HR Toolkit

HR Policies & Employment Legislation

Sample Policies on Common HR Topics

Code of conduct

A code of conduct lays out an organization's expectations and guiding principles for appropriate workplace behaviour. As illustrated by the samples, some policies also provide legal and ethical guidelines for relationships between employees, service users and clients.

A code of conduct policy should:

  • Be designed with consideration for your organization's values, the clients you work with and the service you provide
  • Be driven by the fact that your organization's reputation and work environment are based on the actions and behaviours of your employees
  • Provide guidelines for acceptable behaviour
  • Emphasize use of good judgment
  • Require compliance with all applicable legislation
  • Provide examples of prohibited actions or behaviour that are regarded as misconduct (and it may specify the consequences of violations), but state that these are examples only and not all inclusive
  • Refer to other related policies (for example: handling of confidential information, harassment, and conflict of interest)

The samples below show a variety of ways to address code of conduct in a policy. Your code of conduct should be designed to suit the needs and expectations in your unique environment. After that, awareness and implementation become the keys to the success of a useful and practical code of conduct.

Sample policies

Code of Conduct - Canadian Diabetes Association (PDF - 48KB)

  • Covers accountability, conflict of interest and confidentiality
  • Discusses harassment and procedures for care of the more vulnerable
  • Mentions other specific policies related to this policy
  • Outlines implementation procedures include signing a declaration (employees, volunteers)

Code of Conduct - Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre (PDF - 36KB)

  • Covers employees, board members and volunteers
  • Emphasizes ethical and proper relationships with service users
  • Mentions consequences of a violation of the policy