ISHC Professional Code of Conduct
The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)
The International Society of Hospitality Consultants was founded in recognition of the public need for competent, unbiased advise, professional guidance and sound judgement on the many diversified problems encountered in the hospitality industry.
The Society is composed of individuals, not organisations, corporations, or groups. Membership in ISHC is by invitation only. To be eligible for membership, an individual must initially meet the following minimum criteria:
- Be a practicing hospitality consultant with five consecutive years of consulting experience immediately preceding invitation or have three consecutive years of consulting experience immediately preceding invitation if the candidate has a total of ten years hospitality industry experience.
- One’s primary professional activity is as a practicing hospitality industry consultant selling a service or intellectual property, as opposed to a physical or tangible product.
- Be an owner, officer, partner or principal of his or her own company (management companies excluded), or the equivalent thereof.
- Be sponsored by existing members as determined by the Board of Directors. Currently, U.S. candidates are required to have three existing members as sponsors. Non-U.S. candidates require two existing members as sponsors.
The Society believes that by clearly recognising the consulting function as a profession, and by organising the collective knowledge and experience of those engaged in hospitality consulting, the quality of consulting services to the industry will be greatly enhanced. Members of the Society have demonstrated their integrity and are qualified by their experience, training, and knowledge, to develop and express sound judgement on issues in the hospitality industry.
ISHC Professional Code of Conduct
This Code is designed to serve notice to the public that members will assume the obligation of self-discipline above and beyond the requirements of law and that members will maintain a high level of ethics and professional service.
The Society enforces the Code by receiving and investigating all complaints of violations and by taking disciplinary action, including censure, suspension, or revocation of membership against any member who is found guilty of Code violation or who willfully supports the practice of Code violation.
It is a desire for the respect and confidence of the hospitality industry and of society that should motivate the consultant or member to maintain the highest possible ethical conduct. The loss of that respect and confidence is the ultimate sanction.
In recognition of the public interest in their obligation to the profession, members of the Society must agree in writing to comply with the following articles of professional conduct.
Professional Attitude and Behaviour
A member shall conduct all professional activities in a manner that reflects credit upon the member, the Society, and the hospitality industry.
- Members will not take personal, financial, or other advantage of inside material or information resulting from their professional relationship with clients unless proper, full disclosure has been made; nor will they provide the basis on which others might take such advantage.
- Members will not advertise their services in misleading language or any other manner that could be detrimental to the respect and honor afforded the Society or its individual members.
- Members will not solicit employees of clients for employment except with the consent of the client.
- Members shall maintain and improve their professional competence by continually devoting the necessary time to reading appropriate professional literature, participating in educational seminars and programs in their field, and pursuing other continuing professional education activities.
- Members will endeavor to assist those who enter the hospitality industry consulting profession in acquiring a full understanding of the ethics, processes, responsibilities, and competencies of the profession and by keeping them informed of significant advances in their areas of practice.
- Members will support this code by reporting code violations to the Society in accordance with the established procedures for handling the alleged violations of the code of professional conduct.
Relationships with Clients
A member must not accept any assignment or engage in any practice involving a violation of the law, this Code or the member’s specific ethical responsibilities. A member must immediately withdraw from any assignment if such a violation is identified.
- Members shall, before accepting an engagement, confer with the client or prospective client in sufficient detail and gather sufficient facts to gain an understanding of the perceived issues, the objectives to be achieved, the scope of assistance needed and the possible benefits that may accrue to the client.
- Members will hold as strictly confidential all information concerning the affairs of the client that is gathered during the course of a professional engagement except when the client has released such information.
- Members will advise the client of any significant reservations they have regarding anticipated benefits of an engagement. They will not accept an engagement in which they cannot perceive a client benefit.
- Members will not promise any benefit that is not within their control to deliver.
Independence, Objectivity, and Integrity
- Members will assume an independent position with the client, making certain that advice to clients is based on impartial consideration of all pertinent facts and responsible opinions. Members will not knowingly present a misleading report.
- A member must not accept any assignment involving a conflict of interest and must withdraw from an assignment when an unavoidable conflict of interest arises after the assignment has been accepted unless such conflict is fully disclosed in writing to all parties and all parties agree that the assignment may be accepted or continued.
- A member must not knowingly accept any assignment in which the member is called upon solely to lend professional reputation or signature to misleading predetermined opinions or positions.
- A member must not accept any assignment which precludes or limits the ability to develop factual and supportable opinions, findings, or conclusions. If the client requests the scope of the assignment to be limited (to the extent that the consultant may not be able to consider all relevant factors), then these limitations must be communicated in writing and agreed upon by the client before accepting the assignment.
Arrangements with Clients
- The valuation of services and the procedures by which fees are charged are matters of individual preference and are based upon agreement between the consultant and client. However, members will agree with the client in advance on the basis for charges, including the reimbursement of expenses.
- A member is precluded from accepting a contingent fee in situations where the member is represented or reasonably expected to be independent for the purposes of completing the project, unless such engagement arrangements are disclosed in writing in all communications with third parties.
Due Professional Care/Competency Provision
- A member may not accept any assignment which is beyond the scope of the member’s competency, knowledge, and expertise unless the member obtains the needed knowledge or expertise from other sources.
- Members will ensure that others they assign to an engagement, including subcontractors, comply with the standards set out herein, are qualified to produce the engagement benefits, and are adequately supervised.
- Members will ensure that sufficient relevant information is obtained and evaluated in developing conclusions and recommendations.
- Members will perform each engagement on an individualized basis and will develop recommendations designed specifically to address each client’s issues. Such solutions should be realistic and practical, clearly understood by the client and capable of being implemented by the client.
- Members will demonstrate a commitment to the quality of their advice, assistance and resulting deliverables through sufficient planning, reviews, and controls.
Members recognize that from time to time they will be working with other professional hospitality consultants, as well as those from other disciplines and that it is necessary to adhere to certain standards of conduct in order to maximize the benefits to clients as well as to maintain the professional relationships within the profession.
- Members recognize their responsibility to the profession, to share with their colleagues, the general body of knowledge and non-propriety approaches they use in serving clients.
- Members referring another consultant to a client will not misrepresent the qualifications of the other consultant nor will they make any commitments for the other consultant.
- Members receiving a referral from another will ensure that no misrepresentations or commitments have been made. When engaged by a client to review the work of another consultant who is a member of this Society, members will exercise objectivity and integrity in all technical and advisory conclusions communicated to a client.