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Code of Ethics for Statistical Practice

Introduction

The mission of the Institute of Applied Statistics, Sri Lanka (IASSL) encourages the development and use of statistics and probability for the betterment of social lives of people of Sri Lanka. To promote high standards in statistical practice in our country, Applied Statistics practitioners must demonstrate ability and professional integrity. Hence, the IASSL has adopted this Code of Ethics for Statistical Practice to guide its members in activities of their everyday professional lives. All members of IASSL must agree to abide by this Code of Ethics for Statistical Practice as a necessary condition of their enrolment as a member.

Authority

The authority for this Code of Ethics for Statistical Practice derives from its formal adoption by the Executive Committee of former ASASL on April 20, 2004. This was formally accepted by the IASSL as its Code of Ethics. The Institute is thus committed to uphold these principles with respect to the conduct of its members.

Elements of Ethical Statistical Practice

The elements have been grouped into five major areas of responsibility that define ethical statistical practice.

  1. Responsibility to the Society
    1. Members shall in their professional practice conform to procedures that protect basic human rights and dignity and shall avoid any action that adversely affect such rights.
    2. In particular, ensure that the collection and storage of information and the publication of results adhere to relevant privacy laws and privacy standards set out by the laws of the country.
    3. Members should have due regards to the legitimate rights of third parties.
    4. Strive to advance public knowledge and understanding of information by the applications of appropriate statistical methods and interpretation of results, and by providing assistance in discrediting false of misleading information.
    5. Members must maintain objectively and strive to avoid procedural of personal bias. The creation of valid data-based information is vital to informed public opinion and policy.
    6. Acquire appropriate knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation, regulations and standards in the practitioner's field of application and comply with these requirements.
  2. Responsibility to Employers and Clients.
    1. Carry out and document work with due care and diligence in accordance with the requirements of the employer or client.
    2. Avoid disclosure or authorization to disclose, for personal gain or benefit to a third party, confidential information acquired in the course of professional practice without the prior written permission of the employer of client, or as directed by a court of law.
    3. Declare any interest, financial of otherwise, that could be perceived as influencing the outcome of work undertaken for a client or employer.
    4. Advise clients of employers of any potential or actual conflict between the ethical standards of statistical practice and the interests of the client or employer.
    5. Members shall not misrepresent or withhold information to gain advantage of the lack of knowledge or inexperience of others.
    6. Exercise care to prevent the use of any misleading summary of the data. Strive to ensure that all assumptions and limitations relevant to the data, the analysis and the results are fully disclosed.
  3. Responsibility to Other Statistical Practitioners
    1. Uphold the reputation of statistical practice and seek to improve professional standards by participating in their development, use and enforcement. Avoid any action that will adversely affect the good standing of Statistics and practitioners of Statistics.
    2. Encourage and support fellow statisticians in their professional development and wherever possible, encourage recruitment and provide opportunities for new entrants to the profession.
    3. Act with integrity towards fellow statisticians and other professionals, avoiding any activity that is incompatible with professional standards.
    4. Ensure that due credit is ascribed to fellow professionals. While question and debate are encouraged, criticism should be directed toward procedures rather than persons. Avoid publicly casting doubt on the professional competence of others.
  4. Professionalism
    1. Adhere to the Guidelines for Professional Development, seeking to upgrade professional knowledge and skills and to be informed of technological developments, procedures and standards relevant to the field of application
    2. Seek to exercise recognized good practice, upholding quality standards and encouraging fellow-practitioners to do likewise.
    3. Only undertake work and provide services that are within the limits of professional competence; and do not lay claim to any level of competence not possessed.
    4. Accept responsibility for work and give objective and reliable information on procedures in any professional review or assessment.
    5. Refuse to enter into, or comply with, any arrangement where financial or other rewards are contingent upon the outcome of a proposed statistical inquiry.
  5. Duty to the profession
    1. Continue to the education of the public whenever you have the opportunity, so that they can be aware of and form and objective and informed view on statistical techniques.
    2. Ensure that all complaints from members of the public are dealt with properly through to resolution; such complaints include, but not restricted, to accessibility, data protection and security issue.