Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

East and West Learning Connections Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy

TARGET AUDIENCE: All Volunteers, Board of Directors

Adopted as amended 17 May 2021


1.0 Rationale

Our members, affiliates, other Community organizations and the public are entitled to expect the highest standards of conduct from the volunteers and Board of Directors of the East and West Learning Connections Organization (hereinafter, ‘the Organization’). This policy outlines the standards that will ensure that the activities of the Organization are conducted in an open, fair, and transparent manner. 

All Volunteers and Directors, both elected and appointed, are expected to promote and abide by the mission, vision, values, and policies of the Organization

2.0 Purpose

This policy establishes behavioural and ethical standards for all volunteers, including the Board of Directors, on behalf of the Organization. 

 The private conduct of each volunteer and Director is a personal matter except when such conduct compromises the reputation, image, or integrity of the Organization.

3.0 Policy

Volunteers and Directors are required to conduct themselves in all matters involving their association with the Organization in a manner that is fully consistent with the interests of the Organization and that will bear the closest public scrutiny without risk of censure. 

Their actions and relations with Organization members, other stakeholders, colleagues, the general public and each other will be driven by the Organization’s vision, values, and  operating principles. 

To that end, Organization volunteers and Directors will:

  1. Acquaint themselves with and abide by the Organization’s mission, values, vision, operating principles, and policies
  2. Refrain from condoning, participating in, or engaging in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation
  3. Comply with all applicable legal regulations, legal statutes, and with standards of equity and justice, and strive to meet and exceed the requirements of the position
  4. Always act in good faith in their relationships with other people, either internal or external, when working on behalf of the Organization
  5. Respect differences in people, including protected grounds as per the Ontario Human Rights Code as amended from time to time. These include: age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status (including single status), gender identity or gender expression, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding), sexual orientation
  6. Refrain from the use of profanity, verbal abuse or violence
  7. Maintain complete confidentiality regarding Organization affairs and decisions, during and after their tenure with the Organization; refrain from relaying information they may have had access to as an Organization volunteer or Director that is not available to the public, including but not limited to information about colleagues, Organization members, affiliates, or other community organizations
  8. Respect and abide by all decisions of the Organization’s Board of directors
  9. Follow the appropriate process when at variance with Organization policies, procedures, practices or performance and refrain from discussing these issues outside the Organization. Dissent with respect to Board of Director’s recommendations should be tabled in an open manner at the appropriate forum; however, Directors and volunteers are expected to respect and abide by Board decisions once made
  10. Follow approved communications protocols and policies in regard to public comments, including media contact and the use of social media
  11. Refrain from engaging in public criticism that would jeopardize the reputation of the Organization, including in person or through traditional or social media, both during and after their tenure with the Organization
  12. Not be in possession of, or under the influence of, illegal drugs in the workplace or while performing their job responsibilities
  13. Not engage in volunteer activity on behalf of the Organization under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or other drugs that may affect their ability to perform their responsibilities and not possess these substances while performing their responsibilities
  14. Advise the Board of Directors or the Organization’s Volunteer Coordinator if they must, for medical reasons, take drugs that impair their abilities.

Comply with:

  • the Organization’s Harassment Policy and Violence Policy
  • The Organization’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • The Organization prohibits actions that discriminate against people based on the prohibited grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned, or ignored. Such behaviour includes written or spoken comments as well as overt actions.
  • The Organization’s Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Current volunteers and Directors of the Organization must notify the Board of Directors if they have a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest. Prohibited activities for volunteers and Directors include, but are not limited to, using their position to directly or indirectly benefit themselves, their spouse, or their children, accepting gifts, giving preferential treatment or creating the appearance of giving any preferential treatment, and making personal use of Organization resources.  
  • The Organization’s Privacy Policy
  • Volunteers and Directors will store, handle, and transfer all records, in all formats, in a way that complies with the Privacy Policy to attend to the needs of The Organization and its stakeholders for privacy and security.
  • The Organization’s Policy on Disclosure of Wrongdoing (See 5.0 below)


4.0 Responsibility for Compliance

  1. The Organization’s”ethics Executive” means the Organization President or, in respect of a breach involving the Organization President, the Organization Vice-president. Or, in respect of a breach involving both the Organization President and the Organization Vice-president, the Board of Directors.
  2. It is the responsibility of the Organization Ethics Executive to ensure that all electedorappointed Directors and volunteers understand and comply with this Code of Conduct.
  3. All Organization members, Directors, and volunteers are required to confirm in writing that they have read, understood, and will comply with this Code of Conduct.

4.1 Complaints

  1. Any breach of this policy will be considered a serious matter and will be dealt with immediately.
  2. Complaints with respect to an alleged breach of this Code of Conduct should be brought before the Ethics Executive or, in the case where the allegation pertains to the conduct of the Ethics Executive, to the Organization Vice-president, or to the Board of Directors, depending on the circumstances (See 4.0 (1) above).
  3. If an allegation of breach of this Code of Conduct is brought before the Ethics Executive, an investigation will be conducted by the Ethics Executive, or by an independent Ethics Investigator appointed by the Board.
  4. If the investigation finds a breach has occurred, the offending party will be notified in writing and disciplinary measures will be taken.

4.2 Penalties

For any breach of this Code, disciplinary measures, as determined by the Ethics Executive or by the Board of Directors depending on the circumstances, may include, but are not limited to:

  • For Organization members, disciplinary measures may include the suspension or revoking of Organization membership, and eligibility for future membership.
  • For Directors, disciplinary measures may include suspension or removal from the Board and being barred from future eligibility to serve on the Board, the suspension or revoking of Organization membership and eligibility for future membership.
  • For volunteers, disciplinary measures may include the suspension or termination of volunteer status and eligibility to volunteer.  


5.0 Disclosure of Wrongdoing

Any Director, or any registered member of the Organization in good standing (hereinafter called “Organization Member”) has the right to disclose wrongdoing and be protected from reprisal.

“Wrongdoing” is defined as:

  • Contravening an act or regulation
  • Creating a grave danger to life, health, safety, or the environment by an action or failure to act that is unreasonable in the circumstances
  • Gross mismanagement
  • Directing or counseling someone to commit one of the above

How is an Organization Member Protected from Reprisal? 

An Organization Member who makes a disclosure of wrongdoing is protected from reprisals such as:

  • Being threatened with termination, having their membership revoked, or removal from office
  • Discipline, threat of discipline or penalty
  • Coercion or intimidation

Following a disclosure of wrongdoing, if it is found that a reprisal has occurred, the person responsible for the reprisal may face disciplinary action.

What is the Process for Disclosing Wrongdoing?

An Organization Member who wishes to disclose a wrongdoing has two options:

  • Report the information internally to the Ethics Executive (preferred option); or
  • If the wrongdoing pertains to the actions of the Ethics Executive, report the information to another Director, or to the Board of Directors as a whole.

Immediate disclosure is encouraged to allow the organization to correct any wrongdoing as soon as possible.

The Ethics Executive is responsible for conducting an investigation and reporting findings back to the Organization Member.

If the wrongdoing pertains to the actions of the Ethics Executive, the Board of Directors will designate an Ethics Investigator, who is responsible for conducting an investigation and reporting findings back to the Organization Member.

**end of Code of Conduct**

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