AASP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s (AASP) is committed to the professionalization and advancement of the field of sport and exercise psychology.

Consistent with this commitment, all AASP members must recognize their work-related professional privileges and associated responsibilities. Added Text

The AASP Ethical Code is an important component of our professional responsibilities. AASP members and visitors should become familiar with the Code.

Questions or Concerns Related to Ethics

  • Members of the AASP Ethics Committee are available to answer questions that may arise when ethical uncertainties arise in your practice of sport and exercise psychology.
  • Concerns about the ethical behavior of any AASP member should be directed to the Chair of the Ethics Committee.
  • Questions regarding research ethics can be directed to the Editor of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

AASP Ethics Code: Purposes and Organization

Our professional privileges originate in society's recognition of AASP members as trained persons possessing specialized knowledge and skills. Our responsibilities stem from society’s belief that AASP members will:

  • Self-regulate our work-related conduct
  • Do no harm to people we work with and serve
  • Protect the dignity and welfare of people we work with and serve
  • Respect the autonomy and independence of people we work with and serve

AASP developed and adopted a code of ethics conduct in the 1990s. It is largely based on the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and code of conduct (American Psychologist, 1992, V47, #12, pp. 1597-1611.) Our code reflects the core values of our association and of society.

In general, all current AASP members agree to understand, respect and follow our ethics code in order to:

  • Foster the public’s trust in AASP and it members, and to
  • Enhance the potential of AASP members to be of service to society


Clearly, no single set of guidelines can anticipate and address all ethically challenging situations related to our consulting, research, supervising, teaching, and other work-related activities. However, our code provides useful:

  • Proactive guidance to direct the thinking and action of its members
  • Reactive guidance when ethical problems or dilemmas do arise


The AASP Ethical Principles and Standards (the Ethics Code) consists of:

  • Introduction
  • Preamble
  • 6 General Principles
  • 25 Standards

The Introduction, Preamble and General Principles of the Ethics Code are designed to guide AASP members toward the ideals of thinking and practice in our unique field. The Standards specify the boundaries of professionally acceptable, ethical behavior.

Whereas the Preamble and the General Principles are not enforceable rules, they should be considered when contemplating ethical courses of action. In contrast, the Standards are enforceable rules that mandate specific behavioral actions on the part of AASP members.

AASP members must know that, in a number of ethically challenging situations, other ethical and legal codes may be applicable to their thinking and action. When making decisions regarding professional conduct, AASP members must consider the AASP code, other applicable ethical codes, or the law.

If the AASP code suggests a higher standard of conduct than is required by other ethical guidelines or the law, AASP members should meet that standard. If the AASP code Standard(s) appear to conflict with the requirements of law, members must communicate their commitment to the AASP Ethics Code and take steps to resolve the conflict in a responsible way. If neither law nor the Ethics Code resolves an issue, AASP members should consider other professional resources (e.g., guidelines and standards that have been adopted or endorsed by other professional physical education, sport science, and social science organizations), the dictates of their own conscience, and consultation with knowledgeable professional peers when this is warranted.

Read about AASP Policy and Procedure for Ethical Inquiries, and Responding to Allegations of Ethical Violations

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