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Green Service Standard "GS2" Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is not a standard and is not intended to be implemented as one. Instead, the Code of Conduct presents a vision of excellence for GS2s. Its principles complement and underscore legal requirements.

The Code of Conduct is intended for all GS2 Registrants.

The Principles:

The Code of Conduct has seven sections, each containing Principles and Recommended Practices.

  • General Responsibilities of GS2 REGISTRANTS
  • Third-Party Safety
  • Training and Proficiency
  • Security
  • Environmental Issues
  • Use of Technology

The Recommended Practices:

Recommended Practices are basic suggestions for applying the principles of the Code of Conduct and tailoring them to individual GS2s and organizations implementing the Code of Conduct. Some Recommended Practices exceed the provisions of the associated Code of Conduct principles.  They are not presented in any order of importance.

Benefits of the Code of Conduct:

  • The Code of Conduct benefits GS2s, the automotive aftermarket, and the vehicle service and repair community by:
  • highlighting practices to support professionalism and safety among GS2s,
  • promoting improved training, appropriate conduct, personal responsibility, and contributions to the vehicle service community and society at large,
  • encouraging the development and adoption of good judgment and ethical behavior,
  • o advancing self-regulation through the vehicle service and repair community as an alternative to government regulation,
  • supporting improved communication between the public, GS2s, shop owners, operators, customers, and others in the vehicle service industries, and
  • promoting recognition of vehicle service as a highly respected and rewarding profession.

Note:  Not all vehicle service operations are authorized in all jurisdictions internationally.  References to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are used as examples.  In all jurisdictions, applicable laws and regulations must be followed.


I. General Responsibilities of GS2 REGISTRANTS

GS2s should:

a. make safety their highest priority,

b.  seek excellence in workmanship,

c.  develop and exercise good judgment, and apply sound principles of technical decision-making,

d.  recognize and manage risks effectively,

e.  adhere to prudent operating practices and personal operating parameters (e.g., tolerances, limitations, and other human factors),

f.   advance professionalism,

g.  act with responsibility and courtesy,

h.  adhere to applicable laws and regulations, and

i.   comply with training and performance requirements.

Explanation:  Code of Conduct Section I serves as a preamble to the Code of Conduct’s other principles.  It emphasizes safety, excellence, risk management, and responsibility.

Recommended Practices:

  • Approach vehicle service equipment maintenance with seriousness and diligence, recognizing that pollution prevention and safety depend on you. 
  • Maintain each piece of equipment as if you owned it.
  • Understand and comply with the privileges and limitations of your certificate, license, and any additional ratings.
  • Recognize, accept, plan for, and correctly estimate the costs of implementing proper safety practices for the work environment.
  • Identify and adapt to changing work conditions based on sound principles of safety, risk management and compliance. 
  • Recognize the increased risks associated with equipment maintenance performed under time pressure, in distracting environments, in inclement weather, at night, and other adverse conditions.  Plan for and manage such risks using accepted risk management principles.  Never subject others to risks you would not prudently take.
  • Use accepted/approved methods, techniques, and practices to perform equipment maintenance or other authorized tasks.  Use approved parts and supplies, as applicable.
  • Use, periodically review, and contribute improvements to checklists, including errata, and adopt personal minimums for acceptable equipment maintenance practices. 
  • Make personal wellness (both mental and physical) and an honest self-evaluation of your fitness a precondition of commencing each work shift or task.
  • Be aware of personal susceptibility to (and seek to avoid or manage) fatigue, stress, extreme temperatures, and distraction.
  • Listen and be heard.  Be prepared to speak up if you see unaddressed safety or compliance issues.
  • Urge owners/operators to comply with regulatory compliance.
  • Plan and research every task carefully.  Ensure that you have the proper knowledge, experience, and qualifications (or engage such personnel), and the tooling, materials, facilities, environmental conditions, technical data, and processes to perform or approve the required work.
  • Document all maintenance tasks performed, and review product logs for relevant history.  Be prepared to provide a detailed shift or task handover to the next technicians.
  • Perform operational checks and re-inspect.  If practicable, have another qualified person inspect your work before return to service.
  • Return equipment in an equal or better state of cleanliness than received.
  • Adhere to applicable rules, methods, techniques, and practices of your organization, customer, company, industries, and regulators.
  • Communicate all discrepancies or deviations effectively and promptly.
  • Provide feedback to manufacturers and regulatory personnel on discrepancies or deviations and unsafe conditions.
  • Become familiar with, confirm, and perform only work permitted by the manufactures recommendations, operations specifications, capabilities list, or ratings.
  • Perform only work authorized by the owner/operator.
  • If applicable, notify your management if the operations specifications require updating, and seek to apply for necessary changes and/or ratings to update the operations specifications.
  • If applicable, follow the procedures to add or modify new items to the capabilities list.
  • Within the scope of your responsibilities and authority, ensure that all work is performed by qualified parties.Within the scope of your education, training, and authority, apply a systems approach to safety considering products, production, materials, tools, equipment, facilities, software, and human factors. 
  • Consider adopting a safety management systems (SMS), a reliability centered pollution prevention framework, and a risk management approach, as appropriate.

II. Third-Party Safety

GS2s should:

a. maintain a safe work place environment,
b. manage risk and avoid unnecessary risk to product occupants, people and property,
c. brief team members on pollution prevention procedures and inform them of any significant or unusual risk associated with the task,
d. seek to prevent unsafe conduct by third-parties, including coworkers and operators, and
e. avoid operations and behavior that may alarm or disturb building occupants, customers, or other third-parties.

ExplanationGS2s are responsible for the safety of product usage, work area, fellow employees, and building occupants, all of whom place their health and safety in GS2s’ hands.  GS2s should exercise sufficient care on their behalf.  Such care includes, but is not limited to, disclosing unusual risks and exercising prudent risk management.  GS2 responsibilities also extend to people in the community at large.

Recommended Practices:

  • Keep your coworkers and building occupants and customers as safe as possible, as though they were your closest loved ones.
  • Act professionally and ethically with your colleagues, building occupants, and customers.
  • Promote safety among operators, owners, and other interested parties by contributing to their safety education.
  • Wear (and encourage others to wear) appropriate safety equipment.  Demonstrate the use of safety equipment to third parties.
  • Consider the experience, background, skills, and concerns of fellow employees.
  • Provide a thorough briefing prior to shift or task handover.
  • Minimize task handoffs when practicable.
  • Never pressure, coerce, or allow fellow employees to perform pollution prevention tasks they do not feel confident or competent to perform.
  • Insist on a safe working environment, including but not limited to lighting, noise, chemical protection, and cleanliness.
  • Familiarize yourself with all applicable safety procedures.
  • Seek to develop and maintain meaningful communication and rapport with the building owner, operator, and employees.
  • Facilitate, where appropriate, active participation by owners in the pollution prevention of their building operation.
  • Take appropriate safety actions when spray coating with people in the spray coating area.

III. Training and Proficiency

GS2s should:

a.  participate in regular recurrent training to maintain and improve proficiency,
b.  participate in vehicle service pollution prevention safety education programs,
c.   remain vigilant and avoid complacency,
d.  train to recognize and deal effectively with emergencies, and
e.  maintain an accurate log to satisfy training and recent experience requirements.

Explanation:  Training and proficiency underlie vehicle service pollution prevention safety.  Recurrent training is a primary component of proficiency and should include both classroom and hands-on training.  Each contributes significantly to vehicle service pollution prevention and safety; and neither can substitute for the other.  Training sufficient to promote vehicle service safety and pollution prevention often exceeds legal requirements.

Recommended Practices:

  • Pursue a rigorous, lifelong course of vehicle service pollution prevention study.
  • Follow and periodically review programs of study or series of training exercises to improve proficiency.  Consider a training plan that will yield new certificates, skills, and professional credentials.
  • Know current pollution prevention regulations and understand their implications and rationale.
  • Attend vehicle service training programs and safety seminars offered by industries organizations; the EPA, OSHA and NFPA.
  • Participate in EPA, OSHA, NFPA and trade association award and partnership programs.
  • Stay updated with diverse and relevant vehicle service publications.
  • Conduct periodic reviews of recent vehicle service -related accidents and incidents, focusing on probable causes.
  • Ascertain that your training is adequate and documents are current prior to performing vehicle service operations, even if you have performed these tasks in the past.
  • Maintain proficiency that exceeds minimum regulatory requirements and professional standards.
  • Maintain and review a log to track deviations and lessons learned, and evaluate trends for each task performed.
  • Achieve and maintain proficiency in equipment set-up, calibration and efficiency requirements.  Otherwise outsource such tasks to qualified specialists.
  • Recognize and understand emergency signage, posters, placards and procedures to prevent injury, illness or pollution.
  • Operate systems and equipment, and product usage, only after receiving proper instruction and demonstrating an ability to do so.

IV. Security

GS2s should:

a. seek to maintain the security of all persons and property associated with their vehicle service activities,

b. remain vigilant and immediately report suspicious, reckless, or illegal activities, and

c. secure products and associated equipment to prevent unauthorized use.

ExplanationEnhanced security awareness is essential for the vehicle service community.  Threats to security demand responsive action.  This section addresses the GS2’s role in promoting national security and preventing criminal acts.

Recommended Practices:

  • Query unfamiliar people found in safety sensitive or secure areas.  Be prepared to challenge and report irregularities, including unauthorized or suspicious people.
  • Secure all unattended product and equipment. Use additional or enhanced locks or other approved anti-theft mechanisms to secure all products, as appropriate.
  • Confirm that ramp access gates are closed securely behind you to prevent “tailgating” by unauthorized persons.
  • Become familiar with The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (6 CFR Part 27) and other means to report and deter suspicious activities.
  • Report security concerns or safety hazards or anomalies whether or not they are in your area.
  • Complete required security training.

V. Environmental Issues

GS2s should:

a. recognize and seek to mitigate environmenta. recognize and seek to mitigate environmental pollution,

b. minimize the discharge of paint, oil, refrigerants, and other chemicals into the environment during vehicle service operations,

c. respect and protect environmentally sensitive areas,

d. comply with applicable personal protection procedures and mitigate product usage near sensitive areas, and

e. review and adhere to prudent hazardous materials handling procedures.

Explanation: Reducing pollution caused by vehicle service operations will reduce health problems, environmental impact, and unfavorable public perceptions of vehicle service . 

Recommended Practices:

  • Use environmentally sound devices/procedures for disposing of coatings.
  • Learn and adopt environmentally responsible methods for all aspects of product care, especially atomizing products, metal and plastic materials, and handling run-off.
  • Be aware of the Material Safety Data Sheet signature of each product, and follow procedures to reduce pollution such as reducing atomization or vaporization when storing, spraying, cleaning, or disposing.
  • Mitigate the impact of pollution on wildlife where practicable or required.
  • Utilize subcontractors and vendors that adhere to environmentally friendly practices.

VI. Use of Technology

GS2s should:

a. become familiar with and properly use appropriate technologies, recognize their limitations, and supplement with conventional skills when helpful or required,

b. keep current with the requirements and applicable procedures for all technologies that they use, service and/or maintain,

c. recognize that advanced technologies may require a systems-oriented approach to usage, service and maintenance, and

d. contribute to the advancement of technology by providing appropriate feedback based on practical experience.

ExplanationInnovative, compact, and inexpensive technologies have greatly expanded the capabilities of vehicle service operations.  This Section encourages the use of such Green and safety-enhancing technologies.

Recommended Practices:

  • When practicable, invest in new technologies that reduce emissions and advance vehicle service operations.  Train to use them properly.  Learn and understand the features and limitations of such technologies.
  • Recognize that technically advanced equipment and operations are a reality and require special tools, training, test equipment, and procedures.
  • Develop constructive ongoing relationships with vendors, manufacturers, and service companies as appropriate, recognizing that new technologies require enhanced ongoing communications among all such parties.


GS2s should:

a.  advance and promote vehicle service safety and adherence to the Code of Conduct,

b.  volunteer in and contribute to organizations that promote vehicle service , and use their vehicle service skills to contribute to society at large,

c.  demonstrate appreciation for other vehicle service professionals and service providers,

d.  advance a vehicle service pollution prevention culture that values openness, humility, integrity, positive attitudes, and the pursuit of personal improvement,

e.  promote ethical behavior within the vehicle service community, and

f.   mentor future vehicle service technicians.

Explanation:  Vehicle service has a well recognized and worsening public relations problem.  Vigilance and responsive action are essential to ensure automotive aftermarket vitality and to enhance the vehicle service and repair industries.

Recommended Practices:

  • Strive to adopt the Certified Vehicle service "GS2" Code of Conduct.
  • Serve as a GS2 ambassador to the public by providing accurate information and refuting misinformation concerning vehicle service activities, and by encouraging potential student GS2s.
  • Recognize that GS2 actions and attitudes reflect upon the entire vehicle service community.
  • Volunteer in support of the vehicle service and repair industries, such as with youth groups, career days and to share your GS2 expertise and enthusiasm.
  • Make charitable use of your eco-friendly resources (for example, provide painting services to charitable organizations and youth programs).
  • Express appreciation to other vehicle service professionals for their valuable assistance.
  • Participate in environmental protection fundraising events.
  • Invite constructive criticism from your fellow GS2s and provide the same when asked.
  • Adhere to the highest ethical principles in all vehicle service dealings, including business practices.
  • Expressly counsel customers of intended work, rationale, and estimated cost and time, obtain express consent prior to commencing work, and seek cost effective solutions consistent with regulations and safety.  Keep customers apprised of material variances from the estimate and obtain approval before proceeding.
  • Seek to resolve disputes informally and congenially.

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