Code of Ethics
Note: the Canadian Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers has adopted this Code of Ethics as supplied and governed by the International Society of Appraisers.
This Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (“Code”) provides guidelines to the members of The International Society of Appraisers (“ISA”) for their professional conduct when acting as an appraiser. The Code is also intended to inform the public, the business community, government agencies, and all those engaging professional appraisers of ISA’s ethical standards. Public confidence in the integrity, competency, and ability of the professional personal property appraiser is fundamental to ISA’s mission.
ISA members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that enhances the overall image of the appraisal profession. ISA members shall be knowledgeable of and comply with the current laws and regulations of the country, state, region, and municipality in which they practice, relating to the appraisal profession and to their particular field of expertise. In the event of any inconsistency between any law or regulation and the Code, ISA members shall adhere to the highest standard represented by the applicable law, regulation, or the Code.
Adherence to the Code
ISA members shall comply with the Code and ISA bylaws, regulations, policies, and other governing documents (collectively “Governing Documents”). Lack of knowledge of the Code or Governing Documents shall neither excuse a member’s noncompliance nor be considered in any ISA action regarding a member’s alleged violation of the Code.
- Public Trust – ISA members shall promote and preserve the public trust in appraisal practice by observing the highest standards of professional ethics and performing appraisal assignments with impartiality, objectivity, and independence.
- Personal Objectivity – ISA members shall act objectively and not perform appraisal assignments with bias. When acting as an appraiser, ISA members shall not advocate the cause or interest of any party or issue and may not accept an assignment that includes the reporting of predetermined opinions or conclusions.
- Competency and Continuing Education – ISA members shall obtain sufficient education, training, and experience in the specific product area in which they provide appraisal services prior to providing any such services. ISA members shall continually seek to maintain and enhance their knowledge of valuation theory and product expertise regarding the specific product area in which they specialize, through continuing education and/or other appropriate training. ISA members shall use current and relevant appraisal methodology, research and analysis to prepare appraisal reports appropriate to the intended use of the assignment including adherence to the ISA Appraisal Report Writing Standards and the appropriate version of USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice).
- Personal Representations – ISA members shall not make false or misleading statements in advertising, when soliciting assignments, or in any other circumstances regarding their professional education, training, experience, certifications, affiliations, competence, licensure, or services.
- Market Information – ISA members shall not misrepresent market information or any other information during the appraisal process.
- Personal Property Information – ISA members shall not purposefully misrepresent, conceal, suppress, or omit any pertinent information about the property being appraised.
- Criminal Acts – ISA members shall not engage in criminal conduct.
- Equal Opportunity – ISA members shall not deny service to any prospective client or customer on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, familial status, age, physical or mental disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- Gratuities/Gifts – ISA members shall not accept any gratuity or gift from a current or prospective client or customer, or from any other person or entity when its receipt may create the appearance of impropriety or unfair influence regarding their professional decisions or actions.
- Status – ISA members shall not use any status, office, or position to unfairly gain an economic advantage not otherwise available to them.
The Relationship of the Client and Appraiser
- Confidentiality – ISA members shall protect the confidential nature of, and all confidential information associated with, the appraiser-client relationship, the appraisal process, and the assignment results.
- Access – ISA members shall adhere to the client’s right of access to all documents and information concerning the client’s appraisal work.
- Personal Affairs – In connection with the appraisal process, ISA members shall refrain from interfering with the client’s personal affairs.
- Diligence – ISA members shall apply due diligence and make themselves reasonably available during all stages of the appraisal process.
- Confidence – ISA members shall terminate an appraisal assignment if the member loses the client’s confidence.
- Conflict of Interest – ISA members shall perform appraisal assignments with impartiality, objectivity, and independence, and shall avoid conflicts of interest in which their services to their client may conflict or otherwise be inconsistent with some other professional, business, or personal interest and/or position of responsibility. Conflicts of interest include evident conflicts as well as conflicts that may exist or may be perceived by others to exist, whether the appraiser believes them to exist.
ISA members shall charge fees that are reasonable and based on good faith and transparent communication with the client prior to the start of the appraisal service. ISA members shall not charge a fee based on a percentage of the appraised valuation, the financial outcome from the use of the appraisal, or whether the member will purchase the item being appraised in an appraisal assignment.
Responsibilities to ISA and the Appraisal Profession
- Statements on Behalf of ISA – ISA members shall not, unless specifically authorized in each instance, make any oral or written statement on behalf of ISA and/or its membership.
- Loyalty and Conflict of Interest – ISA members shall be loyal to ISA and shall strive for excellence in pursuit of its objectives. ISA members shall immediately disclose to the ISA Board of Directors (“Board”), all conflicts of interest that may arise between the member and: (i) ISA; (ii) the Board; or (iii) ISA’s Governing Documents. Conflicts of interest include evident conflicts as well as conflicts that may exist or may be perceived by others to exist, whether the member believes them to exist.
- Infringement – ISA members shall not attempt to obtain an appraisal assignment that is known to have been awarded to a colleague. ISA members shall not knowingly interfere with the legal and/or contractual rights of others.
- Conduct – ISA members shall deal honestly and fairly with all members and other business associates, treating them with professional courtesy and dignity.
- Disparagement – ISA members shall not make unsubstantiated statements or unfounded implications regarding a colleague. ISA members shall not interfere with a colleague’s right to practice, serve, or compete to the full extent of the colleague’s knowledge, competence, and abilities.
- Development of the Profession – ISA members shall promote development of the appraisal profession encouraging and/or engaging in the exchange of knowledge and experience with colleagues, students, and the general public.
Enforcement of this Code
- Written Acknowledgment – ISA members must acknowledge in writing that they read, understood, and shall comply with the Code and Governing Documents. Accordingly, all ISA members are deemed to have read and understand the Code and Governing Documents.
- Violation of the Code – ISA shall investigate all complaints of ISA members accused of violating the Code (“Complaints”) in accordance with ISA’s Code of Ethics Disciplinary Procedures (“Procedures”). The Procedures govern the requirements for submitting Complaints, the procedures by which Complaints are considered and acted upon by ISA, and disciplinary action to which members who violate the Code are subject.
- Confidentiality – All matters pertaining to Complaints shall be subject to the confidentiality obligations set forth in the Procedures. Violation of the confidentiality or other obligations set forth in the Procedures may be treated as a violation of the Code.
The Code may be amended only by action of the ISA Board of Directors.
Adopted by the ISA Board of Directors on April 14, 2019.