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A look at CDE through the lens of Engineering Ethics

What does that mean for you and for your business?

There are few industries that boast a Code of Ethics and even fewer who proport to Guidelines on Professional Conduct to which members must abide. 

Fortunately, as Engineers, our governing body, Engineers Australia take both very seriously. 

Code of Ethics (summary) 

  1. As engineering practitioners, we use our knowledge and skills for the benefit of the community to create engineering solutions for a sustainable future. In doing so, we strive to serve the community ahead of other personal or sectional interests. 
  1. Our Code of Ethics defines the values and principles that shape the decisions we make in engineering practice. The related Guidelines on Professional Conduct provide a framework for members of Engineers Australia to use when exercising their judgment in the practice of engineering and as members of Engineers Australia more broadly. 
  1. As members of Engineers Australia, we commit to practise in accordance with the Engineers Australia’s General Regulations regarding competency, continuing professional development and the Code of Ethics. We accept that we will be held accountable for our conduct under Engineers Australia’s disciplinary regulations. 

CDE Design Solutions abide by these tenants in all aspects of our business; not only because we are a proud member of Engineers Australia but also because we are a company who are driven by our values.  

We also choose to only employ those skilled practitioners and partner with those businesses and organisations who share our values.  

So how do we demonstrate the four overarching tenants of the Code of Ethics and what does it mean for our clients, their businesses and their projects? 

1. Demonstrate Integrity

1.1. Act on the basis of a well-informed conscience

1.2. Be honest and trustworthy

1.3. Respect the dignity of all persons.

In over 20 years of CDE Design Solution, we have seen a few examples where a client will come to ask wanting certain designs or outcomes that we know to be non-compliant.  

In most cases, once informed, the client will change their brief or expectations to ensure compliance however in a small handful of situations, the potential client has chosen to disregard advice and to proceed regardless. In not one of those latter cases did CDE Design Solutions continue with the client or the project, regardless of its particular kudos or profitability. 

We have found many businesses whose head office or central operations operate in less regulated countries than Australia choose to work with CDE because we have a reputation of assisting and supporting satellite operations in their factory design and setup to ensure they are operating within the strict Australian framework. 

When it comes to those with whom we are fortunate to partner or work, and especially our staff, we treat all with kindness and empathy regardless of their circumstance. 

2. Practice Competently

2.1. Maintain and develop knowledge and skills

2.2. Represent areas of competence objectively

2.3. Act on the basis of adequate knowledge.  

We pride our abilities in the broad range of factory design services offered by CDE and we are acutely aware that we are one of very few factory design consulting firms in Australia who are able to cover the breadth of factory design.  

Even so, briefs and project do sometimes come our way, and usually from loyal and existing clients, that are simply not I our wheelhouse of expertise. We turn this business away and always refer on to other businesses within in our industry if we know that the project couldn’t be completed adequately or competently by our organisation. We act always in the best interests of our clients and if referring them away from our company for a project that can be performed better by someone else, then we are proud to do so. 

To build our knowledgebase and in-house competency, we are constantly on the lookout for talented staff willing to learn and grow with CDE. A wonderful example of our traineeships is Tash who is now working with us as our cadet engineer. 

We encourage or trainees and cadets to hone their discipline and to enhance the engineering industry. In return for helping our staff achieve their NER and to constantly improve, we find that we are reward one hundred-fold by the exposure to fresh ideas and techniques taught through the university learning pathways. 

Our commitment to ongoing improvement doesn’t end. All of our draftspeople and engineering staff undergo extensive and ongoing training to ensure they are not only capable, but also exceptional. 

Management and skills training are a cornerstone of our ongoing improvement, and we pride ourselves on going over and above “best practice” when it comes to looking after and nurturing our people. 

As we are regularly and usually at the forefront of change in the industry, we are conscious of our hypervigilance and commitment to managing our staff in order to deliver exceptional services. 

3. Exercise leadership

3.1. Uphold the reputation and trustworthiness of the practice of engineering

3.2. Support and encourage diversity

3.3. Make reasonable efforts to communicate honestly and effectively to all stakeholders, taking into account the reliance of others on engineering expertise. 

As a regional business, CDE Design Solutions outclasses many within an industry dominated by large engineering think tanks. 

Leadership takes experience, it means doing the right thing by others, every time. It means taking an absolute approach and looking proactively for best practice. We believe that leadership is defined by your intention and the quality of your services and also that leadership is completely unrelated to the size of your business, your projects or your PR spend. 

Honest, transparent communication are essential in any leadership role. Accountability to your staff, your partners, your clients all lead to building long term, sustainable and loyal relationships. 

Leadership is driven by values and expertise and is measured by the responsible risks one takes more so than the noise one is able to create within any given industry. 

Discrimination is simply not tolerated by our management, our staff or on our projects. Good people are good people, and we encourage diversity at every opportunity. 

4. Promote Sustainability 

4.1. Engage responsibly with the community and other stakeholders

4.2. Practise engineering to foster the health, safety and wellbeing of the community and the environment

4.3. Balance the needs of the present with the needs of future generations. 

Solar Panels constructed on the roof at CDE Design Solutions HQ in Bathurst, NSW. The 12 month range shows a total of 20268kWh of consumption vs a total of 25411kWh production meaning a surplus of energy sent back to the grid and the local community.

A very central component of the CDE philosophy is that of enabling and guiding our clients with advice, expertise and experience.  

Our community is not simply our clients, it is also our staff and the people in the areas we live and work. We feel a strong commitment to all. 

Sustainability is not simply a buzzword at CDE, it is a central part of our vision

It may be as simple as internal recycling initiatives, using recycled products and reducing waste wherever possible, repurposing and donating useful and working hardware superfluous to requirements or as complex as installing more Photovoltaic (Electric) Solar Panels on our premises than required by standards, with the express aim to contribute more energy to the community and the region than we could possibly use. 

Whilst the final decision on any project is always our clients and must meet their goals, CDE always promotes environmental sustainability, as well as financial and business sustainability through every service offered. 

To read the full Engineers Code of Ethics, please click here. 
To learn more about our CDE Design Solution values, click here. 

If CDE’s commitment to values and ethics resonates with yours and you would like to speak with us about your upcoming project, we are looking forward to hearing from you.