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Code of Conduct

NAFEMS Code of Conduct for Volunteers

V​ersion 1.1 - August 2023



​ 1. Introduction and Background

NAFEMS is a membership association built on the concepts of collaboration and community. Our volunteer committees have been at the heart of the organisation since its foundation and much of our activity relies on the work and effort of individual volunteers.

As the home of this community, NAFEMS has to ensure that every volunteer acts and is treated in ways that reflect the association's values, standards, and ethos. However, we recognise that there are times when that aspiration is unmet. The NAFEMS Code of Conduct aims to address this by laying out a set of ethics and fundamental principles that we expect everyone involved in the organisation to abide by.

The Code of Conduct applies to every NAFEMS volunteer, including, but not limited to, technical working groups, regional steering committees, theme committees, focus groups. council of management, and planning committees. NAFEMS Staff and sub-contractors are also expected to abide by the code of conduct.

2. Our Ethics and Principles

All NAFEMS Volunteers must maintain and promote high ethical standards and challenge unethical behaviour. To promote and maintain the highest standards, every individual who engages with NAFEMS as a volunteer is required to follow our code of conduct. NAFEMS Volunteers include anyone participating on any NAFEMS committee, project, or initiative and at events and meetings, whether online or in person.


  • work in a collaborative spirit, working together for the benefit of the community and our common purpose.
  • are mindful of how our behaviours can affect others and strive to avoid behaviours that might be detrimental to the well-being of our community and the NAFEMS mission
  • value diversity of thought and opinion; it's what drives us forward
  • always see the humanity in each other. We are one community, standing together.

The fundamental principles for ethical behaviour and decision-making on which this code of conduct is based are:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Regard for life, law, the environment and public good
  • Accuracy and rigour
  • Leadership and communication
  • Respect for others

This code of conduct is broadly based on the code of conduct created by the UK Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering

3. Your Obligations as a NAFEMS Volunteer

All NAFEMS Volunteers are obliged to:

  • Uphold the reputation of NAFEMS and the simulation engineering profession
  • Accept and adhere absolutely to this Code of Conduct
  • Accept appropriate responsibility for work carried out under their supervision as part of their NAFEMS role, whether paid or unpaid.

4. Fundamental Principles

Everything we do at NAFEMS must be underpinned by the five fundamental principles outlined in this Code of Conduct. Specifically:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Regard for life, law, the environment and public good
  • Accuracy and rigour
  • Leadership and communication
  • Respect for others

4.1. Honesty and integrity

Volunteers must always uphold the highest standards of professional conduct, including openness, fairness, honesty, and integrity.

They should:

4.1.1 act in a reliable and trustworthy manner

4.1.2 be alert to how their work and behaviour might affect others and respect the privacy, rights and reputations of other parties and individuals

4.1.3 respect confidentiality

4.1.4 declare all conflicts of interest – (see the NAFEMS Conflict of Interest Policy)

4.1.5 avoid deception and take steps to prevent or report corrupt practices or professional misconduct

4.1.6 reject bribery and improper influence

4.1.7 behave in their volunteer role in ways that align with the NAFEMS Articles of Association


4.2 Regard for life, law, the environment and public good

Volunteers must obey all applicable laws and regulations and give due weight to facts, published standards and guidance and the broader public interest.

They should:

4.2.1 hold paramount the health and safety of others and draw attention to hazards

4.2.2 ensure their work is lawful and justified

4.2.3 recognise the importance of physical and cyber security and data protection

4.2.4 respect and protect personal information and intellectual property

4.2.5 protect, and where possible improve, the quality of built and natural environments

4.2.6 maximise the public good and minimise both actual and potential adverse effects for their own and succeeding generations

4.2.7 take due account of the limited availability of natural resources

4.2.8 uphold the reputation and standing of NAFEMS


4.3 Accuracy and rigour

Volunteers have a duty to acquire and use wisely the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to perform their role.

They should:

4.3.1 always act with care

4.3.2 perform services only in areas in which they are currently competent or under competent supervision

4.3.3 keep their knowledge and skills up to date

4.3.4 assist the development of engineering knowledge and skills in others

4.3.5 present and review theory, evidence, and interpretation honestly, accurately, objectively and without bias while respecting reasoned alternative views

4.3.6 identify, evaluate, quantify, mitigate, and manage risks

4.3.7 not knowingly mislead or allow others to be misled

4.4 Leadership and communication

Volunteers must abide by and promote high standards of leadership and communication.

They should:

4.4.1 be aware of the issues that engineering and technology raise for society, and listen to the aspirations and concerns of others

4.4.2 promote equality, diversity, and inclusion

4.4.3 promote public awareness and understanding of the impact and benefits of engineering achievements

4.4.4 be objective and truthful in any statement made in their professional capacity

4.4.5 challenge statements or policies that cause them professional concern

4.5 Respect

Volunteers must behave professionally and be guided by respect for others' well-being within the association.

They should:

4.5.1 communicate and act respectfully towards others

4.5.2 treat all other members of the community with fairness, equality, and dignity

4.5.3 refrain from any threatening, aggressive, or intimidating language or behaviour

4.5.4 not seek to hinder others in the execution of their duties

4.5.5 respect the autonomy of fellow committee members, volunteers, members, and staff, acknowledging the value of differing perspectives, views, and opinions


Where stressful acts and situations occur, they must be mitigated and resolved in a professional manner.

Volunteers have a duty of care to other members of the community, including fellow volunteers, NAFEMS staff members, anyone participating in or facilitating events, and the wider public. Bullying and harassment are not tolerated. Examples of conduct which constitute bullying and harassment include:

4.5.6 verbal, written or physical threats and intimidation

4.5.7 insulting, sarcastic, derogatory remarks, gestures, or actions

4.5.8 discrimination in any form

4.5.9 shouting, yelling

4.5.10 belittling someone's opinion or using belittling language

4.5.11 swearing and calling someone derogatory names

4.5.12 targeting an individual through persistent, unwarranted criticism

4.5.13 public ridicule


5 Breaches of the Code

When credible allegations of a breach against a volunteer are received, the volunteer will be suspended from participating in all NAFEMS volunteer activities whilst an investigation by the NAFEMS executive takes place. If the investigation subsequently upholds the allegations, that suspension may become permanent.

6 Reporting a Breach of the Code

Anyone, including NAFEMS Volunteers, members, staff, and the wider engineering community, can report a breach of the Code of Conduct in the strictest confidence to All reports are taken seriously, treated with confidence, and assessed on their merits by the NAFEMS Executive.

When a credible code breach is reported, the volunteer in question will be notified that a report has been received and that an investigation is underway. The chair of any committees the volunteer is part of will also be notified. NAFEMS will not disclose the details of the person reporting the breach to anyone unless absolutely necessary and will always ask for consent before doing so.