Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists
Professional Certification Program

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Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

Click here to attend an online video course about the Code of Ethics.

1.0In their interaction with the public, a Professional Wetland Scientist or Wetland Professional In Training shall:
1.1Only express opinions on wetland matters for which he or she is knowledgeable or familiar with the facts.
1.2Facilitate the communication of facts and issues concerning wetlands with the press and other media, except as restricted by contractual obligations.
1.3Accurately and adequately represent the facts and results of investigations and research and not base decisions on theological or religious beliefs, political pressure or client or supervisor pressure.
1.4Accurately represent the capability of the science to resolve environmental problems and the capacity of wetlands to contribute to the welfare of society.
1.5Reveal any conflicts of interest to their clients or the public that may interfere with full representation of the scientific facts as they can be reasonably interpreted.
1.6Accurately convey that certification does not by itself imply qualification to conduct specific activities such as wetland delineations or wetland functional assessment, or to conduct all scientific research. Provide professional services only in areas of his or her competence or expertise.
1.7Not knowingly present themself as having credentials that have not been earned nor maintained. Maintenance is defined as certification renewal and payment of annual maintenance fees.
1.8Refrain from advertising in a self-laudatory manner, beyond statements informing potential clients/employers of qualifications, or in a manner detrimental to fellow wetland scientists.
2.0To promote the well being of the profession, a Professional Wetland Scientist or Wetland Professional In Training shall:
2.1Serve as spokesperson for the SWSPCP, Inc. only as directed by the Board of Directors.
2.2Use the SWSPCP, Inc. logo, if desired, on business cards and promotional materials, but not on letterhead or in any way that could be interpreted as acting as a representative of the SWSPCP, Inc.. Use of the certification stamp with certified person’s name and certification number is encouraged for use on documents prepared by the certified person.
2.3Promote the profession in a positive but realistic manner, so as to encourage involvement by young professionals and contribute to their advancement in the profession, as warranted.
2.4Practice professional behavior that is free from sexual harassment or discrimination with respect to race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, physical appearance, religion, economic status, country of origin and citizenship, ethnic background, disability, education, career stage, and professional status.
2.5Use laboratory animals and work in habitats of organisms in complete conformance with federal or state requirements for the protection of organisms and in line with currently accepted practices for individual species.
2.6Maintain the confidentiality of information produced for a client, as required by appropriate federal and state laws.
2.7Aid in exclusion from certification those who have not followed this code or do not have the required education and experience. Help to maintain the high standard of the SWSPCP, Inc. by providing a signed complaint to the SWSPCP, Inc. for known, verifiable, and egregious unethical conduct (breach of code) by another certified person.
2.8Refrain from attempting to injure the reputation of another scientist through the use of false, biased, or otherwise undocumented claims.
3.0To promote the advancement of wetland science and professional practice, a certified Professional Wetland Scientist or Wetland Professional In Training shall:
3.1Claim authorship or credit only for those papers, ideas, or practice to which one has made substantial and significant contributions through writing, study concepts and design, data collection, or data analysis.
3.2Not submit manuscripts for publication of material that has already been published or is under review for a different journal or book, without notifying the publisher.
3.3Not use the unpublished data of others for publication without the consent and attribution of the principal investigator responsible for collecting and/or maintaining the data.
3.4Maintain confidentiality of the contents of manuscripts when providing peer review of a manuscript.
3.5Promptly review any scientific materials provided to one for peer review so as to expedite the review and publication process of other researchers.
3.6Report promptly to the editor any errors discovered after a manuscript is published or is submitted for publication.
3.7Maintain original data and records of all work conducted for a client, and all research, methods, results, and analyses for a minimum of three years beyond the termination of the project.
3.8Strive to increase knowledge and skills to advance the practice of wetland science and professional practice, and keep informed of advances in the field of expertise of the member, including the literature, methods of measurement and analysis, and skills for the interpretation of data.

Ethics Violation Complaint Form Download (PDF)

Persons concerned about a potential or obvious breech of the 'SWSPCP Code of Ethics' are encouraged to contact the Ethics Committee Chair directly to discuss the concern in confidence. Please do not be explicit if making the initial contact via email or in another public venue. Simply state that you would like to set up a confidential telephone appointment to discuss a concern. Details and names should only be provided in verbal discussion with the Chair, until such time as a complaint is formalized for review. In addition, to ensure privacy and an unbiased review process the formal complaint should also be developed with care to avoid disclosure beyond the SWSPCP Ethics Committee. For this reason, no specific ethics related complaint or documentation should be forwarded to the SWSPCP business office. All correspondence and discussion must be handled directly through the Ethics Committee Chair.

Ethics Chair: Matthew Schweisberg
Phone: 508-783-6026


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Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program
Last Updated 7/8/23