AACP Code of Conduct
Introduction and Overarching Standards
The mission of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP or “the Association”) is to advance pharmacy education, research, scholarship, practice, and service, in partnership with members and stakeholders, to improve health for all. Engaging in these activities with highly professional, ethical, and inclusive conduct is fundamental to the excellence and integrity of the Association, academic pharmacy, and all participating in them.
The purpose of the AACP Code of Conduct is to set forth principles and standards for conduct for AACP members and those participating in AACP activities to create an inclusive community and promote participation by all stakeholders.
This Code of Conduct applies to all individual members (Active Members; Affiliate Members; Student, Resident, and Fellow Members; and Emeritus Members) as outlined in section 3.2 of the AACP Bylaws. Individuals are required to acknowledge and affirm that they have read and will abide by the AACP Code of Conduct when they join and renew their membership with AACP.
This Code of Conduct also applies to other individuals who participate or are involved in AACP-associated activities, including programs and events sponsored, funded, or conducted in whole or in part by, or otherwise involving AACP; any use of AACP property, funding or other resources, whether otherwise involving AACP or not (e.g., use/rental of an AACP facility for an activity unrelated to AACP); and performance of or holding any AACP role, responsibility, privilege, function, or other affiliation.
This Code of Conduct is intended to be in harmony with the AACP Meetings Conduct Policy, which governs the subjects and “Meeting Period” that the Meetings Conduct Policy specifically addresses, and with the policies and procedures governing AACP Continuing Education programs, including those governing conflict of interest.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Code of Conduct, any allegation of misconduct against an AACP employee under the Code of Conduct policy must be reported and will be determined under the applicable human resources policies.
Guiding Principles and Rationales
The AACP Code of Conduct was developed to be consistent with AACP’s mission and core values, and to promote professional competence and integrity in research, teaching, practice, and service; ethical fulfillment of professional responsibilities; and respect for all people.
AACP and academic pharmacy can flourish best under a climate and culture of inclusivity, excellence, and standards for conduct that promote community building and belonging. The standards foster full participation for all in AACP and the academy and support high quality work that has credibility and integrity.
Behavior that is inconsistent with the standards for conduct can exclude valuable talent from academic pharmacy and have the effect of discrediting and undermining excellence and integrity in the academy. These adverse effects can arise from, e.g., sexual, intersecting, and other bases of harassment and discrimination (e.g., based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and other identities) and other failures to meet the Association’s Code of Conduct.
Standards for Conduct
AACP values high-quality research, education, professional practice, and service combined with highly professional, ethical, and inclusive conduct, as fundamental to excellence and integrity of AACP, academic pharmacy, and all participating in them. AACP therefore adopts the following standards to be used as guidelines for conduct for AACP members in all their professional activities and for all individuals engaged in AACP-associated activities.
In pursuing professional activities, AACP members should strive to:
- Engage always in respectful, equitable, and inclusive conduct;
- Promote equitable opportunity and fair treatment for all;
- Pursue professional development and training to maintain highest levels of competence and adherence to scientific and professional standards;
- Demonstrate necessary knowledge and respect for all regulations, policies, qualifications, and expertise required to perform all professional activities;
- Contribute positively to public health, including sharing only evidence-based health and medical information and interventions, and appropriately communicating scientific uncertainty;
- Honor the public trust in the pharmacy profession by ensuring their own ethical behavior and that of other pharmacists;
- Demonstrate honesty in the conduct and attribution of their work;
- Maintain an absence of the influence of conflicts of interest in their work, achieved through avoidance or disclosure and satisfaction of approved management;
- Conduct their work and all related activities in a manner that protects the safety and health of resources, the environment, and life.
Behaviors inconsistent with the AACP Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to:
- Discriminating, harassing or behaving in a biased manner against individuals or groups of individuals based on personal characteristics including but not limited to age; sex; gender or gender identity; race; ethnicity; national origin; religion; sexual orientation; disability; health conditions; pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; military status; or marital, domestic, or parental status;
- Jeopardizing or damaging the safety and well-being of self or others, either professionally or personally;
- Participating in or promoting unwelcome sexual attention, contact, or comments;
- Making false, misleading, or deceptive statements;
- Promoting products, services, or businesses where there exists a financial or intellectual property interest without appropriate disclosure to audiences;
- Retaliating against anyone who reports a conduct concern or assists in its resolution;
- Engaging in personal attacks, intimidation, or bullying in any context;
- Sharing confidential, personal, or proprietary information without the appropriate consent; Engaging in Scientific Misconduct as defined by the Association
The AACP Code of Conduct is not intended to address all possible conduct-related behavior or ethical dilemmas.
Differences of opinion and offense
It is not a violation of this Code of Conduct to express an opinion, raise research, or describe an experience (“articulation”) that is at odds with the opinions of or is offensive to others—if the articulation is part of an on-point discussion of the work and is offered in a manner that does not interfere with others’ reasonable ability and welcomes them to participate fully in the work. Similarly, pursuing research subjects/theories or reaching research conclusions that are offensive to others is not a violation of this Policy; others may pursue counter-research and reach counter-conclusions.
Scientific Misconduct, as defined by AACP, is a violation of this Code of Conduct policy and includes:
- Research misconduct—fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results—as defined by the Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (https://ori.hhs.gov/definition-misconduct), other funding agencies and any other sponsor regulations, policies, and contracts (including all such definitions);
- Unprofessional or unethical conduct in peer review, including without limitation dishonesty, unauthorized disclosure of peer review information, and conflicts of interest that have not been disclosed and resolved or whose management has not been approved under all applicable requirements after full disclosure (or does not satisfy an approval);
- Other unprofessional or unethical conduct related to research, teaching, learning, professional practice, service, proposals, or conduct or reporting of results of such activities, to the extent not within the Association’s definition of “Scientific Misconduct” and not otherwise specified, such as when related to (without limitation):
- Failure to accurately attribute contributions to work, even when not rising to the level of plagiarism within federal standards;
- Cheating or other dishonesty;
- Failure to obtain or satisfy required human subject research protocols or protections;
- Failure to respect or satisfy the requirements of applicable law, regulations, policies, funders’ or other authorities’ requirements, including but not limited to those related to animal research, laboratory safety, personal, and environmental protections;
- Misconduct involving conflicts of interest; and
- Misconduct in supervision and mentorship.
Scientific misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
On a case-by-case basis in AACP’s discretion, this Code of Conduct also applies when a member commits, or is alleged to have committed, an illegal act of violence or dishonesty in any personal or professional role that may adversely affect their or others’ ability to perform or participate in their AACP-associated activities.
Reporting and Accountability
Concerns about conduct that may violate or be contrary to the guiding principles and standards outlined in this Code of Conduct can be raised informally or formally.
- Informally raising conduct concerns may be done by bringing the concern to AACPCode@aacp.org, either in-person, by phone, or by email. An informal approach does not necessarily preclude a formal resolution, and an informal approach may be pursued when an individual seeks to explore resolution options before deciding to identify the accused or whether to file a formal complaint.
- Filing a formal complaint may be done by sending an email to AACPCode@aacp.org. A formal complaint is equally suitable whether the person filing it seeks a formal resolution process or an informal resolution approach.
A formal complaint should include the following information:
- Any request for confidentiality;
- Name of the accused(s) and contact information and affiliation with AACP, if known;
- If the conduct concern is of a type that involves a target, the name of the identified target and contact information, if known;
- Name and contact information of the person raising the concern and how the person became aware of the concern;
- Names of any witnesses or others with pertinent information, and contact information, if known;
- Description of the conduct concern, with the date, approximate time, location/setting/activity, and all known relevant facts and circumstances;
- The provision(s) of the Code of Conduct that may have been violated, if known (optional);
- A clear statement of any facts that may indicate any ongoing concern of imminent threat to safety of any person(s) or safety or condition of property, and the sources of such facts, with contact information if known;
- Any relevant documents available to the person filing the complaint; and
- Any other information that would help AACP understand the full nature of the conduct concern, including but not limited to who was involved and who and what may have been affected; who may have pertinent information and related context; and what responses AACP may want to consider.
If an individual directly involved in a conduct concern asks for confidentiality of that person’s identity or that of others directly involved, all reasonable steps will be taken to do so by those who investigate or make decisions regarding the conduct concern on AACP’s behalf. However, they will also emphasize that retaliation is a serious violation of this Code of Conduct. They may not maintain confidentiality if, in AACP’s judgment and discretion, safety or law require otherwise. Limited disclosure of the identity of individuals most directly involved may also be needed for AACP to carry out various options to resolve a conduct concern.
All AACP members are required to respect confidentiality of the identity of each individual directly involved in a conduct concern while it is being reviewed and resolved. Failure to do so is a serious violation of this Code of Conduct. If an accused is determined to have violated this Code of Conduct Policy, the AACP Executive Committee or its authorized designee, may make that disclosure, exercising AACP’s discretion
Fairness and Community Building
In any event, AACP does not judge any individual’s conduct as unprofessional, unethical, or exclusionary, or take punitive action, without a determination through a fair process. AACP is clear about this point, even when taking precautions to protect its mission and the important interests of the many whom it seeks to advance. A formal process and a determination are not required for AACP to take informal community-building actions to address conduct concerns, build constructive relationships, and advance ownership of a welcoming and inclusive community. Such actions are consistent with fairness.
Society Codes and resources consulted in development of this Code of Conduct include:
© American Association for the Advancement of Science for the benefit of and sponsored by the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment In STEMM (https://societiesconsortium.com/); original created by EducationCounsel LLC and used by AACP under member license. AACP made changes to the copyrighted work as permitted by the member license.