Apprentice Employment Network Code of Conduct
AEN Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct has been developed by the registered Group Training Associations (GTOs) who are recognised as the Apprentice Employment Network representing GTO’s in Queensland and the Northern Territory. This document has been endorsed by the AEN Board and is released as a controlled copy through the AEN Executive.
The intent of the Code
The Code of Conduct has been developed in alignment with the revised National GTO Standards and is intended to promote professional unity and pride in the work of the Association and its Members through agreed common standards of ethical behaviour.
GTO’s are required to meet a range of state and federal legal obligations which are presumed in this Code. It is the responsibility of each organisation to ensure they are meeting these legal obligations. These obligations may include Corporations Law, Rules of Incorporation of Associations, Privacy Legislation, Equal Opportunity, Occupational Health and Safety legislation, Financial and Accounting Standards, Anti-discrimination Legislation and the Fair Work Act and Queensland Further Education and Training Act 2014.
The Code reflects the vision, mission and values of the AEN and its Members:
Vision: To be the Peak Body representing Group Training in Queensland and the Northern Territory
Mission: To promote the interests and values of the Network and its member organisations
Values: To approach all dealings with integrity and in a Professional and Ethical manner.
This Code acts as an effective demonstration of the values and commitment of the Association and its members which are embodied in the Principals of the Code.
All standards contained in this Code are in addition to the general obligations imposed on members including implied duties such as the duty to act with honesty, integrity and in good faith.
1. Respecting others
AEN members are required to treat students, other staff and members of the wider community, with respect for their rights and obligations by:
- being courteous, honest and fair when dealing with others and when making decisions;treating all people justly, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, marital status, age, political conviction or other attributes;
- acting in ways that support the reputation of staff, students, clients or partners;
- protecting the privacy of others and maintaining appropriate confidentiality regarding personal and commercial matters;
- respecting cultural backgrounds of staff, students, clients and partners and conducting activities sensitive to the cultural context;
- avoiding behaviour which might reasonably be perceived as harassment, discrimination, bullying or intimidation.
2. Behaving professionally
AEN Members are expected to carry out their work duties in a professional and conscientious manner at all times by:
- behaving in accordance with the associations values and Standards;
- behaving in accordance with relevant group training organisations policies; contractual obligations/ agreements and government legislation
- maintaining confidentiality of information;
- seeking to attain the highest possible standards of performance and providing accurate, timely and useful information to all stakeholders;
- ensuring any public comments made in the association’s name are authorised by a duly authorised AEN delegate;
- reporting fraud or corrupt conduct to appropriate internal or external authorities;
- conducting activities in a manner that supports health, safety and wellbeing for all members of the community;
- treat all people equitably and consistently, and demonstrate the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice when making decisions.
3. Avoiding any conflict of interest
Members must take reasonable steps to avoid any actual or potential conflict of interest and act appropriately by:
- disclosing actual or potential conflict of interest and withdrawing themselves immediately from the situation giving rise to the conflict;
- not misusing the influence of their position to pursue personal, sexual or financial relationships with other staff, students or members of the community;
- not accepting gifts which go beyond common courtesies consistent with ethical and accepted business practices;
- declaring private paid outside work, including directorships and board memberships.
4. Recognising and respecting intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) can be an invention, trademark, original design or the practical application or expression of a good idea that has commercial value. All members must work to safeguard the IP of the group training industry.
5. Equality in employment and training
AEN and our members are committed to developing and maintaining a diverse workforce and to providing a work environment in which every employee is treated fairly and with respect, and has the opportunity to contribute to business success and to realise their potential.
6. Information and privacy
AEN and our members will only collect and retain personal information that is necessary to meet business / government requirements, and as permitted by law by:
- Only collecting personal information in a lawful and fair manner, and in a manner which is not unreasonably intrusive;
- It will not use or disclose such information for any purpose other than the declared purpose for which it is collected.
7. Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)
AEN Members and Employees have a duty to take reasonable care for their own healthy and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. All members must comply with reasonable instructions, as far as they are reasonably able, and co-operate with reasonable health and safety policies and procedures that have been notified to workers.
· AEN Members must ensure that safe practices are followed by staff, apprentices and trainees in the operation of all plant and equipment, but also in every aspect of the scope of work provided at the workplace. This includes the monitoring and management of occupational health and safety risk factors and the effective reporting and management of workplace-related injuries and illnesses.
· AEN Members must ensure that all related health and safety practices governed by mandatory policies, standards and procedures are effectively communicated to all employees/ students and are accountable for the implementation and review of those standards and procedures and for supporting WHS systems that are in place.
8. Alcohol and drug use
In line with our commitment to providing a safe and healthy work environment, while at work or when conducting Company business, members/ employees/ students must be able to function at an acceptable level of performance and not be impaired by illegal or legal drugs, including alcohol.
AEN Members strives to foster a safe, comfortable environment for all members and students. Harassment of any kind in our network interferes with our goals and aspirations and will not be tolerated. People are the foundation of our success, and the AEN believe all people should be treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity.
The AEN defines harassment as any behaviour by an individual or group that contributes to a hostile, intimidating, unwelcoming and or inaccessible work environment. This can include (but is not limited to) sexual, ageist, religious or retaliatory harassment.
The AEN Executive and Board are committed to following the principles of “natural justice” but are limited by its Constitution and Operational Charter and cannot process complaints outside of this scope.
If the complaint is of serious misconduct, the AEN will immediately forward the complaint to the relevant authority or agency as required by statute.
On receipt of a complaint, the Executive Officer will assess the scope of the complaint and formally notify the complainant of the process and expected timeline for dealing with the complaint. The Executive Office will prepare a brief for the Board Chair detailing the complaint and recommending either the complaint be investigated or dismissed. Where a matter is deemed critical the Executive Officer may call an extraordinary meeting of the Board.
The Executive Officer may be directed to further investigate a matter which could involve interviewing the parties and conducting enquiries necessary to provide facts for the Board’s consideration.
The Board may also direct the Executive Officer to engage and independent third party with the requisite expertise (particularly in the area of disputes and complaints settlement) to guide and assist the Board.
In all cases, the Board will follow the rules of natural justice to ensure fairness and the ethical management of sensitive material and privacy provisions.
If either party is dissatisfied with the manner in which the complaint was handled or the outcome, then the Code provides a right of appeal. Any Appeals will be processed through an independent party not currently associated with the complaint. Appeals will be processed within 14 days of submission.
Breaches of the Code of Conduct:
Where a breach of the Code or a complaint against a member is upheld the Board may take any of the following actions.
Warning: The Board will contact the member concerned warning them of the deemed inappropriate action/s and provide offers of assistance to improve the problem practice.
Improvement: As above the Board appointed delegate will contact the member concerning the issue of complaint, and explain that the member is required to provide evidence of improvement in a specified timeframe.
Suspension: Where a member fails to act to rectify or improve their practice the Board may suspend the member for a period – suspension would involve loss of all membership entitlements (for a set period of time)
Expulsion & Naming: Where the breach of the Code is deemed sufficiently serious the Board Chairman may contact the member concerned informing them that as of a certain date they are no longer a member of the Association and that the AEN website and other publications will note that they are no longer a member of AEN.
Written complaints can be addressed to:
c/o AEN Executive Officer
PO Box 3134,