US Surveyors Association Code of Ethics
The following is designed as a reference guide for marine surveyors who wish to limit their liability and participate in US Surveyors as much as possible while conducting the marine inspection. This is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed as such. These practices have been found to work for experienced marine surveyors. Should you have any questions about legal liability and your legal obligations, please consult your attorney. First and foremost, make sure your client understands what you do professionally and what you will not do. This would be the scope of your expertise. Marine surveys are basically "visual reports". Inspect only that for which you are qualified. Your organization was founded in 1987. It is one of four major associations accrediting marine surveyors. We are proud that you have decided to join us.
Always check safety first. Follow USCG and ABYC safety guidelines in preparing the inspection report and while you are performing the survey.
Recommend professionals/specialists on areas you do not feel qualified to inspect.
Recommend hiring mechanics, rigging inspectors or salvage contractors on individualized case by case instances. Recommend the client hire these inspectors, repair persons, assist where possible, avoid conflict of interest at all times.
Owners and masters should be advised to be present during all inspections if at all possible.
On all recommendations/standards writing, refer to USCG, ABYC, NFPA and ABS standards.
Obtain all paperwork applicable, registrations, documentations, broker listings, prior surveys and sales agreements before starting the inspection, review carefully.
Never "pad" (increase or decrease) values at the request of anyone.
Remember who your customer is. Your customer is the person who pays your fee.
Never give out confidential written or oral reports to anyone other than your customer. A survey is a confidential report at all times.
Use standard checklists for your own business. Never boilerplate or prepare generic forms with generic writing. Address each boat individually.
If you are an expert witness, only perform reports and surveys you are qualified to do on vessels you are knowledgeable.
Include a disclaimer, warranty clause and confidentially statement on your reports-no matter what the intended purpose of the report.
All reports are confidential. Make sure your customer understands your report, defects and deficiencies noted and why.
Report only that which you have seen. Never skip areas of the boat on "assumption" all is well.
Make yourself available to the customer for review of the survey or vessel notes
on a professional basis for a certain time period after the survey report is
completed. If for some reason your survey is disputed, refund your
customers money immediately!
MEMBERS OF US SURVEYORS ASSOCIATION HAVE....
Completed and passed a rigorous examination contained in the nationally
recognized Navtech Marine Surveyors Course Recreational Small Commercial.
Completed, passed and received the only US Coast Guard approved similarly
qualified inspector examination for Fishing Vessels Safety (required of all
Provided two sample surveys in their permanent file at headquarters with a
Submitted proof of joining the singularly and highly respected standards
writing organization for vessel surveying the American Boat and Yacht Council.
Agreed to abide by US Surveyor's national Code of 42, Refund and Customer
Service Policy based on survey performance.
Accident and Fraud Investigators have passed an additional essay examination based on ethics, circumstances and actual accidents.
When you choose a US Surveyors member you can be assured you have chosen a trained, educated and qualified surveyor who has met strict standards for membership in the only organization that provides ongoing college level coursework and education for members through a centrally located headquarters.