APHA Code of Conduct

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Attributes of an APHA Member

Demonstrate a high regard for one’s self, others and entrusted resources.

Take ownership for the decisions one makes or fails to make.

Make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Conduct must be free from competing self-interest, prejudice and favoritism.

Understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in one’s communications and in one’s conduct.

APHA members have long been champions of collaboration and commitment to public health. By continuing to promote a culture of respect, responsibility, fairness and honesty, we aim to maintain an environment and member experience that engenders trust, confidence and performance excellence. We believe we have greater potential for impact when we create a diverse community committed to exploring different perspectives, sharing ideas and collectively solving problems.

As a result, APHA has adopted, and is committed to implementing, the following code of conduct. Members are responsible for holding themselves and one another to these standards.

All members should adhere to the following when conducting APHA business or attending APHA-sponsored events whether in person, online or in written and/or verbal communication:

  • Conduct oneself in a professional manner in all circumstances.
  • Aim for consensus and compassion in all interactions.
  • Be transparent and honest in conducting business, and make commitments and promises in good faith.
  • Encourage equitable access to leadership, development and engagement opportunities, as well as meetings and events. Promote shared decision making, information and resources.
  • Enable and encourage all to bring forth ideas regardless of education level or professional experience. Respect diversity and foster inclusion.
  • Inform oneself of norms and customs of others and avoid engaging in behavior that may be considered disrespectful or intimidating.
  • Listen to other points of view and seek to understand them.
  • Avoid interruptions and allow people to be heard.
  • Engage people respectfully in discussion. If you disagree with someone or something being said/stated, stay focused on the topic and not personal feelings.
  • Respect others’ time by adhering to deadlines, being on time to meetings and events, staying present and providing information in a timely manner.
  • Harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, ableist or any other kind of discriminatory statements or actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

APHA is deeply committed to equality and inclusion of all members regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, physical appearance, body size or immigration status.

Any APHA member may submit any concerns, issues or complaints regarding violations of the APHA Code of Conduct (together "Concerns") to the Executive Board through any of the following channels:

  • Electronically filing a report using this link.
  • By regular mail addressed to American Public Health Association, Attn: Conduct Compliance Liaison, 800 I St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
  • By email addressed to the conduct compliance liaison at: conductcompliance@apha.org
  • If the Concern involves the conduct compliance liaison (APHA chief of staff), then the reporting member may submit the Concerns directly to the APHA director of human resources at ilka.cameron@apha.org.

The report, letter or email (each of "Communication") should contain as much detail as possible to allow for proper assessment. The Communication should be candid and include all relevant information regarding the Concern. Per the APHA Bylaws, repeated or egregious conduct violations may result in termination of membership (APHA Bylaws- Article III, Section 3).

APHA's Code of Conduct is adapted from the ASAE Code of Conduct (2011), LA County Commission on HIV Code of Conduct (2019) and Public Health Code of Ethics (2019).

View APHA's event participation policies.