Code of Ethics
(Adapted from the ASHA Code of Ethics, revised Jan 1, 2003)
The preservation of the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles is vital to the responsible discharge of obligations by speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists. This Code of Ethics sets forth the fundamental principles and rules considered essential to this purpose.
Every individual who is (a) a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, whether certified of not, (b) a nonmember holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the Association, (c) an applicant for membership or certification, or (d) a Clinical Fellow seeking to fulfill standards for certification shall abide by this Code of Ethics.
Any violation of the spirit and purpose of this Code shall be considered unethical. Failure to specify any particular responsibility or practice in this Code of Ethics shall not be construed as denial of the existence of such responsibilities or practices.
The fundamentals of ethical conduct are described by Principles of Ethics and by Rules of Ethics as they relate to the conduct of research and scholarly activities and responsibility to persons served, the public, and speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists.
Principles of Ethics, aspirational and inspirational in nature, form the underlying moral basis for the Code of Ethics. Individuals shall observe these principles as affirmative obligations under all conditions of professional activity.
Rules of Ethics are specific statements of minimally acceptable professional conduct or of prohibitions and are applicable to all individuals.
Principle of Ethics I
Individuals shall honor their responsibility to hold paramount the welfare of persons they serve professionally or participants in research and scholarly activities and shall treat animals involved in research in a humane manner.
Rules of Ethics
- Individuals shall provide all services competently.
- Individuals shall use every resource, including referral when appropriate, to ensure that high-quality service is provided.
- Individuals shall not discriminate in the delivery of professional services or the conduct of research and scholarly activities on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Individuals shall not misrepresent the credentials of assistants, technicians, or support personnel and shall inform those they serve professionally of the name and professional credentials of persons providing services.
- Individuals who hold the Certificates of Clinical Competence shall not delegate tasks that require the unique skills, knowledge, and judgement that are within the scope of their profession to assistants, technicians, support personnel, students, or any nonprofessionals over whom they have supervisory responsibility. An individual may delegate support services to assistants, technicians, support personnel, students, or any other persons only if those services are adequately supervised by an individual who holds the appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence.
- Individuals shall fully inform the persons they serve of the nature and possible effects of services rendered and products dispensed, and they shall inform participants in research about the possible effects of their participation in research conducted.
- Individuals shall evaluate the effectiveness of services rendered and of products dispensed and shall provide services or dispense products only when benefit can reasonably be expected.
- Individuals shall not guarantee the results of any treatment or procedure, directly or by implication; however, they may make a reasonable statement of prognosis.
- Individuals shall not provide clinical services solely by correspondence.
- Individuals may practice by telecommunication (for example, telehealth/e-health), where not prohibited by law.
- Individuals shall adequately maintain and appropriately secure records of professional services rendered, research and scholarly activities conducted, and products dispensed and shall allow access to these records only when authorized or when required by law.
- Individuals shall not reveal, without authorization, any professional or personal information about identified persons served professionally or identified participants involved in research and scholarly activities, unless required by law to do so, or unless doing so is necessary to protect the welfare of the person or of the community or otherwise required by law.
- Individuals shall not charge for services not rendered, nor shall they misrepresent services rendered, products dispensed, or research and scholarly activities conducted.
- Individuals shall use persons in research or as subjects of teaching demonstrations only with their informed consent.
- Individuals whose professional services are adversely affected by substance abuse or other health-related conditions shall seek professional assistance and, where appropriate, withdraw from the affected areas of practice.
Principle of Ethics II
Individuals shall honor their responsibility to achieve and maintain the highest level of professional competence.
Rules of Ethics
- Individuals shall engage in the provision of clinical services only when they hold the appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence or when they are in the certification process and are supervised by an individual who holds the appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence.
- Individuals shall engage in only those aspects of the professions that are within the scope of their competence, considering their level of education, training, and experience.
- Individuals shall continue their professional development throughout their careers.
- Individuals shall delegate the provision of clinical services only to: (1) persons who hold the appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence; (2) persons in the education or certification process who are appropriately supervised by an individual who holds the appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence; or (3) assistants, technicians, or support personnel who are adequately supervised by an individual who holds the appropriate Certificate of Clinical Competence.
- Individuals shall not require or permit their professional staff to provide services or conduct research activities that exceed the staff member’s competence, level of education, training, and experience.
- Individuals shall ensure that all equipment used in the provision of services or to conduct research and scholarly activities is in proper working order and is properly calibrated.
Principle of Ethics III
Individuals shall honor their responsibility to the public by promoting public understanding of the professions, by supporting the development of services designed to fulfill the unmet needs of the public, and by providing accurate information in all communications involving any aspect of the professions, including dissemination of research findings and scholarly activities.
Rules of Ethics
- Individuals shall not misrepresent their credentials, competence, education, training, experience, or scholarly or research contributions.
- Individuals shall not participate in professional activities that constitute a conflict of interest.
- Individuals shall refer those served professionally solely on the basis of the interest of those being referred and not on any personal financial interest.
- Individuals shall not misrepresent diagnostic information, research, services rendered, or products dispensed; neither shall they engage in any scheme to defraud in connection with obtaining payment or reimbursement for such services or products.
- Individuals’ statements to the public shall provide accurate information about the nature and management of communication disorders, about the professions, about professional services, and about research and scholarly activities.
- Individuals’ statements to the public–advertising, announcing, and marketing their professional services, reporting research results, and promoting products–shall adhere to prevailing professional standards and shall not contain misrepresentations.
Principle of Ethics IV
Individuals shall honor their responsibilities to the professions and their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of allied professions. Individuals shall uphold the dignity and autonomy of the professions, maintain harmonious interprofessional and intraprofessional relationships, and accept the professions’ self-imposed standards.
Rules of Ethics
- Individuals shall prohibit anyone under their supervision from engaging in any practice that violates the Code of Ethics.
- Individuals shall not engage in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, sexual harassment, or any other form of conduct that adversely reflects on the professions or on the individual’s fitness to serve persons professionally.
- Individuals shall not engage in sexual activities with clients or students over whom they exercise professional authority.
- Individuals shall assign credit only to those who have contributed to a publication, presentation, or product. Credit shall be assigned in proportion to the contribution and only with the contributor’s consent.
- Individuals shall reference the source when using other persons’ ideas, research, presentations, or products in written, oral, or any other media presentation or summary.
- Individuals’ statements to colleagues about professional services, research results, and products shall adhere to prevailing professional standards and shall contain no misrepresentations.
- Individuals shall not provide professional services without exercising independent professional judgment, regardless of referral source or prescription.
- Individuals shall not discriminate in their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of allied professions on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Individuals who have reason to believe that the Code of Ethics has been violated shall inform the Board of Ethics.
- Individuals shall comply fully with the policies of the Board of Ethics in its consideration and adjudication of complaints of violations of the Code of Ethics.