Conflict of Interest
Vetpol’s Conflict of Interest Policy refers to any case where an employee’s personal interest might contradict the interest of the company they work for. This is an unwanted circumstance as it may have heavy implications on the employee’s judgement and commitment to the company.
This policy will outline the rules regarding conflict of interest and the responsibilities of employees and the company in resolving any such discrepancies.
The policy applies to all prospective or current employees of the company, as well as independent contractors and persons acting on behalf of the company, including invigilators.
The relationship of the company with its employees should be based on mutual trust. As the company is committed to preserving the interests of people under its employment, it expects them to act only towards its own fundamental interests.
Conflict of interest may occur whenever an employee’s interest in a subject may lead them to actions, activities or relationships that undermine the company and may place it at a disadvantage.
What is an employee conflict of interest?
This situation may take many different forms that include, but are not limited to, the following examples of situations where employees could have a conflict interest:
- Using their position with the company to their personal advantage
- Engaging in activities that will bring direct or indirect profit to a competitor
- Using connections obtained through the company for their own private purposes
- Using company assets or means for personal gain
- Acting in ways that may compromise the company’s legality (e.g. taking bribes or bribing representatives of legal authorities)
- Where Vetpol is involved in training learners, e.g. for registration as a SQP, acting in a manner that would result in one group of learners being disadvantaged versus another.
The possibility that a conflict of interest may occur can be addressed and resolved before any actual damage is done. Therefore, where employees or agents understand or suspect that a potential conflict of interest exists or could arise in future, they should bring this matter to the attention of the Vetpol Management Team in order that the situation may be managed and mitigating measures applied when necessary.
In general, employees are advised to refrain from letting personal and/or financial interests and external activities come into opposition with the company’s fundamental interests. Employees are also advised to be open and avoid being afraid of raising potential conflicts of interest as open dialogue will often lead to a way to mitigate them.
In cases when a conflict of interest is deliberately concealed or when a solution cannot be found, disciplinary action may be invoked up to and including termination.
In order to meet its legal and other obligations Vetpol maintains a Conflict of Interest Register which is updated in real time and acted upon accordingly.
This policy was last reviewed in August 2022.