Skip to content
SM Tutorials & Certification

Code of Ethics


Service Managers work in a variety of specializations and industries in order to help their clients. Service Managers are specifically trained in Service Management through a school or mentor Service Manager, and use/incorporate their individual professional experience in their practice.

Service Managers may use an array of titles, ranging from Service Manager to consultant to customer advocate and service leader. Although each Service Manager measures their progress differently, achievement is always measured by progress made by the Service Managers’ clients. Due to the personal nature of most Service Management processes, this Ethics Code provides the framework and values upon which trusted and reputed Service Managers base their practice.

The purposes of this Code are threefold. First, it provides the broad principles and values to which Service Managers subscribe. These include confidentiality and the utmost concern for the welfare and success of the client. Secondly, it provides rules for Service Managers to use in many of the specific situations that a Service Manager might encounter. Finally, this Code is meant to serve as a building block for the ethical and moral standards of Service Managers. While each individual Service Manager agrees to follow this Code, they are encouraged to supplement and add to it in order to build a lifelong commitment to building an ethical workplace and profession.

1) General Standards

1.01 Applicability of the Ethics Code.

(a) Any code may be considered as a normalization of experience into a set of rules. A code is adopted by a community because its members accept that adherence to such rules, including the restrictions this implies, is of benefit to all, inside and outside the community alike.

(b) This code of ethics is directed to all professional members of the It consists, essentially, of a series of statements which prescribe minimum standards of practice, to be observed by members. The code is intended to be observed in the spirit and not merely the word.

(c) The activity of a Service Manager subject to the Ethics Code may be reviewed under these Ethical Standards only if the activity is part of his or her Service Management work-related functions.

1.02 Process of Ethics and Law Of The Country.

(a) Although the Law of the country in which the Service Manager practices will take precedent over the Ethical Standards, Service Managers will, at a minimum, strive to adhere to the code of ethics.

(b) A Service Manager should not engage in any illegal activities, including, but not limited to, copyright, intellectual property rights, or patent violations.

1.03 Professional Process.

(a) Service Managers provide their services only in the context of the professional standards.

(b) Trust and responsibility are at the heart of the Service Management profession. It is expected that Service Managers will always act with integrity towards their clients, their peers, and themselves.

1.04 Competence In Service Management.

(a) A Service Manager will not knowingly lay claim to a level of competence not possessed, and will at all times exercise competence at least to the level claimed.

(b) Service Managers provide services only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, or appropriate professional experience. Service Managers should only accept work as they believe they are competent to perform.

1.05 Maintaining Expertise.

(a) Service Managers maintain a reasonable level of awareness of current best business practices and professional information in their fields of activity, and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence in the skills they use.

(b) Service Managers keep themselves informed of new technologies, practices, legal requirements and standards as are relevant to the Service Management profession.

1.06 Outputs of Service Management Services.

(a) When Service Managers provide Service Management services, (inclusive of any assessments utilized), to an individual, a group, or an organization, they use language that is reasonably understandable to the recipient of those services.

(b) If Service Managers will be precluded by law or by any other means from providing such information to particular individuals or groups, they so inform those individuals or groups at the outset of the service.

1.07 Respecting Others.

(a) Respect for the individual is a cornerstone of Service Management process.

(b) In their work-related activities, Service Managers respect the rights of others to hold values, attitudes, and opinions that differ from their own.

1.08 Unfair Discrimination.

In their work-related activities, Service Managers do not engage in unfair discrimination based on any basis whatsoever.

1.09 Harassment.

(a) Service Managers do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work.

(b) Sexual harassment is sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature. Service Managers ensure that their behavior is at all times appropriate and can in no way be described as harassment in any form.

1.10 Personal Problems and Conflicts.

(a) Service Managers recognize that they too may experience personal problems which may exert an adverse effect upon the Service Manager client process. Accordingly Service Managers inform clients of any such problems, and together appropriate action is taken.

(b) In addition, Service Managers have an obligation to be alert to signs of, and to obtain assistance for, their personal problems at an early stage, in order to prevent impaired Service Management performance.

(c) When Service Managers become aware of personal problems that may interfere with their performing Service Management-related duties adequately, they take appropriate measures, such as obtaining professional consultation or assistance, and determine whether they should limit, suspend, or terminate their current Service Management activity.

1.11 Making Progress.

Service Managers take reasonable steps to ensure that the client progresses, and in cases where there is no progress Service Managers strive to minimize any harm to their client.

1.12 Misuse of Service Managers’ Influence.

Because Service Managers’ professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence.

1.13 Misuse of Service Managers’ Work.

(a) Service Managers do not participate in activities in which it appears likely that their skills or assessments will be misused by others.

(b) If Service Managers learn of misuse or misrepresentation of their work, they take reasonable steps to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation.

1.14 Conflict of Interest.

(a) Whenever feasible, a Service Manager refrains from taking on professional obligations when preexisting processes would create a risk of conflict of interest.

(b) If a Service Manager finds that, due to unforeseen factors, a potentially conflict of interest process has arisen, the Service Manager attempts to resolve it with due regard for the best interests of the affected person and compliance with the Ethics Code.

1.15 Barter.

A Service Manager may participate in bartering only if the process is not exploitative. Service Managers are free to negotiate accepting goods, services, or other non-monetary remuneration in return for Service Management services, within the legal and Income Tax limitations of the country of practice.

1.16 Exploitative Processes.

(a) Service Managers do not exploit persons over whom they may have a management role.

(b) Service Managers do not engage in sexual processes with personnel over whom the Service Manager has evaluative or direct authority, because such processes may be viewed as exploitative.

1.17 Referrals.

When indicated and if professionally appropriate, Service Managers may cooperate with other professionals in order to serve their client effectively and appropriately.

1.18 Third-party Requests for Services.

(a) When a Service Manager agrees to provide services to a person or entity at the request of a third party, the Service Manager clarifies to the extent feasible, at the outset of the service, the nature of the process with each party. This clarification includes the role of the Service Manager (such as organizational consultant), the probable uses of the services provided or the information obtained, and the fact that there may be limits to confidentiality.

(b) If there is a foreseeable risk of the Service Manager’s being called upon to perform conflicting roles because of the involvement of a third party, the Service Manager clarifies the nature and direction of his or her responsibilities, keeps all parties appropriately informed as matters develop, and resolves the situation in accordance with this Ethics Code.

1.19 Delegation to and Supervision of Subordinates.

(a) Service Managers delegate to their employees, and assistants only those responsibilities that such persons can reasonably be expected to perform competently, on the basis of their education, training, or experience, either independently or with the level of supervision being provided.

(b) Service Managers provide proper training and supervision to their employees and take reasonable steps to see that such persons perform services responsibly, competently, and ethically.

1.20 Records and Information Management.

(a) Service Managers create, maintain, disseminate, store, retain, and dispose of records and data relating to their practice, and other work in accordance with the law of the country in which they practice, and in a manner that permits compliance with the requirements of this Ethics Code.

(b) Service Managers are recommended to appropriately document their work in order to facilitate provision of services later by them or by other professionals, to ensure accountability, and to meet other legal requirements of their Country.

1.21 Fees and Financial Arrangements.

(a) As early as is feasible in a professional process, the Service Manager and the client, or other appropriate recipient of Service Management services reach an agreement specifying the compensation and the billing arrangements.

(b) Service Managers do not exploit recipients of services or payers with respect to fees, nor do Service Managers misrepresent their fees.

(c) If limitations to services can be anticipated because of limitations in financing, this is discussed with the client, or other appropriate recipient of services as early as is feasible.

(d) If the client, or other recipient of services does not pay for services as agreed, and if the Service Manager wishes to use collection agencies or legal measures to collect the fees, the Service Manager first informs the person that such measures will be taken and provides that person an opportunity to make prompt payment.

1.22 Accuracy in Reports to Payers.

In their reports to payers for services, Service Managers accurately and clearly state the nature of the service provided, the fees and/or all other charges.

1.23 Referral Fees.

When a Service Manager pays, receives payment from, or divides fees with another professional other than in an employer – employee process, the payment to each is based on the services (referral, consultative, administrative, or other) provided, and is agreed in writing prior to commencement of engagement.

  1. Advertising/Public Statements

2.01 Definition

Advertising / Public Statements refer to any written documents or verbal statements that a Service Manager makes publicly available (such as a brochure, article, speech, or professional resume) relating to Service Management.

2.02 Statements by Others.

Service Managers understand that others may engage in making public statements for them, whether specifically asked to do so or not. Service Managers will make their best effort to ensure that any such public statements are true and not misleading.

2.03 Avoidance of False Statements.

Service Managers agree not to make any public statements that are false, under any circumstance. Examples of such statements include a Service Managers’ training or experience and the fees they charge.

  1. Service Management Process

3.01 Structuring the Process.

(a) Service Managers will explain their fee structure prior to the first paid Service Management meeting with a client.

(b) Service Managers agree to bring up and discuss important topics as early as possible in the Service Management process. An example of such a topic is confidentiality (See also standard 4.01, Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality.)

(c) Service Managers agree to refer clients to other professionals when relevant (Service Director, Service Manager, Service Director, General Manager or Managing Director).

(d) Service Managers make an effort to answer clients’ questions and address their concerns about Service Management as promptly as possible. When available, a Service Manager will provide written information to address specific concerns about Service Management.

3.02 Safety and Well-Being.

(a) Each Service Manager must make an appropriate referral to a Mental Health Professional or Emergency Service Professional at an early point of recognizing situations in which clients may put their own safety or well-being at risk, or the safety or well-being of others at risk, and in severe situations the Service Manager must contact a Mental Health Crisis Service or Emergency Service on behalf of the client.

(b) Service Managers must not attempt to diagnose or assess any mental health issue or specific problem where clients may put themselves or others at risk, but must act solely out of their personal experience, as Service Managers are not trained or licensed to make such diagnoses or assessments.

(c) Service Managers must notify the appropriate authorities when a client discloses that they are harming or endangering another individual or group. The Service Manager must also attempt to notify the person or group who is being harmed or endangered. The Service Manager does not need to discern if a mental health problem is present or in fact if the current or imminent harm is in fact illegal.

3.03 Sexual Intimacies With Clients.

Service Managers agree not to be sexually involved with current clients.

3.04 Interruption of Services.

Service Managers will make reasonable efforts to make other arrangements for any interruption of Service Management services. For longer-term interruptions (longer than 1 month), the Service Manager is encouraged to refer clients to other Service Managers until they are able to resume Service Management.

3.05 Terminating the Service Management Process.

Service Managers agree to terminate a Service Management process when it becomes clear that the client is no longer gaining benefit (or is being harmed) from the Service Management process. In terminating the process, Service Managers will suggest alternatives or provide referrals to Service Managers or other professional services when appropriate.

  1. Privacy and Confidentiality

These Standards are applicable to the professional activities of all Service Managers.


4.01 Discussing Confidentiality and the Limitations Thereof.

(a) Service Managers respect the client’s right to privacy. They do not solicit private information from the client unless it is essential in the provision of services, or the implementation of research. The standards of confidentiality apply once disclosure occurs.

(b) The discussion of confidentiality occurs at the beginning of the professional process, unless it is contraindicated or infeasible, and from then on as necessary.

(c) Service Managers discuss the nature of confidentiality and its limitations with clients and other interested parties. Service Managers examine situations in which confidential information may be requested or disclosed.

(d) All information obtained in the course of the professional service is confidential unless there is a compelling professional reason for its disclosure. Service Managers will disclose confidential information without a specific release if it is necessary to prevent foreseeable imminent harm to the client or another. In all circumstances, Service Managers will be judicious in the amount of information that is disclosed.

4.02 Maintaining Confidentiality.

(a) Service Managers are fundamentally prudent in the protection of the confidentiality rights of those with whom they work or consult. Service Managers acknowledge that professional processes, institutional regulations, and/or the law may establish confidentiality.

(b) Service Managers will not discuss confidential information in any setting unless privacy can be assured.

(c) Service Managers discuss confidential information only for appropriate professional, consultative, or scientific purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with such matters.

(d) In their dealings with the public and media (including professional presentations, and writing) Service Managers will be careful to guard the confidentiality of their clients. Moreover, Service Managers will disguise confidential information so that clients are not individually identifiable. Service Managers will only disclose confidential information if the client or legally authorized individual has given express written consent.

(e) In a consultative capacity, Service Managers do not share confidential information that could lead to the identification of a client with whom they have a confidential process. Service Managers may only share this information if they have obtained the prior consent of the client, or if the disclosure cannot be avoided. Furthermore, Service Managers share information only to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the consultation.

(f) Service Managers take logical precautions to protect client confidentiality in the event of the Service Manager’s cessation of practice, incapacitation, or death.

(g) Service Managers protect the confidentiality of their deceased clients in accordance with this Ethics Code.

4.03 Records and Information Management.

(a) Service Managers maintain confidentiality when creating, storing, accessing, transferring, and disposing of records under their authority in accordance with this Ethics Code and laws of their country.

(b) Service Managers take precautions to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of information communicated through the use of telephone, voice mail, computers, email, instant messaging, facsimile machines, and other information technology sources.

(c) Service Managers take practical and lawful steps to assure that records remain available in order to serve the best interests of clients.

4.04 Disclosures.

(a) Unless prohibited by law, Service Managers will only disclose confidential information if the client, or person legally authorized to consent on behalf of the client, has given express written consent.

(b) Service Managers may disclose confidential information without the consent of the client only as mandated or permitted by law.

(c) When possible, Service Managers inform clients about the disclosure of confidential information and possible ramifications before the disclosure is made.

(d) Service Managers will only disclose confidential information to third party payers with the appropriate written consent.

(e) Service Managers must disclose certain confidential information as required by law or if the confidential information may put the client or others at risk of harm or compromise their well-being.

  1. Service Management Training

5.01 Design of Training Programs.

Service Managers who train other Service Managers do their best to ensure that their training programs are well thought-out, and will provide the trainee the material that they are seeking.

5.02 Descriptions of Training Programs.

Service Managers that train other Service Managers shall not mislead others about the training they offer.

5.03 Ethics during Training.

Service Managers that train other Service Managers will ensure that they are made aware of this ethics code, when applicable, and will abide by it during the training process.

5.04 Limitation on Training.

Service Managers agree to see their own limitations in training other Service Managers, and in such instances when they don’t feel adequately experienced to train another Service Manager in a specific area or technique, they will refer the trainee to another Service Manager or training program.

  1. Service Management Research and Publishing

6.01 Planning Research.

(a) Those Service Managers that conduct research will design and conduct the research within recognized scientific standards.

(b) Service Management research will be planned to minimize the possibility of misleading results from the collected data.

(c) Service Managers that conduct research have the competency to do so, or have other scientific professionals with competency overseeing the research.

(d) Research will be conducted in compliance with all laws of the country in which research is carried out.

6.02 Conducting Research

(a) Approval or consent from research participants or hosting organizations shall be gained, unless (b) below holds true.

(b) Approval or consent from research participants or hosting organizations is not required only in special cases, such as research with anonymous questionnaires or naturalistic observations.

(c) Participants will be informed about the research and its anticipated use(s), in language that is understandable to the general public.

(d) Where applicable, research participants shall be suitably protected from adverse consequences of participating in the research, including (but not limited to) potential consequences of withdrawing from the research.

(e) If inducements are offered to research participants, such inducements shall not be excessive or inappropriate.

6.03 Reporting of Research Results.

When the results of research are made available, Service Managers will not falsify or fabricate the results. Further, if significant errors in the research are found in the future, appropriate attempts will be made to correct the prior results.

The following applies to all publications by Service Managers.


6.04 Plagiarism.

Service Managers do not copy others’ research or data without prior written permission from the originator.

6.05 Publication Credit.

Service Managers take responsibility and credit only for their own work.

6.06 Professional Reviewers.

Service Managers who professionally review material prior to publication respect the confidentiality of the work, and credit the publication to the authors that submitted