“Competency, fairness, high integrity …”: These words should be highlighted as watchwords of professional conduct under the Code of Ethics.
“No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients …”: Note that this powerful principle follows directly the words of “competence, fairness and high integrity.” This entire paragraph summarizes, in a nutshell, the critical concepts of the Code of Ethics.
Business Ethics Suggested Time: 5 minutes Start time: __________ End time: __________ This short lecturette about business ethics should give the participants a sense of how the REALTOR Code of Ethics fits into the overall picture of ethics in industry. You should simply discuss the fact that business ethics can be made up of industry codes, such as the REALTOR Code of Ethics, or have a more general concept which would include both company policy and individual moral values. Legal standards generally set minimum standards of conduct. Ethical standards usually encompass principles higher than legal standards.
Structure of the Code of Ethics Suggested Time: 5 minutes Start time: __________ End time: __________ It is important to be able to “navigate” the Code of Ethics and to understand the Code’s format. This module uses a short lecturette to introduce the structure of the Code. You may want to ask participants have their copy of the Code available. You can then use the Code as a “prop” when you discuss this material with participants.
This section moves from the broadest concepts in the Code to the most specific. The first part deals with the “three major categories.” You may want to point out that the Code is prioritized as to the importance of the sections, Articles and Standards of Practice. The National Association structured the Code with “Duties to Clients and Customers” as the first section because these duties are the most important obligations REALTORS have. Similarly, the Articles in subsequent sections are prioritized. For example, Article 1’s concept of protecting and promoting the interests of the client is considered to be the most important obligation REALTORS have, both in this section and, because it is the first Article, in the entire Code. The same prioritization occurs in the Standards of Practice that interpret each Article.
M. The term REALTOR stands for competency, fairness, high integrity, moral conduct in business relations.
N. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients can justify departure from these ideals.
B. Articles – broad statements of ethical principles.
Even though this priority exists, it is important to note that no section, Article or Standard of Practice is “less important” or the “least important.” Violations of any Article are serious and can subject the member to discipline.
Lastly, you should note that, in contrast to a failure to attain the aspirational goals of the Preamble, violation of any of the Articles can subject REALTORS to disciplinary action. The types of discipline will be reviewed later in the course.
C. Standards of Practice – support, interpret, and amplify the Articles under which they are stated.
Case Interpretations – specific fact situations to which the Articles and/or Standards of Practice are applied.