Conflict of Interest Policy



What is a potential conflict of interest? Is it a potential conflict of interest if the Comptroller hires her husband’s accounting firm to conduct the company audit? Absolutely!  


Is it a potential conflict of interest if a professor uses a text book he wrote for his or her class?   Probably not, as long as the appropriate administrative officials at the university are aware of the situation. 


As you can see some conflicts of interest are obvious, others fall into a grey area and the circumstances define whether or not a conflict exists. You should always talk about potential conflicts of interest in a policy since the circumstances surrounding a situation determine whether or not a conflict exists.


What Is A Conflict of Interest Policy?


A Conflict of Interest Policy defines what represents a potential conflict of interest. All conflict of interest policies should be accompanied by procedures identifying in detail how someone should raise a potential conflict of interest, the process for mitigating conflicts of interest, potential resolutions for conflicts of interest and potential penalties if a conflict of interest is not mitigated. I recommend developing process flows to accompany conflict of interest procedures since they are generally easier for people to understand than a document. I also recommend including examples of potential conflicts of interest that may arise in your organization in your policy document.


It is imperative that organizations hold their employees to the highest possible ethical standards. By identifying a potential conflict of interest early an organization can mitigate the conflict before the organization compromises their values. 



Developing a Conflict of Interest Policy

Clark Atlanta University needed a Conflict of Interest policy to ensure that all potential conflicts of interest were identified among both faculty and staff.  It is critical that potential conflicts of interest are identified so that a mitigation plan can be developed.  In addition to writing the Conflict of Interest Policy I developed procedures and process flows,  I also ensured that a process for reviewing conflicts of interest was in place and that penalties for violating the Conflict of Interest Policy were developed
Jackie Willey



What Are Your Next Steps?


Are you ready to get started on your Conflict of Interest Policy? An initial consultation is only $100.  Here is what you get. 


  • A 60 minute one-on-one phone consultation with Jackie Willey. Each consultation is personalized to fit the client’s needs.
  • After the phone consultation you will receive a document detailing the conversation including any decisions you have made, ideas that have been raised and any other pertinent information.
  • The $100 fee is applied to the cost of developing your Conflict of Interest Policy if you decide to use Jackie Willey.
  • Clients often find it most effective to send Jackie Willey an e-mail with their questions in advance of their discussion. Other clients don’t know where to start and need help developing a plan. Jackie is flexible and will work with you to get the most out of the conversation.


Still Not Sure? Free Consulting Is Available


Jackie Willey is available for a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your Conflict of Interest Policy and help you develop the best strategy to meet your needs.


Get started today by e-mailing Jackie at


For information on writing a Conflict of Commitment Policy