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ASAE Standards of Conduct

August 2011

Download the full Standards of Conduct as a PDF file.

More than 287 million people around the globe look to associations for their vision, their values and their effectiveness. With this role comes a great responsibility for associations to serve members and the public with integrity. To fulfill this responsibility, ASAE: the Center for Association Leadership’s membership of association professionals, consultants, and industry partners are committed to ethical standards that promote the goal of transforming society for the better.

To join ASAE is to commit to work in accordance with its ethical standards and to encourage the development and implementation of the ethical standards within the industries and professions represented by its members.

The Standards of Conduct embody aspirational ethical standards. The aspirational ethical standards describe the conduct that individuals strive to uphold as ASAE members. Although adherence to the aspirational ethical standards is not easily measured, conducting themselves in accordance with these ethical standards is an expectation that members have of themselves as professionals. Among the aspirational ethical concepts which these Standards of Conduct embrace are those of respect, responsibility, fairness and honesty.

Respect is demonstrating a high regard for one’s self, others, and the resources entrusted to them. Those resources may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources. An environment of respect engenders trust, confidence, and performance excellence by fostering mutual cooperation — an environment where diverse perspectives and views are encouraged and valued.

Responsibility is taking ownership for the decisions one makes or fails to make, the actions one takes or fails to take, and the consequences that result.

Fairness is making decisions and acting impartially and objectively. A member’s conduct must be free from competing self-interest, prejudice, and favoritism.

Honesty is understanding the truth and acting in a truthful manner both in one’s communications and in one’s conduct.

Core Ethical Standards
As an ASAE member, one should aspire to:

  1. Respect and uphold public laws that govern one’s work;
  2. Be honest in conducting the member’s business;
  3. Respect the confidentiality of information gained through one’s work;
  4. Act fairly;
  5. Foster an ethical culture through one’s work; and
  6. Take responsibility for one’s conduct.

ASAE Association Professional/Executive members* aspire to demonstrate ethical conduct by acting in the manner described in ASAE’s Core Ethical Standards Addendum. SEE CHART

* The ASAE Association Professional/Executive member category encompasses the staff of trade and professional associations, philanthropic organizations, and association management companies, and includes association chief executive members, and association professional staff members of ASAE.

ASAE Consultant members* aspire to demonstrate ethical conduct by acting in the manner described in ASAE’s Core Ethical Standards Addendum. SEE CHART

* The ASAE Consultant member category encompasses those individuals whose primary service to ASAE members involves the sale of intellectual property or expert advice to associations or other membership organizations, and who are not full-time association executives.

ASAE Industry Partners members* aspire to demonstrate ethical conduct by acting in the manner described in ASAE’s Core Ethical Standards Addendum. SEE CHART

* The ASAE Industry Partners member category encompasses those individuals who market to ASAE members, members of learned professions, government employees and others who are not full-time association executives.


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