Codes of Conduct

Codes of Conduct

as approved by the Board of Directors on 29/05/2013

 

This collection of the BEMAS Codes of Conduct is intended to be a central guide and reference in support of day-to-day decision making. It is meant to clarify our values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. These codes are meant to complement our constitution and by-laws, not to substitute for them. BEMAS already conducts its activities in a framework of relevant laws, regulations and internal policies - but we recognise that these do not govern all behaviour. We feel it is important for all our members, our contacts, our partners and other stakeholders - to understand exactly what we stand for and how they can expect us to conduct ourselves.

 

1.    BEMAS Code of Ethical Conduct

1.1.   Introduction

The maintenance and asset management industry’s continuous improvement process involves the indirect transfer of concepts and practices. Belgian Maintenance Association  vzw-asbl (BEMAS) facilitates this process through the organization of meetings, seminars, conferences, training classes, tests, certification schemes and the distribution of relevant publications (e-mailings, website articles, magazines, or any other type of knowledge documents) containing content related to maintenance, reliability & asset management.

BEMAS has established this BEMAS Code of Ethical Conduct. Compliance with this Code of Ethical Conduct is a requirement for participation at the BEMAS initiatives.

1.2.  Governing Principles on ethical and professional conduct

BEMAS is committed to the highest ethical and professional conduct. All employees, members of BEMAS Board, members of the Committees, members of BEMAS and participants at the BEMAS agree:

  • to form an open community, with no limitations on who can become a member, as long as the member accepts to respect the BEMAS governing documents, including the founding articles, the by-laws and this Code of Conduct;
  • to improve the understanding of maintenance and asset management; its appropriate application, and potential consequences;
  • to give access to the members to all association documents and information, unless these documents contain non aggregated data, trade secrets of a business or information that can adversely affect the privacy or welfare of an individual or legal person;
  • to give access to the members to all association initiatives, unless the presence of (an employee) of a member at the initiative can adversely affect the welfare of an individual (eg the speaker) or legal person (eg the company employing the speaker), caused by possible disclosure of sensible information or trade secrets during the initiative;
  • to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist;
  • to reject bribery in all its forms;
  • to treat fairly all persons regardless of such factors as race, religion, gender, disability, age, or national origin;
  • to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action.

1.3.  Governing Principles on respect for open markets and fair competition

BEMAS is committed to respecting open markets and fair competition.

All employees, members of BEMAS Board, members of the Committees, members of BEMAS and participants at the BEMAS initiatives agree to scrupulously follow following restrictions in all meetings, informal sessions and gatherings of BEMAS, and :

  • not to make any agreements – formal or otherwise – with competitors to fix or set prices or allocate products, markets, territories or customers;
  • not to obtain or to share with competitors current or future information about price, profit margins or costs, bids, market share, distribution practices, terms of sales, specific customers or vendors;
  • not to agree with or require a customer to resell products at certain prices;
  • not to act in a manner that unfairly favours or benefits one customer over another competing customer;
  • not to make (informal) agreements whereby one member agrees to stay out of another member's territory;
  • not to create standards that favors some and discriminates against others;
  • not to create rules (for instance setting up certification activities) which further interests to certain groups, to the exclusion of others;
  • to leave immediately all occasions at which any of the above subjects are discussed and to immediately inform about the infringement to the BEMAS office at the address, email address, phone number, or fax number given below.

1.4.   Information collected from members and other contacts

BEMAS offers several additional services to members, such as the sending of (e-)mailings and the publishing of a searchable member directory.

We do not sell personally identifiable information about our members or contacts to any third party. For further information about these features, please contact BEMAS at the address, email address, phone number, or fax number given below or consult our privacy policy published on www.bemas.org.

1.5.   Violations

Alleged violations to the BEMAS Code of Ethical Conduct should be immediately notified to the BEMAS Board of Ethics at the address, email address, phone number, or fax number given below.
The Board of Ethics is a semi-autonomous, impartial adjudicative body within BEMAS that has been charged with administering and enforcing the BEMAS Codes of Conduct. BEMAS has established a complaint process that is easy to understand. This information is easily accessible to individuals via the BEMAS web site or by contacting the BEMAS Office for assistance.
Violations of the BEMAS Code of Ethical Conduct may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the governing documents. Discipline may include immediate dismissal as a member of BEMAS.

1.6.         Changes

Changes to the BEMAS Code of Ethical Conduct will be made only after the following conditions are met:

  • Proposed changes shall have been published and noticed to all members at least three (3) months in advance of final consideration by the Board of Directors, with a request for comment, and
  • An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes of the members of the Board of Directors present at the time of the vote, provided a quorum is present, shall be required for changes to be made.

 

 

2.    BEMAS Volunteer and Committee member Code of Conduct

2.1.  Introduction

The maintenance and asset management industry’s continuous improvement process involves the indirect transfer of concepts and practices from the “best-in-class” organizations to those seeking to improve. The committees and volunteers of the Belgian Maintenance Association  (BEMAS) facilitate this process through establishment of meeting reports, papers, reports,  surveys, benchmarks, (industry) guidelines, training materials, any other type of knowledge documents containing content related to maintenance, reliability & asset management, but can also undertake other activities such as setting up seminars, company visits, training classes, tests, certification schemes, etc…

To guide the activities of committee and volunteer members and enhance the professionalism and overall effectiveness of the BEMAS initiatives and programs, BEMAS has established this BEMAS Committee and Volunteer Member Code of Conduct. Compliance with this Code of Conduct is a requirement for participation on BEMAS committees and involvement in the Society.

2.2.  Governing Principles

The activities of the volunteer members of BEMAS work groups, committees and the BEMAS staff who support BEMAS committees’ activities will be governed by the following principles:

  • Accepting the obligation of fiduciary duty to BEMAS. It requires the exercise of reasonable care, whether participating in BEMAS activities, making statements or otherwise.  Fiduciary duty includes the responsibilities of honesty, good faith, care and loyalty.  Volunteers must act in the best interests of the BEMAS, not in their own interest.
  • Abiding by the BEMAS vzw Articles of Association, Bye Laws and Code of Conduct  and to bringing any matters involving members alleged violations of these guidelines to the  attention of the Chairman of BEMAS in a timely manner.
  • Holding paramount the Safety, Health and Welfare of the Public and the promotion of environmentally responsible and sustainable development in the formulation of Recommendations and Good Practices.
  • Respecting the proprietary information and intellectual property rights of others .  Data and other information submitted to BEMAS for committee purposes will be used to establish performance and practice norms, to codify industry standards and best practices. Data and other information may also be used to support BEMAS research initiatives with the goal of expanding or amending the body of knowledge, certification, tests, education and other activities.
    Any interchange of data and information for committee purposes will be treated  as confidential to the individuals and organizations involved. Confidential individual company data will not be communicated to any individual or otherorganization without the expressed written permission of the company submitting the data. Only aggregated data will be published or disclosed outside of the committee. Rules for aggregating data to protect individual company confidentiality shall be established by the individual BEMAS committee’s involved,  shall not be in conflict with BEMAS policies and will be strictly followed.
  • Not  engaging in conduct which is dishonest or illegal or which may bring  BEMAS into disrepute  or which may discredit  BEMAS or BEMAS members.
  • Promoting the dissemination of relevant Knowledge, Technology  and Good Practices in the fields of Maintenance and Asset Management via the BEMAS communication and archive channels.
  • Making their best efforts to ensure  the BEMAS Name and Logo are used appropriately

2.3.  Violations

Alleged violations to the BEMAS Volunteer and Committee member Code of Conduct should be immediately notified to the BEMAS Board of Ethics at the address, email address, phone number, or fax number given below.
The Board of Ethics is a semi-autonomous, impartial adjudicative body within BEMAS that has been charged with administering and enforcing the BEMAS Codes of Conduct. BEMAS has established a complaint process that is easy to understand. This information is easily accessible to individuals via the BEMAS web site or by contacting the BEMAS Office for assistance.
Violations of the BEMAS Volunteer and Committee member Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the governing documents. Discipline may include immediate dismissal as a member of BEMAS.

2.4.         Changes

Changes to the BEMAS Volunteer and Committee member Code of Conduct will be made only after the following conditions are met:

  • Proposed changes shall have been published and noticed to all members at least three (3) months in advance of final consideration by the Board of Directors, with a request for comment, and
  • An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes of the members of the Board of Directors present at the time of the vote, provided a quorum is present, shall be required for changes to be made.

 

 

3.    BEMAS Code of Conduct for Staff and Members of the Board and Executive Committee

3.1.  Introduction

Members of the Board, Strategic Committee and Executive Committee and staff of BEMAS carry certain duties and responsibilities for the wellbeing of the organisation. This Code of Conduct outlines some of those duties and responsibilities in accordance with governing documents.

3.2.  Governing Principles

The activities of the members of the BEMAS Board, Strategic Committee, Executive Committee, and the BEMAS staff who support these committees’ activities will be governed by the following principles:

  • Accepting the obligation of fiduciary duty to BEMAS. It requires the exercise of reasonable care, whether participating in BEMAS activities, making statements or otherwise.  Fiduciary duty includes the responsibilities of honesty, good faith, care and loyalty.  Volunteers must act in the best interests of the BEMAS, not in their own interest;
  • Holding paramount the mission, vision and values of BEMAS, and  evaluating the execution of this mission periodically;
  • Abiding by Belgian legislation on not-for-profit associations, the BEMAS Articles of Association, Bye Laws and Code of Conduct  and to bringing any matters involving members alleged violations of these guidelines to the attention of the Chairman of BEMAS in a timely manner;
  • Having sufficient capabilities to assist in government of BEMAS by putting his/her (specific) competencies at disposal of the association;
  • Adding value to the Board, Strategic Committee or Executive Committee,
  • Promoting the dissemination of relevant Knowledge, Technology  and Good Practices in the fields of Maintenance and Asset Management via the BEMAS communication and archive channels;
  • Making their best efforts to ensure  the BEMAS Name and Logo are used appropriately

3.3.         Confidentiality

Members of the Board or Executive Committee and staff of BEMAS have access to information, that if revealed to outsiders, could be damaging or sensitive to other members or harmful to the best interest of the organisation, or even create legal liability. Information provided to members of the Board or Executive Committee and staff of BEMAS may concern personnel, financial, contractual, membership or legal matters. It will often be confidential and is intended for use in decision making and governance. Information shall be held in the strictest of confidence and shall not be divulged to any outside party, including other members, without written authorization of the BEMAS chairman or executive director.

3.4.  Violations

Alleged violations to the BEMAS Code of Conduct for Staff and Members of the Board and Executive Committee should be immediately notified to the BEMAS Board of Ethics at the address, email address, phone number, or fax number given below.
The Board of Ethics is a semi-autonomous, impartial adjudicative body within BEMAS that has been charged with administering and enforcing the BEMAS Codes of Conduct. BEMAS has established a complaint process that is easy to understand. This information is easily accessible to individuals via the BEMAS web site or by contacting the BEMAS Office for assistance.
Violations of the BEMAS Code of Conduct for Staff and Members of the Board and Executive Committee may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the governing documents. Discipline may include immediate dismissal as a member of BEMAS.

3.5.         Changes

Changes to the BEMAS Code of Conduct for Staff and Members of the Board and Executive Committee will be made only after the following conditions are met:

  • Proposed changes shall have been published and noticed to all members at least three (3) months in advance of final consideration by the Board of Directors, with a request for comment, and
  • An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes of the members of the Board of Directors present at the time of the vote, provided a quorum is present, shall be required for changes to be made.

 

 

4.    The Board of Ethics

4.1.  Purpose of the BEMAS Codes of Conduct

This collection of the BEMAS Codes of Conduct is intended to be a central guide and reference for users in support of day-to-day decision making.  The BEMAS Codes of Conduct are intended to ensure the welfare of the members and to protect the reputation and integrity of BEMAS.

4.2.  Commitment to enforcing the BEMAS Codes of Conduct

In part, the BEMAS Codes of Conduct are established to inspire members and staff to achieve and maintain the highest level of competence and to behave in ways that would maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles. This inspirational behavior is not intended to be discretionary, but is expected of all members and staff. 

4.3.   BEMAS Board of Ethics and its role

BEMAS has established the Board of Ethics and charged it with the responsibility for maintaining and administering the BEMAS Codes of Conduct and with educating individuals regarding its significance. However, individuals need to understand that there are restrictions on the ability of the Board of Ethics to enforce the BEMAS Codes of Conduct.

For example, the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics is limited. The board can only adjudicate complaints that are brought against following classes of individuals or legal persons: BEMAS members, BEMAS Board members, BEMAS Volunteer and Committee members BEMAS staff members. "Members" include those who hold current BEMAS membership or are applicants for membership. The Board of Ethics accepts however complaints for adjudication from individuals or legal entities who are not members.

Additionally, the Board of Ethics does not actively initiate investigations, as the Association does not have the investigative powers that entities such as state licensure boards do. For example, BEMAS does not have subpoena power and cannot force witnesses to testify or produce evidentiary documents. This type of intrusive approach would also change the relationship that BEMAS has with its members from helpful and supportive to adversarial.

4.4.  Filing a Complaint

The Board of Ethics is a semi-autonomous, impartial adjudicative body within BEMAS that has been charged with administering and enforcing the BEMAS Codes of Conduct. BEMAS has established a complaint process that is easy to understand. This information is easily accessible to individuals via the BEMAS web site or by contacting the BEMAS Office for assistance.

The process for adjudication of complaints has been designed to ensure fairness and to allow for due process. Individuals or legal entities accused of violating the Code of Ethics (respondents) are provided the opportunity to respond to the allegations against them and to seek further review of, and appeal, adverse decisions. This right to due process is an important reason that the Board of Ethics will not accept anonymous complaints or agree to keep confidential and not disclose the identity of the individual filing the complaint (complainant) to the person complained against. The complainant may be biased and the respondent needs to know the identity of the complainant in order to present and support a claim of bias. For the same reason, the Board of Ethics will not accept complaints for alleged violations of the Code of Ethics committed prior to 180 days before the date of reception of the complaint. Additionally, it is less likely that frivolous or malicious complaints will be filed if they are filled in due time and the complainant is known. Finally it is much easier for the Board of Ethics to determine the veracity and credibility of evidence submitted if the source of that evidence is known.

4.5. Adjudication and Findings

The Board of Ethics will only consider the evidence provided by complainants and respondents to reach its decision. No information about the complaint is provided to any individuals, organizations, or agencies while it is being adjudicated. If the Board of Ethics determines that there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that a Code violation occurred, the respondent and the complainant will be notified of the board's determination as a Final Decision, and the matter will be considered closed. If the individual is found to be in violation, the Board of Ethics will specify which Rules in the BEMAS Codes of Conduct were violated and determine a sanction within its power.

4.6.  Sanctions and Disclosure

The sanction imposed by the Board of Ethics may be private or public. While public sanctions may be controversial, they do provide a significant penalty for the breach of ethical behavior and may serve as a way to educate all members and perhaps rehabilitate the individual in violation. Sanctions also demonstrate to other BEMAS members that the Codes of Conduct are important and the Association is willing to enforce its standards. Sanctions include a reprimand (private), censure (a public reprimand), or withholding, suspension, or revocation of membership for a period of years, up to life. In case of withholding, suspension, or revocation of membership, the sanction needs to be confirmed by the Board.

 

5.    Filing a Complaint of Alleged Violation of the BEMAS  Codes of Conduct

5.1. The Complaint Adjudication Process

When a complaint alleging a violation(s) of the BEMAS Codes of Conduct is filed with BEMAS’s Board of Ethics (BOE), the complaint adjudication process begins.  When considering whether to file a complaint, please keep in mind that

  • The BOE only has jurisdiction to receive, deliberate, and act upon complaints filed against BEMAS members and staff;
  • the person filing the complaint (the "Complainant") does not have to be a BEMAS member;
  • the BOE does not accept anonymous complaints or complaints filed 180 days after the alleged infringement ;
  • the BOE accepts complaints filed via mail, e-mail or fax and will not accept complaints filed via telephone;
  • a copy of the complaint, a written statement of complaint, and all supporting documentation will be provided to the individual against whom the complaint is filed (hereafter referred to as the Respondent).

5.2.  How to File a Complaint

The complaint must include the following:

  • a written statement of complaint (created using a word processing software application) that contains the information and facts on which the complaint is based;
  • any additional documents and evidence that corroborates and supports the allegations, if any;
  • if additional documentation contains confidential information such as client/patient/employment records, hide or redact all identifying information (e.g., name, SSN, etc.) and replace it with a letter or number code, if necessary;
  • if a complaint containing the same allegations in this complaint was filed with another agency (e.g. federal, state, or local official, etc.) attach copies of all related correspondence showing to whom it was submitted, date of filing, and whether/how the matter was resolved;
  • signature(s) of the individual(s) filing the complaint.

Mail the completed written statement of complaint, and any additional documentation in an envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL to:

BEMAS
Board of Ethics
Bd. A. Reyers 80
BE-1030 Brussels
 

5.3.  What to Include in the Statement of Complaint

Facts and evidence to be provided in your statement of complaint may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • date(s) of incident(s);
  • your relationship to the Respondent;
  • location/occasion of incident;
  • how and when you observed/discovered the alleged violation;
  • the Respondent's actions, practices, and/or behavior you think were violations of the BEMAS Codes of Conduct;
  • descriptions and copies of any communications with others regarding this incident;
  • descriptions and dates of actions taken, if any, to try to rectify the situation prior to submitting this complaint;
  • descriptions and dates of any communications with the Respondent regarding your concerns and any responses received;
  • signed and dated witness statements;
  • copies of all other materials and evidence that corroborate and support the allegations;
  • information about facts and circumstances in your complaint that are also the subject of any complaints to other regulatory entities  or a legal cause of action.

Complainants should cite each provision of the BEMAS Codes of Conduct that he/she believes has been violated, followed by a nexus to the facts and evidence provided to support each allegation.

5.4.  How to Prepare Your Complaint

When preparing your documentation, please

  • create your statement of complaint using a word processing software application;
  • do not use colored fonts, highlight or shade text; instead underline, circle or box the facts or evidence you wish to emphasize;
  • do not hole-punch the materials;
  • do not submit two-sided documents.

5.5.  Complaint Follow-Up

The Complainant will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint from the Board of Ethics (BOE). If the complaint is outside the BOE jurisdiction, or if the complaint does not have merit, it will be returned to the Complainant with a letter of explanation. If the complaint is within the BOE jurisdiction, the Complainant will receive a Waiver of Confidentiality Agreement that must be signed and returned to BEMAS. This agreement will allow BEMAS to provide a copy of the complaint and supporting documents to the Respondent for a response to the alleged violations.

The BOE meets within 3 months after reception of a complaint. Depending on the complaint the BOE's meeting schedule, and whether the Respondent takes advantage of the appeals process available to him/her, 4–12 months may pass before the BOE reaches its final decision.

No information about the matter will be provided to Complainants before the BOE renders its final decision.

For general questions about the complaint filing process, please contact:

BEMAS – Belgian Maintenance Association vzw-asbl
Bd. A. Reyers 80 
BE-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 706 85 41  –  Fax: +32 2 706 85 42  –  infoatbemas [dot] org

 

Contact:

If you have any questions regarding these codes of conduct or if you want to inform BEMAS on (possible) cases of infringement, please contact us at:

BEMAS – Belgian Maintenance Association vzw-asbl
Board of Ethics

Bd. A. Reyers 80 

BE-1030 Brussels

Tel: +32 2 706 85 41  –  Fax: +32 2 706 85 42  –  infoatbemas [dot] org