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Systems Thinking Alliance

Code of Ethics

As systems thinking practitioners, we are committed to doing what is right and honourable. We set high standards for ourselves, and we aspire to meet these standards in all aspects of our lives – at work, at home, and in service to our profession.

This “code of ethics” describes the expectations that we have of ourselves and our fellow practitioners in the community. It articulates the ideals and behaviours that are mandatory in our professional and volunteer roles.
We believe that the collective conduct of individuals shapes the credibility and reputation of the Systems Thinking Alliance. This code of ethics establishes an understanding of appropriate behaviour and applied to:

  1. All Systems Thinking Alliance members
  2. Individuals holding or applying for any Systems Thinking Alliance certification
  3. Individuals who serve the Systems Thinking Alliance in a volunteer capacity
  4. Individuals who engage in any Systems Thinking Alliance activity (collectively called “practitioners”); these include, but are not limited, to in-person or online events, conferences, business and social activities, and other community-driven initiatives.


All Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners have an obligation to themselves and to the alliance to represent themselves truthfully, professionally and in a non-misleading manner and to protect the integrity of all alliance issued certifications and of the process by which those certifications are earned and awarded. All Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners shall:

  • Not employ deceptive means to obtain, attempt to obtain, maintain, or assist others in obtaining or maintaining any Systems Thinking Alliance certification, including by submitting to Systems Thinking Alliance any document or testimony that contains a misstatement of fact or omits a material fact;
  • Not falsely represent themselves as a holder of any Systems Thinking Alliance certification, nor otherwise use or assist others in fraudulently using Systems Thinking Alliance certifications or marks;
  • Promptly inform Systems Thinking Alliance when possessing knowledge or evidence of fraudulent use of Systems Thinking Alliance certifications or marks by any individual or entity;
  • Be honest and accurate in presenting qualifications and experience in all communications with others;
  • Not engage in or condone behavior that is designed to deceive others.


All Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners shall conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner so as neither to offend nor bring discredit to themselves, the Systems Thinking Alliance , or their fellow Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners. All Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners shall:

  • Maintain a collegial relationship with fellow practitioners based upon respect, professional courtesy, and dignity;
  • Not discriminate against or harass others based on gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status;
  • Not engage in any illegal behavior in connection with their professional dealings or business or that otherwise harms the reputation and standing of systems thinking professionals;
  • Not use – either orally or in writing – materials, titles or thematic creations originated by others unless approved in writing by the originator;
  • Protect proprietary or confidential information that has been entrusted to them and maintain the confidentiality of business or personal affairs of clients, the Systems Thinking Alliance , and other practitioners;
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner, even when it is not reciprocated.


Respect is our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. Resources entrusted to us may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources. An environment of respect engenders trust, confidence, and performance excellence by fostering mutual cooperation—an environment where diverse perspectives and views are encouraged and valued.

As practitioners in the global systems thinking community, we require the following of ourselves and our fellow practitioners:

  • We inform ourselves about the norms and customs of others and avoid engaging in behaviors they might consider disrespectful.
  • We listen to others’ points of view, seeking to understand them.
  • We directly approach those persons with whom we have a conflict or disagreement.
  • We conduct ourselves in a professional manner, even when it is not reciprocated.
  • We negotiate in good faith.
  • We do not exercise the power of our expertise or position to influence the decisions or actions of others in order to benefit personally at their expense.
  • We do not act in an abusive manner toward others.

Professional responsibility

All Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners will strive to perform professionally and responsibly at all times. All Systems Thinking Alliance practitioners shall:

  • Take responsibility for and fulfill the professional commitments that they undertake, without impairment from substance abuse;
  • Make decisions and take actions to avoid behavior that would pose a threat or potential threat to the health, well-being or safety of others.
  • Take ownership of their errors and omissions and accept accountability for any issues resulting from their errors or omissions and any resulting consequences;
  • Proactively and fully disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest to the appropriate parties;
  • Comply with any established learning objectives for courses which they teach.

Compliance with Systems Thinking Alliance certification rules and policies

  • Responsibility to abide by exam testing rules and policies. Engaging in prohibited conduct while taking the examination is strictly prohibited. Prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to the use of notes containing examination information in the testing room, or/and, in other areas within the testing facility during breaks as appropriate.
  • Responsibility to keep confidential the contents of the our all certification exam, including questions, scenarios and cases. Disclosure is strictly prohibited and includes but is not limited to communication to colleagues, other exam candidates, and exam review course instructors. 
  • Responsibility to report to us any type of exam-related security or misconduct issue, including disclosure of content by others that our certification exam candidate or recipient becomes aware of.

Compliance with all organizational rules and policies

  • Responsibility to provide accurate and truthful representations concerning all information directly or indirectly related to all aspects of our all certification programs including but not limited to the following: examination applications or registrations, test item banks, examinations, answer sheets, candidate information sheets and recertification program reporting forms. 
  • Upon a reasonable and clear factual basis, responsibility to report possible violations of our code of ethics and professional standards by individuals in the field of analysis. 
  • Responsibility to cooperate with the Systems Thinking Alliance certification body concerning ethics violations and the collection of related information.
  • Responsibility to disclose to clients, customers, owners or contractors, significant circumstances that could be construed as a conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety.
  • Responsibility to not retaliate against any person for in good faith reporting a violation of this code of ethics, Systems Thinking Alliance policies and procedures, or applicable law to the practitioner’s employer, Systems Thinking Alliance , or to any governmental authority.
  • Report to Systems Thinking Alliance within 30 days convictions, guilty pleas or no contest pleas to felonies and certain misdemeanors, as described more fully in the disciplinary policy and procedure.
  • Respond in a timely manner to inquiries or requests for additional information from Systems Thinking Alliance relating to compliance with this code of ethics or other Systems Thinking Alliance policies.


Fairness is our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self-interest, prejudice, and favoritism. As practitioners in the global systems thinking community:

  • We demonstrate transparency in our decision-making process.
  • We constantly reexamine our impartiality and objectivity, taking corrective action as appropriate.
  • We provide equal access to information to those who are authorized to have that information. 
  • We make opportunities equally available to qualified candidates.
  • We proactively and fully disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest to the appropriate stakeholders. 
  • When we realize that we have a real or potential conflict of interest, we refrain from engaging in the decision making process or otherwise attempting to influence outcomes, unless or until: we have made full disclosure to the affected stakeholders; we have an approved mitigation plan; and we have obtained the consent of the stakeholders to proceed.
  • We do not hire or fire, reward or punish, or award or deny contracts based on personal considerations, including but not limited to, favoritism, nepotism, or bribery.
  • We do not discriminate against others based on, but not limited to, gender, race, age, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation. 
  • We apply the rules of the organization (employer, Systems Thinking Alliance , or other group) without favoritism or prejudice.


Honesty is our duty to understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct. As practitioners in the global systems thinking community:

  • We earnestly seek to understand the truth. 
  • We are truthful in our communications and in our conduct. 
  • We provide accurate information in a timely manner.
  • We make commitments and promises, implied or explicit, in good faith. 
  • We strive to create an environment in which others feel safe to tell the truth.
  • We do not engage in or condone behavior that is designed to deceive others, including but not limited to, making misleading or false statements, stating half-truths, providing information out of context or withholding information that, if known, would render our statements as misleading or incomplete. 
  • We do not engage in dishonest behavior with the intention of personal gain or at the expense of another.

Responsibilities to the client and public

Qualifications, experience, and performance of professional duties

  • Responsibility to act honourably and legally to provide accurate and truthful representations to the public in advertising, public statements, and in the preparation of estimates concerning costs, services, and expected results.
  • Responsibility to render only those services for which you are fully competent and qualified. 
  • Responsibility to maintain and satisfy the scope and objectives of professional service.
  • Responsibility to maintain and respect the confidentiality of sensitive information obtained in the course of professional activities or otherwise where a clear obligation exists.
  • Responsibility to preserve the value of their systems, applications, and information.
  • Responsibility to respect their trust and the privileges granted with that trust.


Conflict of interest situations and other prohibited professional situations

  • Responsibility to ensure that a conflict of interest does not compromise legitimate interests of a client or a customer, or influence/interfere with professional judgments.
  • Responsibility to refrain from offering or accepting inappropriate payments, gifts or other forms of compensation for personal gain unless in conformity with applicable laws or customs of the country where analysis services are being provided.

Pledge of ethics

As a practitioner of Systems Thinking Alliance , I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical obligations to my customers, trainers, colleagues, and to the public at large. I pledge to act in accordance with this Systems Thinking Alliance code of ethics, to treat people with dignity as independent and equal human beings, and to model these standards with those whom I work. I understand and agree that if I breach this pledge of ethics or any part of the Systems Thinking Alliance code of ethics, Systems Thinking Alliance in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for such breach and that such accountability may include the suspension, denial, or termination of my Systems Thinking Alliance membership and/or my Systems Thinking Alliance credentials, or other disciplinary measures.

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