Code of Ethical Conduct for Council and Committee Members


The Code of Ethical Conduct is a guideline for appropriate individual and collective behaviour of Council and committee members, at and away from the College.

Guiding Principles

Council and committee members, in their corporate capacity, have a responsibility to effectively regulate the profession of nursing in the interests of public protection. In doing so, members are expected to comply with, support and promote the guiding principles set out in this Code.

The guiding principles are consistent with the College's vision, mission, values, guidelines, by-laws and legislation. They also embrace the philosophy of lifelong learning, which encourages self-reflection, peer feedback, continuous learning and ongoing individual and group evaluation.

It is expected that all Council and committee members support and promote the following principles by leadership and example.


Council and committee members are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public. This is demonstrated by:

  • reflecting a working knowledge of the Code of Ethical Conduct and the supporting documents
  • recognizing and respecting confidential information learned in the course of College activities
  • participating in constructive debate by attending meetings, being prepared, and being clear, concise and respectful of the time of others
  • remaining flexible and open to change
  • supporting the final decisions made by Council and committees
  • actively participating in ongoing self and group evaluation and improvement
  • contributing to positive Council and committee member functioning by supporting one another
  • discussing behavioural conflicts and concerns with appropriate individuals so as to work through them


Council and committee members respect diversity of opinion, ideas and debate. This is demonstrated by:

  • recognizing the equal right of all public, RN and RPN members to be heard and respected
  • recognizing, promoting, valuing and encouraging awareness of the diverse expertise, experience and knowledge that exists among Council, committee members and staff and the benefit of such to constructive debate, the democratic process and effective decision-making
  • promoting collaborative, collegial behaviour characterized by mutual respect and efficient use of time
  • avoiding personal or group criticism of fellow members or staff in discussion or through innuendo both at and away from Council and committee meetings


Council and committee members do not place themselves under any obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties with the College. This is demonstrated by:

  • making decisions in the public interest
  • maintaining boundaries and avoiding personal and competing professional interests


Council and committee members are as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. This is demonstrated by:

  • identifying, disclosing and acting appropriately on conflicts of interest
  • being transparent in providing all reasons and supporting rationale for decisions made by Council or committees

Council and committee members will hold themselves and each other accountable for meeting the behaviours of the Code of Ethical Conduct.

Process for Holding Council and Committee Members Accountable to the Code

It is the responsibility of each and every Council and committee member to hold herself/himself accountable for behaving in accordance with the Code of Ethical Conduct. In addition, members have a responsibility to hold each other accountable for behaving in accordance with the Code.

If a Council or committee member has concerns that the behaviour of another Council or committee member did not reflect the Code of Ethical Conduct, the member is expected to:

  • discuss her or his concern with the Council or committee member whose conduct was perceived to be inappropriate;
  • if the member does not recognize the problem and take appropriate action or the behaviour continues, discuss the concern with the President (for behaviours at Council) or committee chair (for behaviours at committee); and
  • if the inappropriate behaviour is confirmed and continues after a meeting with the President or committee chair, the member whose behaviour is being addressed is asked to meet with the full Executive Committee to discuss her or his behaviour.


"If a member has been subjected to insult or abuse, he or she may interrupt the meeting to raise a point of personal privilege" (Wainberg's, Rule 21.2) and raise her or his concern about the behaviour with the Council or committee as a whole.

Approved by Council
June 2003

Page last reviewed July 26, 2012