Conflict of Interest Policy

What constitutes conflict of interest or unethical conduct on the part of those affiliated with AAQEP as associates — that is, AAQEP staff, officers, peer reviewers and other volunteers, Accreditation Commission members, consultants, and Board of Directors (see bylaws for conflict of interest specific to members of the Board of Directors) — has a moral as well as a legal base. 

AAQEP associates are expected at all times to maintain relationships and practices in their AAQEP activities that are legal, professional and ethical, and morally defensible. 

It is essential that all AAQEP associates conduct AAQEP business, and their private business and financial affairs that might impinge upon AAQEP, in a manner that can withstand the sharpest scrutiny by those who would seek to find wrongdoing. 

In order to ensure propriety and avoid even the semblance of wrongdoing, all associates are to follow a practice of full prior disclosure of any association, relationship, business arrangement, or circumstance that might suggest to disinterested and objective referees that an associate’s decisions were influenced by these relationships.

When the rule of full prior disclosure is followed, interests, decisions, and actions that might otherwise seem questionable may be judged by AAQEP to be entirely proper and acceptable.

When an associate has a material or substantial personal interest in an action, a decision, a contract, or other transaction to which AAQEP is to be a party, either directly or indirectly, the associate shall disclose the existence of such interest.

He or she shall also describe the nature of the interest (e.g., financial, family relationship, professional or business affiliation, etc.) to the other associates prior to the time action is taken by AAQEP (or its board, panel, committee, or officers) with respect to the matter.

Further, he or she shall abstain from acting on the matter until AAQEP determines whether or not the associate’s disclosed interest constitutes an unacceptable conflict of interest.

An interested associate may be counted in determining the presence of a quorum, but his or her vote may not be counted for purposes of the action from which he or she is recused.

The interested associate shall absent himself or herself from the portion of the meeting relating to the transaction in which he or she has an interest where, in his or her opinion or in the opinion of the chairperson of the meeting, the presence of the interested associate would inhibit free and full discussion of the matter under consideration.

In the event that the chairperson of the meeting is an interested associate, the members of the board, panel, or committee shall appoint a member by majority vote to undertake the powers and duties of the chairperson in connection with the matter under consideration.