Conflict of Interest Policy

A conflict of interest policy is intended to help ensure that when actual or potential conflicts of interest arise, the organization has a process in place under which the affected individual will advise the governing body about all the relevant facts concerning the situation. A conflict of interest policy is also intended to establish procedures under which individuals who have a conflict of interest will be excused from voting on such matters.

The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) requires its directors, officers, employees, members and volunteers to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. SOPHE depends on the active involvement and voluntary leadership of its members to accomplish its mission and to maintain its credibility as a valued resource. All shall scrupulously avoid any conflict between their own respective personal, professional, or business interests and the interests of SOPHE, in any and all actions taken by them in their respective capacities on behalf of the Association. When in a leadership position, SOPHE requires that leaders conduct themselves with honesty and integrity.

The purpose of this Policy is to foster public confidence and to protect SOPHE’S interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of a director, officer or other person in a position of authority within the Association. SOPHE strives to avoid conflicts of interest to ensure that it preserves the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles. When unable to avoid an actual conflict, the conflict will be disclosed and managed through a systematic procedure of:

  • Disclosing conflict to the proper persons
  • Refraining from participating in the decision-making process (recusal)
  • Documenting the disclosure, recusal, and voting process and decision

The conflict of interest policy fulfills the IRS requirement, for organizations entrusted with resources devoted to charitable purposes, to have such a policy and protects the organization’s tax-exempt status.

SOPHE does not exclude individuals from seeking positions of leadership based on perceived, potential, or actual conflict of interests. The duty to loyalty requires that those individuals seeking leadership positions be transparent about potential for conflicts and act with candor, care, and disclosure (with recusal when appropriate) in dealing with situations as they arise.

Membership has an opportunity to indicate its level of ease in respect to duty of loyalty with those in leadership positions through the process of election to office.

While all SOPHE members, employees, and volunteers should be aware of and abide by the policy, executive board members; key employees; chairs of communities of practice and committees must annually sign a conflict of interest acknowledgement statement.