This Code of Conducts (The Code) shall guide all categories of registered members of the institute. It is therefore expected that members familiarize themselves with its contents. This Code will become effective from the 1st of March, 2017 and shall be in force until the Trustees/Board consider a new Code.
Members should realize that it is practically impossible to foresee and cover all that could amount to misconduct, unethical and unprofessional behaviour in this manual. The Code therefore should be seen as a guidance.
The Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN) objective is to establish professional and ethical standards for the compliance profession. The Institute identifies and advocates the principles and values in the Code of Conduct (‘The Code’) as the foundation for Members. All members are expected to adopt and promote the Code and enhance the reputation of the profession. The Code serves as the basis on which members are held accountable for ethical and professional conduct. The Code supports the Institute’s objective as a professional body to act in the public interest.
The Institute requires all Members to have conceptual knowledge of the content of the Code, the necessary skill to apply and practice, as well as the resolve to implement the Code. The Code will be operative from 1 March 2017.
Professionals often face ethical dilemmas while carrying out their duties. It is difficult to anticipate all situations that might result in unethical unprofessional behaviour in this manual. This Code should be implemented within the spirit and the letters of its contents.
The Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN) (The Institute) has as its objective the promotion of sound ethical and professional practice among all members in Nigeria and Africa. It is an Institute set up with the mindset to enhance and promote professionalism in the practice of Compliance in various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Consequently, all categories of registered members of the Institute in Nigeria and beyond are to be held accountable for ethical and professional conduct.
This Code is an affirmation by all members of the Institute to act for the public good.
Provision 1: Code of Conduct applicable to all Members: Underlying Principles
The Institute requires all Members to, at all times, base their professional conduct on the following underlying principles:
Integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.
Professional skill and duty of care
Professional skill is the ability to perform one’s duties with professional competence. Duty of care is taking reasonable precautions and exercising due diligence in all circumstances.
Ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access. Confidential information obtained from a client in the course of the performance of professional duties may not be shared with anyone, unless the client has given written permission, or the information is known to the general public, or the Member has a legal obligation to disclose.
Independence is when the Member’s judgment is not influenced by emotion or personal preference. Independence should be in both mind and appearance.
Members should act in such a way as to promote the interests of the compliance profession as well as the public interest and not to bring the profession or Compliance Institute of Nigeria into disrepute.
The risk factors to the Code shall be evaluated as follows:
- Identification of threats
- Evaluation of vulnerabilities; and
- Implementation of mitigants, controls and sanctions.
Sources of threats
Threats sources to the code could come from external and internal factors such as: Office environment and dealing with third parties When such a threat arises it could affect the Member’s ability to comply with the Code. The threats could fall into any of the following.
Conflict of Interest
- The threat that an interest, financial or otherwise, may unduly influence the Member’s judgment or behavior.
- The threat that the Member will promote the position of a client so that the Member’s independence is compromised.
- The threat that the Member will become overly sympathetic towards the interests of a client based on a too close or long term relationship.
The threat, real or perceived, that the Member will be forced to act in a certain manner due to intimidation and coercion.
Mitigants and Control
The following measures may reduce or eliminate the aforementioned threats to an acceptable level.
Conflict of Interest: Best Practice
Members should maintain the following practices when confronted with situations and instances that may result to conflict of interest:
- Self-Admission when in conflict
- Full disclosure to those involved in decision making process or CIN about the circumstances surrounding the conflict of interest
- Self-withdrawal from decision making process
Blackmail is a crime, it could involve coercion or subtle intimidation involving threats on bodily harm or criminal prosecution until demand is met which could be in money term, sexual satisfaction or properties.
Giving in to blackmail is never the best option taking laws into your hand is a wrong option. The following best practice is recommended:
- Honestly ask yourself if there is any ground for a blackmail.
- Consider taking away the blackmailer’s leverage. This is when you disclose the information the blackmailer has about you publicly.
- Contact the law. Report the situation to the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency.
Relationships with stakeholders and regulators
Members should conduct themselves professionally and responsibly, recognizing the interests of stakeholders and encouraging this behaviour with other Members.
Sometimes there could be disputes, accusation and counter claims among members of the Institute. In as much as this is civil and not criminal in nature the following line of action is recommended.
- Details of the conflict should be communicated in writing to the board sub-committee on conflict resolution
- Members involved should desist from aggravating the situation until a feedback is given by the board sub-committee
Members should respect the principles of equal opportunity and cultural diversity and should not discriminate unfairly against anyone because of his/her tribe, religion and political inclination.
The Compliance Institute Nigeria (CIN) shall remain a non-religious, non-tribal, non-sexist and equal opportunity Institution.
Provision 2: Code of conduct applicable to all members ‐ membership
Membership (applicable to all members)
Only a member is entitled to use the professional designations conferred by the Institute.
Members of the Institute are entitled to use the designation “Fellow of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria (FCIN)”, “Associate Member of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria (ACIN)” or “Designate Compliance Professional (DCP)”. Provided a person has met the condition for such category of membership in line with the criteria set by the institute.
Provision 3: whistle blowing
What is whistle blowing?
Whistle blowing encourages and enables members to raise serious concerns with the Institute.
Fellow members are often first to realize that something is wrong. However, they may not express their concerns as they feel that speaking up would be disloyal.
The aims of whistle blowing
- To encourage members to feel confident in raising concerns and to act upon concerns;
- To provide avenues to raise concerns in confidence and receive feedback on any action taken;
- To reassure that the member will be protected from possible reprisals or victimization
What types of concerns can be reported?
- Conduct which is an offence or breach of law;
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation;
- Possible fraud or corruption;
- Other unethical conduct
- Actions which are unprofessional, inappropriate or in conflict with the Policies procedures or Codes
How to raise a concern
As a first step, the ethical conflict resolution process should be followed. This is included in Conflict of Interest Resolution
To report matters confidentially please consult the Institute website for further details.
Provision 4: improper conduct and disciplinary process
Certain acts or omissions may constitute improper conduct on the part of a Member and are punishable in terms of this Policy, procedures or Codes. A Member shall be guilty of improper conduct if such Member, without reasonable cause or excuse (this is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list of improper conduct):
Contravenes or fails to comply with the applicable provisions of any Acts;
Contravenes or fails to comply with any compliance pronouncements as prescribed by the Institute;
Conducts him or herself with gross negligence in connection with any work performed by the member;
Has been found guilty in some other forum, including a Court, of any offence involving dishonesty and, in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, theft, fraud, forgery or uttering a forged document, perjury, bribery or corruption;
Is dishonest in the performance of any work or duties undertaken in relation to any professional services performed by a Member;
Conducting him or herself with gross negligence in connection with any work performed by the Member; Improperly obtaining work or attempting to obtain work; Committing a breach of any rule or policies procedures or Codes prescribed by the Institute from time to time; Conducting him or herself in a manner which, in the opinion of the Disciplinary Committee, is discreditable, dishonorable, dishonest, irregular, unworthy or offensive to the Institute or brings the profession into disrepute; Failing to answer, within a reasonable time, any disciplinary‐related correspondence or communication from the Institute;
Failing to comply, within a reasonable time, any disciplinary‐ related order, requirement or request within the mandate, of the Institute;
Failing, after demand, to pay any subscription or any fee or levy payable to the Institute;
Failing to comply with the Continuous professional Educational policy
Any complaints received against a member of non‐compliance with the Code or improper conduct will be dealt with as set out in the disciplinary policy.
Close family member
A parent, child, sibling, spouse or dependant
This is either a state of being in accordance with established guidelines, specifications, or legislation or the process of becoming so.
An individual who is employed or operates in the field of compliance risk management. This is not a formal term or designation, but rather a collective term that encompasses all types of compliance workers
An interest in equity, or other security, debenture, loan or other debt instrument of an entity, including rights and obligations to acquire such an interest and derivatives directly related to such interest
A partnership, company or sole proprietor providing compliance services
Independence of mind ‐ the state of mind that permits the expression of a conclusion without being affected by influences that compromise judgment, allowing the individual to act with integrity and exercise independence and skepticism
Independence in appearance ‐ the avoidance of facts and circumstances that is so serious that a reasonable and informed third party would be likely to conclude that a Member’s integrity, independence and skepticism has been compromised
Independent compliance professional
A Compliance Professional who operates independently or as a consultant
Internal compliance professional
A Compliance Professional who is a full‐time employee of a company or an entity
An individual who is employed or operates in the field of compliance risk management who is also a registered member of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria.
This includes all the entities and individuals with whom Members interact, e.g. general public, employers, employees, colleagues, regulators, industry bodies, clients, potential clients, the Institute and the Institute members