Code of Ethics

(Adopted by the 1994 AGM)

A. Corporate Values for AAIR as an Association

1. Professional development
Essential to AAIR’s mission and purpose as a professional association is its concern to promote and facilitate the professional development of its members. AAIR’s whole program of activities must reflect the value placed on this fundamental theme.

2. Competence and integrity
AAIR places high value on professional competence and integrity in the conduct of institutional research. It also values strongly the application of high ethical standards in the practice of institutional research. A concern for the pursuit of excellence underlies these values.

3. Promotion and dissemination of institutional research
AAIR recognises the value of institutional research as an activity which can aid the continuing improvement of the tertiary education system as a whole, and thereby contribute to the betterment of the wider community which tertiary education serves. Consequently, AAIR aims to contribute as an association, as well as through the individual efforts of its members, to achieving the overall goals and purposes of tertiary education. AAIR aims particularly to promote the value of institutional research through the dissemination of both the techniques used in, and the outcomes, of institutional research.

4. Stakeholder and community interaction
AAIR seeks to increase an awareness of the ways in which the use of institutional research techniques and findings can benefit its own members, their employing institutions and diverse tertiary education stakeholders within the wider community. Consistent with such an orientation, AAIR respects the views of stakeholders in relation to the conduct of institutional research, and supports the appropriate involvement of stakeholders in this activity.

5. Collaboration other bodies
AAIR places high value on collaboration and co-operation with other professional associations and with other relevant organisations, interest groups and stakeholders. It places particularly high value on developing collaborative activities with like-minded professional associations within the Australasian region.

B. Professional values of individual members

AAIR has adopted, as a fundamental premise, the professionalism and integrity of its members as individuals. This professional integrity will be reflected in the nature of their involvement in the activities of the association, and in the practice of their institutional research. The following code of ethics seeks to articulate the values which underpin this professionalism.

In recommending this statement of professional values to its members, AAIR acknowledges the debt owed to its American-based colleague organisation, the Association for Institutional Research (AIR); their AIR Code of Ethics has served as the model and inspiration for our own endeavours.

1. Professional development
Members should accept a primary responsibility for their continuing professional development, and actively seek out activities which contribute to this.

Members are similarly encouraged to support the professional development of their colleagues and associates.

2. Competence
Members should take care to meet accepted standards of competence in the conduct of institutional research. This will involve a concern to ensure:

  • accuracy and quality of data
  • selection of appropriate techniques and methods
  • clarity and usefulness of documentation
  • care in distinguishing between assumptions, findings, speculation and judgment

Members should also show concern for the quality of the work undertaken by their associates, and, in particular, accept responsibility for the quality of work done by those whom they supervise.

3. Honesty
Members should ensure that they are honest in their claims of competence in undertaking particular projects or work. In addition, members should be honest in advising clients openly of the feasibility and worth of particular projects and work being requested. Members should also honestly acknowledge the contributions of their associates, including those whom they supervise.

4. Confidentiality
Members should strive to ensure the confidentiality of all data and findings associated with the practice of their institutional research. This will embrace:

  • respecting the privacy of all personal data (including staff and student records, questionnaire responses, interview records, etc.)
  • taking care to prevent the unauthorised release of both personal data and institutional data
  • respecting institutional policies with regard to confidentiality

5. Relationships with both institutional and wider communities
Members should:

  • promote collaborative teamwork and the appropriate sharing of information
  • demonstrate support for equal opportunity and equity in all aspects of their work and other professional activities
  • strive to obtain feedback on the value of their work, with particular regard for meeting the needs of those requesting it
  • strive to promote and demonstrate both openness and fairness in all debate and discussion associated with their work and other professional activities
  • both promote and demonstrate respect for the concerns of all stakeholders in relation to institutional research
  • discourage, prevent and, where possible, correct unethical conduct by colleagues and associates
  • strive to prevent misinterpretation and misuse of institutional research findings and reports


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