Code of Ethics & Professional Standards
Members of the American Guild of Organists are bound by the Code of
Ethics and guided by the Code of Professional Standards. Members of the American
Guild of Organists dedicate themselves to the highest standard of
professionalism, integrity and competence. The following principles are
guidelines for the conduct of members in fulfilling their obligations as
- Code of Ethics -
Approved by the National Council on October 23, 1933 and amended through
April 16, 2007Preamble
The purpose of the American Guild of Organists is to promote the organ
in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of
organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration,
education, and certification of Guild members. Voting members are entitled to
enjoy the privileges and are expected to accept the responsibilities of
membership in the Guild. Members shall be considered equally for Guild offices
and participation in Guild activities. These are the rules that shall be
considered binding upon all voting members in good standing.
- Members shall promote good working relationships within the
American Guild of Organists and shall respect the employment of colleagues.
Members shall address differences between themselves and other members by
following the procedures outlined in the Discipline.
- Members shall not seek or appear to be seeking employment for
themselves, a student, or a colleague, in a position held by someone else.
Members shall apply for employment only for a position which the employer, with
the knowledge of the incumbent musician, has officially and publicly declared
vacant by announcement of the vacancy.
- In cases pending under the Procedures or in cases where
the National Council has determined that a position has been made vacant by
wrongful termination of a member of the American Guild of Organists, members
shall not seek or accept regular or permanent employment for themselves, a
student, or colleague at that Institution until the National Council is
satisfied that differences between the Guild and the Institution have been
resolved. Interim services may be provided for a period of 90 days.
- Members shall obtain the approval of the incumbent musician before
accepting an engagement for a wedding, funeral or other service requested by a third
party. In such cases, the incumbent should receive her/her customary fee and the third
part is expected to provide it. It is the responsibility of the guest member to inform
the third part of this rule. Members are advised to protect themselves as incumbents
in this regard by negotiating employment contract which secure these fees and which
provide some responsibility, oversight and control as to choice of music,
- Members shall conduct professional activities with truthfulness,
honesty and integrity, and shall maintain sensitivity in matters of a personal
or confidential nature.
- Members shall not discriminate against others on the basis of
race, national origin, age, religious affiliation, gender, marital status,
sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition (including, but not limited
to, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
- Code of Professional Standards -
Approved by the National Council July 2, 2000 and amended April 16, 2007Skills
- Members develop and maintain skills in performance,
improvisation, service playing, conducting, arranging, and composing
commensurate with their duties.
- Members stay abreast of current developments in liturgy, hymnody,
performance practice, and musicology through continuing education.
- Members become knowledgeable in the liturgy and worship
traditions of the institutions they serve.
- Members acquire business, administrative and interpersonal skills
to perform their duties.
Respect for Colleagues
- Members agree to employment only after reaching a clear
understanding of the position, the employer’s expectations, and the lines of
- Members request written contracts that protect employee and
- Members maintain courteous and respectful relationships with
other staff members and members of their congregations, making an effort to
resolve potential conflicts as soon as they become evident.
- Members address differences with employing institutions through
appropriate channels, including, but not limited to, their contract, the
institution’s personnel policies manual, and the Guild’s Procedures for Dealing
with Complaints about Termination.
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- Members supervise other musicians in a professional and
- Members respect the intellectual property rights of composers,
authors and publishers by complying with the Copyright Law and licensing
requirements regarding reproduction, recording, distribution, broadcasting and
- Members address differences with other members of the American
Guild of Organists by following the procedures outlined in the Discipline.
- Members do not use AGO affiliation or membership information publicly
(except for biographical purposes) to endorse, for commercial advantage, the financial
and business goals or the products and services of others, or to further any political
- Members do not discriminate against others on the basis of race,
national origin, age, religious affiliation, gender, marital status, sexual
orientation, disability, or medical condition (including, but not limited to
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).