The Code of professional ethics of an expert involved in external reviews during state accreditation of educational activities (hereinafter - the Code) is a collection of moral and ethical obligations and requirements based on generally accepted standards to be followed by experts in the procedure of external review of educational activities.
The Code defines the rules of moral conduct of accredited specialists – the establishment of the powers of a natural person as an expert on the right to be engaged in external reviews of basic study programs.
The Code is designed to promote the credibility of the accreditation body and experts involved in external reviews as part of expert panels, to increase educational organizations’ confidence in the results of experts' work, to provide a unified moral and legal basis for coherent and efficient actions during external review.
Main principles of the expert professional ethics
- Public interests:
The interests of society, the interests of educational organizations are the main criterion for professional expert activities. In his/her activities the expert should follow the moral principles of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, reliability and responsibility;
The expert has no right to subordinate the public interests to private interests of individuals or groups, to act in favor of private interests, to the detriment of society and to execute official duties in dependence to personal advantage.
- II. Professional competence:
The expert is obliged to refuse to provide professional services beyond his professional competence, and not in accordance with the profile of his/her activities;
The expert bears the responsibility for the validity of his/her findings and conclusions to prevent further cancellation or review of the decision made;
The expert should maintain the necessary level of his/her professional competence.
III. Elimination of mercenary actions:
Honest and selfless execution of one’s own duties;
Expert professional integrity;
Absence of any promises contrary to professional duties.
- IV. Objectivity, independence:
Expert’s findings, conclusions and recommendations should be based on the objective information;
Avoiding anybody’s personal bias and pressure exerted from any party in any form on the objectivity of expert opinions;
Adherence to the firmness and integrity when preparing the reporting documentation in spite of any possible pressure exerted to change the review results.
- Rules of interaction with representatives of educational organizations:
Self-command and patience;
Elimination of back-slapping terms, rudeness and tactlessness;
Respect (consideration) of colleagues’ decisions;
Requirement for the disclosure of full and objective information. The expert is responsible for the hiding, falsification of the data in the case he/she didn’t insist on total information awareness;
Ability to act clearly and take decisions in stress situations;
Avoiding public statements concerning the running and preliminary results of the external review procedure.
- Confidentiality of the information:
Keeping privacy of confidential and proprietary information;
Not using confidential information for personal advantage, for the benefit of third parties;
Publication, other disclosure of confidential information shall not be considered a violation of professional ethics in the following cases: when it is allowed by the educational organization, taking into account the interests of all parties that it may affect; and when it is provided for by the regulations or court decisions.
VII. Relationship with colleagues:
Not to discuss personal or professional behavior of his/her colleagues, as well as to give an estimation of their work;
Not to provide any data detractive from the reputation of his/her own colleagues for public discussion or disclosure;
In conflict and contradictory situations to provide an honest discussion of all (including opposing) opinions, to avoid conflict of interest, to resolve all disputes on the basis of facts and transparency, to adhere to the collegiate model of decision-making.