CODE OF ETHICS 5
Professionalengineering is a strict field in Nova Scotia, which is governed by anAssociation of Engineers. The association was incorporated on the29thday of Mach in the year 1945. All members of the Association ofProfessional Engineers were declared to be members on that day. TheAssociation provides a strict code of ethics that must be followed byall members in their practice in the field of engineering. Theheadquarters of the Association is situated at Halifax in theprovince of Nova Scotia (Engineersnovascotia.ca, n.d).
TheNova Scotia Engineering Profession Act specifies the standards andactions of all engineers who wish to be referred by the title,“professional engineers.” To be a member, there are severalrequirements that individuals must fulfill including being a citizenof Canada or having legal admission to be a permanent resident in thecountry of Canada. One must also pay the fees and dues specified bythe code and must have the necessary academic qualifications andtraining. This is a supported requirement by the code of ethics thatmust be adhered to by all engineers who want to be referred to asprofessional engineers (Engineersnovascotia.ca, n.d).
Interms of academic qualifications, one needs to have completed andobtained a degree certificate in engineering and science from anacademic institution that is approved by the Council of theAssociation. In addition, four years of experience in engineering area mandatory requirement. Being a registered member of an associationof engineers is another requirement. All members who apply to theAssociation must be members to another association to which theyreport at the time of applying to the Association(Engineersnovascotia.ca, n.d).
TheAct calls for diligence when engineers are doing their job andfurther requires engineers to only render advice, services, and takeup assignment only in the fields they have training, education,experience, and competence in. This requirement is well specified inthe act where engineers are only required to offer services in whichthey have trained in. It is for the same reason that strictrequirements are imposed on education, training, and experience. Allmembers of the Association must act and behave in accordance with thespecifications set out for members to follow (Hoffman, 1984).
Conflictof interest is an important aspect of the code of ethics. Allprofessional engineers are required to be faithful in their dealingswith employers and clients, only serving to the interest of theperson or entity they are serving. In cases where there is a conflictof interest, the same must be communicated properly and openly. Allengineers in Nova Scotia are expected to be trustworthy agents at alltimes. Constant learning is a mandatory requirement for professionalengineers to remain committed and competent in their field. The sameopportunities of self-development and advancement must also be madeavailable to subordinates. The Association through the Act specifieshow often engineers are required to undergo training to maintaincompetence in their profession. Besides remaining informed throughconstant learning, engineers are required to be committed to theadvancement of the body of knowledge. Equity, fairness, courtesy, andgood faith are required code of conduct towards colleagues, clients,and other stakeholders. Criticism is allowed, but should be in a fairand honest point of view (The Ford Pinto, 2010).
Disregardof engineering decisions and judgments have consequences that theviolator of such judgments is supposed to face. Employers aresupposed to make it known to employees what disregard of engineeringjudgments mean and what the consequences are. The association towhich an individual belongs must be reported to if an engineerrealizes unethical or illegal engineering decisions made byemployers, colleagues or clients. Projects and actions haveconsequences that must be made to employers and clients in a truthfuland objective manner. All clients, co-workers, colleagues, andemployers are required to be treated equally without giving regard toage, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation, family ormarital status, gender, national origin, religion, and race (The FordPinto, 2010).
Accordingto the Nova Scotia Engineering Profession Act, all engineers arerequired to hold safety, health, and welfare of members of the publicvery paramount in addition to the protection of the environment andpromotion of health and safety within the workplace. Copp was facedwith the dilemma of having to act against the interest of hisemployer (Ford) and that of being under the obligation to report anyunethical or illegal practices in the field of engineering to hisassociation. The code of ethic is very clear in requiring allengineers to prioritize the safety of the members of the public andthat of the environment and in cases where this priority is notpracticed by the employer, colleagues, clients or other individualsin the society, reporting them is the only option there is (The FordPinto, 2010).
WhenFord, Copp’s employer refused to modify the defects in the gastank, Copp was faced with the dilemma of continuing to work for theemployer, even though, what was being done was unethical and illegal.Copp deciding to quit his job from Ford and blowing the whistle onthe design defects in Pinto was probably a good decision instead ofremaining in the employ of Ford and continue to engage in unethicalpractice. Even though there were no legal standards governing thedesign of gas tanks that were broken by Ford, it does not imply thatwhat they were doing was ethical. Not breaking the law does notqualify an action as ethical (The Ford Pinto, 2010).
Engineersnovascotia.ca.(n.d).The . Retrieved 8/3/15 fromhttps://secure.engineersnovascotia.ca/files/documents/guideline_code_only.pdf
Hoffman,W. M. (1984). The Ford Pinto. BusinessEthics,419./
Officeof the Legislative Counsel. (2011), Engineering Profes/sional Act.Retrieved 8/3/15 fromhttp://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/engineer.htm
TheFord Pinto. (2010). The Ford pinto. Retrieved 8/3/15 fromhttp://fordpinto.blogspot.com/2010/03/introduction.html