With Communication Disorders Since 1936
The preservation of the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles is vital to the responsible discharge of obligations in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. This Code of Ethics sets forth the fundamental principles and rules considered essential to this purpose.
Every individual who is a member of the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association or an applicant for membership shall abide by this Code of Ethics.
Any action that violates 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 responsibility to persons served, to the public, and to the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.
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.
Principles of Ethics I:
Individuals shall honor their responsibility to hold paramount the welfare of persons they serve professionally including all participants in service delivery, research and teaching.
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 on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Individuals shall fully inform the persons they serve of the nature and possible effects of services rendered and products dispersed.
- 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 evaluate or treat speech, language, or hearing disorders solely by correspondence.
- Individuals shall maintain adequate records of professional services rendered and products dispensed and shall allow access to these records when appropriately authorized.
- Individuals shall not reveal, without authorization, any professional or personal information about the person served professionally, unless required by law to do so, unless doing so is necessary to protect the welfare of the person or of the community.
- Individuals shall not charge for services not rendered, nor shall they misrepresent , in any fashion, services rendered or products dispensed.
- 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.
- Individuals shall upon written request provide their clients with a copy of the Code of Ethics and Procedures for Complaint.
Principles of Ethics II:
Individuals shall honor their responsibility to achieve and maintain the highest level of professional competence.
- Individuals engaging in clinical practice shall possess the credentials consistent with current standards of practice.
- 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 by increasing knowledge within the profession and sharing research and clinical expertise with colleagues.
- Credentialed individuals may delegate the provision of clinical and/or support services to persons who do not hold appropriate credentials only when the credentialed individual provides appropriate supervision.
- Individuals shall prohibit any of their professional staff from providing services that exceed the staff member’s competence, considering the staff member’s level of education, training, and experience.
- Individuals shall ensure that all equipment used in the provision of services is in proper working order and is properly calibrated.
Principles of Ethics III:
Individuals shall honor their responsibility to the public and to related professions 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.
- Individuals shall not misrepresent their credentials, competence, education, training, or experience.
- Individuals shall not participate in professional activities that constitute a conflict of interest.
- Individuals shall not misrepresent diagnostic information, services rendered, or products dispensed or engage in any scheme or artifice to defraud in connection with obtaining payment or reimbursement for such services or products.
- Individuals’ statements to the public shall provide accurate information about nature and management of communication disorders, about the professions, and about professional services.
- Individuals’ statements to the public–advertising, announcing, and marketing their professional services, reporting research results, and promoting product–shall adhere to prevailing professional standards and shall not contain misrepresentations.
Principles 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.
- Individuals shall not provide professional services without exercising independent professional judgment, regardless of referral source or prescription.
- 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, or any form of conduct that adversely reflects on the professions or on the individual’s fitness to serve persons professionally.
- Individual’s 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.
- Individual’s statements to colleagues about professional services, research results, and products shall adhere to prevailing professional standards and shall contain no misrepresentations.
- 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 MSHA Committee for Ethical Practice. Individuals shall cooperate fully with the MSHA Committee for Ethical Practice in its investigation and adjudication of matters related to this Code of Ethics.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1992, March). Code of Ethics.
- ASHA (Suppl. 9), pp. 3-5.