Code of Conduct

Policy No.: HR-002-C
Category: Human Resources
Owner: Director, People & Culture
Effective Date: 15 May 2023
Approved By: President & CEO


To ensure a culture that fosters respect, well-being, physical and emotional safety, personal and professional growth and, equity, diversity and inclusion.

To set and maintain a standard for acceptable behaviour for all of Healthcare Excellence Canada’s (HEC) staff and extended workforce (i.e., temps, students, volunteers, vendors and independent contractors) and to protect HEC against reputational and legal risks.


The reputation of HEC depends upon the integrity and sense of responsibility of its staff. As such, HEC expects staff to always be courteous and respectful to each other and to other persons and organizations including to its partners, sponsors, and the community within which it fulfills its mandate.

HEC requires all HEC’s workforce to be knowledgeable about and to comply with all organizational policies, government statutes, rules, and regulations. HEC’s workforce is expected to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner that demonstrates respect, dignity and integrity towards coworkers, stakeholders/partners, customers, vendors, and visitors.

HEC expects staff to live its corporate values as they conduct themselves in their work:

Partner meaningfully

We can do more together than on our own. Within HEC and with partners, collaboration accelerates progress towards our shared goals.

Innovate courageously

We seek and promote bold ideas that deliver meaningful gains in the safety and quality of healthcare, as well as agile approaches to pursuing excellence at HEC.

Act with integrity

Credibility, honesty, and respect matter at HEC. We treat others the way we would like to be treated. Together, we build trust, make evidence-informed choices, and support mutual accountability.

Be inclusive

No matter what we look like or where we live, excellence in healthcare matters to everyone. Within HEC and in our work, we embrace diverse perspectives and the value of each person’s unique experiences.

HEC’s workforce will:

  • Comply with the Code of Conduct;
  • Work collaboratively with management, colleagues, and partners to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to adhere to this policy;
  • Disclose any situations or activities that are not in compliance with this policy or if uncertain will speak to Human Resources (HR) to obtain clarification;
  • Report “fit to work”, be punctual and respond in a timely fashion to requests for service or assistance;
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates the highest standards of behaviour, professional conduct, mutual respect for others, and honours diversity in the workplace including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, religious or political beliefs;
  • Acknowledge and value the diversity of thoughts, experiences, roles, skills, and accountabilities to one’s colleagues;
  • Recognize the talent of others and seek their feedback on issues;
  • Offer assistance when they suspect or notice that others need help or are struggling;
  • Not engage in inappropriate behaviour which includes, but is not limited to, yelling; using obscene or abusive language; spreading malicious gossip or rumours; harassing, threatening, intimidating, bullying, or coercing any person at any time; indecency and fighting;
  • Communicate, whether written, verbal, or non-verbal, using language and mannerisms that reflect professionalism, respect, and a high level of customer service;
  • Safeguard confidential information about HEC, its staff and its partners, and ensure it is not used or disclosed without authority;
  • Ensure HEC information and resources are not used for furthering any private enterprise, or as a means of making personal gains;
  • Honour HEC and be good stewards of its resources by using them for organizational business only, and by protecting its assets such as equipment, materials, and supplies from damage, loss or theft, and misuse;
  • Not engage in any theft of HEC property.
  • Not engage in any illegal or unethical behaviors that could harm the organization’s reputation or credibility;
  • Participate fully and, in good faith, in any resolution process/ formal complaint/ investigation process, where identified as having potentially relevant information;
  • Respect the rights to personal dignity, privacy, and confidentiality pertaining to this policy;
  • Not use this policy to make false, frivolous, or malicious complaints against a staff member or third party.
  • Offer or accept gifts and honoraria as per the Gift and Honoraria Policy and its associated procedures/frameworks
  • Dress professionally while at work or representing HEC. Any of HEC’s workforce requiring accommodation for religious, disability or other reasons should discuss their requirements with their direct supervisors.
  • Seek approval for work-related appearances at conferences and seminars if you are HEC staff, other than the President.
  • Comply with the Media Relations and Social Media Accounts policies for any media requests and HEC social media postings.
  • Refer to HEC’s Whistleblowing Policy if you have serious concerns about any aspect of HEC’s operations. This policy provides a mechanism to take the required steps to raise these concerns.
  • Comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy for any activities and outside employment interests that may be perceived to conflict with those of HEC.

Management will:

  • Act as a role model for professional and respectful conduct, and conduct oneself according to the highest standards of integrity;
  • Promote access to information regarding HEC policies and standards;
  • Respond immediately when inappropriate conduct has been brought to their attention or has been observed;
  • Respect the rights of all parties to a fair, equitable, and confidential process for responding to complaints;
  • Provide support to all those who participate in any resolution, complaint, or investigation process; and
  • Hold staff accountable for desired behaviours through the performance management process, and enforcement of corrective and disciplinary measures where applicable.

Breach of this policy is a serious matter and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination without notice or pay in lieu thereof and potential criminal charges.


“Confidential Information” means personal information and information regarding the organization that is not publicly disclosed; this may include, but is not limited to, HEC research, awards, finances, and planning which is considered the sole and exclusive property of HEC.

“Fit to Work” means a physical, mental, and emotional state that enables staff to work safely and acceptably perform the essential tasks of their job, including working in a manner which does not threaten the safety or health of themselves, coworkers, property, or the public at large.


Applicant Conflict of Interest and Disclosure

Affiliate Conflict of Interest and Disclosure

Privacy Policy