WVSHA Code of Ethics
West Virginia Speech-Language Hearing Association
Code of Ethics
The West Virginia Speech Language and Hearing Association promotes and requires of its members the highest standard of ethical behavior when engaged in the responsible discharge of their duties and responsibilities as Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists, Deaf Educators, and speech, language, and hearing scientists to insure appropriate services for citizens and consumers in the state of West Virginia and adjoining areas.
Every WVSHA member shall abide by the WVSHA Code of Ethics. Any violations of 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 the responsibility to persons served, the public, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, deaf educators, and speech, language, and hearing scientists, and to the conduct of research and scholarly activities. 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 members of WVSHA.
Principle of Ethics I
Members shall honor their responsibility to hold paramount the welfare of persons they serve professionally or who are participants in research and scholarly activities, and they shall treat animals involved in research in a humane manner.
Rules of Ethics
- Members shall provide all services competently.
- Members shall use every resource, including referral when appropriate, to ensure that high-quality service is provided.
- Members shall not discriminate in the delivery of professional services or the conduct of research and scholarly activities based on race or ethnicity, gender, gender identity/gender expression, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.
- Members shall not misrepresent the credentials of assistants, technicians, support personnel, students, Clinical Fellows, or any others under their supervision, and they shall inform those they serve professionally of the name and professional credentials of persons providing services.
- Members shall not delegate tasks that require the unique skills, knowledge, and judgment that are within the scope of their profession to assistants, technicians, support personnel, or any nonprofessionals over whom they have supervisory responsibility.
- Members may delegate tasks related to provision of clinical services to assistants, technicians, support personnel, or any other persons only if those services are appropriately supervised, realizing that the responsibility for client welfare remains with the member.
- Members may delegate tasks related to provision of clinical services that require the unique skills, knowledge, and judgment that are within the scope of practice of their profession to students only if those services are appropriately supervised. The responsibility for client welfare remains with the member.
- Members shall fully inform the persons they serve of the nature and possible effects of services rendered and products dispensed, and they shall inform participants in research about the possible effects of their participation in research conducted.
- Members shall evaluate the effectiveness of services rendered and of products dispensed, and they shall provide services or dispense products only when benefit can reasonably be expected.
- Members shall not guarantee the results of any treatment or procedure directly or by implication; however, they may make a reasonable statement of prognosis.
- Members shall not provide clinical services solely by correspondence.
- Members may practice by telecommunication (e.g., telehealth/e-health), where not prohibited by law.
- Members shall adequately maintain and appropriately secure records of professional services rendered, research and scholarly activities conducted, and products dispensed. They shall allow access to these records only when authorized or when required by law.
- Members shall not reveal, without authorization, any professional or personal information about identified persons served professionally or identified participants involved in research and scholarly activities unless doing so is necessary to protect the welfare of the person or of the community or is otherwise required by law.
- Members shall not charge for services not rendered, nor shall they misrepresent services rendered, products dispensed, or research and scholarly activities conducted.
- Individuals shall enroll and include persons as participants in research or teaching demonstrations only if their participation is voluntary, without coercion, and with their informed consent.
- Members 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.
- Members shall not discontinue service to those they are serving without providing reasonable notice.
Principle of Ethics II
Members shall honor their responsibility to achieve and maintain the highest level of professional competence and performance.
Rules of Ethics
- Members shall engage in only those aspects of the professions that are within the scope of their professional practice and competence, considering their level of education, training, and experience.
- Members shall engage in lifelong learning to maintain and enhance professional competence and performance.
- Members shall not require or permit their professional staff to provide serves or conduct research activities that exceed the staff members’ competence, level of education, training, and experience.
- Members shall ensure that all equipment used to provide services or to conduct research and scholarly activities 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, including the dissemination of research finding and scholarly activities, and the promotion, marketing and advertising of products and services.
Rules of Ethics
- Members shall not misrepresent their credentials, competence, education, training, experience, or scholarly or research contributions.
- Members shall not participate in professional activated that constitute a conflict of interest.
- Members shall refer those served professionally solely based on the interest of those being referred and not on any personal interest, finical or otherwise.
- Members shall not misrepresent research, diagnostic information, services rendered, results of services rendered, products dispensed, or the effects of products dispensed.
- Members shall not defraud or engage in any scheme to defraud in connections with obtaining payment, reimbursement, or grants for services rendered, research conducted, or products dispensed.
- Members’ statements to the public shall provide accurate information about the nature and management of communications disorders, about the professions, about professional services, about products for sale, and about research and scholarly activities.
- Members’ statements to the public when advertising, announcing and marketing their professional services, reporting research results, and promoting products shall adhere to professional standards and shall not contain misrepresentations.
Principle of Ethics IV
Members shall honor their responsibilities to the professions as well as their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of other professions and disciplines.
Rules of Ethics
- Members shall uphold the dignity and autonomy of the professions, maintain harmonious interprofessional and intraprofessional relationships, and accept the professions’ self-imposed standards.
- Members shall prohibit anyone under their supervision from engaging in any practice that violates the WVSHA Code of Ethics.
- Members shall not engage in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
- Members shall not engage in any form of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment or power abuse.
- Members shall not engage in any other form of conduct that adversely reflects on the professions or on the individual’s fitness to serve persons professionally.
- Members shall not engage in sexual activities with clients, students or research participants over whom the exercise professional authority or power.
- Members shall assign credit only to those who have contributed to a publications, presentation, or product, Credit shall be assigned in proportion to the contribution and only with contributor’s consent.
- Members shall reference the source when using other persons’ ideas, research, presentations, or products in written, oral, or any other media presentation or summary.
- Members’ statements to colleagues about professional services, research results, and products shall adhere to prevailing professional standards and shall contain no misrepresentations.
- Members shall not provide professional services without exercising independent professional judgment, regardless of referral source or prescriptions.
- Members shall not discriminate in their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of other professions and disciplines basis or race or ethnicity, gender, gender identity/gender expression, age, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.
- Members shall not file or encourage others to file complaints that disregard or ignore facts that would disprove the allegation, nor should the WVSHA Code of Ethics be used for personal reprisal, as a means of addressing personal animosity, or as a vehicle for retaliation.
- Members who have reason to believe that the WVSHA Code of Ethics has been violated shall follow procedures developed by WVSHA for reporting such violations.