Code of Ethics
OCEAN QUEST trainers agree to abide by a Code of Ethics. They include a commitment to the environment, the student, the public, their profession, professional employment, and to the organization.
Ocean Quest recognizes that all living organisms in the ocean and those associated with the aquatic environments are important parts of the eco-system that need to be conserved for future generations. Corals are living organisms and if not handled properly could cause damage or death to the organism, and for this reason, it is necessary for those wanting to take part in coral propagation and restoration to understand the proper techniques and methodologies.
Ocean Quest recognizes the importance of underwater activities for recreation, public service, education, research and conservation purposes and the necessity of preparing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in underwater activities including but not limited to coral propagation and conservation while minimizing risk.
Ocean Quest recognizes the right of mature persons with requisite skills and physical capacity to receive instructions without discrimination as to race, sex, or beliefs, and pledge to practice the profession according to the highest ethical standards.
Commitment to the Marine Environment
The Ocean Quest trainer’s ultimate commitment is to adhere to all environmental protection policy set forth by the organization and its affiliation. The action is measured by the trainer’s active role in recognizing, preventing and correcting activities that inherently degrade the quality of the environment. This includes but not limited to pollution, mismanagement and poaching. In fulfilling this obligation the trainer should:
– Ensure all activities in the coral restoration program are done properly with minimum impact to the environment.
– Be vigilant and observant in monitoring the environmental changes and take active steps in documenting all anomaly.
– Be active in personal development in areas of coral biology including its biodiversity, threats, conservation and restoration.
– Lead coral propagation program with examples and good conduct.
– Expose the students to varying of views and theories in coral restoration techniques.
– Minimize if not eliminate the use of man made materials in the ocean environment.
– Continue learning about the ocean and convey what is learned to the students and the public.
Protect all living things that associate with the coral reef.
During the course, refrain consumption of any sea life that live, shelter, breed or migrate from the coral reef environment
Commitment to the Student
The Ocean Quest trainer’s first duty is to ensure student safety. Success is measured by the progress of each student toward gaining the skills, knowledge and habits essential to minimize the risk of underwater activities related to coral propagation programs. The trainer is obligated to stimulate the acquisition of knowledge, understanding, physical skills, fitness and the formulation of safe personal diving practices during the coral propagation programs. In fulfilling this obligation, the trainer should:
– Ensure the safety of the students.
– Expose the students to varying points of view and theories.
– Instruct in all subject matters as required by Ocean Quest standards and policies.
– Present equipment of various manufacturers with fair and impartial comparisons of products by feature without degrading any manufacturers, except that the trainer is free to express honest opinions consistent with personal experiences.
– Personally follow all safe diving principles, recognizing that influence by example is the cornerstone to the development and promotion of safe diving practices in all Ocean Quest coral propagation programs.
– Instruct objectively, without favoritism or granting special advantage or placing special requirements, and not expose the students to prejudice, embarrassment or disparagement.
– Enroll and instruct any students physically and psychologically that are qualified and not engage in any arbitrary discriminatory practices or procedures. Maintain a level of physical, educational and professional competence meeting or exceeding the standards and policies established by Ocean Quest.
– Conduct all training sessions personally or arrange for them to be conducted by a designated qualified substitute Ocean Quest trainer.
– Certify only those students who have satisfactorily achieved the established standards of an Ocean Quest course and award certification materials within a reasonable period of time.
– Instruct in conformity with established organization standards and policies so that all students are eligible to be certified by the instructor upon satisfactory completion of the Ocean Quest course.
– Fully disclose to the prospective students all reasonably anticipated costs, charges, fees and assessments before enrollment or obligation is established.
Commitment to the Public
Ocean Quest trainers are responsible for the support and development of sound public policy relating to diving related education, the use and conservation of wet lands, bodies of water, aquatic life and for the promotion and encouragement of programs and policies directed at such use and conservation. In fulfilling this obligation to the public, Ocean Quest trainers should:
– Participate in the implementation of sound educational and conversational policies.
– Keep informed of developments in diving equipment, techniques, procedures, technology, conservation and education.
– Officially represent Ocean Quest to the press and public only when specifically authorized and in other cases specifically identify personal views and opinions as such.
Commitment to the Profession
Ocean Quest trainers recognize that the quality of their services influences the attitudes of other water users, the public in general and governmental bodies. The Ocean Quest trainer pledges to:
– Raise professional standards.
– Improve training services.
– Encourage qualified and interested persons to pursue the profession.
– Contribute actively to the support, planning and programs of the organization. In fulfilling this obligation to the profession, Ocean Quest instructors shall:
– Instruct in conformity with course standards and policies established by the Ocean Quest, as amended and supplemented.
– Accord just and equitable treatment to all instructors of Ocean Quest.
– Cooperate in a professional inquiry if and when requested by the organization.
– Accurately represent their professional qualifications.
– When requested by the organization and, for good cause, accurately evaluate performance and qualifications of other instructors.
– Avoid endangering the life, physical well being or property of any student, member or the general public.
Commitment to the Professional Employment
The Ocean Quest trainer regards an employment agreement as a pledge to be executed in spirit and fact in a manner consistent with quality instruction. Ocean Quest trainer recognizes that sound professional relationships with employers and employees are built upon integrity, dignity, and mutual respect. Ocean Quest trainer should not conduct or participate in any courses where unqualified persons are utilized in underwater instructions or engage in any course of instruction that fails to meet commitments to the students, the public, the profession, or the organization. In fulfilling employment obligations, Ocean Quest trainers should:
– Only apply for and accept a position on the basis of professional qualification.
– Give prompt notice to the employer of any changes in the availability of service or status.
– Adhere to the terms of an employment agreement, unless these terms have been legally terminated, falsely represented or breached.
– Not delegate assigned tasks to unqualified personnel
Commitment to the Organization
Ocean Quest trainers, by virtue of their voluntary relationship in Ocean Quest, recognize the responsibility and obligation to promote the organization and support the official decisions and policies of the organization. In fulfilling this obligation to Ocean Quest, trainers should:
– Publicly support Ocean Quest as an organization.
– Bear in mind that Ocean Quest is unique in the worldwide eco-diving industry, in that, it is the organization’s activity that meets the needs of the majority of the instructors, and instructors have the real opportunity, if they wish to lead the organization at the highest levels.
– Make every effort to bring about necessary changes in a professional manner by direct personal contact with those fellow associates who are in positions of authority and responsibility.
Violations of the Code of Ethics
In order to maintain high standards of professional conduct, the Board of Directors of Ocean Quest have the power to censure, suspend, or expel any Ocean Quest trainer, or impose any other discipline, sanction, supervision, or probation actions. The Board of Directors may review and, with good cause, reinstate a suspended or expelled Ocean Quest trainer. The Board of Directors may appoint Ethics Committees to hear complaints regarding alleged violations of the Code of Ethics and to recommend a course of action to the Board of Directors.