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IAABC Code of Ethics (2004)
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IAABC Code of Ethics
The Board of Directors of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Inc. (IAABC) hereby promulgates, pursuant to Article 2 of the Association's Bylaws, the IAABC Code of Ethics, effective July, 2004.
The IAABC strives to honor the public trust in animal behavior consultants by setting standards for ethical practice as described in this Code. The ethical standards define professional expectations and are enforced by the IAABC Ethics Committee. The absence of an explicit reference to a specific behavior or situation in the Code does not mean that the behavior is ethical or unethical. The standards are not exhaustive. Animal behavior consultants who are uncertain about the ethics of a particular course of action are encouraged to seek counsel from consultants, attorneys, supervisors, colleagues, or other appropriate authorities, and also refer to IAABC General Practice Guidelines, and the Code of Ethics and Practice Guidelines for divisions of IAABC.
Both law and ethics govern the practice of animal behavior consulting. When making decisions regarding professional behavior, animal behavior consultants who are IAABC members must consider the IAABC Code of Ethics and applicable laws and regulations. If the IAABC Code of Ethics prescribes a standard higher than that required by law, animal behavior consultants must meet the higher standard of the IAABC Code of Ethics. Animal behavior consultants comply with the mandates of law, but make known their commitment to the IAABC Code of Ethics and take steps to resolve the conflict in a responsible manner. The IAABC supports legal mandates for reporting of alleged unethical conduct.
The IAABC Code of Ethics is binding on Members of IAABC in all membership categories, and applicants (hereafter, IAABC Member). IAABC members have an obligation to be familiar with the IAABC Code of Ethics and its application to their professional services. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an ethical standard is not a defense to a charge of unethical conduct. The process for filing, investigating, and resolving complaints of unethical conduct is described in the current Procedures for Handling Ethical Matters of the IAABC Ethics Committee. Persons accused are considered innocent by the Ethics Committee until proven guilty, except as otherwise provided, and are entitled to due process. If an IAABC Member resigns in anticipation of, or during the course of, an ethics investigation, the Ethics Committee will complete its investigation. Any publication of action taken by the Association will include the fact that the Member attempted to resign during the investigation.
Responsibility to Clients
Animal behavior consultants advance the welfare of animals and families. They respect the rights of those persons seeking their assistance, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that their services are used appropriately Core values for the profession are respect for client right to self-determination, positive regard and a non-judgmental approach.
1.1 Animal behavior consultants provide professional assistance to persons without discrimination on the basis of race, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, gender, health status, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.
1.2 Animal behavior consultants comply with applicable laws regarding the reporting of animal bites and possible neglect/abuse.
1.3 Animal behavior consultants do not use their professional relationships with clients to further their own interests.
1.4 Animal behavior consultants embrace a non-judgmental approach that includes positive regard, and respect the rights of client families to make decisions and help them to understand the consequences of these decisions. Consultants clearly advise the clients that clients have the responsibility to make decisions regarding their animal(s).
1.5 Animal behavior consultants continue working with a client only as long as it is reasonably clear that the client is benefiting.
1.6 Animal behavior consultants assist persons in obtaining other consultative services if the consultant is unable or unwilling, for appropriate reasons, to provide professional help.
1.7 Animal behavior consultants do not abandon or neglect clients without making reasonable arrangements for the continuation of services.
1.8 Animal behavior consultants obtain written informed consent from clients before videotaping, audio recording, or permitting third-party observation.
1.9 Animal behavior consultants upon agreeing to provide services to a person or entity at the request of a third party, clarify, to the extent feasible and at the outset of the service, the nature of the relationship with each party and the limits of confidentiality.
Consultants respect and guard the confidences of clients.
2.1Animal behavior consultants disclose to clients and other interested parties, as early as feasible in their professional contacts, the nature of confidentiality and possible limitations of the clients' right to confidentiality. Consultants review with clients the circumstances where confidential information may be requested and where disclosure of confidential information may be legally required. Circumstances may necessitate repeated disclosures.
2.2 Animal behavior consultants do not disclose client confidences except by written authorization or waiver, or where mandated or permitted by law. Verbal authorization will be sufficient only in emergency situations, unless prohibited by law.
2.3 Animal behavior consultants use client and/or clinical materials in teaching, writing, consulting, research, and public presentations only if a written waiver has been obtained in accordance with Sub principle 2.2, or when appropriate steps have been taken to protect client identity and confidentiality.
2.4 Animal behavior consultants store, safeguard, and dispose of client records in a manner that maintains confidentiality and in accord with applicable laws and professional standards.
2.5 Upon moving from an area or closing a practice, a animal behavior consultant arranges for the storage, transfer or disposal of client records in a manner that maintains confidentiality and safeguards the welfare of clients A animal behavior consultant arranges for someone else to perform such storage, transfer or disposal of records in the event of his/her death.
2.6 Animal behavior consultants, when consulting with colleagues or referral sources, do not share confidential information that could reasonably lead to the identification of a client or prospective client, research participant, or other person with whom they have a confidential relationship, unless they have obtained the prior written consent of the client, research participant, or other person with whom they have a confidential relationship. Information may be shared only to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the consultation.
Professional Competence and Integrity
Animal behavior consultants maintain high standards of professional competence and integrity.
3.1 Animal behavior consultants work to minimize the use of aversive stimuli and maximize the effective use of reinforcers to modify animal behavior.
3.2 Animal behavior consultants pursue knowledge of new developments and maintain competence in animal behavior consulting through education, training, or supervised experience.
3.3 Animal behavior consultants maintain adequate knowledge of and adhere to applicable laws, ethics, and professional standards.
3.4 Animal behavior consultants seek appropriate professional assistance for their personal problems or conflicts that may impair work performance or clinical judgment.
3.5 Animal behavior consultants do not provide services that create a conflict of interest that may impair work performance or clinical judgment.
3.6 Animal behavior consultants, as presenters, teachers, supervisors, consultants and researchers, are dedicated to high standards of scholarship, present accurate information, and disclose potential conflicts of interest.
3.7 Animal behavior consultants maintain accurate and adequate clinical and financial records.
3.8 While developing new skills in specialty areas, animal behavior consultants take steps to ensure the competence of their work and to protect clients from possible harm. Specifically, animal behavior consultants do not recommend euthanasia for animals that have not had the benefit of a professional evaluation. Animal behavior consultants practice in specialty areas new to them only after appropriate education, training, or supervised experience.
3.9 Animal behavior consultants do not engage in the exploitation of clients, students, supervisees, trainees, employees, colleagues, or research subjects.
3.10 Animal behavior consultants do not give to or receive from clients (a) gifts of substantial value or (b) gifts that impair the integrity or efficacy of the relationship.
3.11 Animal behavior consultants do not advise on problems outside the recognized boundaries of their competencies.
3.12 Animal behavior consultants make efforts to prevent the distortion or misuse of their clinical and research findings.
3.13 Animal behavior consultants, because of their ability to influence and alter the lives of others, exercise special care when making public their professional recommendations and opinions through testimony or other public statements.
Animal behavior consultants are in violation of this Code and subject to termination of membership or other appropriate action if they: (a) are convicted of any felony; (b) are convicted of a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or functions; (c) engage in conduct which could lead to conviction of a felony, or a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or functions; (d) have their licenses or certificates suspended or revoked or are otherwise disciplined by regulatory bodies; (e) continue to practice animal behavior consulting while no longer competent to do so because they are impaired by physical or mental causes or the abuse of alcohol or other substances; or (f) fail to cooperate with the Association at any point from the inception of an ethical complaint through the completion of all proceedings regarding that complaint.
Responsibility to Students and Supervisees
Animal behavior consultants do not exploit the trust and dependency of students or supervisees.
4.1 Animal behavior consultants do not permit students or supervisees to perform or to hold themselves out as competent to perform professional services beyond their training, level of experience, and competence.
4.2 Animal behavior consultants take reasonable measures to ensure that services provided by students and supervisees are professional
Animal behavior consultants do not disclose student confidences except by written authorization or waiver, or when mandated or permitted by law. In educational or training settings where there are multiple supervisors, disclosures are permitted only to other professional colleagues, administrators, or employers who share responsibility for training of the student or supervisee. Verbal authorization will be sufficient only in emergency situations, unless prohibited by law.
Responsibility to Research Participants
Investigators respect the dignity and protect the welfare of research participants, and are aware of applicable laws and regulations and professional standards governing the conduct of research.
5.1 Investigators are responsible for making careful examinations of ethical acceptability in planning studies. To the extent that services to research participants may be compromised by participation in research, investigators seek the ethical advice of qualified professionals not directly involved in the investigation and observe safeguards to protect the rights of research participants.
5.2 Investigators requesting participant involvement in research inform participants of the aspects of the research that might reasonably be expected to influence willingness to participate. Investigators are especially sensitive to the possibility of diminished consent when participants are also receiving clinical services, or have impairments which limit understanding and/or communication, or when participants are children.
5.3 Information obtained about a research participant during the course of an investigation is confidential unless there is a waiver previously obtained in writing. When the possibility exists that others, including family members, may obtain access to such information, this possibility, together with the plan for protecting confidentiality, is explained as part of the procedure for obtaining informed consent.
Responsibility to the Profession
Animal behavior consultants respect the rights and responsibilities of professional colleagues and participate in activities that advance the goals of the profession.
6.1 Animal behavior consultants remain accountable to the standards of the profession when acting as members or employees of organizations. If the mandates of an organization with which a animal behavior consultant is affiliated, through employment, contract or otherwise, conflict with the IAABC Code of Ethics, animal behavior consultants make known to the organization their commitment to the IAABC Code of Ethics and attempt to resolve the conflict in a way that allows the fullest adherence to the Code of Ethics.
6.2 Animal behavior consultants assign publication credit to those who have contributed to a publication in proportion to their contributions and in accordance with customary professional publication practices.
6.3 Animal behavior consultants do not accept or require authorship credit for a publication based on research from a student's program, unless the consultant made a substantial contribution beyond being an advisor or research committee member. Co-authorship on a student thesis, dissertation, or project should be determined in accordance with principles of fairness and justice.
6.4 Animal behavior consultants who are the authors of books or other materials that are published or distributed do not plagiarize or fail to cite persons to whom credit for original ideas or work is due.
. 6.5 Animal behavior consultants who are the authors of books or other materials published or distributed by an organization take reasonable precautions to ensure that the organization promotes and advertises the materials accurately and factually.
6.6 Animal behavior consultants participate in activities that contribute to a better community and society, including devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return.
6.7 Animal behavior consultants are concerned with developing laws and regulations pertaining to animal behavior consulting that serve the public interest, and with amending such laws and regulations that are not in the public interest.
Animal behavior consultants encourage public participation in the design and delivery of professional services and in the regulation of practitioners.
Animal behavior consultants make financial arrangements with clients and students that are reasonably understandable and conform to accepted professional practices.
7.1 Animal behavior consultants do not offer or accept kickbacks, rebates, bonuses, or other remuneration for referrals; fee-for-service arrangements are not prohibited.
7.2 Prior to entering into the consulting relationship, dog behavior consultants clearly disclose and explain to clients and students all financial arrangements and fees related to professional services, including charges for canceled or missed appointments. Once services have begun, consultants provide reasonable notice of any changes in fees or other charges.
7.3 Animal behavior consultants represent facts truthfully to clients and supervisees regarding services rendered. Animal behavior consultants may not withhold records under their immediate control that are requested and needed for an animal's welfare solely because payment has not been received for past services, except as otherwise provided by law.
Animal behavior consultants engage in appropriate informational activities, including those that enable the public, referral sources, or others to choose professional services on an informed basis.
8.1 Animal behavior consultants accurately represent their competencies, education, training, and experience relevant to their practice of animal behavior consulting.
8.2 Animal behavior consultants ensure that advertisements and publications in any media (such as directories, announcements, business cards, newspapers, radio, television, Internet, and facsimiles) convey information that is necessary for the public to make an appropriate selection of professional services. Information could include: (a) office information, such as name, address, telephone number, credit card acceptability, fees, languages spoken, and office hours; (b) earned degrees (see subprinciple 8.5) and state or provincial licensures and/or certifications; (d) IAABC clinical or associate member status; and (e) description of practice.
8.3 Animal behavior consultants do not use names that could mislead the public concerning the identity, responsibility, source, and status of those practicing under that name, and do not hold themselves out as being partners or associates of a firm if they are not.
8.4 Animal behavior consultants do not use any professional identification (such as a business card, office sign, letterhead, Internet, or telephone or association directory listing) if it includes a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive.
8.5 Animal behavior consultants list bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees only from recognized accredited colleges and universities.
8.6 Animal behavior consultants correct, wherever possible, false, misleading, or inaccurate information and representations made by others concerning the consultant's qualifications, services, or products.
8.7 In representing their educational qualifications, animal behavior consultants list and claim as evidence only those earned degrees: (a) from institutions accredited by regional accreditation sources recognized by the United States Department of Education, (b) from institutions recognized by states or provinces that license or certify animal behavior consultants, or (c) from equivalent foreign institutions.
8.8 Animal behavior consultants make certain that the qualifications of their employees or students are represented in a manner that is not false, misleading, or deceptive.
8.9 Animal behavior consultants do not represent themselves as providing specialized services unless they have the appropriate education, training, or experience.
This Code is Published by:
The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Inc.
505 Timber Lane
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025
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