Volunteer Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) benefits from the expertise of volunteers who have a diversity of interests. These interests, however, must not conflict with the interests of the Association, nor impair the public support and respect necessary for the conduct of CAOT business. The high level of public support and respect CAOT receives as a professional association depends upon a high degree of integrity, objectivity and professionalism of Association volunteers.
Conflict of Interest Directives
- It is the policy of CAOT to conduct each and every activity with impartiality with respect to personal gain for individuals representing the Association. Volunteers have a duty to act honestly, in good faith and in the best interest of the Association. Volunteers shall not exploit any relationship establish as a representative of CAOT to further their own physical, emotional, financial, political or business interests.
- Volunteers are responsible for the prompt identification and proposed resolution of real or potential conflicts of interest. Volunteers are required to declare a potential conflict of interest at the time the issue is first discussed. If volunteers have no conflict of interest at the time of such first consideration, then the disclosure is made at the first meeting they become so interested. If volunteers have a conflict of interest at the time of their election or appointment, they shall make such disclosure at the first meeting after they become a volunteer.
- Upon declaration of a conflict of interest, volunteers are to refrain from both discussion and decision-making in regard to the issue.
- The declaration of conflict of interest should be made to the individual designated as responsible for leading the activity. In the event that the individual designated as responsible for the activity may be in a conflict of interest position, the individual must relinquish responsibility to another appropriate individual while the issue is discussed and decided upon.
- Volunteers must ensure that their actions do not commit CAOT to financial or other liability and ensure that all commitments requiring approval are entered into and in accordance with Association by-laws, rules and regulations and policies.
- Volunteers must not place themselves in a position of obligation to persons who might or appear to benefit from special consideration with respect to Association business.
- Should a volunteer not declare a potential conflict of interest and should the conflict of interest later be challenged and upheld, the decisions of the Association on that issue may be considered to be void. Should a conflict of interest not be declared and later be challenged and upheld, the volunteer will be subject to such appropriate measures as may be determined by the Association, including resignation or removal from office.
- Volunteers are entrusted with confidential information in their terms of office, the disclosure of which could be detrimental to the best interests of CAOT. The right to maintain the confidentiality of all such information constitutes a proprietary right which CAOT is entitled to protect.
- The duty of the volunteers in respect to preserving the confidentiality of the Association’s information extends beyond and continues after the volunteer’s appointment with the Association ends.
- Volunteers must maintain the confidentiality of the Association and therefore must:
a) exercise discretion in the disclosure of confidential information to ensure that information, written or oral shall be accessible only to those authorized to receive it;
b) not disclose any confidential information pertaining to CAOT to any person, business or organization or use confidential information for any purpose other than required in fulfilling their official duties;
c) not disclose directly or indirectly to any person, business or organization the private affairs of the Association, or any information concerning the affairs of the Association which they may have acquired in the course of, or incidental to fulfilling their duties of the Association, whether for their real or perceived personal benefit or to the detriment or probable detriment to the Association.
d) not permit any person to examine or make copies of any reports or any Association documents, except as necessary in carrying out their official duties;
e) not place themselves in a position of obligation to persons who might benefit or appear to benefit from disclosure of confidential information.
4. At the conclusion of their term of office, Volunteers must return to CAOT all documents, reports and other matter that relate to the Association other than personal notes prepared in the course of their duties.
5. Volunteers who fail to comply with CAOT confidentiality directives will be subject to measures as may be determined by the Association, including resignation or removal from office.