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Ethics

  • Ethics is integral to all decisions, designs, and services performed by civil engineers. Not only the public trust but also their lives, safety, and welfare depend on professional engineers' efficient, safe, and economical performance of their duties. ASCE's ethics programs, policies, and resources are designed to assist its members in understanding their ethical obligations and incorporating them into the day-to-day conduct of their professional and business-related affairs.

  • "A Question of Ethics" Articles

    Social media use has become all but ubiquitous in today's professional environment. Broadly defined as any Web-based platform that enables people to interact while creating and sharing information, social media offer convenient forums that make it possible for an engineering professional to stay connected to friends, family, and colleagues and to build relationships with current and potential clients, employers, suppliers, instructors, or advisers.

    The most popular social media site, Facebook, currently boasts more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, and the most popular professional network, LinkedIn, has more than 400 million registered users. Millions of people regularly participate in media sharing, commentary, and discussion via such media as Instagram, Twitter, WordPress.com, and Pinterest. Though individual levels of engagement in social media may vary based on personal interest, geographic location, or other circumstances, it is clear that social media have changed the way in which people give and receive information.

    Yet, as is the case with any highly powerful tool, the use of social media is not without risk. A single unwise or mistaken statement shared on social media can create an enormous ripple of unforeseen inimical effects for companies and individuals alike. When an individual who makes an unwise statement is an engineer, a doctor, an attorney, or other professional, these effects could justify a claim that the professional has breached his or her code of professional conduct.

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  • Code of ethics

    First adopted in 1914, the ASCE Code of Ethics is the model for professional conduct for ASCE members.  The Code of Ethics was most recently updated on July 23, 2006.

    Members with an ethics question may call the ASCE Ethics Hotline: 800-548-2723 x6151

    Download a printable copy of the Code of Ethics

  • CANON 1. Hold Safety Paramount

  • CANON 2. Service with Competence

  • CANON 3. Issue True Statements

  • CANON 4. Act as a Faithful Agent

  • CANON 5. Reputation By Merit

  • CANON 6. Uphold Professional Honor

  • CANON 7. Continue Professional Development

  • ETHICS VIOLATIONS

    Under ASCE bylaws, all ASCE members are required to comply with the Code of Ethics and to report any observed violations. The Committee on Professional Conduct (CPC) reviews and investigates complaints in accordance with its rules of procedure. If the CPC finds that an ethics violation has occurred and that disciplinary actions are appropriate, it will forward its recommendations to ASCE's Executive Committee or Board of Direction for a formal hearing on the matter.

    To file a complaint:

    American Society of Civil Engineers 
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive 
    Reston, VA 20191

    ENGINEERS CHARTER

    Corruption in the global construction industry is a huge economic burden estimated to approach $500 billion dollars annually.  It occurs in every country regardless of the form of government, the level of development, or geographic location.  ASCE is raising awareness of the real costs of corruption and action by engineers worldwide.  

    ADD YOUR SIGNATURE TO THE CHARTER  

  • Ethics Case Studies

    Given the vital importance of engineering works to society, it is essential for engineers to understand their responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and welfare even in circumstances when doing so may come at a great personal cost. This video series features interviews with engineers and other professionals regarding their experiences with some of the most significant engineering ethics cases of modern times

  • Order of the Engineer

    The Order of the Engineer was initiated in the United States to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession. The goal is to bridge the gap between training and experience, and to present to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer.

    Organize or Attend a Ceremony