It is a condition of the continuing membership of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers WA Division Inc (“Institute”) that all Members consistently apply this Code of Conduct (“Code”) in the conduct of their business within the Conveyancing Profession in Western Australia.
The Institute seeks and encourages the highest standards in Conveyancing practice. The continuing aim of the Institute is that the Profession of Conveyancing be universally recognized, respected and trusted by all.
In the best interests of the consumer, the general public, the Institute, the Institute Member and of his or her own business, a Member must always be loyal to the Institute, active in its endeavors and willing to share with his or her fellow members the outcome of his or her experiences.
1.1 This Code is a statement of what the Institute considers is the minimum acceptable standard of the ethical conduct of its members.
1.2 Ethics are rules of conduct built on honesty, fairness, integrity, courtesy and mutual respect.
1.3 Where a Member is in any doubt as to the application or the interpretation of the provisions of this Code they may apply to the Council for advice on the matter.
2. Professional Indemnity
2.1 To merit the confidence, respect and trust of the community, colleagues, clients and the Institute, a Members integrity and service must be beyond question or legitimate challenge at all times.
2.2 Members shall uphold all of the Professional Standards of the Institute and the Conveyancing Profession as maybe applicable to the provision of professional service.
2.3 Members shall not engage in conduct (whether in pursuit of the Conveyancing Profession or otherwise) which is unlawful, unethical, unprofessional or dishonest, or which may otherwise bring the Member, the Conveyancing Profession or the Institute into disrepute.
2.4 A Member shall not act in a harsh or unconscionable manner or participate in any activities which may mislead, deceive or bring their professional integrity into question.
2.5 A Member must strive to minimize conflict with his or her fellow Members and other conveyancers and avoid conduct that is detrimental to the interest of his or her fellow agent, the Conveyancing Profession or the Institute, and/or conduct that is contrary to good agency practice.
2.6 A Member must never publicly criticize a fellow Member or conveyancer.
3. Duties to Clients
3.1 Members, having due regard to their client’s position of dependence upon them, and the degree of trust which a client is entitled to place on a Member, shall treat their client fairly and in good faith.
3.2 Members shall keep their clients fully and promptly informed of all material and relevant information, their rights, responsibilities and possible courses of action regarding any matter entrusted to them by their clients.
3.3 Members are required to be knowledgeable about the law, legislation, Conveyancing practice and other essential facts relevant to the Conveyancing Profession and to provide their client with the full benefit of their knowledge.
3.4 A Member when asked for an opinion concerning a conveyancing transaction or a business transaction should never offer an unconsidered opinion. No opinion should be rendered without having conducted a full and proper investigation of all relevant facts and circumstances.
3.5 Members shall ensure that any service or advice provided by them or their employees is to the best of their knowledge information or belief without error, exaggeration, concealment or any form of deceptive or misleading representation.
3.6 A Member who acts or purports to act for a client must not have any interest, directly or indirectly, in any transaction other than in his capacity as a conveyancer unless his or her principal has given prior written consent thereto.
3.7 It is the duty of every Member to act in a professional manner and to ascertain all available relevant information concerning any transaction he or she accepts and agency for.
3.8 It is the duty of the Member to the best of his or her ability and in the circumstances reasonable to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation or unethical practices with any real estate or business transaction.
3.9 A Member shall at all times be responsible for the actions of his or her employees in their business relations with fellow conveyancers, clients and the general public.
3.10 A Member’s professional relationship with his or her client or customer shall always be confidential.
4. Conflict of Interest
4.1 Subject to this clause, a Member shall give undivided faithfulness to the client’s interest, unaffected by the interest of any other person, including the Member’s own interest.
4.2 A Member must at all times fully and frankly disclose to the client any interest the Member has in any matter in which the Member acts for that client. If the interest is adverse to the client’s interest the Member must decline to act or cease to act for that client, unless that client is fully informed and voluntarily consents in writing to the Member acting or continuing to act on that client’s behalf.
4.3 A Member may only act or continue to act for two or more persons with conflicting interests if it does not or is not likely to prejudice the interests of any particular client and each client is fully informed of the nature and implications of any conflict of interest, and voluntarily consents in writing to Member so acting.
4.4 Notwithstanding clause 4.3 above, where a conflict of interest exists and the conflict escalates to a dispute or disagreement between two or more parties where a Member is acting, the Member shall immediately cease to act or continue to act for all parties in the transaction, and must require each and every party to seek alternative representation.
5.1 Advertisements by Members must clearly indentify that conveyancer’s full trading name, the Licensee together with the address of place where the agency practice is conducted along with the telephone number and any corporate identification required.
5.2 A Member when acting as a conveyancer shall not hold out to the general public by way of advertisement or otherwise, offers of gifts, prizes, incentives or inducements of any kind not associated with the provision of professional services of a licensed Settlement Agent.
5.3 A Member may advertise their practice in accordance with clause 5.1 but such advertising shall not be false, misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive and does not imply a comparison with any other Conveyancer whatsoever.
5.4 A Member may identify him or her self as Member of the Institute by using the following words or letters in conjunction with the logo of the Institute from time to time.
(i) Member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers WA Division Inc.
(ii) AICWA Inc.
6. Diligence and Competence
6.1 A Member shall at all times and without exception use due care and diligence when acting for a client in matters about which the Member’s services are sought.
6.2 Members shall accept full responsibility for professional services provided and shall ensure such services are competently provided so as to promote and protect their client’s best interests and the professional enhancement of the Institute and the Conveyancing Profession.
6.3 Members shall not accept or undertake professional responsibilities beyond their competence or authority nor allow their employees to do so.
7. Supervision of Employees
7.1. Members shall take all reasonable care to ensure that any employee or other person acting on behalf of the Member shall comply with this Code and the Member shall be responsible for any non-compliance by any such employee or other person.
7.2. Members shall supervise and be responsible for the professional services provided by their employees or other persons acting on the Member’s behalf, to or on behalf of their client in the efficient provision of conveyancing services.
8. Obligation to the Institute and its Members
8.1. Members shall at all times comply with the Institute’s decisions and directions in regards to questions of ethical behavior and conduct.
8.2. A Member shall at all times conduct their business dealings so as to minimize the possibility of conflict with another Member and shall not publicly criticize any other Member.
8.3. Members shall not breach or knowingly assist or seek to induce a breach of this Code by another Member.
8.4. Members who are subject to an investigation or enquiry by the Council or are requested to respond to any question or complaint against themselves
or any other Member shall provide all reasonable assistance to and shall not hinder the Council in its investigations and deliberations.
8.5. Members shall treat all fellow Members of the Institute and all other conveyancing practitioners with utmost courtesy and fairness.
8.6. Members shall at all times endeavour to promote and advance the Conveyancing Profession, the objects of the Institute and professional bodies of which they are also members and shall continue their professional development throughout their career and encourage the professional development of their employees.
8.7. Members shall participate in the activities of the Institute and endeavour to contribute in every way available to promote the interests and reputation of the Institute as the peak Western Australian body representing the Conveyancing Profession in Western Australia.