Volunteers are expected to follow the highest ethical standards, to comply with applicable laws, and to avoid any conflicts of interest, real or perceived, that could undermine RIA.
A potential conflict of interest exists:
1. Whenever a volunteer has any actual or perceived interest or relationship, direct or indirect, which might be perceived as prejudicing the judgment of the volunteer;
2. When the interests or concerns of a volunteer, or those persons or organizations to which the volunteer has allegiance may be seen as competing with the interests or concerns of RIA.
All volunteers are expected to notify RIA through their staff liaison of any real or potential conflicts. Potential conflicts may be resolved through notification to RIA, by abstaining from decisions or discussions in the area where a conflict exists, or through the severing the relationship with either the conflicting organization/person or RIA.
Prudence and good judgment are the basis of this policy. Therefore, the guidelines provided herein are general in nature. RIA’s executive director shall administer this policy and resolve any questions or disputes.
Information Protection. RIA relies on teams of volunteers and staff to develop the products and services it provides to the industry. For this reason, material, information, or concepts provided to, developed or discussed by volunteer committees/task forces is considered the intellectual property of RIA and may not (1) be communicated to or shared with persons outside the committee or RIA staff, or (2) applied to the gain or benefit of any individual or organization without specific permission of the executive director.
Representation. RIA’s credibility depends on the consistency of its message to members and the industry. Volunteers may not make any public or private representation on behalf of RIA unless they have been specifically authorized to do so by the executive director or the designated staff liaison. When representing the Association volunteers are expected to support the official policies and positions of RIA.
When on association business or acting in an official capacity for RIA, volunteers must represent the interests of the Association. They must not be perceived as representing the interests of their employers or business associates. Volunteers are encouraged to publicize their RIA involvement as a means of affirming their expertise. However, volunteer positions should not be used as position titles by volunteers or in such manner as to promote a volunteer to a specific audience.
Committee Participation. Committees and task forces are characterized by spirited debate conducted in an environment of confidentiality. Were members to discuss committee proceedings outside the committee, the willingness of members to speak freely in future meetings would be severely chilled. RIA encourages an environment where volunteers can express their opinions in confidence.
In the same vein as confidentiality, RIA’s credibility depends in part on the good faith of its volunteers. Therefore, volunteers are expected to support the legitimate decisions of their committees and of the Association. Dissension is permitted only when speaking outside of the role of volunteer. Public disclosure of internal positions violates the spirit of confidentiality RIA wishes to foster.
Compensation. We would like to pay you, but we can’t. Association volunteers are compensated through increased visibility within their professional field and the quality of the networking opportunities that is afforded only to volunteers as select insiders. RIA is deeply grateful to its volunteers, but does not, and cannot afford to, provide monetary compensation for their time and expertise.
When a violation of this policy is suspected, RIA will investigate and may take whatever reasonable action … from counseling to replacement of the volunteer in question … as it deems appropriate.