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Ethics of Foreign Work Locations

When working in a foreign location, what defines the design standard?

Professional engineers consider and adhere strictly to the ethics and the ways in which things are done in every location they find themselves. According to Bill O’ Rourke (2015), every engineer (professional) adopts codes of ethic that guide their professional behavior. Engineers don’t just get to any location, most especially foreign locations to carry out their operation without observing the codes that state what they should do rightly as a professional. This is because what may be perceived to be right in a country, may not be wrong in another country, but may just not be acceptable in relation to their codes of ethics. As a result, whichever design standard an engineer has relied on may not work well with the design standard of some these locations in question.

Ethics of Foreign Work LocationsFurthermore, engineers evaluate the different design guides, standards, codes that will equate to their obligations as a professional engineer. Using Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) as an example, they have stated that there are guidelines put in place to follow all objectives or methods that professional engineers may follow to carry out their designs, and anyone who goes against these guidelines has defaulted  Professional Engineers Act. (“Professional Engineeers Ontorio”) Therefore, every engineer should submit totally to the rules and guides put in place to give them an insight of the way things are done in their country, after which the engineer had chosen those specific applications to meet his obligations as a professional engineer.

Additionally, engineers can determine the requirements that provide good balance between local practices against global best practices after evaluating the different codes and standard. It should be well known that global best practices may not be applicable to all operations to be carried out in a local environment, even when the global practices supersede all. According to the Wikipedia’s explanation of best practice, they have asserted that sometimes, a best practice is not relevant or not befit a particular organization’s needs. Therefore, no matter the evaluation of the highest minimum specifications considered, the problem that could arise that an engineer had gone to solve might not be applicable to the balancing of the local practices and the global best practices.

Finally, the local codes and standards may be less stringent than what the engineer is accustomed to, and may also not meet his ethical obligation as the design engineer. A professional engineer must be adapted to change and must be ready to carry out engineering processes which is what engineers basically do, since they are professionals, no standards should affect them from carrying out the engineering design rightly and still guarantee a 100% quality that would give credit to his integrity. (Rourke, 2015)

Conclusively, professional engineers must follow the rules of any foreign country after  inquiring of their code of practices. They can obtain the guides from the National Society of Professional Engineers code of ethics. Although, new engineers may find it confusing and difficult to differentiate between practicing the codes of a country. However, it is advisable they approach experts to gain more knowledge to help them find the minimum requirement to help them balance between the local and global practices.

  • Best Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_practice
  • Browers, A. (2011). Professional Engineering Practice. Guideline, 1-33. Retrieved August 2, 2013, from https://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/19394/la_id/1.htm
  • Rourke, B. O. (2015). Fellow Notes. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from https://wheatley.byu.edu/fellow_notes/individual.cfm?id=58

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