In this online engineering PDH course, most professional engineering societies publish codes of ethics that their members are expected to follow. These codes tend to be short and confined to statements of general principles, but in many situations a practicing engineer needs much more specific guidance than can be obtained from a statement of general principles. The Executive Branch of the Federal Government, which employs about two million civilians, has recognized the need for specific guidance on the ethical conduct of employees by issuing “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch“—thirty-nine thousand words of regulations comprising Part 2635 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Standards apply to employees of the executive branch of the federal government (many of whom are engineers). But many of the Standards would also be of interest to private-sector engineers, who should be just as concerned as government engineers about questions of conflicting financial interests, misuse of employer’s resources, appropriateness of gift-giving between supervisors and subordinates, and the awkward situation of seeking a job with one employer while currently working for another.
Even though the Standards are written and organized to meet the requirements for citations by lawyers and judges, they are accessible to the layman, thanks to almost two hundred examples that show how the regulations apply in actual situations. A subset of the examples has been selected to make up the contents of the present course.
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
Standards of conduct governing gift-giving between employees
Standards of conduct governing conflicting financial interests
Standards of conduct governing impartiality in performing duties
Standards of conduct governing seeking other employment
Standards of conduct governing misuse of position
Intended Audience: This course is intended for all engineering employees of private-sector or government organizations.
Publication Source: “Ethics: Standards of Conduct,” written by Mark P. Rossow.
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Dr. Rossow is a graduate of the University of Michigan with B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois. He taught civil engineering for over 35 years, including six years at Washington University in St. Louis and 29 years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where he was the Chair of the Civil Engineering Department for ten years. His areas of expertise are in civil engineering and mechanics. He has consulted for various organizations, including government agencies and an international offshore drilling company. He has published numerous technical journal articles and technical reports for a variety of governmental agencies and private sector organizations.