The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
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The preamble to the AIA’s Code of Ethics describes the principles upon which the Code of Ethics is based and includes a brief summary of the document. It provides that Members of The American Institute of Architects are dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and competence. This Code states guidelines for the conduct of Members in fulfilling those obligations. The Code is arranged in three tiers of statements: Canons, Ethical Standards, and Rules of Conduct:

Canons are broad principles of conduct.
Ethical Standards (E.S.) are more specific goals toward which Members should aspire in professional performance and behavior.
Rules of Conduct are mandatory; violation of a Rule is grounds for disciplinary action by the Institute. Rules of Conduct, in some instances, implement more than one Canon or Ethical Standard.

Commentary, which is meant to clarify or elaborate the intent of the Rule, is provided for some of the Rules of Conduct. The Code applies to the professional activities of all AIA Members regardless of their membership category and is enforced by the National Ethics Council (“NEC” or “Council”).