Code of conduct for SfAM events

Code of conduct for SfAM events

All delegates, speakers, sponsors, volunteers and staff at any Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) event are required to read and follow the Code of Conduct. Organisers will implement this code throughout the event.

Ethos

This Code of Conduct aims to enable all delegates, speakers, sponsors, volunteers and staff to enjoy, participate in and contribute at all SfAM events, both online and in-person, and to ensure that individuals or groups do not feel harassed or uncomfortable in participating in any SfAM event or associated activities. SfAM welcomes you to take part in our events and hopes that this code helps you to participate fully.

Expectations

The Society for Applied Microbiology is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of protected characteristics described by the Equality Act or aspects of diversity not currently covered by the Act (e.g. socio-economic status). We do not accept harassment or intimidation of symposium/conference delegates, speakers or staff in any form whether verbal, physical, or written (including Social Media or by email). Participants who do not adhere to these rules may be removed from the event at the discretion of the organisers.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Offensive or unwanted conduct on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation which has the purpose or effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile or degrading environment.
  2. Use of sexualised or other inappropriate images or unwelcome sexualised content inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or stalking.
  3. Sustained interruption of speakers or those asking questions.
  4. Unwanted photography or filming.

Intimidation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Making threats
  2. Bullying
  3. Personal attacks

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of SfAM staff immediately. The SfAM staff can be identified through their branded name badges. SfAM staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment or intimidation to feel safe at the event. SfAM reserves the right to remove any individual from the event if they break the Code of Conduct. No reimbursement of event or associated costs will be made. We expect participants to follow these rules at all SfAM events and associated activities.

References

  1. Bonham VL., Green ED., and Pérez-Stable EJ. (2018) Examining How Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry Data Are Used in Biomedical Research. JAMA. 320 (15): 1533–1534.
  2. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Science and Health. (2019) The EDIS Symposium 2019 Code of Conduct and Inclusion Statement.
  3. Equality Human Rights Commission. (2017) Being disabled in Britain: A journey less equal.
  4. Government Equalities Office and Equality Human Rights Commission. (2010) The Equality Act.
  5. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. (2018) LGBT + Health Inequalities.
  6. Public Health England. (2018) Local action on health inequalities: understanding and reducing ethnic inequalities in health.
  7. Shannon G., Caceres C., Eleveld A., Jansen M., Mannell J., Motto A., Odhiambo A., Williams K. (2019) ‘Gender equality in science, medicine, and global health: where are we at and why does it matter?’. The Lancet. 393 (10171):560-569.
  8. Sirugo G., Tishkoff SA., Williams SM. (2019) The Missing Diversity in Human Genetic Studies. Cell. 177 (1): 26-31.
  9. Stonewall. (2017) Glossary of Terms.
What happens if this code of conduct is breached?

In the event of a possible breach of conduct, the SfAM Code of Conduct Committee will investigate the report and decide an appropriate response. The SfAM Code of Conduct Committee consists of the Chief Executive, President and Welfare Officers of both the Executive and Early Career Scientist Committees. All complaints received by the committee will be investigated under the Principles of Natural Justice.

Process

Complaints may be submitted to any member of the Code of Conduct Committee, who will raise it confidentially with the rest of the Committee. If an incident relates to a member of the Code of Conduct Committee, that person will not be allowed to review the incident. In the case that a complaint is brought against the President, the President-elect or General Secretary shall act in their place on the committee.

After a report is submitted, the incident is documented, and the SfAM Code of Conduct Committee will be notified. Once the complaint is filed, the Code of Conduct Committee will seek to gather further information in order to make an informed judgement and provide necessary support to the person who has submitted the report.

The Code of Conduct Committee will then meet to discuss the report in detail and decide the appropriate action. The individual against whom the complaint has been made will then be informed and given the opportunity to be heard by the Code of Conduct Committee. Once appropriate actions are determined by the committee, the person who breached the code of
conduct and the complainant will be notified of the decision.

Appeals

If either the individual or complainant wish to appeal the committee’s decision, they must do so within 21 days of communication from the committee. The decision of the appeal hearing is final and there is no recourse to further appeal.

Sanctions

The following is a list of potential sanctions for anyone who violates any of the SfAM codes of conduct. The sanctions will be decided by the Code of Conduct Committee:

  • Issue of a formal warning, which may include recommendations such as training
  • Immediate removal from an SfAM event
  • Expulsion and/or being banned from an SfAM committee or group
  • Being banned from all online SfAM community platforms
  • Cease all SfAM membership benefits
  • Expulsion from SfAM membership
  • Reporting to the appropriate authorities

Complaints against SfAM employees

Employees are bound by the terms and conditions of their employment contract. Complaints raised against an employee of SfAM should be raised with the Chief Executive and will be dealt with via Human Resources as outlined in the Employee Handbook’s Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.

If you have any concerns regarding the breach of conduct process, please contact the SfAM Code of Conduct Committee, and the committee will make steady efforts to provide support.