Anthropological Society - Goals and Ethics


Members of the Anthropological Society of WA share the following goals:

  1. protection of clients and public in relation to professional standards of applied anthropologists and sociologists.
  2. protection of members of the Association from the adverse reputational effects of inferior work done by others operating in the field.
  3. establishment of a fee structure and standard working conditions for practitioners working in the field.
  4. provision of an authoritative, concerted voice in public matters of concern to the Association.
  5. forum for closer interaction between persons engaged in the application of social scientific knowledge and research techniques.
  6. promotion of courses of study and training appropriate to applied social scientific research and action.
  7. promotion of public and governmental acceptance of the importance of social scientific knowledge, and of the benefits to be derived from work done by practitioners in the field.


The Anthropological Society promotes anthropolgoical practice within the following the ethical framework:

  1. The consultant should be aware of the socio-cultural context in which the consultancy is to take place.
  2. Recommendations and/or advice should not be offered to the person or body employing or contracting the consultant without these being based on research and on discussions with the people who are the subject of the project.
  3. When conflicting opinions, issues, etc. are known to exist in relation to a particular project, the consultant should draw these to the attention of his employer, contractor or client,
  4. Cooperation must be sought by the consultant from the persons or the community immediately concerned in the proposed research. The consultant should ensure that his/her aims are made clear to them, along with the likely implications. The consultant should ensure also that the community or persons who are directly concerned with his/her project are provided with the results (in the form of interim or final reports, or summaries thereof). This includes, particularly, communication to those concerned of the consultant's advice offered to the employer or contractor or client.
  5. The sensitivities of persons or groups subjected to such research undertaken in the context of an employed consultant, should be recognised and safe-guarded. This refers to the anonymity of persons in particular circumstances, secret-sacred materials, along with privately expressed opinions, restricted materials, documents, etc.
  6. Confidentiality must be a feature of the relationship between consultant and client (employer, contractor, etc.); and on all occasions the client must be treated fairly and honestly.
  7. Reports prepared by consultants for their clients are confidential or restricted unless otherwise agreed upon. However, this should not exclude summarised statements or intentions or directives arising from such reports being communicated to the persons directly implicated in that research.
  8. All materials collected in the course of a consultant's research carried out for the purpose of preparing a report or reports should remain his/her personal property, and time-limits should be agreed upon for its general publication if such is required. Likewise, all reports submitted to the client remain his/her property, unless otherwise agreed upon by consultant and client or another mediating body.
  9. Reasonable fees should be paid to consultants.