Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) seeks to ensure that its Consultant (Professional, Senior Associate and Associate) Members meet the highest levels of professional conduct and ethical standards related to the foodservice consultancy industry. In order to provide members with meaningful guidance, FCSI has developed the following Code of Conduct for its members to help ensure that they remain independent and objective.
This Code of Conduct is intended to increase the confidence and safety of all those engaging or relying on a member of FCSI.
The Code of Conduct shall be guided by three master principles:
- The Client’s Interests
- The Public’s Interests
- The Profession’s Interests
Master Principle I — The Client’s Interests
The interest of the client shall be paramount in all aspects of the specific work and general conduct of the member at all times.
A member shall only accept work that the member is fully qualified to perform. Members shall not make misleading statements about their ability or qualifications under any circumstances and shall refuse work, or refer it to other more qualified consultants, when they are not fully conversant with the subject matter, and would be jeopardizing the member’s integrity and duty to perform the work to the highest standards.
Fee and Deliverable Arrangements
A member shall establish a scope, deliverable and fee arrangement with the client in writing, in advance of any substantive work being conducted on the client’s behalf. Any additional work or any revision of work undertaken with the client shall be agreed to by the client in writing.
A member shall not receive income either directly from the supply of equipment, materials, facilities management services or similar supply purchases by the client or indirectly through refunds or deductions from the supply of equipment, materials, facilities management services or similar supply purchases by the client.
Conflict of Interest
A member shall avoid acting simultaneously for two or more clients in a potentially conflicting situation without informing all parties in advance and securing their agreement to the arrangement in writing.
A member shall inform a client of any interest which may reasonably be seen to impair the member’s professional judgment.
A member shall disclose any known actual or potential conflicts of interest and provide full disclosure on any relationship which may have the potential to compromise the member’s integrity or the quality of services rendered.
A member must disclose, in writing, any interest or arrangement with suppliers of any goods or services, other than consulting services, that may be requested by the client and the client must provide a countersignature signifying that the client understands the nature of the consultant/supplier relationship.
A member shall not take advantage of a client relationship by encouraging, unless by way of advertisement, an employee of a client to consider alternative employment without first discussing the opportunity with the client and obtaining the client’s written permission to approach the employee.
A member shall not disclose proprietary information obtained during the course of the assignment unless that information is already clearly in the public domain, or permission is obtained in writing, to disclose specific information for a specific purpose.
Independence and Objectivity
A member shall refrain from serving a client under any circumstance in which the member shall find herself/himself working in conditions which may impair the member’s independence or judgment. A member should retain the ability to withdraw from an assignment in which the member loses her/his independence during the course of the engagement.
The member shall ensure that the advice and recommendations the member presents are based upon his/her findings, analysis and experience in the industry, and are realistic, practical and presented to the client in a clear manner.
A member must declare and disclose to the client all relevant personal, financial or other business interests, known to the member, which may materially affect the client. The declaration must include but not be limited to:
- any directorship or controlling interest in any business in competition with the client
- any personal or financial relationship with the client, its employees or a supplier
- any financial interest in goods or services recommended or supplied to the client either directly or by the consultant’s employer
- any personal investment in the client organization or in its parent or subsidiary organizations
- any recent or current engagements in sensitive areas of work with a directly competitive firm of the client
- any current work or work completed in the past previous 18 months for a third party on the opposite side of a transaction
Master Principle II — The Public’s Interest
The interest of the public shall be highly considered and respected in all aspects of the specific work and general conduct of the member at all times.
A member shall act in accordance with applicable law of the jurisdiction in which the engagement is being conducted and within the member’s own place of business at all times. The member shall not participate in any engagement which is in contravention of the law in the jurisdiction of the consultant, the client or the physical engagement.
A member shall not represent the client or other members or any other interest without the express written permission of those the member represents, authorizing him/her to do so.
The member must conduct herself/himself in a reasonable and respectful manner at all times in public, whether representing the membership or the profession.
Master Principle III — The Profession’s Interest
The member shall be responsible to the interests of the foodservice consulting profession by endeavoring to enhance the standing and public image of the profession and the association within his/her community.
A member shall keep informed of the Code of Conduct at all times.
A member shall strive to keep abreast of developments in his/her specific areas of expertise.
A member shall comply with the Society’s Continuing Professional Growth requirements.
Obligations to Other Members and the Profession at Large
A member shall respect the professional obligations of other members as set out in this Code of Conduct.
A member, when referring a third party, shall not make any commitments on behalf of the third party nor misrepresent the third party’s qualifications.
A member shall not attempt to have another foodservice consultant’s engagement terminated. Members shall not knowingly attempt to break an on-going client relationship between another foodservice consultant and their client.
A member shall not approach another foodservice consultant’s staff regarding alternative employment unless they have the other foodservice consultant’s written agreement or follow normally acceptable recruitment procedures.
A member, when promoting their work, firm, or herself/himself shall:
- Provide only factual and relevant information
- Neither be misleading nor unfair to others
A member shall operate her/his business and practice in such a manner to reflect normally accepted professional conduct.
A member shall maintain in good standing, her/his reputation and character at all times.
A member shall not give FCSI false, inaccurate, misleading or incomplete information at any time.
A member shall not use or permit to be used the Society’s name, initial or seal inappropriately nor in any manner other than those set out in policy guidelines issued by the Board of Directors from time to time or with the express written permission of the FCSI Board of Directors.