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Principles of Board Member Ethics

By Rita Daniels,2014-05-09 21:53
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Principles of Board Member Ethics

    Principles of Board Member Ethics

    National Association of Long Term Care Administrators

    Model Code of Conduct

Preamble:

    The purpose of the code is to instill and assure the public’s trust and confidence in its regulatory boards for licensed nursing home administrators and assisted living administrators.

    Trust must embrace the integrity of the people who serve on those boards, including the qualifications for public service that attracted their appointment to the state board.

    This model may be used as a set of expectations held by a state or jurisdictions, (here after referred to as states), regulatory authority for administrators that can assist individual board members and their Executives in their decision making. This tool can be further used to support recruitment and selection of members for the regulatory board by providing a mechanism to review potential board member selection. Conversely, the Code can also provide a rationale for the removal of board members whose service does not meet expectations or its otherwise

    unacceptable. The intent of this project is to provide context for state agencies to excerpt information and parts of the whole which leads to even stronger state boards and executives.

    This code does not carry the force of law, however, it may be used to provide practical detail to enhance state law, rules or regulations that address ethics and other areas pertinent to board service. NAB acknowledges the FARB Model Code of Conduct, written by Dale Atkinson, used extensively to recreate this specific NAB model code for states to edit, copy, implement all or portions of the model.

    Founding Principles

    ; The mission of a regulatory board for a licensed administrator is to ensure that the public

     will have access to competent, safe, and ethical administrators.

; Members of a regulatory board must familiarize themselves with the laws, rules,

     regulations, policies, and procedures that govern their service on the board.

    ; The work of regulatory boards for the licensed administrators is public service, not private

     interest or group advocacy.

    ; Performance of public service is a bestowed privilege, not an earned or inherited right, thus, all

     who serve do so at the pleasure of their appointing authority.

    ; Regardless of whether a member of a regulatory board for a licensed profession is a licensee

     in that or some other profession, a consumer, or any other type of member, it is essential

     for each board member to represent the public; that is, all of the people.

; Members of regulatory boards must strive beyond the norm to avoid any actual or

     perceived conflict of interest that may compromise the integrity of the board.

    ; Members of regulatory boards must strive beyond the norm to avoid any relationship, activity

     or position that may influence, directly or indirectly, the performance of his or her

     official duties as a board member.

    This Board Code of Ethics presents expectations for public service by members of the

    states long term care administrators’ board in four areas:

     1) Personal Qualities

     2) Board Decisions and Actions

     3) External Activities and Relationships

     4) Accountability

1) Personal Qualities:

    Personal qualities form the composite qualities of any group. Therefore, the recruitment and selection of group members is tantamount to the group’s fulfillment of its purpose. Members of regulatory boards must personify a set of qualities particularly and conspicuously consistent with public service.

    This section of the Code describes that set of personal qualities identified by regulators as those most likely to instill and assure the public’s trust and confidence in its regulatory boards for the licensed professions.

2) Board Decisions and Actions:

    Board decisions and actions must always be in the interest of the public; that is, for the common good, not just for the good of some. A board whose decisions and actions benefit the profession at the expense of the consumer or other groups cannot sustain public trust or confidence in its work. Eventually, the purpose of such a board will be revealed, not as protection of the public, but as protection of the profession. Actual or perceived, such a purpose is not merely inappropriate for a public regulatory body, but may be in violation of statutes governing the activity of such bodies. Also, the processes by which regulatory boards make their decisions and take their actions should be matters of public record and, in many jurisdictions, are subject to open meetings laws. This

    section sets forth expectations that may reasonably be held by the public for the activities of its regulatory boards for the licensed profession.

3) External Activities and Relationships:

    In most cases, the external activities and relationships of members of any group have the potential for enriching the contributions of the group’s members. However, governmental bodies constituted in law for the good of the general public must function in accordance with their statutory purpose. Moreover, their ability to function must be free from any influence external to the group, be it personal, financial, or otherwise that may conflict with the achievement of the statutory purpose. As governmental bodies constituted for public protection, regulatory boards for the licensed professions must exercise uncommon caution to avoid, declare and reconcile any actual or apparent conflicts of interest or affiliations of their members. In this regard, members of regulatory boards for the licensed profession are held to a higher standard of service than members of many other groups. This section outlines the areas of potential conflict of interest for board members as well as the actions the public can reasonably expect a board to take in order to avoid, declare or reconcile such conflicts.

4) Accountability:

    Ethical boards are accountable to those they serve. A dedicated and purposeful effort must be made to seek out the ideas and concerns of the public and the licensees. Secondarily, but also important, feedback and involvement must be solicited from the appointing or electing authority, legislature, and the regulated profession. This section outlines some areas which should be evaluated periodically by the regulatory board. It is the sincere hope of the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards (national collaboration of licensing boards) and NAB (National Association of LTC Administrators) that this document contributes to promoting the highest standards for selection of and service by the members of regulatory boards for the long term care administrator state boards. The vision is that this Code may play a part in enhancing the public trust in your state board, and ultimately, in ensuring that all citizens will have access to competent, safe, and ethical leadership in the long term care centers throughout the nation. NAB indirectly influences quality care by requiring highly trained and effective leadership of long term care centers and holds the administrator ultimately accountable for the operational excellence found in residentially based housing with services and skilled nursing facilities.

Personal Qualities

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    Introduction

    A human organization cannot function with ethical integrity unless the people at its core are themselves fundamentally ethical. Core persons in an organization set the tone, create the leadership direction, and personify the organization’s messages heard by everyone, internally and

    externally. People at the core of government organizations in a democracy have an added responsibility regarding ethical integrity: they are elected or appointed to uphold public trust.

    Those persons so elected or appointed assume the lofty and highly visible responsibilities of public servants. The fiduciary relationship that characterizes public service exists between the public and all of the people and their organizations equally.

    Therefore, long term care administrator regulatory boards should be constituted to represent:

    1. The general consumer population of the regulated jurisdiction to the extent possible,

    including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability status, geography, socioeconomic level,

    and military service, and any other group historically under-represented in the particular

    professions to ensure that the services of the profession are accessible to all;

    2. The profession and its practices, including specialization practice areas, philosophical

    bases, practice settings, professional education programs, membership organizations, and

    research to ensure that regulatory decisions and actions take into consideration the full

    context of the profession, not just part of it; and

    3. The electing or appointing authority as a public regulatory body carrying out the

    designated mission of ensuring the public health, safety, and welfare.

    An election or appointment to a regulatory board should be based on broad and open recruitment of individuals whose conduct personifies those qualities identified as particularly suited to public service. The personal qualities of an individual that constitute appropriate attributes for public service on a regulatory board for a profession are fairly uniform across professions and jurisdictional boundaries. Identification of those qualities by electing or appointing authorities is essential to ensuring the integrity of the body whose members conduct the work of regulating the professions in the interest of public health, safety and welfare.

    To assist electing and appointing authorities in their efforts to identify qualified individuals, this section of the Code describes those personal qualities deemed most likely to instill and ensure the public trust and confidence in its boards and their members who regulate the licensed professions.

    Personal Qualities of Members of Long Term Care Administrators Regulatory Boards

I. Integrity

    A. Has no criminal professional misconduct record, nor is under current investigation of

     charges or complaints, and has an acceptable malpractice history.

     B. Possesses sound moral principles, e.g. is upright, honest, sincere.

     C. Has courage of convictions to withstand pressures to be swayed from public protection

     agenda.

     D. Is honest about personal agendas and leaves them outside the boardroom.

     E. Reveals any actual or perceived conflicts of interest to appropriately recuse self from

     decisions or actions in those areas of interest.

     F. Maintains confidentiality associated with examinations, disciplinary proceedings, and

     other pertinent matters.

II. Service

     A. Seeks and finds personal gratification through service to others.

     B. Is available for all regulatory activities, to be called on short notice, to travel, to be

     flexible in scheduling commitment and handling cancellations, and is not over-

     booked with other obligations.

     C. Provides accurate and timely submissions of reports, vouchers and other

     documentation associated with board service.

III. Sacrifice

     A. Tolerates inconvenience, frustration, and scheduling conflicts to be available for board

     service.