CHLA/ABSC Code of Conduct

CHLA/ABSC is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and is dedicated to providing an inclusive, professionally engaging, and safe environment for all, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, ability status, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, language or religion. As such, everyone engaged in CHLA/ABSC activities (including, but not limited to, conference, continuing education, social media and online communities, and all means of communication between members and non-members relating to CHLA/ABSC activities) is required to adhere to the following Code of Conduct.

Speakers, members and participants engaged in CHLA/ABSC activities are expected to uphold the highest standard of professional conduct at all times. As such, all participants in CHLA/ABSC events are asked to be open, inclusive, professional and respectful of the rights and beliefs of others.

Harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Examples of harassment include (but not limited to): offensive comments, verbal threats or demands, sexualized images in public spaces, intimidation, stalking, harassing or non consensual photography or recording, sustained disruption of sessions or events, and unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention. Harassment also includes slights and negative messages based solely on appearance.

Participants in CHLA/ABSC events engaging in any form of harassment may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the CHLA/ABSC Board of Directors. Further sanctions, including termination of CHLA/ABSC membership, may follow.

Incidents and complaints will be reviewed by the Code of Conduct Review Committee, consisting of two CHLA/ABSC Board members (including the President) and two other members of CHLA/ABSC in good standing. Violations of the Code of Conduct should be reported using the incident reporting form available on the CHLA/ABSC website. If a complaint generates a conflict of interest for a member of the Code of Conduct Review Committee, that member will step down.

Code of Conduct Process

Upon receipt of a report, members of the Code of Conduct Review Committee will meet as soon as possible to take appropriate steps to investigate and address the matter. These steps may include, but are not limited to:

  • Investigating the allegations of discrimination/harassment;
  • Meeting separately with the concerned parties;
  • Mediating the dispute;
  • If the circumstances require, the Code of Conduct Review Committee may take interim measures to protect the safety and health of the complainant and other participants, including temporary suspensions from specific spaces or facilities pending the resolution of the complaint, any of which must be reported immediately to the Board of Directors.
  • If the circumstances require, the Code of Conduct Committee may be obliged to involve venue security and/or law enforcement. When possible, this will be left up to the discretion of the reporting participant.

All measures will be taken to protect the identity of the reporting participant and prevent retaliation.

Complainants are asked to provide only personal recollections of conversation and avoid sharing their recollections with other persons present or asking for clarification of recollections from other persons present, as it may unduly prejudice the investigative process. Other persons present will be contacted separately for their recollections.

Please note that no person, regardless of their role within or outside of CHLA/ABSC, shall be able to unilaterally dismiss any complaint. A complaint cannot be dismissed without the unanimous consent of the Code of Conduct Committee Review Committee if/when the investigation indicates that the complaint is unfounded and/or reveals it to be outside the scope of the Conduct Policies.

The Code of Conduct Committee will investigate and adjudicate a complaint as swiftly as possible, but definitely within 30 days of receiving the complaint. Complainants will be informed in writing whether:

  1. The complaint is unsubstantiated;
  2. The complaint is substantiated;
  3. The complaint is outside the scope of the Conduct Policies and the mandate of the Committee.

In the case of (a) or (c), the complaint shall be dismissed, and the complainant and respondent shall be notified in writing by the committee. This decision shall not be subject to appeal, and the complaint may not be filed again.

In the case of (b), where the committee finds clear and convincing evidence of a violation of the Code of Conduct, the Committee shall prepare a written decision setting forth the nature of the complaint, the basis for the Committees decision and its recommendation of an appropriate course of action. This decision will be provided to the complainant and the respondent, as well as to the Board of Directors and the Executive Director.

In the event a violation is confirmed by the Complaint Review Committee, the Committee may recommend sanctions including but not limited to expulsion from the event without a refund, membership probation, suspension or revocation of membership, or any other such redress to the ethical violation as the committee may find appropriate in the circumstances. Members who have received awards from the Association may have their award(s) revoked. Members who have been found in violation of the Code of Conduct may be deemed to henceforth be ineligible to receive awards.

Download the CHLA-ABSC Code of Conduct in PDF format for printing and posting.