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Code of Ethics

(The following Code of Ethics was adapted and modified from ARCPACS, a federation of certifying boards in agriculture, biology, earth and environmental Sciences. ARCPACS is a membership service of the American Society of Agronomy.)

Article I. Preamble
1. The privilege of professional practice imposes obligations of responsibility as well as professional knowledge. The Northwest Lichenologists (NWL) program certifies individuals who pass regional examinations in a particular group of species. Such certified individuals are registered with the NWL.

Article II. Relation of Professional to the Public
1. A Registrant shall avoid and discourage sensational, exaggerated, and/or unwarranted statements that might induce participation in unsound enterprises.
2. A Registrant shall not give professional opinion or make a recommendation without being as thoroughly informed as might reasonably be expected considering the purpose for which the opinion or recommendation is desired, and the degree of completeness of information upon which the opinion is based should be made clear.
3. A Registrant shall not issue a false statement or false information even though directed to do so by employer or client.

Article III. Relation of Professional to Employer and Client
1. A Registrant shall protect, to the fullest extent possible, their employer's or client's interest insofar as such interest is consistent with the law and professional obligations and ethics.
2. A Registrant who finds that obligations to their employer or client conflict with their professional obligation or ethics should work to have such objectionable conditions corrected.
3. A Registrant shall not use, directly or indirectly, an employer’s or client’s information in any way that would violate the confidence of the employer or client, insofar as such action or inaction is consistent with the law and professional obligations and ethics.
4. A Registrant retained by one client shall not accept, without the client’s written consent, an engagement by another if the interests of the two are in any manner conflicting.
5. A Registrant who has made an investigation for any employer or client shall not seek to profit economically from the information gained, unless written permission to do so is granted or until it is clear that there can no longer be a conflict of interest with the original employer or client.
6. A Registrant shall engage, or advise employer or client to engage, and cooperate with other experts and specialists.
7. A Registrant protects the interests of a client by recommending only products and services that are in the best interest of the client and public.
8. A Registrant protects his/her credibility by disclosing to clients how he/she will be compensated for providing recommendations to the client.

Article IV. Relation of Professionals to Each Other
1. A Registrant shall not falsely or maliciously attempt to injure the reputation of another.
2. A Registrant shall freely give credit for work done by others, to whom the credit is due, and shall refrain from plagiarism of oral and written communications and shall not knowingly accept credit rightfully due another person.
3. A Registrant shall not use the advantage of public employment (i.e., university, government) to compete unfairly with other certified professions.
4. A Registrant shall endeavor to cooperate with others in the profession and encourage the ethical dissemination of technical knowledge.

Article V. Duty to the Profession
1. A Registrant shall aid in exclusion from certification those who have not followed this Code of Ethics.
2. A Registrant shall uphold this Code of Ethics by precept and example and encourage, by counsel and advice, other Registrants to do the same.
3. A Registrant having positive knowledge of deviation from this Code by another Registrant shall bring such deviation to the attention of the NWL Board.

Article VI. Collecting
1. Registrants shall refrain from significantly damaging populations of rare species by their collecting.
2. Registrants shall use discretion in collecting to minimize the visual impact to others.


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