APS members are required to abide by principles of professional conduct, responsibilities and confidentiality. These are set and monitored by the Society in its Code of Ethics. The Code was developed to safeguard the welfare of consumers of psychological services and the integrity of the profession. The APS Ethics Committee may investigate breaches of these standards, and those found guilty of breaches may be censured or excluded from membership of the Society.
At the 2007 APS AGM, Members of the APS voted to adopt the proposed Code of Ethics, which had been developed over the preceding two years.
The new Code is principle-based, and quite different in structure from the previous version.
The following document has been prepared by the Code Review Committee as a guide and reference to identify how clauses from the 2003 Code are represented in the 2007 Code.
The Code of Ethics is complemented by a series of Ethical Guidelines, which apply the Code to issues encountered in everyday professional practice. An Ethical Guidelines Advisory Group oversees the development of the Guidelines and regularly reviews and revises existing Guidelines. Read the Ethical Guidelines (members only)
See also: Guide for the development of APS Ethical Guidelines (revised August 2007) (PDF, 115 kb )
Complaints about the ethical conduct of APS members are usually initially referred to the relevant registration board. All psychologists must be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia to practise in Australia. Serious infringements may lead to suspension or de-registration.
Psychologists are also required to adhere to legislated requirements. For example, some federal or state acts of parliament require adherence to the protection of minors, mandatory reporting of the abuse of minors, privacy, and equal opportunity legislation.
The Society’s Ethics Committee may also review complaints against APS members. Should you wish to make a complaint about an APS member, please contact the APS.
The Charter outlines the service a client should expect from an APS psychologist. The article Charting Client Consent advises on procedures for obtaining client consent in the varied contexts in which psychologists work and the differing nature and goals of the services they provide.