Our Code of Ethics and Conduct
The Code of Ethics and Conduct of the Panhellenic Association of Translators (PEM) was ratified by the General Meeting on 29 March 2019. It sets out the professional ethics and conduct standards for our members.
This Code of Ethics and Conduct applies to translators and interpreters who are members of the Panhellenic Association of Translators (PEM). According to Article 4 of the PEM Articles of Association:
The Association accepts members engaged in the linguistic professions of translator, interpreter or other profession related to translation which derives from that of translator or interpreter as a result of technological or economic developments.
Every PEM member is required to comply with this Code of Ethics and Conduct and is bound by it. Members are liable for disciplinary misconduct even if they are no longer members, if the misconduct is related to work performed while they were still PEM members.
In the event members wish to participate in a similar professional association while remaining members of PEM, they are responsible for avoiding any conflict of interest that may arise from participating in two different associations.
Our Association respects European and international law against discrimination based on gender, nationality, race, religion, language, diversity, etc. and we serve the principles against censorship and silencing.
Article 1: Professional ethics
PEM members are required to act in accordance with the standards of professional ethics and conduct appropriate to PEM’s objectives. Specifically, they must:
- Be discreet and maintain confidentiality.
- Abide by their contractual obligations to their clients/principals. In the event of unavoidable delays or force majeure events which may negatively affect the completion of the project they have undertaken, they must inform all interested parties as soon as possible.
- Not allow any company or associate with competitive interests to influence their work, and in the event of a conflict of interest, to inform the client/principal beforehand.
- Ensure they have made every possible effort to deliver an outcome that is in line with the project specifications.
- Avoid conduct considered unprofessional, in accordance with articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this Code, and based on accepted principles of morality and good faith.
- Abstain from any act or omission that may harm the interests and sound operation of PEM.
Article 2: Confidentiality and discretion
PEM members must maintain professional secrecy throughout the whole range of their activities, unless the client/principal provides written permission to the contrary, or where it is necessary to do otherwise to prevent a misdemeanour or malicious act in accordance with provisions in Greek, European and international penal law governing the work in the context of which members came upon said information.
All of the information and data that they acquire knowledge of as part of accepting an assignment for any project are considered absolutely confidential, even after the project has been completed, or after the collaboration with the client/principal has ceased, or after no longer practising their profession.
Where other translators or interpreters are involved in the same project and members are required to share the information or data in their possession, this is only possible if the client/principal agrees. All those involved must respect the confidentiality of the information. Members may not assign any project to another (external) associate without the consent of the client/principal, or without signing a private agreement between the translator and associate to protect privacy and confidentiality.
PEM members must take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with current laws and regulations regarding the protection of personal data of clients/principals, and their employees and associates.
Article 3: Professional competence
PEM members must only work in the language pair for which they have been approved by PEM, and preferably into their native language. They must make their language pairs clear to the client/principal and explain, if necessary, how important it is to provide services only in these pairs. If a particular PEM member is also a member of a similar association under different language pairs, PEM should be notified as a precaution.
PEM members should accept projects according to the professional capacity they have declared with PEM (translator, interpreter, and/or other professions related to translation).
Acceptance of a project constitutes admission of professional competence. If during a project in progress it becomes clear that the project exceeds their professional competence, members must immediately inform the client/principal and provide any assistance possible to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibility to other professionals, together with the client/principal.
Article 4: Impartiality
PEM members must be impartial when practising their linguistic profession. Specifically, they must:
- Remain distanced throughout the duration of their work. If they believe their objectivity is being compromised, they must take all reasonable preventive actions, including withdrawing from their assigned duties, in concert with the client/principal.
- Not accept and withdraw from projects where their performance would place their impartiality at risk for any reason.
- Not express unfounded negative or critical opinions either verbally or in writing about anything or anyone related to the project, unless such opinions have a bearing on the quality of the project, or if they believe that their professional, individual or other legitimate rights have been violated, or if criminal offences against their person or others are involved. Every opinion must be substantiated, and as far as possible free of evaluative judgements, and should be submitted to the competent recipient.
Article 5: Accuracy and completeness
PEM members must make effort to deliver accurate and complete translations which correctly render the respective original text. They should not alter the meaning of the original and should not omit any detail from a project assigned them. Cases where the nature of the project requires changes are exempted.
Article 6: Professional integrity
PEM members are wholly responsible for the quality of their work, regardless of their employment relationship or legal status under which they practice their profession. Specifically, PEM members:
- Set their own prices for projects they undertake as self-employed professionals (freelancers) provided they do not engage in unfair competition (e.g. in matters of pricing), do not undermine the prestige of the profession and provide equivalent remuneration for their colleagues.
- Are responsible for services provided to clients/principals by any assistants or external associates. Similarly, PEM members who work for colleagues (whether PEM members or not) must demonstrate the same diligence when performing their duties.
- Must cite credentials related to studies, specialisations or skills that reflect the truth or have been recognised by an official body in Greece or abroad.
- Comply with all special regulations that govern their translation work.
- Remain accountable for translation projects they have delivered in the past, even after leaving or being expelled by PEM, or the profession.
Article 7: Professional development
PEM members must continually endeavour to deepen and expand their professional knowledge and skills. Specifically, they should:
- Continually review and reassess all aspects of their professional performance.
- Maintain and improve their skills through appropriate life-long learning programmes or events.
- Stay informed through conferences, workshops and other events about developments in their working languages or in regard to these, as well as the linguistic profession they practise.
Article 8: Colleague solidarity
PEM members must respect and support their colleagues. Specifically, they should:
- Provide assistance and promote the interests of their colleagues.
- Avoid making unsubstantiated comments that could potentially harm a colleague’s reputation.
- Support and promote the integrity of the profession by cultivating trust and mutual respect. Any difference of opinion should be handled with honesty, respect and a professional ethos, avoiding any unfair competition.
Article 9: Participation in PEM
PEM members who are elected to serve as administrative or audit officers, as well as any members who undertake to perform tasks for PEM either individually or in working groups, must perform their duties in a spirit akin to their normal professional employment.
In the event they do not have the time and they elect to assign higher priority to their non-PEM obligations, they must notify their competent colleagues in advance and assist in the smooth transition of the responsibilities they originally undertook.
Article 10: Amendments
This Code of Ethics and Conduct was approved at the General Meeting of 29 March 2019. It may be amended or revised following a decision of the General Meeting, as stipulated in Article 14 of the PEM Articles of Association.
For any further clarification regarding this Code of Ethics and Conduct, please contact the PEM Disciplinary Board.