Understanding Ethics Complaints Questions on the PMP Exam

Posted on February 8, 2010 by

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Villain

Thinking this might be an ethics complaint!

As stated in the last posting, even though 9% of the PMP exam is based upon the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct it is often not given enough attention. A question I often hear about the Code of Ethics concerns when it is appropriate to report ethics violations to PMI. For example, if your colleague claims to have her PMP®, but her boss tells you that she actually has her CAPM® because she doesn’t have enough hours of experience to obtain her PMP, should this be reported? Section 2.3.3 of the Code of Ethics states “We bring violations of this Code to the attention of the appropriate body for resolution.” Falsely claiming to have a certain PMI credential is certainly unethical, and if this is occurring it should be reported. However, we must keep in mind the companion Code of Ethics section 2.3.4: “We only file ethics complaints when they are substantiated by facts.” In the situation above, your colleague’s boss is providing you with information that may be considered hearsay, rumors, or gossip. Based solely on what you have heard, you do not have enough information to file an ethics complaint. Imagine that your colleague later says that last year she indeed told her boss that she did not have enough experience for a PMP, but since then she has gained the required amount of experience and recently passed her PMP exam. The key point is that only substantiated ethics violations should be reported.

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