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NRC IRAP Code of Conduct for External Clients and Stakeholders

The National Research Council (NRC) values and those of the public sector, as expressed in the NRC Code of Conduct, uphold the practice of fairness and courtesy and the importance of demonstrating respect in all professional relationships. Through the practice of living these values, the NRC aspires to foster a safe and healthy workplace with particular consideration of the impact on mental health. NRC employees are to be treated fairly and are also expected to interact with colleagues, clients and stakeholders in a manner that respects individual differences and contributes to a harassment-free workplace. In short, building a culture of trust, care and respect within the public service is fundamental to creating a psychologically healthy environment and better serving the Canadian public.

The NRC also respects the Canada Labour Code Part II and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations regarding violence prevention in the workplace. These legislative instruments also require every employer to provide employees with a safe, healthy, and violence-free work environment and to dedicate sufficient attention, resources and time to address factors that contribute to workplace violence including bullying, teasing and other aggressive or abusive behaviours from any source. These issues are also addressed in part, by the NRC Workplace Violence Prevention Directive.

The NRC’s commitment to fostering a harassment-free workplace, as detailed in the NRC Policy on Harassment Prevention and Conflict Resolution, stresses the responsibility of managers and other supervisors to protect employees, and to act on all forms of inappropriate behaviour by external parties in their interactions with NRC employees while performing official duties.

Trust is the basis of every successful relationship. Core to establishing a trusting relationship with external parties such as clients and stakeholders, National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) fosters a professional environment by exemplifying respect, fairness and courtesy.

Any form of disrespectful communication, harassment, or discriminating behaviour is unacceptable. Supervisors can direct employees to refrain from engaging with external parties and, when required, supervisors can take steps to ensure that external parties do not engage with NRC employees.

Trusting Relationship with NRC IRAP Clients and Stakeholders

  1. Firms that engage with the NRC IRAP are expected to demonstrate a willingness to establish and maintain a trusting relationship. Such a relationship requires:
    • Willingness to disclose pertinent and accurate information about the firm.
    • Readiness to share information concerning current and future plans.
    • Exercising due diligence by informing NRC IRAP employees visiting their firm of all hazards and potential risks.

Firms need to provide NRC IRAP with accurate, reliable and timely information about themselves; their technology, governance, business dealings, legal structure and any other relevant information that the Lead Industrial Technology Advisor (Lead ITA) and the NRC IRAP project team deem necessary to conduct the appropriate technical and firm due diligence.

If NRC IRAP delivery staff determine that a trusting relationship cannot be developed, NRC IRAP may decide to halt all activities with the firm. This decision will be substantiated, documented on file and communicated to the firm. Supervisors can assist NRC IRAP staff and NRC IRAP clients and stakeholders disengage where trusting relationships cannot be developed.

NRC IRAP expects that establishing trusting relationships, nurturing the values expressed in the NRC Code of Conduct and related Policies and preventing harassment and addressing it when it arises will lead to more constructive relationships and successful outcomes for the client resulting in a stronger and more prosperous Canadian economy.

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