Understand the role of codes of ethics and discuss its function as a social tool in ensuring ethical behaviors are in place (use the registration of engineers act 1967 as a guide line). To be a professional there are a certain set of rules that you have to comply to this rules. Engineering societies in this case have adopted a set of rules knows as the code of ethics. Basically, a code of ethics provides a framework for ethical judgment for a professional.  Framework meaning there is no absolute solution on weather an action is ethical or unethical.
No code can be totally comprehensive, covering every possible ethical situation that a professional engineer is likely to encounter. Instead, the code of ethics is the starting point in making an ethical decision. The code also functions to display the commitment to ethical conduct shared by members of a profession. For example if an engineer were to join a professional body like the board of engineers Malaysia (BEAM), he and all other members are then bounded by the code of ethics of this particular body.
These codes however do not establish new ethical principles; they only revive professionals with principle and standards that are already known to be responsible engineering practices for comparison. A code is used also because it is far more accessible when compiled. The code of ethics also plays an important function as a social tool in ensuring ethical behavior. The code helps create an atmosphere where ethical behavior is the norm. This in turn deters any professionals from acting unethically when making decisions.
A code of ethics also works to enforce an individual’s position with regard to certain activities. Let’s say if an individual is being pressured by superior to behave unethically, the code of ethics will provide some backup for the individual to refuse the superior thus ensuring ethical behavior. Code of ethics will also be able to boost the position of on individual in making ethical decisions, by indicating that there is a collective sense of ethical behavior between all the members of a particular body.
The code of ethics lets others know that a profession is seriously concerned about ethical behavior. This ensure the credibility of the engineers that adhere by this code and increases the trust of the public on engineers that are admitted into professional bodies. . Look closely at two codes of ethics: the code of the BEAM and the NSP. Even though these codes have some common contents, ANALYSES any structures of the codes that are different. The Board of Engineer’s Malaysia (BEAM) and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSP) are examples of two professional bodies that engineers can join.
The main idea of these bodies is to ensure that the standard of professional behavior is adhered to. They are expected to maintain the highest standard of honesty and integrity. However, the codes differ from one to another, although not by very mulch. Generally the main idea of each code of ethics is the same, which is providing a framework for professionals in making ethical decisions or choices. The BEAM code is based on Malaysian law while the NSP code is based on American law; this is one of the main differences between these two codes.
Besides that, the BEAM code is also more detailed in terms of the registration of members to its society as can be seen below. The BEAM code has a dedicated section just for the codes involving the registration of engineers. This section covers the proper registration of engineers, inclination of membership all the way to the notification of change of address. The NSP code however doesn’t have such a detailed code for the registration into its society. The BEAM code is quiet general meanwhile the NSP code is much longer and more detailed.
A short code lacking in detail is more likely to be read by the members of its society than a longer code. This ensures that the engineer of this particular society reads its codes and abides by it. Another difference between the NSP code and BEAM code is that the NSP code has nothing that prevents its members from attempting to influence overpayment action. NSP code also allows competitive bidding for engineering services while the BEAM code doesn’t have a provision that talks about this.
The BEAM code also has a provision where engineers in private practice shall not without the approval of the Board enter into a professional partnership with any other person other than a professional engineer in private practice, a registered architect, a registered quantity surveyor or a licensed land surveyor. The NSP code however doesn’t talk about this. This BEAM code functions to ensure that everyone in the partnership adheres by the rules and standard of he code of ethics since they are all professionals.
The BEAM code also states that a professional engineer isn’t allowed to be a medium of payment made on his client’s behalf unless requested by the client beforehand. He also shouldn’t place contracts or orders if he is employed to the project except with the authority of the client. This provision isn’t found in the NSP code. However, this is a general provision that is followed by most professionals. The function of this code is to cut down the chances that corruption occurs which is unethical and against the code.
NSP also includes a code that ensures engineers are given credit for their respective work whether they are a junior or a senior in the company. The code reads ‘engineers shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize proprietary interests of others’. The BEAM code however doesn’t have a code addressing this issue. This code helps engineers lower down in the pecking order however work hard be given credit for their hard work.