Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct

I. Purpose

The Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct (CEPC) advocates for and addresses issues related to ethical and professional conduct within the archival profession. CEPC supports and promotes the creation of education and outreach resources and programing relating to the Code of Ethics for Archivists and the Core Values of Archivists statement and periodically reviews each document for currency.

II. Committee Selection, Size, and Length of Terms

The CEPC consists of six members appointed by the SAA vice president for staggered three-year terms. Typically, two members are appointed annually.  Two of the six members serve as co-chairs during their last two years on the committee.  In consultation with the co-chairs, the SAA vice president appoints a junior co-chair from among the rising second-year committee members each year for a two-year term, so that the terms of the two co-chairs are staggered. Additionally, an Early-Career member will serve a one-year term.  The co-chairs work with SAA personnel to select this member from the applicants. 

III. Duties and Responsibilities

  1. The committee recommends to the Council updates to the Code of Ethics for Archivists and Core Values of Archivists when these are made necessary by changes in laws governing recordkeeping, copyright, or other pertinent subjects, or by changes in professional procedures and practices.
  2. The committee periodically (at least every five (5) years)conducts a complete review of the Code of Ethics for Archivists and Core Values of Archivists to ensure that ad hoc changes have not compromised its internal consistency and the document as a whole continues to meet the needs of the profession. It recommends to the Council revisions as necessary.
  3. The committee upholds, promotes, and advocates for broader and more meaningful adoption of ethics across the archives profession and outlined in the SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 
  4. The committee monitors and advises on the rise of new ethical and professional conduct issues due to societal, legal, judicial and/or technological developments.
  5. The committee solicits or creates case studies, outreach programming, and other educational materials in a variety of formats to promote understanding and utilization of the Code of Ethics for Archivists and Core Values of Archivists, and works with SAA staff members to make these available in appropriate ways.
  6. The committee reviews its charge every two years and works with its Council liaison to propose any necessary changes for approval by the Council.

IV. Reporting Procedures

CEPC reports to the Council and works closely with its Council liaison, the President, and the Executive Director to ensure that it is responsive to the Council’s needs. The co-chairs are responsible for submitting an annual report to the Council, and may also submit items for Council action or discussion and feedback as necessary. The co-chairs also are  responsible for ensuring that minutes of CEPC meetings are prepared and posted on the CEPC’s SAA-hosted website to inform SAA members of its activities and comply with SAA’s record-keeping requirements.

Last Revised: June 2009; May 2014: July 2023