Standards of Web Professional Practices
The purpose of these Standards of Practice is to establish and define a set of standards of practice which will guide and direct all members of the IWA as each pursues his or her Web profession. It is incumbent upon all members to provide their services in a manner which instills a strong sense of trust and confidence between themselves and their employers, clients, peers and all members of the general public. Professional competence, character, integrity, fairness, commitment, and trustfulness provide the foundation for the establishing and maintaining of all professional relationships. Therefore all members should dedicate themselves to a course of conduct which manifests respects, confidence and trust on the part of the general public and all users of Web services.
- Standard One: Quality of Service
Quality of Service
Quality of Service is an expectation and demand of all members.
A member’s quality of service is an outgrowth of technical competence, personal character, responsive and informative communication; and appropriate care of property.
1. Technical competence is knowledge and the appropriate skillful application of knowledge.
a) Knowledge is possessing an informed understanding of the subject matter of a member’s field of practice or employment, based on education and experience. Because technical competence is not static, continuing education, both formal and informal, is necessary to maintain and improve a member’s knowledge and understanding.
b) Skillfulness is the appropriate application of knowledge. It is the focusing of one’s knowledge in the most effective manner resulting in diligently and thoroughly completed services. It includes the ability to recognize and acknowledge the need to obtain additional qualified assistance and or expertise when necessary.
2. Personal character is a quality which is demonstrated through trustworthiness, truthfulness and professional conduct. It demands full disclosure of all pertinent information, data and records. It is manifested through providing services with the highest degree of integrity.
3. Communication must be responsive, informative and accurate. Communication includes, but is not limited to timely responses to inquiries from others in an appropriate and needful manner; keeping of appointments; complying with client and employer requests for information; periodic updates to the client or employer on project progress, and informing the client or employer when deadlines will not be met.
4. A client’s or employer’s property entrusted to a member creates a fiduciary relationship which means that detailed and accurate records are kept and property is not commingled or used personally.
- Standard Two: Full Disclosure
Full disclosure of all pertinent information requires, without reservation, disclosure to the client, employer or public, all relevant information a member possess with regard to the member’s employment.
1. Full disclosure to the client/employer means disclosure of:
a) Conflicts of interests (including, but not limited to such items as personal, financial, emotional, employment; prior or current, or others.)
b) Lack of competence/experience.
2. Full disclosure to the public with whom the member has business means disclosure of:
a) All pertinent project information (e.g., nature of project, rights acquired and rights retained, project schedule, basis of payments);
b) All statutory and equitable rights available.
3. Full disclosure does not include privileged information, except when required to do so by due process of law.
- Standard Three: Fair and Reasonable Rates
Fair and Reasonable Rates
A member of the Association shall at all times charge fair and reasonable fees commensurate with the service being provided and fully disclose the amount of such fees prior to the time the service is to be provided. At no time shall the member accept remuneration from more than one party for services rendered without full knowledge and written agreement of all parties involved.
All fees charged for services shall be in accordance with applicable statutory provisions and/or local established rules and customs.
A fee is fair and reasonable if it is one which can be justified in the light of all pertinent circumstances, including the factors mentioned herein.
1. The member should assure written contractual relationships in all matters in order to avoid any misunderstanding and to assure a better service to the member’s client(s).
(a) The member, for the protection of all parties with whom the member transacts business, should assure that all financial obligations and commitments are in writing, prior to the beginning of work, expressing the exact agreement of the parties; and that copies of such agreements, at the time of execution are placed in the hands of all parties to the agreement, and shall be dealt with in accordance with the instructions of the parties involved. A member shall not receive directly or indirectly any rebate, fee, commission, discount or any other benefit without the full knowledge and prior written consent of all parties.
(b) The fiduciary relationship between the member and the member’s client requires full disclosure in all financial matters between them and prohibits the acceptance by the member of any hidden fees.
(c) No fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate, agency or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to professional employment maybe taken by the member from anyone other than the client without full disclosure to and the consent of the client and, where the member’s fees are being paid by someone other than the client(s), the consent of such other person.
(d) The entering into an agreement with the client imposes upon the member of the Association an obligation of rendering a skilled and conscientious service. When the member is unable to render such service alone, it is incumbent upon the member to obtain assistance from another person having the appropriate expertise and qualifications. The member should not engage, recommend or suggest the use of services of any other organization or business without prior disclosure to the client. The member shall not accept any rebate or profit on expenditures, made on behalf of the client without the client’s written consent and knowledge. A member must render a proper accounting to the client with respect to direct or indirect costs relating to additional services.
(e) A member shall not provide service where the member’s level of expertise is not on a level that could be reasonable required under the circumstances. Where services are required in such areas and the member does not have the appropriate level of expertise, such services should not be provided without the aid of another person who is properly qualified in the area of activity being contemplated.
(f) The member shall not recommend or suggest to a client or a third party the use of services of any other organization or business in which the member has a direct or indirect interest, without disclosing such interest, in writing, at the time of the recommendation or suggestion.
(g) The member must be alert to recognize his lack of competence for a particular task and the disservice he would do his client if he undertook that task. The member must either decline to act or shall retain, consult or collaborate in that field, or refer the client to an individual who is competent in that field.
2. A fair and reasonable fee will depend upon and reflect such factors as;
(a) The time and effort required and spent;
(b) the difficulty and importance of the matter;
(c) the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the member;
(d) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services by individuals with similar credentials;
(e) the amount involved and the results obtained;
(f) the time limitations imposed by the employer, client, or by the circumstances;
(g) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client or employer;
(h) the experience, reputation, and ability of the member performing the service;
(i) whether the fee is fixed or contingent;
(j) the informed consent of the client or employer to the fee or employment agreement;
(k) fees authorized by statute or regulation;
(l) the member should not attempt to set fees for services to be offered by suggesting or implying directly or indirectly, that the level of fees being suggested is based on direction from the Association, Institute, Society or Council to which a Member also belongs;
(m) A member should be ready to explain the basis for his charges (especially if the client is unsophisticated or uninformed as to the proper basis and measurement for fees).
3. The member should avoid controversy with his client respecting fees, Controversy and misunderstandings respecting fees and financial matters bring the member’s profession into disrepute. He should give the client a fair estimate of fees and disbursements, pointing out any uncertainties involved so that the client may be able to make informed decisions.
4. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any gratuity, gift, or similar item which may otherwise be permitted by rules, regulations, or policies established by the member’s employer and/or client.
- Standard Four: Confidential Information
A member shall hold in strict confidence all information provided in confidence by a client or person requesting confidentiality. In addition to the member’s fiduciary obligation to the client, member shall at all times exercise loyalty to the interests of the client with respect to confidential information and shall not engage in any activity which could be reasonably construed as contrary to the best interests of the client. The members shall not use confidential information for personal purposes or personal gain.
The member shall not disclose to a third party any confidential or proprietary information concerning the client’s business or personal affairs unless the disclosure is required or compelled by law or regulations. All obligations and duties of the member to clients, firms and employers shall also apply to relationships with former clients and former firms and employers. The member shall act in a professional manner when, for whatever reason, relationships are terminated between the member and clients.
1. The member has a duty to hold in strict confidence all information acquired in the course of the professional relationship concerning the business and affairs of the client, and the member should not divulge any information unless he(she) is expressly authorized by the member’s client(s) or as required by law, to do so.
2. The member owes the duty of confidentiality to every client without exception, regardless of whether he is continuing or casual client. The duty survives the professional relationship and continues indefinitely after the member has ceased to act for the client whether or not differences may have arisen between them.
3. The member cannot render effective professional service unless there is full and unreserved communication between the member and his(her) client. At the same time the client(s) must feel completely secure and he(she) is entitled to process on the basis that, without any express request or stipulation on his(her) part, matters disclosed to or discussed with a member will be held confidential.
4. Disclosure by the member may also be permitted or required in order to defend himself(herself) or the member’s associates or employees against any allegation of malpractice or misconduct, or in legal proceedings to establish or collect the member’s fee, but only to the extent necessary for such purposes.
5. The relationship between the member and the member’s client(s) forbids that the member use any confidential information for the benefit of himself(herself) or a third person or to the disadvantage of the member’s client(s).
- Standard Five: Advertising and Promotional Practices
Advertising and Promotional Practices
Members shall only use those advertising and promotional practices which fairly and accurately inform prospective clients and the public of the member’s services, qualifications, credentials, and other relevant professional information.
1. Members shall use the Association’s logos, emblems, designations, and registered trademarks only in accordance with the Association’s guidelines.
2. The International Webmasters Association’s name, designation Certified Web Professional (CWP) and emblems are the sole property of the Association.
3. Without specific authorization, members shall refrain from using the Association’s logos, emblems, designations or registered trademarks in a manner which could be construed as representing the Association or acting or speaking on behalf of the Association.
1. A member’s advertising and promotional practices shall fairly and accurately reflect the member’s professional and educational qualifications, experience, professional designation(s) and areas of specialization.
2. Resumes and statement of qualification should only be presented in a manner that is positive, factual and not misleading.
3. The IWA designation may be used only by those members upon whom it has been conferred by the Association.
4. All advertising and promotional practices shall be in good taste and shall not offend or be contrary to the public or the Association.
5. All advertising and promotional practices shall not create unrealistic expectations in clients or the public.
- Standard Six: Laws and Conduct of Business
Laws and Conduct of Business
A member shall abide by all laws, rules, regulations, certification and licensing requirements applicable to his or her profession. All business or professional practices shall be in strict accordance with all applicable laws, rules, professional standards, and regulations governing the member’s business, practice or profession.
Compliance with all laws, regulations, rules, certification and licensing requirements shall also include the following:
1. In hiring or performing services members shall follow non-discriminatory practices without regard to race, creed, sex, national origin or other legally protected classes.
2. Members shall cooperate fully with the Association in the enforcement of its rules and regulations.
- Standard Seven: Good Citizenship
Members shall conduct themselves in their daily lives in a manner which looks beyond self or corporate interest to the interest of others and society as a whole, not just the avoidance of harm.
1. As a minimum members shall avoid conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud or misrepresentation.
2. A member shall at all times conduct his or her business and personal activities with knowledge of and in conformance with the highest moral and ethical standards consistent with membership in and the purposes of the International Webmasters Association.
- Standard Eight: Relationships: Employee/Employer Client/Former Client
Relationships: Employee/Employer Client/Former Client
A member has a duty of loyalty and allegiance to his or her client/employer so long as such does not result in the breach of the Code of Ethics of the International Webmasters Association.
1. A member shall always act within the scope of his or her employment.
2. Disclosure of confidential information obtained during the course of his(her) employment may be controlled by employment contracts, covenants not to compete as part of the sale of a business and/or the subsequent publication of previously confidential information. The member shall always use the utmost discretion when disclosing previously confidential information to a third person.
3. A member shall disclose all dual employment which may cause a conflict with the member’s primary employment or when the member’s employer requires such disclosure.