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beccanoles

VANF Needs Your Help :)

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VANF is awesome isn't it? We use this forum not only for networking, but for a host of other things.

 

There are great things on the horizon for VANF including our media blitz and additional publicity opportunities. With publicity and SEO updates, of course, comes increased exposure for the forum and our businesses.

 

VANF feels that it is extremely important to show visitors, potential clients and members that the Virtual Assistance industry, as a whole, is built upon ethics and un-paralleled knowledge. Therefore, we are in the process of creating a "Code of Ethics" for the VA Networking Forum and would like your input. If you can take a few moments to brainstorm a few, it would help immensely. Please feel free to list them in this thread.

 

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Thanks Bonnie that is in process. However, since VANF is a community, we want community input on our Code of Ethics.

 

It takes a village to make a forum like this work and we want the village to stand behind this Code.

 

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Thanks so much for getting onto this Becki. I've been wanting to do this for a long time but again, time is always an issue for me since it takes hour as it is to keep this forum running smoothly.

 

Maybe we could start by putting down our own company ethics and going from there? Here are Mediamage Ethics although as I read through these feel they need to be updated as well LOL!

 

Mediamage Business Solutions Pledge of Ethics:

 

We only commit to projects that are within our ability to deliver.

 

We inform our clients of conditions that may limit our effectiveness.

 

We accept full responsibility for the work we perform.

 

We do not misuse the trust of our clients — all work is kept in strictest confidence.

 

We protect the interests of our clients at all times, serving as an effective representative of our clients when called upon to do so.

 

We keep sufficient records of our work and our client relationships in general. The physical records are our property, although the information in the records may be the property of our clients. Electronic records are backed up daily.

 

We protect the confidentiality and proprietary information of all clients and do not release information without the written consent of our clients or by court order. All records will be made available to the client at the client's request.

 

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Thanks Danielle for your input...I look forward to your ideas.

 

Another idea is something along the lines of only taking upon clients within your skill set. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying DON'T take on a project or client that is going to stretch and grow you. Let me try to explain this a little better...I don't do bookkeeping and would never take on a client that wanted me to provide this service. I could get a client into a heap of hot water during my steep learning curve. It's one thing for my own business (thank goodness my mom is a CPA) but another thing all together for someone elses business.

 

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Very good point Becki, I totally agree! I have niched myself as an Internet Marketing VA and even state on my webpage if you want a transcriptionist I can recommend one for them but its not in my passionate skillset.

 

 

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Great topic ! I'm glad this initiative is underway ... thank you !

 

 

I also belong to the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). These are some of their Code of Ethics that we , as professional organizers , adhere to. For a more complete list, you can visit their website at http://www.organizersincanada.com. You can go directly to their "Code of Ethics" webpage.

 

 

Please note that I'm not stating that we "copy" them directly, however , similarly worded phrases or key concepts would be appropriate.

 

 

- I will provide to all people truthful and accurate information with respect to professional performance of duties and completion of contracts. When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for services, I will make every effort to recommend the service of other qualified virtual assistants and/or other qualified professionals.

 

- I will respect the confidential nature of the client's information, and will use

proprietary client information only with the client's permission.

 

- I will seek to deal with other VANF members, professional colleagues,

suppliers and employees in a fair and equitable manner, and maintain the

highest standards of personal conduct to bring credit to the virtual assistant profession.

 

- I will protect the public against fraud and unfair practices, and attempt to

eliminate from VANF all practices that bring discredit to the virtual assistant profession.

 

- I will maintain an objective manner to promote and encourage the highest level of conduct and ethics within the virtual assistant profession.

 

- I will make a commitment to possess and increase the required knowledge,

skills and training to be proficient and relevant in the provision of services.

 

 

Hope this is helpful... biggrin.gif

 

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Becki,

I just sent you an email with my Code of Ethics, it is too long to post on here. If you have any ?'s let me know.

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Another idea is something along the lines of only taking upon clients within your skill set.

... Becki how about something like this...

Virtual Assistants/VANF members will assume responsibilities only when qualified by training and experience and shall inform the immediate customer or client concerning any lack of qualification which might harm the interests of the Virtual Assistant profession or impair the Virtual Assistant Network Forum's capacity to serve such interests.

 

The veterans among us have fought long and hard to establish our business as a credible, professional industry. This work is still ongoing and we continue to have to do damage control and battle wrong perceptions due to those who don't represent our industry well and who continue to perpetuate practices that devalue the profession.

...Daniel how about this...

The Virtual Assistant Network Forum will cooperate with other Virtual Assistant professionals in extending public knowledge and appreciation of the profession and its achievements and will strive to protect it from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.

 

...wording from here - http://www.iaap-hq.org/ResearchTrends/ethics.htm

 

 

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My mind is whirling with thoughts and ideas. Here is my take and also a fast run at a possible code (and/or vision statement(s):

 

 

The theme should truly center around the basics, the main reasons we VANFers all come here each day, and ideas that are easy to remember:

 

RESPECT - Respect one another's ambitions, uniqueness, talents, and shortcomings.

 

INTEGRITY - Be honest about your intentions and never misrepresent your skills, your VANF peers, your profession as a whole, whether on the forum or elsewhere in the community at large (virtual or otherwise).

 

PROGRESS - VANF is dedicated to the entrepreneurial progress of Virtual Business Professionals everywhere. Therefore, to post on the forum, you must yourself be endeavoring to earn a living and subsequent profit from such an enterprise.

 

TRUST - What your fellow VANFers say on the forum is a leap of trust - remember this. What they may say to you in confidence, privately, is sacred.

 

VALUE - Post your thoughts, feelings and ideas with the understanding that we are here to help one another succeed as Virtual Professionals. If it does not add value to the discussion, reconsider your intention to post it.

 

SHARING - Most of all, VANF is a place of sharing amongst business people, aspiring, successful, or otherwise. When sharing happens in an environment colored by the above values, knowledge flourishes and we all succeed.

 

There ya go. My two bits!

 

Overall, simple is better. If it gets too long winded and literary, people will just tune it out. Something like Tawnya's is great because it is written succinctly and there is not much room to doubt her intentions. It would be sooooooooo easy to get on tangents with this and then we would defeat ourselves I am afraid.

 

I must also concur with Danielle about making every effort to ensure our profession is well represented as just that: a profession. I do get concerned (here come the soggy tomatoes) when I see members who only post once b/c they just "want to find work" or, on the flip side, want to hire some cheap labour. I abhore the thought of prospects perusing the forum and seeing these posts.

 

Thoughts anyone?

Karri

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Guest TerryGreen

Yay Becki,

 

Fabulous applause.gif Fabulous thumbup.gif Fabulous applause.gif

 

I second, third and fourth so many of the suggestions.

 

My biggest "ethics" concerns are:

 

1) misrepresentation of your skills - If you can't do something, tell the prospect or your client and let them make the decision whether or not to give you a try. Don't take the client on knowing full well you aren't qualified and hope that you can do it or find someone else who can.

 

2) not a very obvious one to the general public, but potentially damaging to our profession - conducting business as a VA or using an "employers" equipment while still working for another company, without the express permission of the employer. Bad . . . bad . . . bad!

 

Carry on ladies . . . (and gents)

 

Terry

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Terry - perhaps we could reword what I wrote regarding "Integrity" to include clients/prospects:

 

INTEGRITY - Be honest about your intentions and never misrepresent your skills, your VANF peers, or your profession as a whole, whether to the forum or to prospects, clients, and the community at large (virtual or otherwise).

 

Just an idea.

Karri

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One thing I'm very interested in seeing (and I feel safe in saying there are many others interested in this as well) is something that reinforces our professional industry standards and practices.

Agree totally. If we don't have industry standards and practices to abide by then "anything goes" becomes acceptable. If someone performs a bad service too many times, then the industry as a whole suffers and becomes tainted. Industry standards, professional practices and ethics I would say are a must have.

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