Ethics & Conduct > Statement of Ethical Purchasing Practices l Code of Professional Conduct

The Society was founded in recognition of the need for education, ethics, etiquette, efficiency and the establishment of professional standards in the practice of hospitality purchasing.

The Society believes by organizing the collective knowledge and experience of those engaged in hospitality purchasing the quality of purchasing services to the industry will be greatly enhanced. Members of the Society have demonstrated their integrity and are qualified by their experience, training and knowledge to develop and express sound judgment in order to best serve the hospitality industry.

This Code is designed to serve notice to the public that members will assume the obligation of self-discipline above and beyond the requirements of law and that members will maintain a high level of ethics and professional service. The Society enforces the Code by receiving and investigating all complaints of violations and by taking disciplinary action, including censure, suspension, or revocation of membership against any member who is found to be guilty of code violation or who willfully supports the practice of code violation.

It is a desire for the respect and confidence of the hospitality industry and of the society that should motivate the purchasing agent, to maintain the highest possible ethical conduct. The loss of that respect and confidence is the ultimate sanction.

In recognition of the public interest in their obligation to the profession, members of the Society must agree in writing to comply with the following articles of professional conduct. Negative or disparaging marketing is strongly discouraged. Marketing and promotion by its members, therefore, should be done in a manner which reflects positively on the industry as a whole.



Members should:

  1. Avoid unethical or compromising practices in relationships, actions, and communications.
  2. Demonstrate loyalty to the client/customer by diligently following the lawful instructions of the client/customer, using reasonable care and only authority granted.
  3. Handle confidential or proprietary information belonging to your client/customers or suppliers with due care and proper consideration of ethical and legal ramifications and governmental requirements.
  4. Promote positive supplier relationships through courtesy and impartiality in all phases of the purchasing cycle.
  5. Know and obey the letter and spirit of laws governing the purchasing function and remain alert to the legal ramifications of purchasing decisions.
  6. Encourage all segments of society to participate by demonstrating support for small, disadvantaged, and minority-owned businesses.
  7. Enhance the proficiency and stature of the purchasing profession by acquiring and maintaining current technical knowledge and the highest standards of ethical behavior.

And, in no event:

  1. Shall a member engage in any private business or professional activity that would create a conflict between personal interests and the interests of your client/customer. In order to avoid such a conflict, a member must disclose in writing to its clients their having an ownership interest of 10% or greater in any business that provides goods or services to the hospitality industry.
  2. Shall a member or the memberís company accept money, loans, credits, or prejudicial discounts from vendors that might influence purchasing decisions, nor should the member or the memberís company accept gifts, entertainment, favors, or services valued at more than $500 from vendors which might influence purchasing decisions or is specifically for the purpose of entertaining clients of the member or memberís company.
  3. Shall a member enter into reciprocal agreements that restrain competition.



A member must not accept any assignment or engage in any practice involving a violation of the law, this Code or the member's specific ethical responsibilities. A member must immediately withdraw from any assignment if such a violation is identified.

  1. Members shall, before accepting an assignment, confer with the client/customer in sufficient detail and gather sufficient facts to gain an understanding of the exact nature of the assignment including exactly what expectations exist.
  2. Members will advise client/customer of any significant foreseeable problems or concerns regarding the assignment.
  3. Members will not promise anything that is not within their control to deliver.
  4. Member must not accept any assignments involving a conflict of interest and must withdraw from an assignment when an unavoidable conflict of interest arises after the assignment has been accepted unless such is fully disclosed in writing to all parties and all parties agree that the assignment may be accepted or continued.
  5. The valuation of services and the procedures by which fees are charged are matters of individuals preferences and are based upon agreement between the purchasing company and client/customer. Agreement should be made in advance on the basis for charges, including the reimbursement of expenses.
  6. A member may not accept any project which is beyond the scope of the member's competency, knowledge and expertise unless the member obtains the needed knowledge or expertise from other sources.



Members recognize from time to time they will be working with architects, designers, etc. . .and that it is necessary to adhere to certain standards of conduct in order to maximize the benefits to their clients/customers as well as to maintain the professional relationship.

  1. Members recognize their responsibility to the professional to share the general body of knowledge and non-proprietary approaches they use in serving clients/customers.
  2. Members referring a designer, architect, etc., will not misrepresent the qualifications of the other nor will they make any commitments for the other party. Members receiving a referral from another will ensure that no misrepresentations or commitments have been made in their behalf.
  3. No member shall use its position as officer, director, or member to gain purely unfair advantage of oneís self or company in advertising, marketing, or promotion. Members are encouraged, however, to use the name of the Society in its marketing and promotion.



Following is a summary of the procedures for handling alleged violation of the Code of Professional conduct. The purposes of the procedures are to provide a mechanism for determining the merits of complaints against members in a fair hearing before an unbiased tribunal; to protect the rights, privacy and professional reputations of members; and to protect the rights and interest of clients in dealing with members.

  1. Any person, member or non-member, may file a charge of misconduct against a member. Misconduct is deemed to be any violation of the code of Professional Conduct. The charge may be informal or formal.
    1. Informal Complaint:
    2. An informal complaint is a verbal charge of misconduct on the part of a member made to the President of the Society. Upon receipt of an informal compliant, the President shall notify the Board of Directors and the Chairperson of the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) of the complaint and the President shall initiate a confidential inquiry to confirm its substance. If the President deems there are reasonable grounds for the compliant, the President will formulate a statement of charges based on the informal complaint, notify the Board of the complaint and submit the charges to the accused member. The filing party is not identified to the accused member or the Board. The accused member may file an explanation or rebuttal within 30 days. After 30 days or upon review of the explanation or rebuttal, should the President determine that the charges are valid and sufficiently serious; the President will review the matter with the PCC. The PCC will then recommend one of the following courses of action:

      1. Dismissal of the complaint.
      2. Instruct the PCC Chairman to obtain additional information required to arrive at a decision.
      3. Instruct the Chairman to send a letter to the offending member in the nature of a warning or immediate cease and desist. If the same violation occurs after a cease and desist order has been communicated to a member, a formal charge will be entered against the offending member by the PCC.

    3. Formal Complaint:
    4. A formal complaint is a written charge of misconduct presented to the President of the Society containing a statement of the alleged violations, along with substantiating evidence supporting the complaint, copies of which the President transmits to the Board of Directors, the PCC and to the accused member; identifying the party who filed the complaint. The accused member may file an explanation or rebuttal within 30 days. After 30 days or upon review of the explanation or rebuttal, the PCC decides whether to dismiss the charge or refer the matter with recommendation to the Board of Directors for hearing and decision. The Board of Directors serves as an unbiased judicial tribunal, hearing testimony provided by the Professional Conduct Committee and the accused member. All individuals serving on a judicial tribunal must sign a non-conflict form. A member of the Board of Directors may have a conflict to serve as an unbiased Board member on a judicial tribunal or the accused member may inform the Board that a Board member(s) has a conflict and cannot be unbiased. In this case the remaining Board will determine if the member can be unbiased or should be recused. The recused member(s) shall not participate in the hearing. A member appointed by the Board may fill the position(s) for purposes of the hearing. The Board's decisions, by majority vote, may take the following forms:

      1. Dismissal of the compliant without prejudice.
      2. A letter of censure from the President.
      3. Suspension from the Society for a stated period.
      4. Expulsion of the member from the Society.
  2. All matters relative to the filing and investigation of charges and complaints are regarded as confidential and are not in any way made public until the final step in these procedures has been completed. If a committee member breaches the confidentiality, he/she shall be disciplined. In the case of an informal complaint, the board shall be notified of the actions of the PCC. The Board shall not publish the complaint nor the actions of the Board or PCC, however if specifically requested, the President can confirm that a complaint was filed and what actions were taken.

  3. When a member withdraws from membership or is removed from the Society, he/she will immediately:
    1. Return the Certificate of Membership
    2. Cease to use the ISHP designation in association with their name, reports, or any other communications.
    3. No longer hold himself or herself out as a member of the Society