Code of Professional Conduct

The Canadian Payroll Association’s Code of Professional Conduct provides principles of professional conduct by which Members will conduct themselves.

The Code of Professional Conduct provides minimum standards of professional behaviour for Association Members. They apply to all Members and Students of the Association.

Members shall carry out their duties and responsibilities in a manner consistent with this Code and will strive to enhance the image of the Association and its Members.

A Member shall comply with the By-laws and the Code of Professional Conduct of the Association as amended from time to time, and with any order or resolution of the Board or its committees under the By-laws.

Members shall act in the interest of employees, employers and interested third parties, and shall be prepared to sacrifice their self-interest to do so.

Members shall avoid conflicts of interest.

A Member shall not make public statements or comments which may be interpreted as representing the Association or its views, except when authorized to act as an “official spokesperson” for the Association.

A Member shall notify the Association of any breach of the Code by another Member, or any other situation of which the Member has sufficient knowledge which appears to put in doubt the competence, reputation or integrity of Members.

A Member shall not issue a communication on any payroll information, whether for publication or not, when the information is prepared in a manner which might tend to be misleading. It is recognized that, under exceptional circumstances, compliance with this rule may place a Member in a difficult position in relation to the Member's employer. Nevertheless, it is a breach of professional duty if the Member becomes associated with any letter, report, statement, or representation which the Member knows, or ought to know, is false or misleading.

Members shall employ their technical expertise with due professional care and judgment.

Members have a fundamental responsibility to act with trustworthiness, integrity and objectivity. This responsibility extends to all Members of the Association.

A Member shall not permit their name to be used with, participate in, or provide services to, any activity which they know, or which a reasonably prudent person would believe to be unprofessional or unlawful.

A Member shall not discriminate against a person for any reason, and shall adhere to the guidelines as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

A Member shall report to the Professional Conduct Committee any situation the Member has sufficient professional knowledge of and which the Member thinks may be detrimental to the Association and its Members.

A Member shall respect personal and confidential relationships that may arise in business or professional activities as defined by privacy legislation, company policy and/or professional practice.

A Member shall not disclose or use any confidential information concerning the affairs of any employee, former employee, employer or former employer except as described in this section.

A Member shall disclose the employer's or employee's affairs: (a) where disclosure is compelled by a process of law or by a statute; or (b) where such information is required to be disclosed by the Professional Conduct Committee and the Board of Directors of the Association in the proper exercise of their duties, unless such disclosure shall contravene the applicable Privacy Legislation of the jurisdiction the infraction takes place.

A Member is not prohibited from disclosing the employer's or employee's affairs: (a) where properly acting in the course of the duties incumbent on a Member; or (b) where a Member becomes aware of apparent or suspected unprofessional activity. Before making such a disclosure, a Member should obtain advice from senior management within their organization in accordance with the policies and procedures of that organization, and then, if necessary, seek the advice of outside legal counsel as to the Member's duties and obligations as a member of the Association subject to this code of Professional Conduct. A Member so doing shall not be in violation of this Rule regarding confidentiality by reason only of the seeking or following of such legal advice or reporting.

Members who handle money or other property in trust shall do so in accordance with the terms of the trust and the general law relating to trusts. These Members shall maintain such records as are necessary to account properly for the money or other property.

In accordance with the policies established by the Association, a Member who holds a CPA certification shall maintain a professional standing by participating in Continuing Professional Education(CPE) as defined by the CPA Board of Directors.

Members shall not be associated with information which the Member knows, or ought to know, to be false or misleading, whether by statement or omission.

A Member shall immediately disclose any material discrepancy that becomes known to the Member concerning payroll information on which the Member has issued a communication, or with which the Member is associated.

A Member shall be subject to disciplinary action under the Discipline Process of the Association for any offence which constitutes a breach of professional conduct.

A Member who has been found guilty or granted an absolute or conditional discharge of any criminal or similar offence which may cast doubt as to that Member's honesty, integrity or professional competence, shall promptly inform the Association in writing of the conviction, finding of guilt or discharge, as the case may be, when the right of appeal has been exhausted or expired. In such cases, the Member may be charged under the discipline process with professional misconduct by the Professional Conduct Committee. In such cases, satisfactory evidence of the conviction, finding of guilt or discharge issued by any competent court shall be sufficient evidence of the conviction and the perpetration of the offence.

Unprofessional or similar offences may include, but are not limited to, the following offences:

  1. activity that is not consistent with the Academic Honesty Policy of the Association;
  2. fraud, theft, forgery or income tax evasion;
  3. violation of the provisions of any securities legislation; or
  4. any criminal or similar offence for conduct in, or related to, the Member's professional capacity, or for conduct in circumstances where there was reliance on the Member's Membership in, or affiliation with, the Association.

The Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee will convene a meeting of the Committee to conduct an investigation. The Committee must submit a written report to the Chair within 30 days of completion of the investigation. The Professional Conduct Committee will recommend through the Chair to the Board of Directors of the Association, the recommended actions, which could include the suspension or termination of membership. The President will give the Board’s decision to all parties within 30 days of receiving this report.

"Academic Honesty Policy" - The policy established by the CPA’s Certification Department that outlines the responsibilities of those in academic study with the Association.

"Association" - The Canadian Payroll Association

"Board" - The Board of Directors of The Canadian Payroll Association.

"Code" - The Code of Professional Conduct of the Association, as amended from time to time.

"Continuing Professional Education (CPE)" - The formal process as defined by the CPA Board of Directors whereby members who have attained the CPA certifications are required to earn credit hours of new professional learning based on established criteria.

"Member" - A Member is a person or party as defined within Section 4.1 of the Association’s By-Laws.

"Professional Conduct Committee" - The Committee established by the Association to monitor this Code.

"Professional Services" - Any services performed or offered to be performed by a Member for an employee or employer, where the public or the Member's employer is entitled to rely on the Member's Membership in the Association as giving particular competence.

"Student" - An individual who is enrolled in the Association's program of professional studies. A student must observe these Rules except where the wording of any Rule makes it clear that it specifically relates to Members or there is a specific exception made in a particular rule.

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