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Personal Code of Ethics Essay

“In the context of a code adopted by a profession or by a governmental or quasi-governmental organ to regulate that profession, an ethical code may be styled as a code of professional responsibility, which may dispense with difficult issues of what behavior is “ethical”. Some codes of ethics are often promulgated by the (quasi-) governmental agency responsible for licensing a profession. Violations of these codes may be subject to administrative (e.g. loss of license), civil or penal remedies. Other codes can be enforced by the promulgating organization alone; violations of these codes are usually limited to loss of membership in the organization. Other codes are merely advisory and there are no prescribed remedies for violations or even procedures for determining whether a violation even occurred” (Wikipedia, 2007). When we are called upon to make decisions, several factors are taken into consideration before this decision can be made. Depending on the type of decision, such factors could be cultural beliefs, personal beliefs, and organizational beliefs.

We have come to realize that there are fundamental challenges in trying to apply ethical principles in a cultural and organizational environment. Each culture has unique distinctions in values, which may or may not be considered ethical by each individual within society. These differences in culture and personal beliefs influence any decision, whether personal or professional, of any individual. Certain cultures within the work force may decide not to adhere to organizational codes of conduct because of not only personal feelings, but also because of the varying differences in cultural backgrounds. The intent of this paper is to identify values that are important to me personally, organizationally, and culturally, and the effects that these values have onEthics 3decision making in regards to my personal and professional life.

Honesty, integrity, loyalty, and respect are highly valued and these values are present in my everyday life. “A code of ethics is often a formal statement of the organization’s values on certain ethical and social issues. Some set out general principles about an organization’s beliefs on matters such as quality, employees or the environment. Others set out the procedures to be used in specific ethical situations – such as conflicts of interest or the acceptance of gifts, and delineate the procedures to determine whether a violation of the code of ethics occurred and, if so, what remedies should be imposed.

The effectiveness of such codes of ethics depends on the extent to which to management supports them with sanctions and rewards. Violations of a private organization’s code of ethics usually can subject the violator to the organization’s remedies (in an employment context, this can mean termination of employment; in a membership context, this can mean expulsion). Of course, certain acts that constitute a violation of a code of ethics may also violate a law or regulation and can be punished by the appropriate governmental organ.

They are often not part of any more general theory of ethics but accepted as pragmatic necessities. Ethical codes are distinct from moral codes that may apply to the culture, education, and religion of a whole society. Even organizations and communities that may be considered criminal may have their own ethical code of conduct, be it official or unofficial. Examples could be hackers, thieves, or even street gangs” (Wikipedia, 2007). According to Probation Officers Association of Ontario (2006), To assist Probation Officers in maintaining the integrity of their profession by upholding and advancing the purpose, knowledge, ethics and values of the probation field at all times. This Code ofEthics 4Ethics will thereby provide a standard of practice to enable all probation officers to fulfill their goals and objectives to the Offender, the Courts, the Community and the Criminal Justice System.

To the profession probation officers Shall: Encourage ethical conduct by all members of the profession, have a responsibility to colleagues to develop a working relationship of mutual respect and cooperation, promote the philosophy and ethics of the profession with new colleagues, seek advice and utilize the expertise of colleagues and supervisors, contribute their expertise in order to promote the integrity and competence of the profession to the public, keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to the probation field and shall contribute to the knowledge base of the profession” To Courts, Criminal Justice and Community, Probation Officers Shall: Strive to provide the highest caliber of service to the Courts and Judiciary through the preparation of quality reports, testimony and investigations, probation Officers shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the dignity of the Court, as an integral part of the total Criminal Justice System uphold and respect the tenets, rules and functions of that System, promote awareness among other members of the Criminal Justice System, of the philosophies, functions and roles of Probation Officers, be aware of their role in protecting the community from criminal activity and in the promotion of programs for the prevention”

“To the Offender Probation Officers Shall: Provide service to the offender to the maximum of their professional skill, ability and competence, maintain a professional relationship at all times to avoid conflict of interest, promote equality in every respect thereby preserving the dignity and rights of offenders, create a positive atmosphere for change that will encourage offenders to realize their goals and potentials by takingEthics 5advantage of training, treatment and services provided, Inform the offender of legal rights to and his responsibilities in the Criminal Justice System, make the offender aware of the responsibilities and duties of the Probation Officer within the Criminal Justice System, respect the privacy of the offender and the confidentiality of information subject to legal and policy parameters” What I have experienced over my 26 years of living, both personally and professionally, forms my thoughts, beliefs and feelings and therefore drives what I can call my personal code of ethics.

The following briefly describes the core ideals that I maintain: Honesty – I firmly believe that honesty is the best policy. It will have to be an extreme situation that involves serious injury; damage or other loss that will convince me that not being truthful is best. I realize that the truth can often be very painful, can cause anger, distrust and hatred but I feel that if I have been truthful and given someone all of the information, they will possibly hold me in a higher regard. This honesty will hopefully allow a greater trust between us and future dealings will be less likely to be strained. Legal – I am a person that follows the laws of the land. I feel that it is wrong to steal, cheat, lie or mislead with the intent to make a personal gain. I strive to be a law-abiding citizen.

I honestly do not think there is a difference between personal and professional code of ethics, which makes it hard to compare, but what I believe is that, “A personal code of ethics” is simply a belief system in which you do some things because they are “good,” and avoid doing other things because they are “bad.” Formal law has very little to do with a personal code of ethics. You develop and are responsible for this code by yourself, though your parents and social contacts have a lot to do with it. Here is an example: There are very few places in which a bystander has any legalEthics 6obligation to come to the aid of a third party. And yet, people help out others all the time – because it is the “right” thing to do in their belief systems.

References

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition (2006). Probation Officers andCorrectional Treatment Specialists. Retrieved October 13, 2007, fromhttp://www.bls.govWikipedia (2007). Code of Ethics. Retrived October 20, 2007, fromhttp://www.wikipedia.org


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