WQA revises its member Code of Ethics effective 2020
Marketing terms shall be used in accordance with WQA glossary
LISLE, Ill. (May 16, 2019) – In an effort to avoid consumer confusion, the Water Quality Association’s Code of Ethics is being revised such that marketing terms shall be used in accordance with those published in the WQA Knowledge Base Glossary. To allow WQA members adequate time to review and implement the change, it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
“WQA wants to protect consumers – and the industry – by promoting best practice marketing tools,” said Pauli Undesser, WQA Executive Director. “The industry needs to be consistent in what we say to the consumer to avoid confusion. Misleading consumers is one of the biggest things that can hurt the consumer and hurt the industry.”
One of the concerns driving the revision is companies who “use the term ‘water softener’ in ways inconsistent with how the industry has defined it,” Undesser said. “Industry professionals have defined terms for no-salt anti-scaling technologies in the WQA glossary, and it is expected that all members use defined terms to support best practice.”
The WQA Board of Directors approved the change earlier this year; the current and new Codes of Ethics are posted on WQA’s website.
“We take our Code of Ethics very seriously,” Undesser said, explaining that members must be held to higher standards of conduct for the Code to be meaningful to consumers. Members accused of violating the Code of Ethics are investigated, and, if found to be in violation they can be subject to cease-and-desist orders or even termination of their WQA membership. The association terminated two companies’ memberships in 2018 for Code violations, Undesser said.
WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977. The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
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