Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Adult Guardianship (AG) 5: Conflict of Interest

The organization establishes the well-being of individuals as its primary responsibility and eliminates the risk, or appearance, of a conflict of interest.


A conflict of interest exists when an action made on behalf of the individual may be seen as self-serving to the guardianship worker or the organization as a whole, such as when the organization arranges for the individual to live in one of its residential facilities for which it will collect rent or some other form of payment.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: ADULT GUARDIANSHIP (AG)



Individuals who receive guardianship services maintain a level of independence and self-determination appropriate to their functional capacity, and are at minimized risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Adult Guardianship conflict of interest policy
  • Documentation of court approval for all guardianship fees
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

AG 5.01

Whenever possible, the guardianship program:
  1. operates as an independent entity; and
  2. refers individuals to services offered by outside providers.


When the guardianship program is part of a larger organization or entity, it should have the authority to make independent decisions in order to avoid conflicts due to the potentially competing interests of the larger organization or entity. Exceptions to element (b) should be made only when: (1) an appropriate outside service provider is unavailable, and (2) the exception is in the best interest of the individual served. 


AG 5.02

When the organization acts as both guardian and direct service provider, reasons for the arrangement should be documented in the case record.


AG 5.03

The organization discloses any potential conflict of interest to all involved parties including the court, the individual, and his or her family as appropriate.

Fundamental Practice

AG 5.04

The organization only petitions the court for its own appointment as guardian when no other entity is available.


AG 5.05

All guardianship fees are reported to and approved by the court.