The Code of Conduct defines standards of ethical and professional conduct that are required of everyone representing Hunter Valley Boutique Collective Inc. (HVBCI) in any capacity, the outcomes we are committed to, and the behaviours which are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
The Code of Conduct assists with building a positive culture based on our core values of Knowledge, Respect, Inspiration, Extraordinary and Development.
The Code of Conduct assists with building a positive culture and to promote ethical day to day conduct and decision making. It does not and cannot cover every situation that can arise. The Code does not replace the need for commonsense in how members conduct themselves.
All members, volunteers, students must abide by the Code of Conduct and the core values and principles that it promotes when representing HVBCI.
An electronic and hard copy of the Code of Conduct is available to all members. On signing membership all members agree to abide by the Code of Conduct. All volunteers, students, attendees for meetings will be provided with a copy alongside the sign in book and abide by this Code.
At Hunter Valley Boutique Collective Inc. we are committed to providing our members with a positive experience from our meetings and events. To achieve this every member of HVBCI must promote a positive environment where everyone’s contribution is valued. Teamwork and respectful relations are essential.
Every member of HVBCI should expect to be treated, and must treat others, with respect, dignity and fairness. In particular, bullying and/or harassment will not be tolerated.
1.1 Why we have a code
The reason we have a Code of Conduct is so there can be no doubts about the standards of ethical and professional conduct that are required of every member of HVBCI, the outcomes we are committed to, and the behaviours which are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
A Code of Conduct assists with building a positive culture.
The intent of the Code is to provide a framework to promote ethical day-to-day conduct and decision making. It does not and cannot cover every situation that can arise in the workplace or meeting environment. The Code does not replace the need for common sense in how members conduct themselves. If members are in doubt as to what conduct is appropriate in any particular situation, or how the Code should be applied, they should seek advice and direction from a committee member of HVBCI.
The Code also provides guidance on how to raise and report breaches of the standards it sets.
2. APPLYING THE CODE
2.1 Who does the Code apply to?
This Code applies:
2.1.1 Persons who are members of HVBCI.
2.1.2 Visitors or volunteers attending or helping at a meeting or function of HVBCI.
2.1.3 Students, researchers or persons undertaking or delivering training or education at HVBCI.
Who will be referred to as ‘members’ throughout the Code.
2.2 Responsibilities under the Code
All members are responsible for applying and complying with the Code.
Committee are responsible for ensuring that members are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the Code.
2.3 What happens if there is a breach of the Code
There is a range of consequences for breaches of this Code depending on the nature and seriousness of the matter.
Committee have a responsibility to address alleged breaches of the Code promptly, and in a fair and reasonable manner. They need to assess the seriousness of any alleged breaches, and how they should be dealt with.
Possible outcomes for a member who has breached the Code may be:
• Termination of membership
• Referral to the police in cases of suspected possible criminal activity
• Referral to other Government agencies, such as the independent Commission Against Corruption, or Certain sections for the Code reflect the requirements of legislation, and breaches of these conditions may be punishable under law
For more information on disciplining of member please see the HVBCI Constitution.
2.4 What to do if you are concerned about a breach of the Code
Members should report any breach or concerns about a breach of the Code to the Committee.
2.5 Protection for people who raise concerns about a breach of the Code
HVBCI is committed to protecting a person who raises concerns about a breach of the Code from retaliation or reprisals. Any attempt to take detrimental action against a person who raises a legitimate breach of the Code will be treated seriously and may lead to disciplinary action in accordance with the policies set out in the HVBCI Constitution.
Further, it is a criminal offence to take reprisal against a whistleblower under Section 20 of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 where a disclosure falls within the scope of that Act.
3. THE BOUTIQUE COLLECTIVE CORE VALUES
The Hunter Valley Boutique Collective Inc. strive to reflect these CORE values in our conduct by demonstrating the following characteristics:
• Offering a supportive environment to exchange constructive and valuable information and guidance.
• Commitment to collaboration and meaningful knowledge sharing.
• Promoting a space whereby people feel comfortable, supported and positive.
• Asserting ethical and professional standards of business.
• Encouraging joint problem solving by way of education gained from meetings and mentor-ship.
• Offering a motivational and uplifting environment.
• Demonstrating a passion for innovation.
• Celebrating the successes of all members.
• Providing an encouraging environment where members are given opportunities to grow their business skills, personal and professional development.
• Promoting individual self develop
4. THE CODE OF CONDUCT
The Code requires members to adhere to the standards set out below. The standards in the Code also apply to social activities that take place outside HVBCI meetings and functions but under agency auspices, and to the making of comments about other members or visitors on social media where the status of the person making the comments as a HVBCI member is indicated or can be inferred.
4.1 Promote a positive environment
4.1.1 Treat members and members of the public with courtesy and respect and with due sensitivity to the needs of people with different backgrounds and cultures.
4.1.2 Treat all members irrespective of whether they are at the same level of seniority, or more senior or junior, in a way that promotes harmonious and productive relationships, and a collaborative approach.
4.1.3 Not bully or harass other members, members of the public, or discriminate against them on the basis of their sex, race, ethnic or ethno-religious background, marital status, pregnancy, disability, age, homosexuality, transgender or carer responsibilities.
4.1.4 Not encourage or support other members in harassing or bullying, or in acting in a way that is contrary to harmonious working relationships between members.
4.1.5 Where appropriate, attempt to settle any complaints, disagreements or grievances involving other members themselves in the first instance by discussion, or pursue such matters through committee in a way which is proportionate to the issues raised, utilises applicable HVBCI policies, and recognises that in any process to resolve such matters other members also have perspective and rights.
4.2 Demonstrates honesty and integrity
4.2.1 Avoid situations which may give rise to pecuniary or other conflicts of interest, and should any conflicts or possible perceptions of such conflicts arise declare them immediately to committee.
4.2.2 Ensure that their actions and decision are not influenced by self interest or considerations of personal gain or other improper motives.
4.2.3 Not accept bribes or inducements that are intended to influence their decisions or actions.
4.2.4 Provide honest and accurate comments when giving member references.
4.2.5 In dealings with former members of HVBCI not give them or appear to give them, favourable treatment or access to privileged information.
On leaving HVBCI, members must:
4.2.6 Not use or take advantage of confidential information obtained in the course of their previous official duties to seek gain or profit, unless and until this information is publicly available.
4.2.7 Not take documents that are the property of HVBCI to another position prior to or after resignation without approval.
4.3 Acting professionally and ethically
4.3.1 At all times act in a way which is consistent with HVBCI duty of care to its members and its obligations to provide a safe and supportive environment to all members and their family members.
4.3.2 Dress in a way that is appropriate for the meeting or function they are attending.
4.3.3 Not attend meetings under the influence of drugs.
4.3.4 Carry out their duties diligently and efficiently.
4.3.5 Comply with all applicable HVBCI policies and procedures
4.3.6 Observe all laws, professional codes of conduct and ethics relating to their profession.
4.3.7 Avoid conduct that could bring HVBCI or any of its members into disrepute, including when using social media.
4.3.8 Act in a way which protects and promotes the interests of HVBCI.
4.3.9 Only provide official comment on matter related to HVBCI I if authorised to do so.
4.3.10 When making public comment on issues participating in political or industrial activities, not indicate or imply that their views are those of HVBCI.
4.3.11 Carry out their duties in a politically neutral manner.
4.3.12 Report to committee and/or to the appropriate external statutory body any criminal activity or misconduct by others of which they become aware, such as corruption, fraud, maladministration.
4.4 Use official resources lawfully, efficiently and only as authorised
4.4.1 Use HVBCI resources efficiently.
4.4.2 Not use HVBCI resources for accessing, transmitting, storing or downloading pornographic, sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate material.
4.4.3 Not provide family, friends or clients unauthorised discounts on memberships or ticketed events.
4.5 Maintain the security of confidential and/or sensitive official information
4.5.1 Keep confidential all personal information and records, including not discussing or providing information on social media that could identify patients or divulge member information.
4.5.2 Not use or release official information or records without proper authority.
4.5.3 Maintain the security of confidential and/or sensitive information, including that stored on communication devices.
4.5.4 Not disclose, use or take advantage of information obtained in the course of HVBCI meetings or events, including when they cease to be a member of HVBCI.
4.6 Maintain professional relationships with members
4.6.1 Not take an unfair advantage of, or exploit any relationship with members in any way.
4.6.2 Not be seen to sell or push their business onto members or attendees at events.