CODE OF ETHICAL STANDARDS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
“Striving for Equity in all things.”
This Code of Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct is adopted by SaVoa, Inc. as a general guide to aid members of SaVoa in providing voice over services. The Code also aims at informing the public of the principles to which SaVoa members subscribe. The Code further acknowledges the intention of SaVoa members to abide by proper and legal business practices, and perform under a standard of professional behavior that adheres to high principles of ethical conduct on behalf of the public, clients, and professional colleagues.
Members of SaVoa are conscientious and active voice over artists pursuing excellence in the vocal, technical and business skills their craft requires, while working diligently to enhance the profession as a whole. Ethical business practices can be achieved by maintaining fairness and “striving for equity in all things” — for example, between the needs of the client and the skills of the voice artist.
A. MEMBERSHIP TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Candidates for accreditation agree to abide by all the standards, terms, conditions and codes set forth on this page (collectively “the Standards”) as a precondition to seeking accreditation from SaVoa and, if accepted, to continue to abide by them throughout their membership. Accredited members further agree that a failure to abide by the Standards shall be grounds for revocation of their accreditation status.
- Candidates for accreditation acknowledge that their application for accreditation may be denied. They further acknowledge that a denial of accreditation does not bar or hinder them from providing voice over services.
- Candidates for accreditation and members applying for renewal further acknowledge that SaVoa does not publish or make public denials of accreditation and that, therefore, a denial does not constitute a harm to a voice artist’s professional reputation.
- Candidates for accreditation further acknowledge that their applications and audio submissions are evaluated by a peer review panel assembled from a roster of SaVoa members. The panel consists of three members, only one of which may also serve on the board of directors of SaVoa, Inc.
- Candidates for accreditation further acknowledge that they have read the Standards and SaVoa’s FAQ posted on its web site, and that they fully understand and agree to the stated provisions, including any applicable accreditation fees.
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge that the Standards are subject to change and that any such modifications are publicized and available to members at all times via SaVoa’s web site or by contacting SaVoa directly.
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge that SaVoa is a not-for-profit corporation organized by voice over artists for voice over artists for the enhancement of the voice over industry through peer review and support of education. As such, members agree to participate from time to time in forums, panels, committees, questionnaires or surveys as requested by SaVoa for the purpose of developing ongoing accreditation criteria; updating terms, conditions, and standards; and developing or supporting the development of education in vocal, technical and business skills needed for voice over work.
- Members of SaVoa participating in peer review acknowledge that candidates may elect to have an anonymous peer review process, but that some voices are nevertheless recognizable. As such, all participants in peer review, whether anonymous or not, agree to maintain confidentiality at all times on all issues deemed confidential, and in particular with respect to any denial of accreditation.
- Members of SaVoa who knowingly breach confidentiality with respect to the peer review process, membership status or any other issue associated with the services provided by SaVoa agree to indemnify and hold SaVoa harmless against all actions that may be taken by any candidate or member as a result of such breach.
- Members of SaVoa and candidates for accreditation acknowledge that SaVoa does not collect financial information, Social Security numbers or other sensitive information and that, as a result, SaVoa does not have an SSL certificate, email encryption, or otherwise provide any means for transferring electronic data securely. (Individuals who do not want to submit applications or other information through unencrypted protocols are encouraged to mail their applications directly to SaVoa or submit them by fax, if available.)
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge that the SaVoa shield logo appearing on the header and further identified in FAQ No. 12 is copyrighted by SaVoa, Inc. and may be used at the sole discretion of SaVoa. Members of SaVoa (individuals who have passed the accreditation process) shall be issued an accreditation number and provided a copy of the shield logo which they may display on their voice over web sites, promotional materials and other content solely promoting the accredited member’s voice over services. See FAQ No. 17 for unacceptable content. The shield logo must be displayed with the member’s verifiable accreditation number to be within permissible use. The shield logo may not be used by unaccredited voice over artists. Members of SaVoa shall not modify the shield logo nor distribute copies of the shield logo or their accreditation numbers for use by non-members. Any breach of this provision will result in immediate revocation of a member’s accreditation status.
- Any person who breaches the terms under which the shield logo may be used or who otherwise misrepresents his or her accreditation status may be permanently banned from membership in SaVoa.
- Members of SaVoa who also provide voice coaching, marketing, demo production or other talent related services or products acknowledge that their SaVoa accreditation applies solely to their voice over services and is not accreditation nor endorsement of other talent related services or products. Members who also provide talent related services or products agree that they will not market their SaVoa accreditation as to those other services or products nor on web sites (or profile pages) that primarily offer voice coaching, or other talent related services or products. Accreditation may be marketed only on the member ’s web sites or profile pages promoting that member’s voice over services.When we say marketed, we do not mean a casual reference. It is acceptable to mention your accreditation status in your bio section (e.g. About page) on a site promoting other services or products as long as that reference also clearly states that you currently provide voice over services and you make it clear that your SaVoa accreditation applies only to those voice over services. For example:
“Member also provides voice over services and is a SaVoa accredited voice over artist;” or
“Member, a SaVoa accredited voice over artist, is the signature voice of Brand X, in addition to being the owner and developer of . . .”
The reference may be text only or a text link back to (a) SaVoa.org, (b) the Member’s primary voice over site or profile page, or (c) the Member’s accreditation certificate.
B. STANDARDS OF BUSINESS CONDUCT
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge they are private business entities and shall conduct themselves in accordance with proper and legal business practices, and perform under a standard of professional behavior that adheres to high principles of ethical conduct on behalf of the public, clients, and professional colleagues.
- Although SaVoa may publish or comment on industry standards and guidelines with respect to customary rates for voice over services, SaVoa members acknowledge that any such rates are provided solely as an aid to quoting a fair price and neither SaVoa nor its members shall collude to set or attempt to set minimum rates for voice over services. In establishing rates, voice over artists are asked to take into consideration:
- the level of their voice over skills;
- their own availability;
- details and complexity of the specific voice over project (including multiple reads, pickups, or post-production);
- the client’s budget;
- the time frame allowed for completion of the job;
- the expected market (broadcast and non-broadcast);
- rates paid for their similar voice over services by similar clients in similar markets.
- Members of SaVoa agree to participate in the dissemination of information with respect to clients or talent seekers who have breached any terms of service (including non-payment for work performed) for the mutual benefit of the membership. Members are encouraged to sign only those non-disclosure agreements which allow for disclosures that may be necessary for the collection of fees, for compliance with the law, and for reporting breaches to SaVoa, the voice over artist’s agent(s) or any unions of which the voice over artist is a member.
- Members acknowledge that SaVoa shall maintain an indexed database of negative incidents to the extent needed. This database shall be maintained for the sole benefit of and dissemination to other voice over artists accredited by SaVoa. The contents of the database are confidential and not to be published or made public in any way. Any breach by any member of the confidential contents of the database may result in revocation of that member’s accreditation status. Further, any member who knowingly breaches confidential information shall indemnify and hold SaVoa harmless from all actions that may result from such breach.
- Members acknowledge that, if they are found to have intentionally breached any contractual obligation to a client, it shall result in immediate revocation of their accreditation status and temporary or permanent ban from membership in SaVoa.
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge that certain production companies have expressed a desire to conduct business solely with accredited voice over artists. These production companies will be known as affiliated producers. All other factors being equal or equitable, SaVoa members are encouraged to give first priority to affiliated producers. In other words, in the commendable event that two clients need your services at the same time and are willing to pay similar rates for similar services which will be distributed to similarly sized markets, SaVoa requests you accept the job from the affiliated producer.
- Members of SaVoa shall not accept a voice over job that is beyond their professional and attainable competency, nor shall they make exaggerated or misleading statements about the services they are able to provide or have provided in the past.
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge that their identifiable services may be needed by competing entities and will endeavor to avoid conflicts of interest whether contractually required to do so or not.
- Members of SaVoa acknowledge SaVoa’s goal to enhance the reputation of voice over artists and to its commitment that all its members shall at all times act professionally and proficiently in providing voice over services. To that end, SaVoa members agree:
- not to solicit prospective clients through the use of false or misleading claims;
- not to engage in mass, unsolicited email marketing (spam);
- not to use the SaVoa shield logo or identify themselves as accredited voice over artists in any unacceptable content (see FAQ No. 17);
- not to use the SaVoa shield logo or identify themselves as accredited voice over artists in eBay auctions or any other materials which advertise “discount” voice over services (this does not preclude your ability to participate in auctions or provide discount services).
C. RESPONSIBILITIES TO PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES
- These Responsibilities to Professional Colleagues seek to generally guide SaVoa members and encourage an exchange of information and development of quality training and education to enhance the profession as a whole.
- SaVoa members shall strive to contribute to the development of SaVoa by participating in the governing of the organization through elections of any directors, officers, and committee members as may be set forth in the By Laws, or by accepting appointments to committees and panels for the development of peer review criteria and educational support, as well as to conduct actual peer review evaluations for accreditation
- SaVoa members shall further strive to contribute to the profession as a whole by helping SaVoa to improve methods and techniques for accreditation.
- SaVoa members shall further strive to communicate, cooperate, and share knowledge with colleagues having common professional interests and shall not knowingly and intentionally attempt to discredit or harm the professional reputation of a colleague. This does not mean that members cannot publicly disagree with each other on particular issues. The discourse may be positive or negative, but members should always strive to keep it constructive.
- SaVoa members shall further strive to improve education for voice over artists by helping to evaluate workshops, seminars, voice coaches, audio production courses, and any other educational programs and materials geared for the voice over industry and the development of business skills in general.
- SaVoa members will further support SaVoa’s educational goals by sharing non-proprietary and non-confidential knowledge from time to time with other voice over artists in the community and by helping SaVoa to develop a database of resources for voice over artists seeking to improve their vocal, technical and business skills.
- SaVoa members are in no way required to impart knowledge, provide any mentoring, or otherwise participate as instructors in independent educational programs without reasonable compensation, provided any such compensation is derived solely within the course and scope of that member’s own business, and not through any implied agency or employment relationship with SaVoa.
- SaVoa members acknowledge that SaVoa is a not-for-profit organization and restricted by federal law in the manner and extent of income it may derive for costs of operation and for the benefit of the SaVoa membership in its entirety.
D. PEER REVIEW STANDARDS
- SaVoa shall maintain a peer review roster from which accredited voice over artists will be randomly chosen to comprise peer review panels for the accreditation process.
- SaVoa members are encouraged to volunteer to serve on peer review panels. As costs of operation are determined and funds developed, SaVoa expects to pay an honorarium to compensate members who serve on peer review panels. No member of the board of directors who may be required to serve on a peer review panel may be compensated for such services unless he or she is required to conduct more than five (5) evaluations in a given month due to a shortage on the peer review roster.
- All SaVoa members on the peer review roster are accredited voice over artists and are deemed to be qualified to conduct peer review and provide evaluations as will be set forth in the accreditation criteria.
- SaVoa members serving on peer review panels shall not develop separate criteria for accreditation or construe any criteria established by SaVoa in such a way that it makes the accreditation process onerous or exclusionary. The goal of the accreditation process is to enhance the profession through a means of self-governing quality assurance, not to establish an elite membership.
- As stated above, SaVoa members participating in peer review are charged with maintaining confidentiality on all issues and materials deemed confidential and any breach may result in revocation of accreditation.