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The Importance of Professional Ethics in the Construction Industry

No matter what changes in the construction industry, the one constant that all construction professionals should adhere to is ethics.

Without a strong commitment to ethics, we lose trust and we neglect our duty to provide care to the owners, partners, and communities that depend on us.

At AIC (American Institute of Constructors), we firmly believe in the importance of professional ethics in the construction industry, as you can see in the opening statement of the AIC Code of Ethics:

“The construction profession relies on a system of ethical competence, management excellence, and fair dealing in undertaking complex works to serve the public with safety, efficiency, and economy. We ask that all AIC members commit to the standards of professional conduct.”

What Are the Standards for Professional Ethics in Construction?

We have carefully selected seven main standards for construction ethics that make up our code. Consider each of these points carefully as you consider ways to elevate your approach to ethics in construction.

1. Have full regard for the public interest in fulfilling responsibilities to an employer or client.

2. Do not engage in deceptive practices or in any practice that creates an unfair advantage over another constructor.

3. At all times, do not maliciously or recklessly injure – or attempt to injure – the professional reputation of another individual or company.

4. Provide fair and unbiased advice when delivering a service to another party.

5. Do not divulge confidential information to another person or company that was acquired during the course of professional activities.

6. To the best of your ability, carry out responsibilities per current industry professional practices.

7. Remain informed about new thoughts and development in the construction process and support the advancement of the industry through educational opportunities.

To further illustrate the importance of these standards, we would like to share two video interviews with members of our organization that highlight the value of ethics.

Video Interview: Easy Foster

Easy Foster, CPC, is the Director of Planning & Construction for Conroe ISD (CISD) in the Houston area. Easy represented CISD as the recipient of the 2021 AIC Constructor Certification Commission National Company Award of Excellence and he facilitated the 2022 AIC Collegiate Ethics Competition earlier this year.

Easy is passionate about construction ethics in his school district and he serves as a gateway to ensure that aspiring construction professionals have a strong appreciation for ethics before they enter the industry. He provides a great perspective on ethics from an educational perspective.

“With AIC, ethics is a very important part of what we are established by. The AIC Code of Ethics is put together to make the consummate professional in our industry,” says Easy. “It’s really easy not to be ethical and to make choices in your own best interest, not what is right or what is good for the overall industry. So, AIC put together the Ethics Competition to promote ethics front and center.”

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Video Interview: Bradley Monson

Bradley Monson, CPC, is a senior project manager for Swinerton Builders. Bradley has provided excellent leadership for our organization over the past 14+ years, serving in various roles including Vice President.

Bradley provides our organization with unique insights into professional ethics from a business perspective. He is able to help our members walk through various ethical decisions that must be made in real-world situations.

“I had a situation come up where the owner was due a credit back for a portion of the work. The ethical part of the industry – it’s driven through all of the foundations of AIC – is that you are forthright with that information to the owner,” says Bradley.

“At that point in my career, that really drove me to the right path to deliver that message to the owner and give them that credit back. Whereas a lot of companies would not have done that if the owner hadn’t asked for the credit. They would have just pocketed the money and profited from it and gone down the way.

“But, by giving that credit back, the owner was able to bring it back to their leadership and acknowledge that. Ultimately, our company received more money in the form of change orders because the owner trusted us and we set that value and ethical principle. Throughout my career, I’ve really held that ethics in construction is a critical component of day-to-day business.”

Learn More About Ethical Issues in Construction

We hope that you found these interviews beneficial to support your role in the construction industry. If you would like to know more about the importance of professional ethics in the construction industry, then we encourage you to subscribe to our email newsletter.

In our monthly eNews, we include articles, resources, and the latest information about key issues in the industry, including ethics. To start receiving emails directly to your inbox, drop your name and email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of this page.

Thank you for committing to ethics as we collectively strive to accelerate constructor excellence.

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