MICA is the professional association of consultants practicing in the mineral industry primarily in Australasia. MICA defines, maintains and prescribes ethical rules for consultants known as the Code for Consultants. Members of MICA are required to comply with this Code for Consultants.
Nothing in this Code shall be construed as binding or absolving consultants from their obligations under the Law. For the avoidance of doubt, consultants should act both legally and, since some legal actions may not be ethical, ethically.
Provisions contained within the Code of Consultants are not designed to restrict competitive behaviour in any way. MICA is committed to promoting vigorous competition within the industry.
Code for Consultants and Interpretations
The responsibility of consultants for the welfare, health and safety of the community shall as a general principle come before their responsibility to the profession, to sectional or private interests, or to other consultants.
Interpretation: The principle here is that the interests of the community have priority over the interests of others. It follows that consultants shall, if they consider that by so doing they can constructively advance the well being of the community, contribute to public discussion on scientific and technological matters in their areas of competence.
Consultants shall act so as to uphold and enhance the honour, integrity and dignity of the profession.
Interpretation: The principle here is that the profession should endeavour by its behaviour to merit the highest esteem of the community. It follows that consultants:
- shall not involve themselves with any business relationship or professional practice which they know to be of an unethical, fraudulent or dishonest nature;
- shall not use association with other persons, corporations or partnerships to conceal unethical acts;
- shall not continue to act in professional matters with any person who has been removed from membership of MICA because of unprofessional conduct.
Consultants shall perform work only in their areas of competence.
Interpretation: To this end, consultants shall inform their clients, and make appropriate recommendations on obtaining further advice, if an assignment requires qualifications and experience outside their field of competence.
Consultants shall build their professional reputation on merit and shall not compete unfairly.
Interpretation: The principle here is that consultants shall not act improperly to gain a benefit. It follows that consultants:
- shall approach prospective clients only with due regard to their professional independence, technical merit and to this Code for Consultants;
- shall promote the principle of engagement upon the basis of merit;
- shall neither falsify nor misrepresent their or their associates’ qualifications, experience and prior responsibility;
- shall not compete unfairly with others;
- shall give proper credit for professional work to those to whom credit is due and acknowledge the contribution of subordinates and others.
Consultants shall apply their skill and knowledge in the interests of their clients.
Interpretation: It follows that consultants:
- shall avoid all known or reasonably expected potential conflicts of interest;
- shall, when acting as administrator of a contract, be impartial as between the parties in the interpretation of the contract;
- whilst honouring confidentiality as appropriate, consultants must retain relevant reports and documents supporting their opinions and conclusions notwithstanding their professional indemnity obligations.
Consultants shall give evidence, express opinions and make statements in an objective and truthful manner and on the basis of adequate knowledge.
Interpretation: It follows that:
- a consultant’s professional reports, statements or testimony before any tribunal shall be objective and accurate. Consultants shall express an opinion only on the basis of adequate knowledge and technical competence in the area, but this shall not preclude a considered speculation based intuitively on experience and wide relevant knowledge;
- consultants shall reveal the existence of any interest, pecuniary or otherwise, that could be taken to affect their judgement in a technical matter about which they are making a statement or giving evidence.
Consultants shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall actively assist and encourage those under their direction to advance their knowledge and experience.
Interpretation: The principle here is that consultants shall strive to widen their knowledge and improve their skill in order to achieve a continuing improvement of the profession. It follows therefore that consultants:
- shall encourage their professional employees and subordinates to further their education, and;
- shall take a positive interest in, and encourage their colleagues actively to support, MICA and other professional organisations, which further the general interests of the profession.