Membership in the Australian Violin Makers Association, Inc., implies that the member has accepted the Association’s Rules and Codes of Ethics and that he or she will observe an obligation to fair and honest performance of professional services in relations with clients, colleagues and the general public. Therefore, the Association has adopted the following Principles of Professional Conduct as examples of the Association’s Code of Ethics.
1. Professional Standards
i. Members of the Association will personally accept full responsibility for the quality of their services and or advice given to clients.
ii. Members of the Association will not offer services and or advice to clients where such services or advice are beyond their professional competence and experience.
iii. Members of the Association shall not engage in any form of advertising that is likely to misinform or mislead the public with regard to the member’s skills or expertise or to knowingly exaggerate positive outcomes.
iv. Members of the Association will endeavour, wherever possible, to improve and develop their knowledge, techniques and skill levels through training, research and liaison with other makers.
2. Responsibility to Cultural Heritage
i. Members of the Association shall at all times maintain an awareness of the value, and of the cultural and historic significance of objects entrusted to their care.
ii. Members of the Association shall always respect the physical integrity of objects in their care and be conscious of the need to retain original fabric. Non-intervention should be considered as a possible option, and at times it may be appropriate to recommend that no treatment be performed.
iii. Members of the Association shall be guided by the principle of reversibility in their repair, restoration or conservation work. Any measures adopted should ideally be able to be removed and replaced with more suitable measures when new knowledge is acquired. Where they are not completely reversible, interventions should be based on a minimalist approach and attempt not to limit future interventions.
iv. Members of the Association shall be conscious of the physical and environmental hazards to which objects in their care may be exposed and will observe due care with regard to the risks of fire or theft or unacceptable levels of temperature, ambient humidity and light. Objects shall be stored in areas or containers adequate for their due care and protection.
3. Responsibility to Clients
i. Members of the Association shall serve their clients with due concern for the client’s best interests and shall hold in strict confidence all information concerning a client’s affairs that may have ensued as a direct result of a working relationship.
ii. Members of the Association shall be candid in their dealings with clients such that a client should never be left in doubt as to the professional opinion advised by the member.
iii. Members of the Association have a duty to inform the committee about fraudulent and unethical practices they may have encountered in the course of conducting their business and the committee shall – depending on the severity of the incident – decide on taking appropriate action in the best interest of the individual client, the general public and the industry.
iv. Members of the Association will assist clients to register lost or stolen instruments on the AVMA “Missing Instrument Register”. In addition, they will maintain an awareness of the problem in their dealings and where possible will attempt to recover instruments known to be stolen. The member shall not accept any reward for the return of stolen objects to their rightful owners.
v. Members of the Association must exercise independent judgement with regard to their fees; however, they shall avoid knowingly over or underestimating the value of proposed projects. Members will also make every attempt to be punctual in completing projects for their clients.
vi. Members of the Association shall not collaborate with clients to overestimate the value of objects, or artificially inflate repair costs in cases of insurance valuations or compensation claims.
vii. Members of the Association shall not pay or provide any secret commission to any third parties (such as music teachers or other advisors or intermediaries in a position of trust) in order to secure a sale to a client. Any such payment is considered unethical as it hides a financial interest of the third party from the client, undermines the reasonable expectation and trust of a client that the third party is giving advice with the clients best interest in mind, and aids to exploit the dependency and vulnerability of a client needing a third party’s assistance in choosing an instrument.
viii. Members of the Association should avoid situations in their dealings with clients in which there is a potential for a conflict of interest which may give the appearance of impropriety.
4. Responsibility to Colleagues
i. Members of the Association are encouraged to share experience and knowledge with colleagues and serious students.
ii. Where a member of the association employs apprentices said member has an obligation to offer training to the highest standards within the member’s knowledge and ability.
iii. Members of the Association will not offer public criticism of the procedures or qualifications of another member or in any other way intentionally lower public confidence in another member or the Association.
iv. Members of the Association shall not engage in advertising which implies that their skills or expertise is superior to those of their fellow members.
5. Responsibility to the Profession
i. Members of the Association shall not knowingly act in a manner which would bring the Association or the profession into disrepute.
ii. A member of the Association shall not make statements or present opinions in the name of the Association without express written permission from the committee, other than statements or information currently in the public domain.
6. Enforcement of the Principles of Professional Conduct
i. A member of the Association violating any of the Australian Violin Makers Association, Inc.’s Code of Ethics or Principles of Professional Conduct may lead to an official enquiry into the member’s conduct.
ii. A complaint against a member shall be investigated by a special committee of not less than three members appointed by the President. The special committee shall submit its report and recommendations to the committee. Any further action deemed necessary shall be taken in accordance with Rules 12 and 13 of the Rules of the Australian Violin Makers Association, Inc.
i. Proposed amendments to the Principles of Professional Conduct may be submitted to the committee at any time.
ii. If the amendment is approved by the committee, it shall be transmitted to the membership for consideration. The amendment will be adopted if approved by a vote of two thirds of the members.