The Ethics and Standards Committee is a standing committee of the Association in accordance with the Bylaws, Part 6, Section 50(1)(g) [as amended April 15, 1999]. This committee serves a central and pivotal function in the Association in that it works closely with the membership, the Board of Directors and other Association committees, to promote ethical behaviour and prudent decision making.
The Chair of the committee is elected in accordance with the Bylaws, Part 4, Section 32(1) [as amended April 15, 1999].
Committee members shall be appointed by the Chair, or by the Board of Directors. The committee membership shall reflect the regional make-up of the Association as far as possible in addition to the specific interest and expertise of the members.
Ethics are an essential guide for the work of counselling and psychotherapy. They are a process through which we awaken, enhance, inform, expand, and improve our ability to respond effectively to those who come to us for help. Ethics are not static codes. They cannot do our thinking, feeling and responding for us. Professional ethics must be practical, and represent three basic tasks: (1) acknowledging the reality and importance of the individuals whose lives are affected by our professional actions; (2) understanding the nature of the professional relationship and professional interventions; (3) affirming accountability for our behaviour. Competency in ethical decision-making is a primary issue of importance in competent professional practice.
Practice Standards serve the important purpose of describing professional activities which demonstrate compliance with the professional standards of ethical and competent behaviour. They identify approaches to service delivery which must be provided to at least a minimum level across a full range of counselling and psychotherapy services. When Practice Standards are used in the context of quality assurance mechanisms they will help to safeguard the public and provide a context within which service innovations may be safely made.
The committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Board of Directors on Ethical Standards and Practice Standards. The committee is responsible for monitoring existing Ethical Standards and Practice Standards and making recommendations for amendments and adjustments, as necessary.
The committee shall review Ethical Standards and Practice Standards, and Codes of Professional Conduct, relative to professional counselling and psychotherapy practice and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on their appropriateness for the Association.
The committee shall consult and liaise with relevant Association committees.
The committee shall promote ethical behaviour and prudent decision-making across the professional practices of Association members, through dialogue with the membership in meetings, regional meetings and through INSIGHTS.
Meetings shall be at the call of the Chair.
~Approved by the Board of Directors, March 4, 2000