Ethical Practice Committee

Statement of Practices and Procedures

The Ethical Practices Committee shall be composed of a Chair and three members, each of whom is appointed for staggered 3-year terms. The Chair shall be appointed by the President. The Chair shall be a former Executive Board member or Council member of the Association. The chair shall appoint three committee members. Due consideration shall be given to employment contexts and geographical location in the appointment of committee members.

The Ethical Practice Committee (EPC) is charged with the responsibility to interpret the Code of Ethics of the Association; provide member education regarding ethics through convention presentations and Association publications; and monitor the disciplinary action taken by national certification boards and the Texas State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology against TSHA members. Reports of an ethical violation to the TSHA EPC will be referred to the State Board of Examiners. The President of the Association will receive violation reports from the EPC Chair to be brought to the attention of the Executive Board in closed session with the advice of TSHA Legal Counsel. The EB will determine suspension or termination of a member as outlined in Article IV, Section 3 of the Association Bylaws.

Code of Ethics

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 Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association 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 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.

Rules of Ethics

  1. Individuals shall provide all services competently.
  2. Individuals shall use every resource, including referral when appropriate, to ensure that high-quality service is provided.
  3. Individuals shall not discriminate in the delivery of professional services on the basis of race, gender, gender identification, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
  4. Individuals shall fully inform the persons they serve of the nature and possible effects of services rendered and products dispensed.
  5. 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.
  6. Individuals shall not guarantee the results of any treatment or procedure, directly or by implication; however, they may make a reasonable statement of prognosis.
  7. Individuals shall not evaluate or treat speech, language or hearing disorders solely by correspondence.
  8. Individuals shall maintain adequate records of professional services rendered and products dispensed and shall allow access to these records when appropriately authorized.
  9. Individuals shall not reveal, without authorization, any professional or personal information about the person served professionally, unless required by law to do so or unless doing so is necessary to protect the welfare of the person or of the community.
  10. Individuals shall not charge for services not rendered, nor shall they misrepresent, in any fashion, services rendered or products dispensed.
  11. Individuals shall use persons in research or as subjects of teaching demonstrations only with their informed consent.
  12. Individuals shall withdraw from professional practice when substance abuse or an emotional or mental disability may adversely affect the quality of services they render.

Principle of Ethics II

Individuals shall honor their responsibility to achieve and maintain the highest level of professional competence.

Rules of Ethics

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Individuals shall continue their professional development throughout their careers.
  4. Individuals shall delegate the provision of clinical services only to persons who are certified or to persons in the education or certification process who are appropriately supervised. The provision of support services may be delegated to persons who are neither certified nor in the certification process only when a certificate holder provides appropriate supervision.
  5. 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.
  6. Individuals shall ensure that all equipment used in the provision of services 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.

Rules of Ethics

  1. Individuals shall not misrepresent their credentials, competence, education, training or experience.
  2. Individuals shall not participate in professional activities that constitute a conflict of interest.
  3. 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.
  4. Individuals’ statements to the public shall provide accurate information about the nature and management of communication disorders, about the professions, and about professional services.
  5. 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 responsibility 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

  1. Individuals shall prohibit anyone under their supervision from engaging in any practice that violates the Code of Ethics.
  2. Individuals shall not engage in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or any form of conduct that adversely reflects on the profession or on the individual’s fitness to serve persons professionally.
  3. 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.
  4. Individuals’ statements to colleagues about professional services, research results, and products shall adhere to prevailing professional standards and shall contain no misrepresentations.
  5. Individuals shall not provide professional services without exercising independent professional judgment, regardless of referral source or prescription.
  6. Individuals who have reason to believe that the Code of Ethics has been violated shall inform the Ethical Practice Committee.
  7. Individuals shall cooperate fully with the Ethical Practice Committee in its investigation and adjudication of matters related to this Code of Ethics.
  8. Individuals shall not discriminate in their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of allied professions on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or handicapping condition.