i4cp and members shall adhere to this code of conduct in order to:

  • maximize member-value from community and best practice efforts,
  • advance the professionalism and effectiveness of our members, and
  • help protect our members from harm.

Adherence to this Code will contribute to efficient, effective, and confidential community interaction.

Guidelines and Ethics for Members:

  1. Legality
    1. If there is any potential question on the legality of an activity or information exchange, then consult with your corporate counsel.
    2. Avoid discussions or actions that could lead to or imply an interest in restraint of trade, market and/or customer allocation schemes, price fixing, dealing arrangements, bid rigging, or bribery.
    3. Refrain from the acquisition of confidential information from another by any means that could be interpreted as improper, including the breach or inducement of a breach of any duty to maintain secrecy. Do not disclose or use any confidential information that may have been obtained through improper means or that was disclosed by another in violation of duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use.
    4. Do not, as a consultant or client, extend research materials to another company without first ensuring that the data is appropriately attributed so that copyrights are protected
    5. Do not, as a consultant or client, extend findings to another company without first ensuring that the data is blinded and/or anonymous so that the participants’ identities are protected.

  2. Exchange
    1. Provide to your community members the same type and level of information that you request from your community members.
    2. Fully communicate expectations and intended use of information gathered - to avoid misunderstandings and establish mutual interest in the benchmarking exchange.
    3. Be honest, complete, and timely with the information submitted.

  3. Confidentiality
    1. Treat community interchange as confidential to the individuals and companies involved. Information must not be communicated outside the community without the prior consent of the community member who shared the information.
    2. A company’s participation in the community is confidential and should not be communicated externally without their prior permission.
    3. Any information obtained from a member should be treated as internal, privileged communications.
    4. If “confidential” or proprietary material is to be exchanged, then it may be advised to secure a specific, outside agreement to specify the content of the material that needs to be protected, the duration of the period of protection, the conditions for permitting access to the material, and the specific handling requirements necessary for that material.

  4. Use
    1. Information obtained through i4cp research or community is intended only for purposes of developing a member’s skill set or an organization’s effectiveness
    2. Information obtained through i4cp research or community is NOT to be used to contact members or non-members for sales or marketing related activities
    3. The use or communication of a community member’s name with data obtained or practices observed requires the prior permission of the member(s).
    4. Contact lists or other contact information provided in any form may not be used for purposes other than networking.

  5. Contact
    1. Do not contact members for sales or marketing activities.
    2. Respect the corporate culture of members.
    3. Only use contacts designated by members.
    4. Obtain mutual agreement with the members prior to any hand-off of communication to any non-member parties.
    5. Obtain a member’s permission before providing his or her name in response to a contact request.
    6. Avoid communicating a member’s name in an open forum without the member’s prior permission.

  6. Working with Competitors within the i4cp Community
    1. Establish specific ground rules up-front. For example, “We don’t want to talk about things that will give either of us a competitive advantage, but rather we want to see where we both may mutually improve or gain benefit.”
    2. Check with legal counsel if any information gathering procedure is in doubt (e.g., before contacting a direct competitor). If uncomfortable, do not proceed. Alternatively, negotiate and sign a specific non-disclosure agreement that will satisfy the attorneys representing each partner.
    3. Do not ask competitors for specific, sensitive data.