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

Background

AASP has promulgated a Code of Ethics that is available to all members. The Code of Ethics sets forth the standard of professional conduct members to which are expected to adhere. The Ethics Committee is an important educational resource for AASP members and is available to members inquiring about matters of ethical and professional conduct. Neither AASP nor its Ethics Committee has ever been charged with the task of investigating ethical concerns raised by non-members that, if true, may constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics. Rather, this investigative task has been left to the appropriate state licensing and regulatory bodies. However, a policy and procedure is needed that encourages member education about and compliance with the AASP Code of Ethics and provides a vehicle for addressing third-party concerns and/or charges of misconduct against an AASP member.

Policy

It is the policy of AASP that its members maintain high professional and ethical standards. To reinforce this policy, members receive education and regular updates on the Association’s Code of Ethics, are encouraged to contact the AASP Ethics Committee with any questions they have regarding inappropriate conduct within the scope of the Code of Ethics, and are regularly reminded to comport themselves professionally so as to be in compliance with the Association’s Code of Ethics. It is the policy of AASP that the Ethics Committee be an educational arm of the Association and not an investigative body. However, it is important to provide a timely response to concerns about alleged misconduct by AASP members voiced by third parties.

In furtherance of the above policy, AASP adopts the following procedures.

Procedures

  1. When accepted for membership in AASP, each new member is provided with a copy of the Code of Ethics, information about the role of the Ethics Committee, and the identities of current Ethics Committee members. The chair of the Ethics Committee will provide the Secretary-Treasurer with the current information to be provided to new members. 
     
  2. At least annually, all AASP members will be advised of the important educational role of the Ethics Committee; encouraged to seek consultation with an Ethics Committee member on questions relating to the Code of Ethics; and will be reminded of the Association’s expectation that members conduct themselves professionally so as to comply with the AASP Code of Ethics. 
     
  3. AASP will use appropriate publications, its website, and other appropriate technology to communicate the Association’s expectations regarding compliance with the AASP Code of Ethics to members. 
     
  4. In the event a non-member (or a member) brings to the attention of the Association or any of its governing body a written allegation of ethical misconduct against an AASP member, the chair of the Ethics Committee will: 

a.   Promptly respond to the individual and inform him or her that although AASP does not investigate allegations against members who may have violated the Code of Ethics, the individual is encouraged to contact the applicable state licensing or regulatory body of the institution of employment as appropriate. 

b.   Advise the individual that any written statement submitted to AASP, of the alleged misconduct, will be maintained in a confidential file at the AASP administrative office. 

c.    Advise the complainant that a copy of her/his written statement will be sent to the accused AASP member who will be given the opportunity to provide a written response that would also be placed in the confidential file at the AASP Administration Office. Only the president, and the chair of the Ethics Committee will have access to this file.

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