Code of Conduct

Last updated: February 10, 2021
Adopted by the ACP Board of Directors: April 8, 2021

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is committed to providing an environment in which all members, board members, staff, and other members of the ACP community are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to inclusivity and the reduction of barriers due to discrimination, including, but not limited to, on the grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or expression, age, colour, disability or political or religious belief.

Harassment, including bullying, discrimination, and personal and sexual harassment will not be tolerated from any person participating in ACP programs, meetings, events, or other activities related to the association (an “ACP Event”).

Harassment can take many forms, but all can be defined as any unwelcome action by any person, whether verbal or physical, on a single or repeated basis, which harms, humiliates, embarrasses, insults or degrades, and where the behaviour is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

A person violating this Code of Conduct may be required to leave an ACP Event, and may lose the privilege of attending ACP Events.

1. Background

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) Board of Directors adopted a Code of Conduct to govern association meetings and events in June 2018. It was presented to the ACP membership at its 2018 AGM.

The Code of Conduct requires that all persons participating in an ACP Meeting or Event are expected to:

  • Treat others with whom they come into contact with courtesy and respect;
  • Avoid acting in any discriminatory, harassing, or violent way towards anyone;
  • Comply with ACP Meeting or Event rules and procedures.

Upholding the Code of Conduct is a shared responsibility in pursuit of an effective, respectful, and safe association. All members participating in ACP meetings or events commit to upholding the Code of Conduct. Violating the Code of Conduct may result in the consequences described below.

2. The role of meeting chairs

Chairs of committee or general meetings commit to creating the conditions for positive participation and constructive discussion. Strategies to achieve this include:

  • Distributing meeting materials in advance,
  • Reminding members of protocols at the beginning of each meeting (e.g., how to use online meeting tools, keeping a speakers’ list, etc.),
  • Facilitating discussion to work towards consensus,
  • Limiting discussion if the conversation goes off-topic or the tone steps beyond the bounds of respectful disagreement or debate.
3. In the event of perceived violations

If possible, speak directly to the person who has violated the Code of Conduct. This action can be undertaken by the target of the negative behaviour or a bystander. Sometimes issues arise due to misunderstanding or miscommunication and can be addressed directly by the parties.

If addressing the unwanted behaviour directly is not possible, or the parties are unable to address the issue themselves, participants are encouraged to report violations of the Code of Conduct to ACP.

Reports may be made to the ACP Executive Director, either directly or via a Committee Chair or the Committee Facilitator.

If the Executive Director has a personal interest in the matter to be discussed (i.e., is the complainant or the subject of the complaint, or finds themself in a conflict of interest), the report should be made to the President of the ACP Board of Directors, either directly or via a Committee Chair or the Committee Facilitator.

4. When a complaint is received

The Executive Director (or President) will investigate all complaints or incidents in a fair, respectful, and timely manner. This stage may involve:

  • Requesting more information about the incident from the complainant;
  • Notifying the object of the complaint and seeking a response;
  • With the permission of the complainant, interviewing others who witnessed the negative behaviour.

Information provided about an incident or about a complaint will not be disclosed except as necessary to investigate the complaint or incident, take corrective action via the Executive Committee or Board of Directors, or as otherwise required by law.

The Executive Director (or President) will provide a report to the Executive Committee within five days of receiving the report.

The Executive Committee will meet in a timely manner to review and discuss the report.

The Executive Committee will recommend next steps to address the complaint. Possible actions could include, but are not limited to:

  • Writing to the member who has violated the Code of Conduct, outlining the complaint and ACP’s expectations that the Code of Conduct be upheld;
  • With the agreement of the complainant, facilitating a meeting between the parties to address the situation and reach a resolution;
  • Engaging an outside investigator to supplement the Executive Director’s investigation and recommend steps for resolution;
  • Suspending or expelling the member from ACP committees, meetings, or the association, in keeping with the process outlined in ACP’s bylaws (Section 3.5);
  • In the most serious cases, filing a report with law enforcement.

The Executive Director, President, Executive Committee, or Board of Directors will implement the recommended actions as appropriate.

The Executive Director will communicate the Executive Committee’s decision in writing to the complainant and the respondent, inviting a response from each.

The Executive Director will refer responses, if any, to the Executive Committee to consider additional action if appropriate.

5. Documentation

The Executive Director will maintain secure records of the complaint, its investigation, and resolution. These records will be kept confidential unless otherwise required by law.

6. Review

This policy will be reviewed annually by the ACP Board of Directors.

For further assistance, please contact ACP at