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Auditor Professionalism
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  1. Auditor Professionalism ACA Winter Conference January 29th, 2013 Houston, Texas

  2. As an ACA Auditor, acting in a personable and highly professional manner is the single most important quality one can possess • Audit teams act as the embodiment of the association; a highly important function that reflects on all ACA staff, fellow auditors, correctional professionals, and the more than 20,000 members of the association worldwide • Those who act in a highly professional manner are the most thorough, respected, and sought-after auditors of all those who audit for ACA! Introduction

  3. What guides and compels auditors to be professional? • Why is professionalism so important? • What effects can unprofessional auditors have on facilities? • What does ACA staff do about auditors who are unprofessional? • What are some signs of unprofessional conduct amongst audit chairs or team members? • How does one deal with such conduct? Outline

  4. On relationships with clients, colleagues, other professions and the public: • Auditors will respect and protect the civil and legal rights of all clients • Auditors will serve each case with appropriate concern for the client’s welfare and with no purpose of personal gain • Relationships with colleagues will be of such character as to promote mutual respect within the profession and improvement of its quality of service • Statements critical of colleagues or their agencies will be made only as these are verifiable and constructive in purpose • Auditors will respect the importance of all elements of the criminal justice system and cultivate a professional cooperation with each segment • Subject to the client’s rights of privacy, auditors will respect the public’s right to know Auditor Code of Ethics

  5. On professional conduct and practices: • No auditor will use the position to secure personal privileges or advantages • No auditor will act in an official capacity in any matter in which personal interest could impair objectivity • No auditor will use the position to promote any partisan political purposes • No auditor will accept any gift or favor of a nature to imply an obligation that is inconsistent with the free and objective exercise of professional responsibilities • In any public statement, auditors will clearly distinguish between those that are personal views and those that are statements and positions on behalf of an agency • Each auditor will be diligent in the responsibility to record and make available for review any and all information which could contribute to sound decisions affecting a client or the public safety Auditor Code of Ethics

  6. Each auditor will report without reservation any corrupt or unethical behavior which could affect either a client or the integrity of the Association or the Commission • Auditors will not discriminate against any client, employee or prospective employee on the basis of race, sex, creed, or national origin • Each auditor will maintain the integrity of private information; auditors will neither seek personal data beyond that needed to perform official responsibilities, nor reveal information to anyone not having proper professional use for such information Auditor Code of Ethics

  7. Professionalism is THE most important trait when conducting an audit. No facility is perfect, but it is your job as an experienced correctional administrator and ACA auditor to help the facility towards compliance, not to catch them in a negative situation. • Non-compliance is a fact of life with ACA standards: this is even more of an opportunity to act professionally! • Facilities look up to auditors as representing the association and for their experience and expertise. Thus, auditors should act like someone worth looking up to! The Importance of Professionalism

  8. Facilities who experience an unprofessional auditor can be forever soured on the benefits of accreditation and can drop out of the process or simply choose not to continue • Facility staff are already under intense pressure from their superiors to do well on the audit; the presence of an unprofessional auditor can make the process truly miserable for some staff members • Unprofessional auditors can have an impact on the success of facilities in the accreditation process regardless of the actual state of the facility and standards The Facility Perspective

  9. Auditors who act in an unprofessional manner…. • Are far less likely to receive further audits or can be removed from the database and will no longer audit for ACA • Hurt the accreditation process and the association • We hear about auditors who act unprofessionally and it takes the time, effort, and energy of ACA staff that could be directed towards more productive activities! ACA Perspective

  10. What kind of conduct constitutes “unprofessional”? • Being rude or demanding in any capacity • Acting as if the facility should cater to the auditors • Demanding access to files or areas that are out of the ordinary or sacrifice security or safety • Disobeying facility rules or practices • Imposing one’s own ideas on the facility not according to the wording of the standards • Interrogating facility staff in a negative manner and personally intimidating individual staff members Signs of Unprofessional Conduct

  11. In the past, some auditors have…. • Directly told facility administrators that they are unqualified for their positions • Taken the position that all operations unlike those at the auditor’s home facility were wrong • Engaged in or tried to engage in inappropriate activities (touching, comments, even drinking) with facility staff • Demanded documentation pertaining to a standard and been inflexible and rude in determining non-compliance • Interrogated facility staff in a negative manner Examples

  12. As an Audit Chair: • You are the leader of the team. As such, you are responsible for the conduct of the audit team • Pull the team member aside and ensure that they are aware that their conduct is unacceptable • Alert the facility that you are aware that the member’s conduct is unacceptable and you will be contacting ACA • In the event of unprofessional conduct, contact ACA immediately Dealing with Unprofessional Conduct

  13. As an audit team member: • Respect the authority and role of the audit chair, but you are entitled to express your opinion to other team members • If you are uncomfortable, contact ACA. • Contacting ACA immediately avoids a “he said/she said” situation that is difficult or impossible to decipher afterward Dealing with Unprofessional Conduct

  14. Basic Points • Unprofessional conduct is unacceptable from any member of an ACA audit team • Such conduct is detrimental to the facility, fellow auditors, the accreditation process, and ACA! • Auditors who act unprofessionally will not be reassigned and could be removed as an ACA auditor • If you encounter an auditor demonstrating unprofessional behavior, do not be afraid to confront that auditor and contact ACA regarding their behavior Conclusion