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Ethics Resource Center

Information and guidance for ethics and compliance professionals everywhere

Posted by Joe Gerard on August 4th, 2010

“The ERC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, dedicated to independent research that advances high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions. With the global recession of the past year, we are also focusing closely on ethics and compliance aspects of the federal government’s response.  The American economy’s dislocation has been so severe, and the government’s strategy so massive and sweeping, that we are witnessing ethics issues never seen before here in the nation’s capital.”

ERC President Patricia J. Harned

The Ethics Resource Center

For the past 88 years, the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) has been a source of information and guidance for ethics and compliance professionals everywhere. The information provided by the ERC serves as a benchmark for companies when gauging the success of their own ethics and compliance programs. The ERC conducts both national and private, single organization surveys, and publishes the results to help businesses and government agencies understand trends, gaps and best practices in ethics and compliance.

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The ERC has launched a Student Fellows program targeted at secondary school students, to help instill ethics into their daily decisions. Emphasizing ethics and compliance at a young age helps prepare future business leaders by shaping them to be ethical thinkers. The ERC also provides information on developments and trends in federal legislation, regulations and ethics and compliance related court decisions. On the ERC website, they state, “we take advantage of its Washington, D.C. location to encourage understanding between business and the federal government.”

ERC Resources

The ERC houses countless ethics and compliance resources. The ERC releases a number of publications, survey and articles, as well as providing services to help companies develop, implement and measure their ethics and compliance programs. Here are some of the informative resources the ERC has to offer (all of the information and resources below are available on the ERC website):

Ethics Toolkit: The Ethics Toolkit contains a number of guides that outline tips and techniques for writing codes of conduct.

National Surveys Data from the ERC is used widely throughout business, government and academia. According to the ERC under the “National Surveys” section of their website:

“As the only longitudinal survey measuring how employees at all levels in more than 3,000 U.S. workplaces view ethics within their own organizations, NBES is a valuable tool for business leaders, policymakers, boards of directors, ethics and compliance officers, consumers and investors  interested in monitoring ethics trends and better understanding ethical practices within organizations.”

Here are the links to the National Business Ethics Survey and some of its supplements:

Publications: The ERC offers a number of articles and videos to assist companies in promoting ethics and compliance within their workforce. The ERC publishes a monthly newsletter entitled “Ethics Today,” which features ethics and compliance related articles and upcoming events. Every few weeks, the ERC publishes an EthicsStat- statistics that have been pulled from ERC research, surveys and other educational initiatives. The publications section also features a list of ethics and compliance books, staff articles and publications from groups partnered with the ERC.

Webcasts: The ERC provides a list of upcoming webcasts, as well as archiving past webcasts available for viewing free of charge. Webcasts cover issues including ethics and compliance risk, whistleblower rights, ethics and compliance programs, organizational culture and how to measure ethics and compliance programs.

Services: The ERC offers training and support services to help business leaders get the most out of their ethics and compliance programs. The ERC has created the “Benchmark Services Team,” to provide guidance on creating and issuing workplace ethics surveys, identifying ethics and compliance risk and measuring program effectiveness. There’s a lot that must be considered when developing and maintaining an effective ethics and compliance program. Services, such as these offered by the ERC, make it easier for business leaders, HR managers and ethics and compliance professionals to understand the information collected from workplace surveys and identify the next steps to overcome the identified challenges.


Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard

CEO, i-Sight

Spend my days showing off the i-Sight investigative case management software and finding ways to help clients improve their investigations. Usually working with corporate security, HR & employee relations, compliance and legal teams.

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