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Code of Professional Conduct

Approved by the Board of Directors
November 4, 2010


Government relations and public affairs professionals facilitate the interchange of information, experience and ideas between government decision makers and those affected by their decisions.

What is required of all involved – those with an interest or point of view to assert, facilitators of the process, and the ultimate decision makers – is a standard of conduct that is ethical and professional.

To strengthen the practice and conduct of government relations in Canada, the following rules and guidelines define a standard of professional conduct for members of the Government Relations Institute of Canada and apply to all members of the Institute.

This code of professional conduct applies to both individual professionals and to organizations. Any provider of public affairs or government relations services who knowingly causes or permits one of their representatives to act in a manner inconsistent with this Code is party to such action and shall itself be deemed in breach of it. Organizations will ensure they direct and conduct their activities in compliance with this code.


Members of the Institute shall at all times:

  1. Comply with the letter and the spirit of all applicable laws and regulations regarding lobbying, campaign finance, political activities and business-government relations;
  2. Conduct their relations with and discharge their duties to employers and clients, elected and non-elected public office holders and officials, the public and fellow members of the profession with integrity, and professionalism;
  3. Serve recipients of their public affairs and government relations services (including employers, clients and members) in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner;
  4. Not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information, and exercise care not to do so inadvertently;
  5. Disclose fully all fees, dues and other charges to the recipients of their public affairs and government relations services, and ensure the latter are fair and reasonable;
  6. Honour confidences given in the course of professional activity;
  7. Avoid any conflict of interest and where conflict is unavoidable, communicate the facts fully and freely to those involved;
  8. Participate in the activities of the Institute and assist in maintaining its effectiveness;
  9. Strive to increase public understanding of the role of government relations through individual and collective educational efforts;
  10. Continue to pursue professional development through various means to acquire enough knowledge to continue to effectively discharge their duties, and enhance the reputation of the profession.