Professional Responsibility and the Code of Professional Conduct

The PMP certification is a major goal for many people. After all the hours of studying and taking practice tests, you breathe a sigh of relief when you finally pass it. It reminds you of the days when you completed your college exams for the summer and were relieved about getting done.

While you celebrate your success, bear in mind that with your new certification comes a tremendous amount of responsibility. This involves looking at business agreements and monetary issues in a totally honest manner with an emphasis on integrity.

The Code of Professional Conduct is just a one-page document, but it accounts for more than 14% of the questions on the exam. Make sure you read it thoroughly.

This chapter explains professional responsibility and the ethics that provide the basis for the credibility of the project management profession.

Qualifications, experience, and honest performance of professional services are just some of the attributes you must consider when you evaluate your business practices. Much of this material is common sense, but it is emphasized so that everyone has a full understanding of expectations.


Make certain you understand the concept of conflict of interest because it is one of the fundamentals tied to the other topics.

Where Do I Find the Information Concerning Professional Responsibility?

The Code of Professional Conduct is not part of the PMBOK. It can be found on the PMI Web site. Here's the current URL:

If this URL does not work for you, the information can be found under the "Certifications" heading on the PMI Web site.


Although the Code of Professional Conduct is a small document, it contains a tremendous amount of information and constitutes a large percentage of questions.

The professional responsibility issues you will learn about in this chapter are summarized in Table 9.1.

Table 9.1. Professional Responsibility Summary


Recommendation and Summary

Conflict of interest

Not recommended. This occurs when someone considers his or her personal interests above the project. Conflict of interest occurs when an individual can gain personally and therefore influences a decision.


High integrity is recommended. Someone's integrity is linked to his or her morals and ethics.

Stakeholder influence

Not recommended. Powerful stakeholders can change the entire project instantaneously.

Personal enrichment

Not recommended. This occurs when someone inappropriately receives compensation or benefit for his or her actions. Often tied to conflict of interest.

Gifts from vendors

Not recommended. Ask what your company's policy on gifts is. This restriction may apply to free meals from sales reps or vendors. Most companies have a monetary limit that is considered acceptable. Use this as a guideline. Also, do not offer gifts that are inappropriate.

Affiliations and family connections

Business dealings for which an unknown linkage between the participants of the transactions exists. Someone receiving inappropriate personal enrichment is not recommended.


The code stipulates that high professional ethics must be utilized at all times and in all circumstances.

Impact of team members

Not recommended. You should not allow team members' personal gain to diminish the importance of the project.

Professional behavior

Highly recommended. Your actions exemplify your professional standards. Always maintain control of your behavior and exercise emotional restraint in business situations.

Let's begin your journey through the topic of professional responsibility with conflict of interest. As you can imagine, PMI strongly discourages you from taking positions, money, gifts, and so on from people or organizations you have personal stakes with or interests in. Read on to find out just what PMI has to say about this issue.

PMP Exam Cram 2. Project Management Professional
PMP Exam Cram 2. Project Management Professional
Year: 2003
Pages: 169 © 2008-2017.
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