An Ethics Code For FCC Alternative Compliance


By Ken Benner

Among the responses to my recent columns addressing the subject of stations self-certifying under their own alternative compliance certification program was one from a manager/engineer licensee who asked if I operate under some sort of ethics code.

If so, he asked, could I share it with him?

I most certainly can.

I have used it to the best of my ability since I composed it over 18 years ago, and I am pleased to share it with anyone.

Statement of Professional & Ethical Standards for the Alternative FCC Compliance Certification Program


Inspector members of the Alternative FCC Compliance Certification Team recognize that the keystone to professional conduct is absolute integrity and to discharge their duties to those employing their service with fidelity and impartiality for all.


Inspectors will extend the effectiveness of their professional assignments by sharing their knowledge and experiences with broadcasting interests while contributing unselfishly to the efforts of engineering societies, as well as the efforts of technical institutions and engineering publications.


Inspectors will have due regard for the health and safety of their colleagues and the public who may be affected by the work for which they are responsible.


Inspectors will express an opinion only when such is based upon adequate knowledge, experience and honest conviction while the inspector is in service as a witness before a court of law, commission or other tribunal.  Further, such inspectors will not issue ex parte statements, criticisms, or arguments on matters related to public policy inspire or paid for by private or special interest unless the inspector indicate on whose behalf such statement is made.


Inspectors, when necessary, will clearly document any possible consequences that may be anticipated resulting from deviations proposed when or if the inspector’s good-faith engineering judgement is overruled by a non-technical authority in cases where the inspector is responsible for the professional adequacy for any engineering proposed or performed.


Inspectors will under no circumstances accept compensation, financial or otherwise, that may be real or perceived to bias a good faith professional opinion.


Inspectors will at all times strive to keep abreast of significant changes in the art and science of American broadcasting while doing their best to encourage and inspire their colleagues to do the same.

“Pride, passionate professional dedication, and experience in broadcasting are absolutely essential for a trustworthy and reputable Alternative FCC Compliance Certification Inspector. Anyone with less disgraces the program.”



RBR + TVBR featured columnist Ken Benner is an independent Alternative FCC Compliance Certification Inspector and a research analyst for the Coalition for Transparency, Clarification and Simplification of Regulations pertaining to American Broadcasting. Benner has more than 55 years of experience providing service to the broadcast industry and has conducted thousands of alternative inspections for stations throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.