The purpose of this document is to provide an authoritative Code of Conduct for all persons at IPPA meetings, conferences and events. IPPA recognises that harassment and discrimination of participants of its meetings and conferences constitutes professional misconduct and undermines IPPA’s principles: equity/equality, diversity, and freedom of expression. IPPA is committed to providing a professional environment and free scholarly interchange in which all members are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age or disability.  

Expected Behaviour

All participants abide by this Code of Conduct in all IPPA meeting venues and events (including official and unofficial social events).

When witnessing potential harm, participants are expected to be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid that harm.

When seeing a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger, participants alert conference or security person.

Participants are free to constructively critique the substance of one another’s work.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Harassment is defined as:

‘unwanted conduct (actions or comments) related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose (intentional) or effect (unintentional) of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that person.’

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Inappropriate actions or comments related to a protected characteristic including but not limited to sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age or disability;
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation (including unwelcome sexual attention, pressure to engage in unwanted sexual activity, physical or virtual stalking, and sexual assault including unwelcome touching or groping);
  • Threatening speech or actions (including threats of physical harm and professional reputational damage).

Procedure for reporting harrassment and/or discrimination

Participants have two options to initiate a complaint – (a) issue notice or (b) formal investigation:

Stage 1: Advice from Trustee

Potential complainants are welcome to a private conversation with the IPPA Trustee. The Trustee will provide guidance and advice on IPPA’s anti-harassment and discrimination policy.

Stage 2: Reporting and notice

If the participant does not wish to enter into a formal investigation process, then IPPA can issue a notice. In these cases, the IPPA Trustee will contact the person who is the subject of the complaint, inform them that a complaint has been made, and remind them of IPPA’s Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Policy. The recipient of the notice will have the opportunity to respond to IPPA in writing, but no further formal investigation will be undertaken.

Stage 3: Formal complaint

The formal investigation process will be handled in confidence, and the identity of the complainant will not be revealed to the respondent, except with the permission of the complainant. To proceed with the formal investigation process, the complaint must be made in writing and must include: i. The name of the complainant; ii. The name of the respondent; iii. The nature of the conduct about which a complaint is being made, including, where possible, dates, times and locations; iv. If appropriate, names of any participants who may have witnessed the conduct.

Stage 4: Investigation

Initial review by Trustee, Vice-Trustee, President, and Secretary-General to decide on eligibility of complaint

President will inform respondent and provide a written statement of complaint to both parties

The Trustee investigates the complaint:

  • Request respondent for a written statement in response to complaint
  • Contact witnesses or others with direct knowledge of the incident
  • The Trustee proposes a resolution for the matter

Stage 5: Resolution

Types of resolutions

  • Decision that no violation of the code occurred and dismissal of complaint
  • Recommendation for informal resolution of the matter to re-establish a professional relationship between parties, including options such as mediation;
  • Termination of IPPA conference or event participation for the respondent, including current and/or future IPPA conferences and events;
  • A temporary or permanent restriction on the respondent assuming leadership positions in IPPA, including the Executive Committee;
  • A temporary or permanent suspension of the respondent’s IPPA membership.

IPPA will endeavour to arrive at a formal resolution/response within 90 working days from when a complaint was made.

Guidelines for Appeal

Either the complainant or respondent is entitled to appeal the outcome of the investigation. An appeal should be sent to the IPPA President, Secretary-General, and the Trustee, within one month of the decision. An appeal can only be made based on grounds of procedural error and where the outcome is deemed unreasonable in the basis of available evidence.

Principles of Complaints Handling

IPPA is committed to conducting and resolving grievances in a fair and transparent manner by: 

  • Resolving complaints in an informal way, wherever possible
  • Applying punitive measures when required
  • Timely handing of complaints
  • Fairly and impartially handling of complaints
  • Sensitively handling all parties involved in a complaint
  • Protecting complainants from retaliation
  • Strict confidentiality
  • Ensuring in cases where reported behaviour is ongoing, immediate steps will be taken to protect participants, regardless of whether a formal complaint is pursued.
  • Ensuring the President or one of the Vice-Presidents will resolve complaints if the alleged violation involved the Trustee or the Secretary-General themselves

Legal Action

This policy is not a substitute for the rights of any of the parties to seek legal action. Any legal action on the part of the complainant will be exclusively a matter between the complainant, the respondent and the authorities in the location where the incident occurred. IPPA will not be a party to such legal action, nor will it accept any legal liability or financial responsibility for such action.


Trustee: Jennifer Curtin

Vice-Trustee: Scott Brenton 

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