Code of Conduct


To preserve the core values and business principles that our organization is founded upon, we have compiled a list of unacceptable behavioural actions that have been classified as either:

  • Hazardous to employee safety
  • Criminal
  • A negative influence on workplace morale or
  • Detrimental to the success of our business.  

Skills Ontario reserves the right to discipline and, in certain cases, terminate the employment of any employee for participating in any conduct that violates Skills Ontario’s Code of Conduct standards and policies.

Failure to respect the Code of Conduct will result in disciplinary action as stated in the Corrective Counselling and Discipline Policy.


The primary responsibility of Skills Ontario (“Organization”) is the well-being and development of youth. Skills Ontario is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment within its Organization that promotes a high level of satisfaction, respect and success. By following this Code of Conduct (“Code”), which forms part of the terms and conditions of employment, engagement or association with Skills Ontario, it is intended that all employees, volunteers, directors and officers will contribute to strengthening the impact of what we deliver.

The Code constitutes written standards that are reasonably designed to promote integrity, to deter wrongdoing and to address, at a minimum, the fundamental principles set out below. We pride ourselves on our spirit of cooperation, teamwork and pleasant atmosphere that prevails within our company. As an employee of Skills Ontario, we expect a positive and professional attitude when working with fellow employees and when assisting customers and the general public. You are a representative of our company and your personal conduct is a reflection of not only yourself, but also of Skills Ontario. Although the various matters dealt with in this Code do not cover the full spectrum of permitted and prohibited activities, they are indicative of the Organization’s commitment to the maintenance of high standards of conduct and are to be considered descriptive of the type of behavior expected from all those associated with Skills Ontario.


This Policy applies to all employees, volunteers, directors and officers of Skills Ontario.


All Skills Ontario employees, volunteers, directors or officers (“Personnel”) are required to abide by the Organization’s policies and procedures, including but not limited to this Code, and to ensure their conduct is in keeping with the Organization’s Mandate. This Code applies to all Skills Ontario Personnel regardless of location, and in accepting an appointment Personnel agree to discharge their duties and to regulate their conduct in line with the requirements of this Code.

All Personnel will be given a copy of this Code during orientation and be required to familiarize themselves with its requirements. All Personnel will be required to sign an acknowledgement that they have read and understood the Code upon commencement of their employment, engagement or association and each year thereafter.

The Board of Directors has responsibility to ensure that all Personnel, including those newly involved, are provided with and sign a copy of the Code and understand its provisions clearly.

All Personnel also have a particular responsibility to uphold the Code and to set an example.

It is the responsibility of all Personnel of Skills Ontario to abide by this Code and to report knowledge of contraventions of this Code.

A breach of this Code may result in discipline, up to and including termination of a Personnel’s employment, engagement or association with the Organization, for cause.


Code of Conduct refers to a set of guidelines intended to support the ethical behaviour and decision making for all employees at Skills Ontario.



To promote careers in the skilled trades and technologies as viable, first choice career options for youth in Ontario. For the purposes of this Code, a “youth” is considered to be any participant in a Skills Ontario program under the age of 29



Personnel are expected to:

1) Promote the Mandate of Skills Ontario and Comply with all Skills Ontario Policies

Personnel shall:

  • Review and adhere to all Skills Ontario policies relevant and applicable to their employment, engagement or association with Skills Ontario.
  • Comply with the governing rules of any other association with which they participate on behalf of the Organization.
  • Perform duties and services in a competent, punctual and diligent manner.
  • Attend to obligations or commitments with Skills Ontario promptly.
  • Work co-operatively, demonstrating courtesy in all interactions with Skills Ontario Personnel and members of the public

    2) Ensure the Safety, Health and Well-Being of all Skills Ontario Members, especially Youth

All Personnel must comply with all health and safety laws, regulations, standards and Skills Ontario policies and mandates as applicable. Personnel must ensure that they conduct their activities in compliance with applicable laws and keep up-to-date on issues that may affect same.

Personnel commit to adhering to the following:

  • Legal and organizational health and safety requirements.
  • Reporting any necessary changes or breaches of legal or organizational health and safety requirements.
  • Avoiding any risk to the safety, health and well-being of themselves and others and managing risks appropriately where necessary.

 3) Ensure Personal Conduct is, and is seen to be, of the Highest Standards in Keeping with Skills Ontario’s Mission and Values.

All dealings between Personnel acting on behalf of Skills Ontario and others must be conducted in a manner that will not compromise the integrity or question the reputation of any other person, Personnel or the Organization.

Personnel shall:

  • Always act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness.
  • Respect the opinion of others and treat all people fairly and with respect and dignity.
  • Provide a positive and valued experience for those receiving service from Skills Ontario.
  • Refrain from the use, possession, sale, manufacture or dispensation of any illegal drug, alcohol, cannabis, or paraphernalia associated with either during work hours or reporting to work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There may be events that employees must attend while representing Skills Ontario where alcohol is served. In these situations employees are responsible to consume responsibly and without being in an inebriated state where judgement may be impaired.
  • Refrain from the use of alcohol, cannabis or illicit narcotics off employer premises that adversely affects the Personnel’s work performance, the Personnel’s own safety or the safety of others at work, or the employer’s reputation in the community.
  • Report to Management the use of any prescribed drug which may alter the employee’s ability to safely perform his/her duties.
  • Refrain from using vulgar or inappropriate language in front of youth or when carrying out any duties on behalf of Skills Ontario.
  • Refrain from dishonest and illegal conduct and activities.
  • Refrain from smoking in front of youth.
  • Refrain from being alone with a youth unless safety dictates otherwise.
  • If a youth wants to speak privately with Personnel, he or she shall ensure that the discussion is not out of sight from others, just out of hearing.
  • Refrain from using his or her role with Skills Ontario to have contact with youth participants outside of Skills Ontario Programs.
  • Follow the Skills Ontario guidelines for connecting with youth participants and general use of technology, including but not limited to: email, internet and social media.

4) Avoid Involvement in any Criminal Activities, Activities that Contravene Human Rights, Constitute Harassment or those that Compromise the Work of Skills Ontario

Personnel are expected to support and promote the Organization’s mandate at all times.

Personnel are responsible for ensuring work and volunteer environments in which individuals are treated with respect, provided with equality of opportunity based on merit and kept free of all forms of discrimination. Discrimination by the Organization or Personnel on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, or any other status or condition protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code (“Protected Grounds”) will not be tolerated at any level of the Organization. Discrimination is prohibited in all areas including employment, volunteering, recruitment, promotion, training, salary, benefits and terminations. Personnel are to be treated as individuals and given opportunities based on merit and abilities.

Harassment, including sexual harassment, by the Organization and/or Personnel is strictly prohibited. Harassment means a course of vexatious comments or conduct against Personnel, and those using Skills Ontario services that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Harassment includes unwelcome words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating or demeaning to Personnel or those using Skills Ontario services. Sexual Harassment means harassment, but involves sexualized conduct or is harassment directed at an individual as a result of gender.

Personnel shall:

  • Refrain from discrimination and harassment in any form.
  • Notify the Executive Director of Skills Ontario of any new criminal charges personally by him or her, during his or her employment, association or engagement with Skills Ontario.

Skills Ontario will in all instances abide by its obligations pursuant to the Human Rights Code with respect to Personnel Records of Offences.

5) Ensure a Safe and Caring Environment for Youth

Personnel must be mindful that in the course of their employment, engagement or association with Skills Ontario, they will come into conduct with vulnerable people, including youth and those with disabilities. It is understood that caring personnel will develop positive relationships with youth while involved in Skills Ontario programs. The following practices must be followed to ensure the protection of both youth and Personnel of Skills Ontario programs.

Personnel shall refrain from engaging in the following with youth:

  • Being alone with an individual youth where they are not observable by others.
  • Disrobing a youth other than outer garments (i.e. a coat).
  • Changing clothes in front of youth.
  • Engaging in any exploitative, abusive or corrupt relationships.
  • Sexual behaviour of any kind with youth; this includes sexual jokes, language, names, touching, pornography, harassment and exploitation.
  • Use of technology or social media to engage youth in disrespectful and exploitative behaviour.
  • Abusing or exploiting youth in any way.
  • Initiating contact with or accepting supervisory responsibility for youth outside of Skills Ontario programs and activities.
  • Communicating with youth outside of Skills Ontario programs via written, electronic or other means without express Skills Ontario approval.

Personnel shall take the following measures in all interactions with youth through Skills Ontario:

  • Contribute to combating all forms of illegal activities against youth.
  • Report any behaviour contrary to this Code to a supervisor/manager or the Board of Directors of Skills Ontario immediately.
  • Use only positive teaching behaviour as a means to discipline and refrain from any use of physical contact or emotional rejection and put-downs.
  • Utilize constructive methods for maintaining group control and managing youth behavior.
  • Only touch a youth on the hands, arms, shoulders or head as necessary to get his or her attention with the youth’s permission and always in sight of others except when medical or safety circumstances warrant.
  • Keep all classroom / venue doors open unless there is a window in the door or a side window beside it. Doors should never be locked while persons are inside the room. All storage, maintenance and utility area doors will be secured when not in use.
  • Ensure all sites of operation will have access to a telephone on location during operating hours.
  • Respect the right to personal privacy at all times with special consideration to ensure separate sleeping accommodations and washing facilities for co-ed activities.
  • Ensure all facilities are lit indoors and out.

    6) Avoid Conflict of Interest

Skills Ontario requires Personnel to avoid all situations in which their personal interests conflict or might appear to conflict with their duties with the Organization. Personnel should avoid acquiring any interests in or participating in any activities that would tend to:

  • Deprive the Organization of the time or attention required to perform their duties properly; or
  • Create a distraction that might affect their judgment or ability to act solely in the Organization’s best interests.

Personnel are prohibited from using or disclosing any information about the Organization for personal gain or at the expense of the Organization. Personnel shall disclose to their supervisors or to the Board of Directors in writing all business, commercial and financial interests or activities where such an interest or activity might reasonably be regarded as creating an actual or potential conflict with their duties or the mandate of this Organization. Personnel who are charged with managerial or supervisory responsibility are required to see that actions taken and decisions made within are free from the influence of any interest that might reasonably be regarded as conflicting with those of the Organization.

 7) Confidentiality

Confidential Information includes any information that is not known to the general public and includes, but is not limited to, all computer software and files, strategic objectives, Skills Ontario business and financial documents, sponsorship and support records and all volunteer, membership and employee information.

Personnel shall:

  • Respect and maintain the confidentiality of Confidential Information gained as Personnel.
  • Refrain from discussing, releasing or using Confidential Information without proper authority to anyone not employed by Skills Ontario.
  • Abide by all privacy laws and regulations.

8) Reporting Conduct in Violation of the Code

Personnel are each responsible for being aware of, understanding and complying with this Code. Any issues with respect to violations of this Code are to be made in writing to your Director (unless it involves your Director) or the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is involved in the reported violation, issues should be identified in writing to the Chair of the Board of Directors. Any reported concerns will be treated with urgency, consideration and discretion. Failure by Personnel to report any actual or potential violation of the Code will be viewed as condoning a violation of this Code, which may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment, engagement or association with Skills Ontario for cause.

There shall be no reprisal or other action taken against any Personnel who, in good faith, bring forward concerns about actual or potential violations of laws or the Code. Anyone engaging in any form of retaliatory conduct will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment, engagement or association with Skills Ontario for cause.