When employed as a consulting engineer, it is more important than ever to adhere to a responsible code of ethics, as your decisions often carry significant weight. This importance is stressed even more when a project is located in a foreign country. Since you are operating within a foreign country, it is critical to obey their laws and respect their customs.
Any issue that is readily faced in a domestic engineering consulting situation is just as prevalent in foreign consulting. With that being said, how you handle such situations could be completely different. An important consideration is that when in a foreign country you are susceptible and privy to their laws, customs and traditions. Anything that, generally speaking, would breach a Canadian Code of Ethics is probably an equally poor idea in a foreign country, though such breaches could be much more common to see. Some more frequent issues, especially when operating in countries less fortunate than ours, include bribery and exploitation which should be avoided at all costs.
Another issue that sometimes is less obvious to the consultant is to respect the cultural norms and laws of the country, all while avoiding paternalism. Though a consultant may think they are making a decision in the best interest of the inhabitants, there is no accurate way of knowing unless they are directly involved. It is always best to consult locals to ensure your actions are in the best interest of not only your employers, but the general public as well.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
Gordon Andrews, Canadian Professional Engineering and Geoscience Practice and Ethics, 4th Edition (Nelson 2009), pg 293-295