply to each member specifically in relation to his or her professional conduct.

  1. A member shall not disclose any confidential information concerning the affairs of the member’s employer without the employer’s express permission
  2. A member shall act for more than one party in any transaction, only if those parties are informed, and consent
  3. A member acting for a client shall fully inform the client of any interest the member may have in any other service being provided to the client. Where a member or his/her employer offers consultancy services and at the same time operates as a contractor, a client shall be explicitly advised before either service is agreed
  4. A member shall not be engaged, concerned or interested in or accept remuneration from a client which may influence or appear to influence the member’s judgement, or which may give rise to any conflict with the interests of the member’s existing clients or employers, unless s/he has fully informed the existing client or employer
  5. A member must avoid conflicts of interest and take care to avoid emergence of such conflicts. If, despite such precaution, a conflict of interest is discovered, it must be promptly and fully disclosed to the member’s employer and the member must be prepared to act promptly to resolve the conflict
  6. A member shall not knowingly and specifically investigate the professional competence of another member without the knowledge of that member. In particular, a member shall not call into question the professional reputation of a fellow member, other than through the Society of Irish Foresters Procedure for Complaints and Discipline
  7. A member whose professional judgement is sought and then over-ruled, shall explicitly advise the employer or client of the possible consequences
  8. A member who is asked to participate in forestry operations which deviate from accepted professional standards must advise the employer or client in advance, of the consequences of such deviation
  9. A member will engage, or advise the member’s employer to engage, other experts and specialists in forestry or related fields whenever the employer’s interest would be best served by such an action. A member will work co-operatively with other professionals
  10. A member shall be scrupulous in giving credit for methods, ideas or assistance given by others
  11. A member shall ensure that advertisements and other public announcements are accurate and truthful, stating the services the member is qualified for and prepared to perform, and not such as will bring the Society of Irish Foresters or the profession into disrepute. Such advertisements may include references to fees charged. Advertisements and other public announcements relating to the scope or nature of the services to be provided by a member shall not contain any comparison with the services offered or provided by any other member or members
  12. A member in competition for supplying forestry services will encourage the prospective employer to base selection on comparison of qualifications, experience and negotiation of fee or salary

Procedure for Complaints and Discipline

Any complaint will be made to the Honorary Secretary in writing. It will be acknowledged and copies will be forwarded to the convenor of the Professional Standards Board and the accused member for comment.

Any comment will be copied to the convenor of the Professional Standards Board and the complainant for comment. The complaint will be brought before the Professional Standards Board with or without additional information, prior to it being submitted to Council, the Society of Irish Forester’s governing body.

Council may decide that there is insufficient evidence, or that the complaint is unjustified, in which case it will be rejected and the accused member and complainant advised accordingly. If the complaint is sustained, the Council shall determine whether the accused member shall be reprimanded, censured or otherwise disciplined, or removed from membership. Both the complainant and accused member have the right of appeal. The Society of Irish Foresters will however strenuously seek to avoid a situation leading to litigation.