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Professional Competence

Institute of Actuaries of Australia Code of Ethics



Institute of Acutaries of Austrailia

Date Approved: 

November 2009

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Professional Conduct


November 2009




1.1 Application 2

1.2 Classification 2

1.3 Background 2

1.4 Purpose 3

1.5 Previous versions 3

1.6 Legislation 3




4.1 Responsibility of Members in serving the public interest 4

4.2 Professional conduct 5

4.3 Professional experience 5

4.4 Impartiality 5

4.5 Conflicts of interest 6

4.6 Confidentiality 6

4.7 Potential misuse of Professional Services 7

4.8 Co - operation with others 7



6.1 Professional qualification and status 8

6.2 Publicity 8



8.1 Provision of Prescribed Actuarial Advice 9

8.2 Transmission of Prescribed Actuarial Advice to third parties



1.1 Application

1.1.1 Subject to clause 1.1.2, t his Code applies , in its entirety , to all Members.

1.1.2 W here a Member is practising outside Australia , the Member must:

(a) if he or she is a member of the local association in the jurisdiction of employment or practice (“Local Association”) and that L ocal A ssociation is a Full Member of th e International Actuarial Association (“IAA”), comply with that L ocal A ssociation’s equivalent of the Code; or

(b) if:

(i) the Member is not a member of the Local A ssociation; or

(ii) the L ocal A ssociation is not a Full Member of the IAA,

then the Member must either:

(iii) c omply with this Code; or

(iv) comply with an alternative to this Code prescribed by the Council of the Institute; or

(v) seek the written consent of the Council of the Institute to be made subject to an alternative to th is Code .

1.2 Classification

All Members of the I nstitute of Actuaries of Australia must comply with this Code of Professional Conduct. Non - compliance with this Code by a Member is or may be prima facie Actionable Conduct and may lead to penalties under the Institute’s Disciplinary Scheme.

1.3 Background

1.3 .1 The Institute’s Council established a comprehensive review of the Institute’s Code of Conduct which was undertaken in 2005. The review was conducted to ensure that the Code properly reflected and upheld the objects of the Institut e’s Constitution and co ntinue d to articulate high standards and principles of professional practice. Reports of relevant Institute taskforces and developments in other jurisdictions were considered as part of the review.

1.3.2 In 2007, the Professionalism Review Taskforce was fo rmed to consider whether the Code should be amended in light of experience with its operation since its introduction in March 2006, as well as possible amendments arising out of designations changes then proposed and subsequently adopted . This November 2009 version of the Code was introduced following that review.


1.4 Purpose

This Code of Professional Conduct sets out the minimum standards of professional conduct to be observed by Members of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

1.5 Previous versions

1.5.1 The Institute’s Code of Conduct was first issued in November 1976. Revisions were made in April 1998 and December 2001.

1.5 . 2 In March 2006, the Code of Conduct was substantially amended and re - issued as the “Code of Professional Conduct”. The Code was further amended in February 2007 with respect to draft reports.

1.6 Legislation

In some areas of professional practice there is specific legislation that sets out statutory duties and responsibilities for Members. In the event that there is or may be a conflict between such statutory requirements and this Code, the statutory requirements override this Code to the extent of the inconsistency.


This Code takes effect from 1 January 2010.


‘Act’ means the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and any r egulations made thereunder , as amended or replaced from time to time.

‘Code’ means this Code of Professional Conduct of the Institute.

‘Constitution’ means the Constitution of the Institute.

‘Disciplinary Scheme’ means the Institute’s Disciplinary Scheme, as set out in the Schedule to the Constitution.

‘Eligible Actuary’ means:

(a) a Fellow or Accredited Member of the Institute; or

(b) a Member who is eligible to act in an actuarial capacity pursuant to a requirement under Legislation .

‘Institute’ means The Institute of Actuaries of Australia (ABN 69 000 423 656) .

‘Legislation’ means any law, regulation, by - law , standard or rule in force within Australia (as amended from time to time) and made by a Commonwealth, State or Te rritory government or authority.


‘Material’ means important or essential in the opinion of the Member.’Materially’ has a meaning consistent with ‘Material’.

‘Member’ means a Fellow, Accredited, Associate or Affiliate (including student) Member of the Institute.

‘Prescribed Actuarial Advice’ means:

(a) any conclusion, result, opinion or recommendation required to be performed, under Legislation , by either an actuary or a person with actuarial qualifications and experience ; or

(b) any thing deemed to be prescribed actuarial advice by being:

(i) specified as such in a Professional Standard; or

(ii) declared to be such by the Council of the Institute.

‘Principal’ means the client or employer, as the case may be, who is the primary recipient of a Professional Service provided by a Member and the primary party for whom that Professio nal Service has been performed.

‘Professional Service’ means a service provided by a Member in a professional capacity, including Prescribed Actuarial Advice . A Professional Service includes such a service provided on a pro bono basis.

‘Profess ional Standard’ is a document setting out practice requirements in a particular situation or area that has been prepared in accordance with the Institute’s Policy for Drafting Professional Standards and has been issued by the Institute.


4.1 Responsibility of Members in serving the public interest

4.1.1 The Institute is a professional body that seeks to enhance the actuarial profession and to serve the public interest. In order to achieve this, it is essential that Members maintain proper standards of professi onal conduct and performance. The Institute therefore establishes and maintains Professional Standards and this Code to govern the provision of Professional Services by its Members.

4.1.2 When taken together the law, the Constitution, this Code and the Professio nal Standards, both in general and as they relate to specific roles and responsibilities, define a Member’s professional responsibility. In particular, provided that a Member meets the requirements of the law, the Constitution, this Code and the Profession al Standards, then he or she will have met the expectations of the profession with respect to the public interest.

4.1.3 The Institute relies on the conscience of each Member, and the collective conscience of all Members, to ensure that this Code and any Profess ional Standards are applied effectively and that perceived breaches are dealt with in accordance with clause 4.1.4 .


4.1.4 A Member who reasonably believes that another Member may have committed a breach of this Code or of a Professional Standard must first consi der discussing the matter with the other Member with a view to resolving it. If the matter cannot be resolved, or if either Member does not consider such a discussion to be appropriate or constructive, the concerned Member must seek the guidance described in clause 4.2.4 . Following such steps the concerned Member, if warranted, must consider his or her duty to make a complaint in accordance with the rules of the Disciplinary Scheme.

4.2 Professional conduct

4.2.1 A Member must act with integrity, honesty and due care , and in a manner that seeks to uphold the reputation of the profession.

4.2.2 Th e obligation in clause

4.2.1 extends to requiring that a Member , in engag ing in conduct, or provid ing advice, a report, communication or other information , does so in a way which is not knowingly false, misleading or deceptive.

4.2.3 There is room for honest differences of opinion between Members on many professional matters. Where such differences of opinion are held , a Member may express a view on such differences, provided that the Memb er does so in a measured and reasonable manner which avoids improper criticism or malicious injury to the reputation of another Member.

4.2.4 A Member who is in doubt as to what constitutes appropriate professional conduct in a particular situation must seek gui dance on the interpretation and application of this Code and, where appropriate, the Professional Standards from a Fellow or Accredited Member whose opinion he or she values and must, if necessary, obtain legal or other relevant professional advice, and ta ke the appropriate action required in the circumstances.

4.3 Professional experience

4.3.1 In accordance with the Professional Standard set by the Institute on continuing professional development, all Members have a continuing duty to maintain professional knowledge and skill at a level required to ensure that a Principal receives the advantage of competent Professional Services, based on current legislation and generally acc epted practices and techniques.

4.3.2 In providing a Professional Service, a Member must take reaso nable steps , taking into account the nature of the Professional Services to be provided, to ensure that they have appropriate knowledge and skills in the relevant area and at the level required in order to provide competent Professional Services.

4.4 Impartiality

4.4.1 A Member who provides Prescribed Actuarial Advice must exercise his or her independent professional judgment and give impartial advice.

4.4.2 Except as set out in clause 4.4.3 of this Code, a Member who provides a Professional Service ( other than Prescribed Actuarial Advice) must exercise his or her independent professional judgment and give impartial advice.


4.4.3 Subject to clause 4.4.4 , a Member who provides a Professional Service ( other than Prescribed Actuarial Advice ) which involves acting other than impartially (including, but not limited to, fulfilling an advocacy role for a Principal) must :

(a) comply with the requirements laid down in clause 4.2 ; and

(b) take such steps as are generally considered reasonable in the particular circumstances to ensure all parties who will receive the product of such Professional Service or be Materially affected by it are aware of the capacity in whic h the Member is acting and of any constraints imposed on the Member’s independent professional judgment.

4.4.4 In any case, a Member must not act or give advice if there are constraints imposed on his or her professional judgment which the Member considers would result in engaging in conduct that would breach the standards of conduct set out in clause 4.2 .

4.5 Conflicts of interest

4.5.1 A conflict of interest arises if a Member’s duty to a Principal conflicts with:

(a) the Member’s own interests;

(b) an interest of the Member’s firm; or

(c) a duty to another Principal.

4.5.2 A potential conflict of interest may arise in a number of circumstances, including accepting remuneration that is contingent upon a particular outcome related to the provision of a Professional Service.

4.5.3 A Member must manage actual or potential conflicts of interest so as to avoid a breach of the requirements set out in clause 4.4 of this Code. This may lead to different courses of a ction in different circumstances, including (but not limited to) making full disclosure or declining to act.

4.5.4 A Member must disqualify himself or herself from providing a Professional Service where there is a conflict of interest that cannot be managed in a ccordance with clause 4.5.3 .

4.5.5 A Member must document the steps taken to manage any conflict of interest and agree such steps with all Principals whenever such agreement is necessary for the proposed resolution of a conflict of interest to be effective.

4.5.6 A Member must , as soon as practicable, disclose to his or her Principal the nature of Material compensation or income to the Member or a related party from a source other than the Principal that is related to the Professional Service provided to the Principal.

4.6 Confidentiality

4.6.1 A Member must have proper regard for the trust that is implicit in the relationship between the Member and his or her Principal. The Member must take reasonable


steps to ensure that the informat ion used and the result of any Professional Services provided remain confidential to the extent expected by the Principal and that the Principal is made aware if there is a breach of confidentiality.

4.6.2 Notwithstanding clause 4.6.1 , obligations may be imposed on a Member by law that require the Member to breach confidential ity in certain circumstances.

4.7 Potential misuse of Professional Services

4.7.1 A Member must not provide, or continue to provide, Professional Services to a Principal when the Member reasonably bel ieves the result of any Professional Services provided will be used to evade the law or in a manner that is likely to mislead third parties.

4.7.2 If a Member reasonably believes that the result of any Professional Services provided is or has been subject to suc h misuse, the Member must, in the first instance, immediately alert the Principal that he or she believes there has been misuse, and clarify in writing the purpose for which the result was to be used. The Member must also consider whether it is appropriate to offer to provide assistance to the Principal to rectify any misuse.

4.7.3 In circumstances where the Principal does not address and, if necessary, rectify any misuse within a reasonable time, and maintenance of confidentiality is or is likely to be Materiall y damaging to third parties, the Member must obtain legal or other relevant professional advice, and take the appropriate action required. Also, in such circumstances the Member must consider whether, in the context of his or her legal obligations , there i s a greater obligation to such third parties than the maintenance of confidentiality.

4.7.4 If a Member has reasonable doubt about whether the actions of a Principal are legal and honest, the Member must consider his or her ongoing relationship with that Principal.

4.8 Co-operation with others

4.8.1 A Member must, in a manner consistent with the Member’s obligations under this Code, co - operate with third parties providing services to the Member’s Principal.

4.8.2 In circumstances where a Principal is replacing an appointee to any role which is required by Legislation to be performed by either an actuary or a person with actuarial qualifications:

(a) the new appointee (if a Member) must, where practicable, speak with the incumbent or previous appointee . Before doing so, the Member must notify the Principal unless the Member is otherwise constrained by a legal or professional requirement from doing so . The incumbent or previous appointee (if a Member) must take reasonable steps to cooperate with the new appointee ; and

(b) if the new appoint ee Member is aware that his or her advice differs Materially from that of the incumbent or previous appointee , then the new appointee Member must endeavour to explain the reasons for the differences to the Principal.


4.8.3 In other circumstances where a Member i s replacing another person , the Member must consider whether it is appropriate to consult with the other person to ensure that there are no professional reasons to decline taking on the new role.


5.1 In certain instances, the law prescribes requirements for pr ofessional indemnity insurance.

5.2 In circumstances where a Member provides a Professional Service:

(a) in respect of which the law does not impose a requirement to hold professional indemnity insurance ; and

(b) to a Principal who, if that Professional Service had constituted the provision of a financial product or financial service under the Act, would have been classed as a “retail client” (as defined under the Act),

then the Member must hold professional indemnity insurance that is adequate in relation to that Professional Service.

5.3 The obligation under clause 5.2 may be met through cover provided through other parties such as the Member’s firm.


6.1 Professional qualification and status

6.1 .1 A Member must not d escribe himself or herself as an “actuary” unless he or she is:

(a) a Fellow or Accredited Member of the Institute; or

(b) a Member who has satisfied the requirements laid down by the Institute from time to time pertaining to the use of the designation “actuary”.

6.1.2 A Member entitled, by virtue of clause 6.1.1, to use the designation of “ actuary ” must disclose his or her qualification in the following circumstances (as relevant):

(a) prior to entering into an employment agreement or a retainer agreement as an actuar y with a prospective Principal; and

(b) in circumstances (including giving any written advice or report) where the M ember is acting as an actuary and , were the Member’s qualification not to be disclosed, a n intended third party recipient would be, or would be likely to be, misled or deceived as to such .

6.2 Publicity

6.2.1 Publicity that increases public awareness of the nature of Professional Services provided by Members, the training and skills of the actuarial profession and the value and scope of the work that Members perform is desirable and in the public interest.


6. 2.2 Members are permitted to advertise or obtain publicity for their Professional Services provided that the content and nature of such advertising or publicity is not false, misleading or deceptive, or otherwise contrary to law.

6. 2.3 A Member is permitted to convey an elective or appointive position within the Institute, such as "President" or "Member of Council", as part of a curriculum vitae or for a similar purpose, but not so as to use such po sition to promote or to advertise Professional Services or otherwise for the express commercial advantage of the Member or the Member’s firm.


A Member must ensure that his or her reporting (whether oral or written) in respect of Professional Serv ices provided :

(a) is appropriate, having regard to:

(i) the intended audience;

(ii) its fitness for the purposes for which such reporting may be required or relevant;

(iii) the likely significan ce of the reporting to its intended audience;

(iv) the capacity in which the Member is acting ; and

(v) any inherent uncertainty and risks in relation to the subject of the report ;

(b) complies with any relevant Professional Standards.


8.1 Provision of Prescribed Actuarial Advice

8.1.1 Prescribed Actuarial Advice may only be provi ded by an Eligible Actuary.

8.1.2 All Prescribed Actuarial Advice must be, and be seen to be, the responsibility of a n Eligible Actuary or Eligible Actuaries . An exception occurs where part of the advice relies upon the advice of an expert for which responsibili ty is not or cannot be taken by the Eligible Actuary but is being formally taken by the expert. In this case, any Prescribed Actuarial Advice provided by the Eligible Actuary must identify the advice received from the expert, name the expert and , where app ropriate , provide details of the advice received. Where the Eligible Actuary assumes responsibility for the advice received from the expert, no mention of the source of that advice need be made.

8.1.3 In communicating Prescribed Actuarial Advice, an Eligible Act uary must:

(a) identify the Principal for whom the Prescribed Actuari al Advice is being provided;

(b) state the capacity in which the Eligible Actuary serves; and

(c) indicate how any further explanation can be obtained.
8.2 Transmission of Prescribed Actuarial Advice to third parties
8.2.1If an Eligible Actuary knows or reasonably believes that his or her Prescribed Actuarial Advice will be transmitted in whole or in part to a third party in a way whichwould, or would be likely to, mislead such third party, the Eligible Actuary must take reasonable steps to ensure that:
(a) any Material implications or limitations of the Prescribed Actuarial Advice are transmitted; and
(b) the Prescribed Actuarial Advice is not presented in a way likely to give a misleading impression.
8.2.2 In circumstances where the third party has been, or is likely to be, misled because of inadequacies in the transmission of the Eligible Actuary’s Prescribed Actuarial Advice, the Eligible Actuary must consider the provisions in clause 4.7.
8.2.3 Even if an Eligible Actuary has no specific reason to believe that his or her Prescribed Actuarial Advice will be transmitted to a third party, the Eligible Actuary must clearly state any restrictions on the broader application of the Prescribed Actuarial Advice

NAADAC Code of Ethics



NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals

Date Approved: 

March 24 2011

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics

NAADAC Code of Ethics

“We counselors have a lot of power! As authorities on this terrible disease of addiction, let us be careful to never use power for petty or vindictive ends. To never thoughtlessly reject a client. We can affirm our client’s sense of value, or we can damage them with a casual joke or comment at their expense. We can help them to respect themselves, or we can tear down their self-esteem by treating them disrespectfully and unimportant. We have the power to do great good or great harm. Today, let me remember my power and take care to use it wisely.”

- Anonymous

Taken from May 24, Help for the Helpers, Hazelden Foundation Publishers, 1989

Introduction to NAADAC Ethical Standards

Ethics are generally regarded as the standards that govern the conduct of a person. Smith and Hodges define ethics as a “human reflecting self-consciously on the act of being a moral being. This implies a process of self-reflection and awareness of how to behave as a moral being. Some definitions are dictated by law, individual belief systems, religion or a mixture of all three.

NAADAC recognizes that its members and certified counselors live and work in many diverse communities. NAADAC has established a set of ethical best-practices that apply to universal ethical deliberation. Further, NAADAC recognizes and encourages the notion that personal and professional ethics cannot be dealt with as separate domains. NAADAC members, addiction professionals and/or licensed/certified treatment providers (subsequently referred to as addiction professionals) recognize that the ability to do well is based on an underlying concern for the well-being of others. This concern emerges from recognition that we are all stakeholders in each other's lives - the well-being of each is intimately bound to the well-being of all; that when the happiness of some is purchased by the unhappiness of others, the stage is set for the misery of all. Addiction professionals must act in such a way that they would have no embarrassment if their behavior became a matter of public knowledge and would have no difficulty defending their actions before any competent authority.

The NAADAC Code of Ethics was written to govern the conduct of its members and it is the accepted standard of conduct for addiction professionals certified by the National Certification Commission. The code of ethics reflects ideals of NAADAC and its members. When an ethics complaint is filed with NAADAC, it is evaluated by consulting the NAADAC Code of Ethics. The NAADAC Code of Ethics is designed as a statement of the values of the profession and as a guide for making clinical decisions. This code is also utilized by state certification boards and educational institutions to evaluate the behavior of addiction professionals and to guide the certification process.

In addition to identifying specific ethical standards, White (1993) suggested consideration of the following when making ethical decisions:

1. Autonomy: To allow others the freedom to choose their own destiny

2. Obedience: The responsibility to observe and obey legal and ethical directives

3. Conscientious Refusal: The responsibility to refuse to carry out directives that are illegal and/or unethical

4. Beneficence: To help others

5. Gratitude: To pass along the good that we receive to others

6. Competence: To possess the necessary skills and knowledge to treat the clientele in a chosen discipline and to remain current with treatment modalities, theories and techniques

7. Justice: Fair and equal treatment, to treat others in a just manner

8. Stewardship: To use available resources in a judicious and conscientious manner, to give back

9. Honesty and Candor: Tell the truth in all dealing with clients, colleagues, business associates and the community

10. Fidelity: To be true to your word, keeping promises and commitments

11. Loyalty: The responsibility to not abandon those with whom you work

12. Diligence: To work hard in the chosen profession, to be mindful, careful and thorough in the services delivered

13. Discretion: Use of good judgment, honoring confidentiality and the privacy of others

14. Self-improvement: To work on professional and personal growth to be the best you can be

15. Non-malfeasance: Do no harm to the interests of the client

16. Restitution: When necessary, make amends to those who have been harmed or injured

17. Self-interest: To protect yourself and your personal interests

The Revised Code of Ethics is divided under major headings and standards. The sections utilized are:

I. The Counseling Relationship

II. Evaluation, Assessment and Interpretation of Client Data

III. Confidentiality/Privileged Communication and Privacy

IV. Professional Responsibility

V. Working in a Culturally Diverse World

VI. Workplace Standards

VII. Supervision and Consultation

VIII. Resolving Ethical Issues

IX. Communication and Published Works

X. Policy and Political Involvement

I. The Counseling Relationship

It is the responsibility of the addiction professional to safeguard the integrity of the counseling relationship and to ensure that the client is provided with services that are most beneficial. The client will be provided access to effective treatment and referral giving consideration to individual educational, legal and financial resources needs. Addiction professionals also recognize their responsibility to the larger society and any specific legal obligations that may, on limited occasions, supersede loyalty to clients. The addiction professional shall provide the client and/or guardian with accurate and complete information regarding the extent of the potential professional relationship. In all areas of function, the addiction professional is likely to encounter individuals who are vulnerable and exploitable. In such relationships he/she seeks to nurture and support the development of a relationship of equals rather than to take unfair advantage. In personal relationships, the addiction professional seeks to foster self-sufficiency and healthy self-esteem in others. In relationships with clients he/she provides only that level and length of care that is necessary and acceptable.

Standard 1: Client Welfare

The addiction professional understands that the ability to do good is based on an underlying concern for the well being of others. The addiction professional will act for the good of others and exercise respect, sensitivity and insight. The addiction professional understands that the primary professional responsibility and loyalty is to the welfare of his or her clients, and will work for the client irrespective of who actually pays his/her fees.

1. The addiction professional understands and supports actions that will assist clients to a better quality of life, greater freedom and true independence.

2. The addiction professional will support clients in accomplishing what they can readily do for themselves. Likewise, the addiction professional will not insist on pursuing treatment goals without incorporating what the client perceives as good and necessary.

3. The addiction professional understands that suffering is unique to a specific individual and not of some generalized or abstract suffering, such as might be found in the understanding of the disorder. On that basis, the action taken to relieve suffering must be uniquely suited to the suffering individual and not simply some universal prescription.

4. Services will be provided without regard to the compensation provided by the client or by a third party and shall render equally appropriate services to individuals whether they are paying a reduced fee or a full fee or are waived from fees.

Standard 2: Client Self Determination

The addiction professional understands and respects the fundamental human right of all individuals to self-determination and to make decisions that they consider in their own best interest. In that regard, the counselor will be open and clear about the nature, extent, probable effectiveness and cost of those services to allow each individual to make an informed decision about his or her care. The addiction professional works toward increased competence in all areas of professional functioning; recognizing that at the heart of all roles is an ethical commitment contributing greatly to the well-being and happiness of others. He/she is especially mindful of the need for faithful competence in those relationships that are termed fiduciary - relationships of special trust in which the clients generally do not have the resources to adequately judge competence.

1. The addiction professional will provide the client and/or guardian with accurate and complete information regarding the extent of the potential professional relationship, including the Code of Ethics and documentation regarding professional loyalties and responsibilities.

2. Addiction professionals will provide accurate information about the efficacy of treatment and referral options available to the client.

3.The addiction professional will terminate work with a client when services are no longer required or no longer serve the client’s best interest.

4. The addiction professional will take reasonable steps to avoid abandoning clients who are in need of services. Referral will be made only after careful consideration of all factors to minimize adverse effects.

5. The addiction professional recognizes that there are clients with whom he/she cannot work effectively. In such cases, arrangements for consultation, co-therapy or referral are made.

6. The addiction professional may terminate services to a client for nonpayment if the financial contractual arrangements have been made clear to the client and if the client does not pose an imminent danger to self or others. The addiction professional will document discussion of the consequences of nonpayment with the client.

7. When an addiction professional must refuse to accept the client due to inability to pay for services, ethical standards support the addiction professional in attempting to identify other care options. Funding constraints might interfere with this standard.

8. The addiction professional will refer a client to an appropriate resource when the client’s mental, spiritual, physical or chemical impairment status is beyond the scope of the addiction professional's expertise.The addiction professional will foster self-sufficiency and healthy self-esteem in others. In relationships with clients, students, employees and supervisors, he/she strives to develop full creative potential and mature, independent functioning.

9. Informed Consent: The addiction professional understands the client’s right to be informed about treatment. Informed consent information will be presented in clear and understandable language that informs the client or guardian of the purpose of the services, risks related to the services, limits of services due to requirements from a third party payer, relevant costs, reasonable alternatives and the client’s right to refuse or withdraw consent within the time frames covered by the consent. When serving coerced clients, the addiction professional will provide information about the nature and extent of services, treatment options and the extent to which the client has the right to refuse services. When services are provided via technology such as computer, telephone or web-based counseling, clients are fully informed of the limitations and risks associated with these services. Client questions will be addressed within a reasonable time frame.

10. Clients will be provided with full disclosure including the guarantee of confidentiality if and when they are to receive services by a supervised person in training. The consent to treat will outline the boundaries of the client-supervisee relationship, the supervisee’s training status and confidentiality issues. Clients will have the option of choosing not to engage in services provided by a trainee as determined by agency policies. Any disclosure forms will provide information about grievance procedures.

Standard 3: Dual Relationships

The addiction professional understands that the goal of treatment services is to nurture and support the development of a relationship of equals of individuals to ensure protection and fairness of all parties.

Addiction professionals will provide services to clients only in the context of a professional setting. In rural settings and in small communities, dual relationships are evaluated carefully and avoided as much as possible.

1. Because a relationship begins with a power differential, the addiction professional will not exploit relationships with current or former clients, current or former supervisees or colleagues for personal gain, including social or business relationships.

2. The addiction professional avoids situations that might appear to be or could be interpreted as a conflict of interest. Gifts from clients, other treatment organizations or the providers of materials or services used in the addiction professional's practice will not be accepted, except when refusal of such gift would cause irreparable harm to the client relationship. Gifts of value over $25 will not be accepted under any circumstances.

3. The addiction professional will not engage in professional relationships or commitments that conflict with family members, friends, close associates or others whose welfare might be jeopardized by such a dual relationship.

4. The addiction professional will not, under any circumstances, engage in sexual behavior with current or former clients.

5. The addiction professional will not accept as clients anyone with whom they have engaged in romantic or sexual relationships.

6.The addiction professional makes no request of clients that does not directly pertain to treatment (giving testimonials about the program or participating in interviews with reporters or students).

7. The addiction professional recognizes that there are situations in which dual relationships are difficult to avoid. Rural areas, small communities and other situations necessitate discussion of the counseling relationship and take steps to distinguish the counseling relationship from other interactions.

8. When the addiction professional works for an agency such as department of corrections, military, an HMO or as an employee of the client’s employer, the obligations to external individuals and organizations are disclosed prior to delivering any services.

9. The addiction professional recognizes the challenges resulting from increased role of the criminal justice system in making referrals for addiction treatment. Consequently he/she strives to remove coercive elements of such referrals as quickly as possible to encourage engagement in the treatment and recovery process.

10. The addiction professional encourages self-sufficiency among clients in making daily choices related to the recovery process and self care.

11. The addiction professional shall avoid any action that might appear to impose on others’ acceptance of their religious/spiritual, political or other personal beliefs while also encouraging and supporting participation in recovery support groups.

Standard 4: Group Standards Much of the work conducted with substance use disorder clients is performed in group settings. Addiction professionals shall take steps to provide the required services while providing clients physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological health and safety..

1. Confidentiality standards are established for each counseling group by involving the addiction professional and the clients in setting confidentiality guidelines.

2. To the extent possible, addiction professionals will match clients to a group in which other clients have similar needs and goals.

Standard 5: Preventing Harm

The addiction professional understands that every decision and action has ethical implication leading either to benefit or harm, and will carefully consider whether decisions or actions have the potential to produce harm of a physical, psychological, financial, legal or spiritual nature before implementing them. The addiction professional recognizes that even in a life well lived, harm may be done to others by thoughtless words and actions, If he/she becomes aware that any word or action has done harm to anyone, he/she readily admits it and does what is possible to repair or ameliorate the harm except where doing so might cause greater harm.

1. The addiction professional counselor will refrain from using any methods that could be considered coercive such as threats, negative labeling and attempts to provoke shame or humiliation.

2. The addiction professional develops treatment plans as a negotiation with the client, soliciting the client’s input about the identified issues/needs, the goals of treatment and the means of reaching treatment goals.

3. The addiction professional will make no requests of clients that are not necessary as part of the agreed treatment plan. At the beginning of each session, the client will be informed of the intent of the session. Collaborative effort between the client and the addiction professional will be maintained as much as possible.

4. The addiction professional will terminate the counseling or consulting relationship when it is reasonably clear that the client is not benefiting from the exchange.

5. The addiction professional understands the obligation to protect individuals, institutions and the profession from harm that might be done by others. Consequently there is awareness when the conduct of another individual is an actual or likely source of harm to clients, colleagues, institutions or the profession. The addiction professional will assume an ethical obligation to report such conduct to competent authorities.

6. The addiction professional defers to review by a human subjects committee (Institutional Review Board) to ensure that research protocol is free of coercion and that the informed consent process is followed. Confidentiality and deceptive practices are avoided except when such procedures are essential to the research protocol and are approved by the designated review board or committee.

7. When research is conducted, the addiction professional is careful to ensure that compensation to subjects is not as great or attractive as to distort the client’s ability to make free decisions about participation.

II. Evaluation, Assessment and Interpretation of Client Data

The addiction professional uses assessment instruments as one component of the counseling/treatment process taking into account the client’s personal and cultural background. The assessment process promotes the well-being of individual clients or groups. Addiction professionals base their recommendations/reports on approved evaluation instruments and procedures. The designated assessment instruments are ones for which reliability has been verified by research.

Standard 1: Scope of Competency The addiction professional uses only those assessment instruments for which they have been adequately trained to administer and interpret.

Standard 2: Informed Consent Addiction professionals obtain informed consent documentation prior to conducting the assessment except when such assessment is mandated by governmental or judicial entities and such mandate eliminates the requirement for informed consent.

When the services of an interpreter are required, addiction professionals must obtain informed consent documents and verification of confidentiality from the interpreter and client. Addiction professionals shall respect the client’s right to know the results of assessments and the basis for conclusions and recommendations. Explanation of assessment results is provided to the client and/or guardian unless the reasons for the assessment preclude such disclosure or if it is deemed that such disclosure will cause harm to the client

Standard 3: Screening The formal process of identifying individuals with particular issues/needs or those who are at risk for developing problems in certain areas is conducted as a preliminary procedure to determine whether or not further assessment is warranted at that time.

Standard 4: Basis for Assessment Assessment tools are utilized to gain needed insight in the formulation of the most appropriate treatment plan. Assessment instruments are utilized with the goal of gaining an understanding of the extent of a person’s issues/needs and the extent of addictive behaviors.

Standard 5: Release of Assessment Results Addiction professionals shall consider the examinee’s welfare, explicit understanding of the assessment process and prior agreements in determining where and when to report assessment results. The information shared shall include accurate and appropriate interpretations when individual or group assessment results are reported to another entity.

Standard 6: Release of Data to Qualified Professionals Information related to assessments is released to other professionals only with a signed release of information form or such a release from the client’s legal representative. Such information is released only to persons recognized as qualified to interpret the data.

Standard 7: Diagnosis of Mental Health Disorders Diagnosis of mental health disorders shall be performed only by an authorized mental health professional licensed or certified to conduct mental health assessments or by a licensed or certified addictions counselor who has completed graduate level specific education on diagnosis of mental health disorders.

Standard 8: Unsupervised Assessments Unless the assessment instrument being used is designed, intended and validated for self-administration and/or scoring, Addiction professional administered tests will be chosen and scored following the recommended methodology.

Standard 9: Assessment Security Addiction professionals maintain the integrity and security of tests and other assessment procedures consistent with legal and contractual obligations.

Standard 10: Outdated Assessment Results Addiction professionals avoid reliance on outdated or obsolete assessment instruments. Professionals will seek out and engage in timely training and/or education on the administration, scoring and reporting of data obtained through assessment and testing procedures. Intake data and other documentation obtained from clients to be used in recommending treatment level and in treatment planning are reviewed and approved by an authorized mental health professional or a licensed or qualified addiction professional with specific education on assessment and testing.

Standard 11: Cultural Sensitivity Diagnosis Addiction professionals recognize that cultural background and socioeconomic status impact the manner in which client issues/needs are defined. These factors are carefully considered when making a clinical diagnosis. Assessment procedures are chosen carefully to ensure appropriate assessment of specific client populations During assessment the addiction professional shall take appropriate steps to evaluate the assessment results while considering the culture and ethnicity of the persons being evaluated.

Standard 12: Social Prejudice Addiction professionals recognize the presence of social prejudices in the diagnosis of substance use disorders and are aware of the long term impact of recording such diagnoses. Addiction professionals refrain from making and/or reporting a diagnosis if they think it would cause harm to the client or others.


III. Confidentiality/Privileged Communication and Privacy

Addiction professionals shall provide information to clients regarding confidentiality and any reasons for releasing information in adherence with confidentiality laws. When providing services to families, couples or groups, the limits and exceptions to confidentiality must be reviewed and a written document describing confidentiality must be provided to each person. Once private information is obtained by the addiction professional, standards of confidentiality apply. Confidential information is disclosed when appropriate with valid consent from a client or guardian. Every effort is made to protect the confidentiality of client information, except in very specific cases or situations.

1. The addiction professional will inform each client of the exceptions to confidentiality and only make a disclosure to prevent or minimize harm to another person or group, to prevent abuse of protected persons, when a legal court order is presented, for purpose of research, audit, internal agency communication or in a medical emergency. In each situation, only the information essential to satisfy the reason for the disclosure is provided.

2. The addiction professional will do everything possible to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of client information, except where the client has given specific, written, informed and limited consent or when the client poses a risk of harm to themselves or others.

3. The addiction professional will inform the client of his/her confidentiality rights in writing as a part of informing the client of any areas likely to affect the client’s confidentiality.

4. The addiction professional will explain the impact of electronic records and use of electronic devices to transmit confidential information via fax, email or other electronic means. When client information is transmitted electronically, the addiction professional will, as much as possible, utilize secure, dedicated telephone lines or encryption programs to ensure confidentiality.

5. Clients are to be notified when a disclosure is made, to whom the disclosure was made and for what purposes.

6. The addiction professional will inform the client and obtain the client's agreement in areas likely to affect the client's participation including the recording of an interview, the use of interview material for training purposes and/or observation of an interview by another person.

7.The addiction professional will inform the client(s) of the limits of confidentiality prior to recording an interview or prior to using information from a session for training purposes.

IV. Professional Responsibility

The addiction professional espouses objectivity and integrity and maintains the highest standards in the services provided. The addiction professional recognizes that effectiveness in his/her profession is based on the ability to be worthy of trust. The professional has taken time to reflect on the ethical implications of clinical decisions and behavior using competent authority as a guide. Further, the addiction professional recognizes that those who assume the role of assisting others to live a more responsible life take on the ethical responsibility of living a life that is more than ordinarily responsible. The addiction professional recognizes that even in a life well-lived, harm might be done to others by words and actions. When he/she becomes aware that any work or action has done harm, he/she admits the error and does what is possible to repair or ameliorate the harm except when to do so would cause greater harm. Professionals recognize the many ways in which they influence clients and others within the community and take this fact into consideration as they make decisions in their personal conduct.

Standard 1: Counselor Attributes

1. Addiction professionals will maintain respect for institutional policies and management functions of the agencies and institutions within which the services are being performed, but will take initiative toward improving such policies when it will better serve the interest of the client.

2. The addiction professional, as an educator, has a primary obligation to help others acquire knowledge and skills in treating the disease of substance use disorders.

3. The addiction professional, as an advocate for his or her clients, understands that he/she has an obligation to support legislation and public policy that recognizes treatment as the first intervention of choice for non-violent substance-related offenses.

4. The addiction professional practices honesty and congruency in all aspects of practice including accurate billing for services, accurate accounting of expenses, faithful and accurate reporting of interactions with clients and accurate reporting of professional activities.

5. The addiction professional recognizes that much of the property in the substance use disorder profession is intellectual in nature. In this regard, the addiction professional is careful to give appropriate credit for the ideas, concepts and publications of others when speaking or writing as a professional and as an individual.

6. The addiction professional is aware that conflicts can arise among the duties and rights that are applied to various relationships and commitments of his/her life. Priorities are set among those relationships and family, friends and associates are informed to the priorities established in order to balance these relationships and the duties flowing from them.

7. When work involves addressing the needs of potentially violent clients, the addiction professional will ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to protect clients and staff from harm.

8. Addiction professionals shall continually seek out new and effective approaches to enhance their professional abilities including continuing education research, and participation in activities with professionals in other disciplines.

9. Addiction professionals have a commitment to lifelong learning and continued education and skills to better serve clients and the community.

10. The addiction professional respects the differing perspectives that might arise from professional training and experience other than his/her own. In this regard, common ground is sought rather than striving for ascendance of one opinion over another.

11. Addiction professionals, whether they profess to be in recovery or not, must be cognizant of ways in which their use of psychoactive chemicals in public or in private might adversely affect the opinion of the public at large, the recovery community, other members of the addiction professional community or, most particularly, vulnerable individuals seeking treatment for their own problematic use of psychoactive chemicals. Addiction professionals who profess to be in recovery will avoid impairment in their professional or personal lives due to psychoactive chemicals. If impairment occurs, they are expected to immediately report their impairment, to take immediate action to discontinue professional practice and to take immediate steps to address their impairment through professional assistance. (See Standard 2, item 3 below).

Standard 2: Legal and Ethical Standards

Addiction professionals will uphold the legal and ethical standards of the profession by being fully cognizant of all federal laws and laws that govern practice of substance use disorder counseling in their respective state. Furthermore, addiction professionals will strive to uphold not just the letter of the law and the Code, but will espouse aspirational ethical standards such as autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance, justice, fidelity and veracity.

1. Addiction professionals will honestly represent their professional qualifications, affiliations, credentials and experience.

2. Any services provided shall be identified and described accurately with no unsubstantiated claims for the efficacy of the services. Substance use disorders are to be described in terms of information that has been verified by scientific inquiry.

3. The addiction professional strives for a better understanding of substance use disorders and refuses to accept supposition and prejudice as if it were the truth.

4. The impact of impairment on professional performance is recognized; addiction professionals will seek appropriate treatment for him/herself or for a colleague. Addiction professionals support the work of peer assistance programs to assist in the recovery of colleagues or themselves.

5. The addiction professional will ensure that products or services associated with or provided by the member by means of teaching, demonstration, publications or other types of media meet the ethical standards of this code.

6. The addiction professional who is in recovery will maintain a support system outside the work setting to enhance his/her own well-being and personal growth as well as promoting continued work in the professional setting.

7. The addiction professional will maintain appropriate property, life and malpractice insurance policies that serve to protect personal and agency assets.

Standard 3: Records and Data

The addiction professional maintains records of professional services rendered, research conducted, interactions with other individuals, agencies, legal and medical entities regarding professional responsibilities to clients and to the profession as a whole.

1. The addiction professional creates, maintains, disseminates, stores, retains and disposes of records related to research, practice, payment for services, payment of debts and other work in accordance with legal standards and in a manner that permits/satisfies the ethics standards established. Documents will include data relating to the date, time and place of client contact, the services provided, referrals made, disclosures of confidential information, consultation regarding the client, notation of supervision meetings and the outcome of every service provided.

2. Client records are maintained and disposed of in accordance with law and in a manner that meets the current ethical standards.

3. Records of client interactions including group and individual counseling services are maintained in a document separate from documents recording financial transactions such as client payments, third party payments and gifts or donations.

4. Records shall be kept in a locked file cabinet or room that is not easily accessed by professionals other than those performing essential services in the care of clients or the operation of agency.

5. Electronic records shall be maintained in a manner that assures consistent service and confidentiality to clients.

6. Steps shall be taken to ensure confidentiality of all electronic data and transmission of data to other entities.

7. Notes kept by the addiction professional that assist the professional in making appropriate decisions regarding client care but are not relevant to client services shall be maintained in separate, locked locations.

Standard 4: Interprofessional Relationships

The addiction professional shall treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness and good faith and shall afford the same to other professionals.

1. Addiction professionals shall refrain from offering professional services to a client in counseling with another professional except with the knowledge of the other professional or after the termination of the client's relationship with the other professional.

2.The addiction professional shall cooperate with duly constituted professional ethics committees and promptly supply necessary information unless constrained by the demands of confidentiality.

3. The addiction professional shall not in any way exploit relationships with supervisees, employees, students, research participants or volunteers.

V. Working in a Culturally Diverse World

Addiction professionals, understand the significance of the role that ethnicity and culture plays in an individual’s perceptions and how he or she lives in the world. Addiction professionals shall remain aware that many individuals have disabilities which may or may not be obvious. Some disabilities are invisible and unless described might not appear to inhibit expected social, work and health care interactions. Included in the invisible disabled category are those persons who are hearing impaired, have a learning disability, have a history of brain or physical injuries and those affected by chronic illness. Persons having such limitations might be younger than age 65. Part of the intake and assessment must then include a question about any additional factor that must be considered when working with the client.

1. Addiction professionals do not discriminate either in their professional or personal lives against other persons with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political beliefs, religion, immigration status and mental or physical challenges.

2. Accommodations are made as needed for clients who are physically, mentally, educationally challenged or are experiencing emotional difficulties or speak a different language than the clinician.

VI. Workplace Standards

The addiction professional recognizes that the profession is founded on national standards of competency which promote the best interests of society, the client, the individual addiction professional and the profession as a whole. The addiction professional recognizes the need for ongoing education as a component of professional competency and development.

1. The addiction professional recognizes boundaries and limitations of their own competencies and does not offer services or use techniques outside of their own professional competencies.

2. Addiction professionals recognize the impact of impairment on professional performance and shall be willing to seek appropriate treatment for oneself or for a colleague.

Working Environment

Addiction professionals work to maintain a working/therapeutic environment in which clients, colleagues and employees can be safe. The working environment should be kept in good condition through maintenance, meeting sanitation needs and addressing structural defects.

1. The addiction professional seeks appropriate supervision/consultation to ensure conformance with workplace standards.

2. The clerical staff members of the treatment agency hired and supervised by addiction professionals are competent, educated in confidentiality standards and respectful of clients seeking services.

3. Private work areas that ensure confidentiality will be maintained.

VII. Supervision and Consultation

Addiction professionals who supervise others accept the obligation to facilitate further professional development of these individuals by providing accurate and current information, timely evaluations and constructive consultation. Counseling supervisors are aware of the power differential in their relationships with supervisees and take precautions to maintain ethical standards. In relationships with students, employees and supervisees he/she strives to develop full creative potential and mature independent functioning.

1. Addiction professionals must take steps to ensure appropriate resources are available when providing consultation to others. Consulting counselors use clear and understandable language to inform all parties involved of the purpose and expectations related to consultation.

2. Addiction professionals who provide supervision to employees, trainees and other counselors must have completed education and training specific to clinical and/or administrative supervision. The addiction professional who supervises counselors in training shall ensure that counselors in training adhere to policies regarding client care.

3. Addiction professionals serving as supervisors shall clearly define and maintain ethical professional, personal and social relationships with those they supervise. If other professional roles must be assumed, standards must be established to minimize potential conflicts.

4. Sexual, romantic or personal relationships with current supervisees are prohibited.Supervision of relatives, romantic partners or friends is prohibited.

5. Supervision meetings are conducted at specific regular intervals and documentation of each meeting is maintained.

6. Supervisors are responsible for incorporating the principles of informed consent into the supervision relationship.

7. Addiction professionals who serve as supervisors shall establish and communicate to supervisees the procedures for contacting them, or in their absence alternative on-call supervisors.

8. Supervising addiction professionals will assist those they supervise in identifying counter-transference and transference issues. When the supervisee is in need of counseling to address issues related to professional work or personal challenges, appropriate referrals shall be provided.

VIII. Resolving Ethical Issues

The addiction professional shall behave in accordance with legal, ethical and moral standards for his or her work. To this end, professionals will attempt to resolve ethical dilemmas with direct and open communication among all parties involved and seek supervision and/or consultation as appropriate.

1. When ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations or other governing legal authority, addiction professionals should take steps to resolve the issue through consultation and supervision.

2. When addiction professionals have knowledge that another counselor might be acting in an unethical manner, they are obligated to take appropriate action based, as appropriate, on the standards of this code of ethics, their state ethics committee and the National Certification Commission.

3. When an ethical dilemma involving a person not following the ethical standards cannot be resolved informally, the matter shall be referred to the state ethics committee and the National Certification Commission.

4. Addiction professionals will cooperate with investigations, proceedings and requirements of ethics committees.

IX. Communication and Published Works

The addiction professional who submits for publication or prepares handouts for clients, students or for general distribution shall be aware of and adhere to copyright laws.

1. The addiction professional honestly respects the limits of present knowledge in public statements related to alcohol and drug abuse. Statements of fact will be based on what has been empirically validated as fact. Other opinions, speculations and conjectures related to the addictive process shall be represented as less than scientifically validated.

2. The addiction professional recognizes contributions of other persons to their written documents.

3. When a document is based on cooperative work, all contributors are recognized in documents or during a presentation.

4. The addiction professional who reviews material submitted for publication, research or other scholarly purposes must respect the confidentiality and proprietary rights of the authors.


X. Policy and Political Involvement

Standard 1: Societal Obligations

The addiction professional is strongly encouraged to the best of his/her ability, actively engage the legislative processes, educational institutions and the general public to change public policy and legislation to make possible opportunities and choice of service for all human beings of any ethnic or social background whose lives are impaired by alcoholism and drug abuse.

1. The addiction professional understands that laws and regulations exist for the good ordering of society and for the restraint of harm and evil and will follow them, while reserving the right to commit civil disobedience.

2. The one exception to this principle is a law or regulation that is clearly unjust, where compliance leads to greater harm than breaking a law.

3.The addiction professional understands that the determination that a law or regulation is unjust is not a matter of preference or opinion but a matter of rational investigation, deliberation and dispute, and will willingly accept that there may be a penalty for justified civil disobedience.

Standard 2: Public Participation

The addiction professional is strongly encouraged to actively participate in community activities designed to shape policies and institutions that impact on substance use disorders. Addiction professionals will provide appropriate professional services in public emergencies to the greatest extent possible.

Standard 3: Social and Political Action

The addiction professional is strongly encouraged to understand that personal and professional commitments and relationships create a network of rights and corresponding duties and will work to safeguard the natural and consensual rights of each individual within their community. The addiction professional, understands that social and political actions and opinions are an individual’s right and will not work to impose their social or political views on individuals with whom they have a professional relationship.

This resource was designed to provide an ethics code and ethical standards that will be used by counseling professionals. These principles of ethical conduct outline the importance of having ethical standards and the importance of adhering to those standards. These principles can help professionals face ethical dilemmas in their practice and explore ways to avoid them.


Please use this resource and share it with your colleagues. For more information contact or 800.548.0497.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Code of Ethics



Wildlife Rahbilitators

Date Approved: 


Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics

Copyrighted material reprinted with permission of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

MIller, E.A., editor. 2012. Minimunm Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation. 4th edition. National

Wildlife Rehabilitators Association. St Clould MN. (page v).

Wildlife Rehabilitators Code of Ethics

A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to achieve high standards of animal care through knowledge and an understanding of the field. Continuing efforts must be made to keep informed of current rehabilitation information, methods, and regulations.

A wildlife rehabilitator should be responsible, conscientious, and dedicated, and should continuously work toward improving the quality of care given to wild animals undergoing rehabilitation.

A wildlife rehabilitator must abide by local, state, provincial and federal laws concerning wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation and associated activities.

A wildlife rehabilitator should establish safe work habits and conditions, abiding by current health and safety practices at all times.

A wildlife rehabilitator should acknowledge limitations and enlist the assistance of a veterinarian or other trained professional when appropriate.

A wildlife rehabilitator should respect other rehabilitators and persons in related fields, sharing skills and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation for the welfare of animals.

A wildlife rehabilitator should place optimum animal care above personal gain.

A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to provide professional and humane care in all phases of wildlife rehabilitation, respecting the wildness and maintaining the dignity of each animal in life and in death. Releasable animals should be maintained in a wild condition and released as soon as appropriate. Non–releasable animals, which are inappropriate for education, foster–parenting, or captive breeding have a right to euthanasia.

A wildlife rehabilitator should encourage community support and involvement through volunteer training and public education. The common goal should be to promote a responsible concern for living beings and the welfare of the environment.

A wildlife rehabilitator should work on the basis of sound ecological principles, incorporating appropriate conservation ethics and an attitude of stewardship.

A wildlife rehabilitator should conduct all business and activities in a professional manner, with honesty, integrity, compassion, and commitment, realizing that an individual's conduct reflects on the entire field of wildlife rehabilitation.   

AFMA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct (2011)



AFMA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

Date Approved: 

January 2011

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

AFMA Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

Copyright AFMA | Version 1101


The Over-the-Counter (“OTC”) markets in Australia have an established tradition of providing financial products and services to clients and counterparties, facilitating the effective management of capital and risk. Those who use these markets must have complete confidence in the integrity, professionalism and competence of them and of the participants with whom they deal. Accordingly, in order to ensure this confidence is maintained, it is essential that the right culture is driven from the top down, clearly understood and regularly reinforced.

It is recognised that personal integrity and professionalism cannot be created or preserved by written rules alone, but also depend on the understanding and judgement of individuals. By clearly articulating ethical principles for acceptable standards of behaviour in the OTC markets, the AFMA Code of Ethics is intended to raise awareness of the issues and promote responsible decision-making. Its companion, the Code of Conduct, provides rules of behaviour derived from these principles.

The Code of Conduct does not attempt to address all possible circumstances in which the various principles in the Code of Ethics apply. Rather it addresses those which AFMA considers warrant specific articulation. This includes identifying particular conduct which may have been problematic in the past, where leaving something to good judgement may not be entirely sufficient, or simply where the expectation from regulators, counterparties or the market for certain behaviour warrants specific mention.

These Codes have their genesis in 1991, when AFMA published the inaugural ‘Organisation Code of Conduct’. In 1996, following a major review of the financial markets environment, Individual and Organisation Codes were produced. A Code of Ethics was released in 2002. The present document continues this process of review and improvement.

The Codes apply to all AFMA Member organisations (‘Members’) and the individuals who represent them (‘Representatives’). Members must conduct their business according to the Codes, and are encouraged to use them as the basis for more detailed procedures and sometimes higher standards that apply within their organisation. Where two codes are used by an organisation, the more comprehensive (or applicable in the circumstances) will apply.

If any Representative has doubts about the correct procedures to be adopted or terminology to be used, guidance should be sought from senior management of their Member or reference made to the AFMA ‘Financial Markets Core Accreditation Module’.

January 2011

Australian Financial Markets Association ABN 69 793 968 987

 Level 3 Plaza Building, 95 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000 GPO Box 3655 S ydney NSW 2001

Phone: 02 9776 7900 Fax: 02 9776 4488 Email:


1. Reputation .....................................................................................................4

2. Respect for Rules ..........................................................................................5

3. Respect for Persons.......................................................................................7

4. Confidentiality ................................................................................................8

5. Honesty .........................................................................................................9

6. Fairness.......................................................................................................10

7. Conflicts of Interest ......................................................................................11

8. Competency and Continual Self-improvement..............................................12

9. Responsibility for Actions .............................................................................13

Responsibilities of Senior Management

Members should have written policies and procedures approved at an appropriate level of senior management, governing the role and responsibilities of personnel active in the OTC markets. Best practice requires that Members’ Representatives are adequately trained and supervised so that their conduct is consistent with current market practices and complies with internal policies and procedures, including the Member’s code of conduct, and/or legal and regulatory requirements.


Code of Ethics

It is the responsibility of Members and Representatives, regardless of experience or position, to ensure that his, her or its actions reflect positively upon the industry. Neither Members nor Representatives shall undertake any action that will bring the reputation of the Australian OTC markets into question or disrepute.

Code of Conduct

Any breach of either a Member’s codes or the AFMA Codes has the potential to damage both the reputation of the Member and the market. The reputational consequences of behaviour (on both the Member and the market) must always be foremost in the mind of Members and Representatives. Members and their Representatives must strive to follow the spirit of the Codes, not simply abide by the strict letter of them. They have a responsibility to understand these Codes, as well as all applicable laws and regulations. Representatives must recognise that they are in a position of trust and responsibility.

1.1 Organisations’ Compliance Policies

Representatives must give due regard to their organisation’s compliance policies. The Compliance Department is responsible for ensuring that policies and procedures are regularly updated to reflect changes in legislation or regulation, and must be consulted if a Representative is unsure as to the correct course of action.

1.2 Public Communication

All communications with the media or public should be considered to be ‘on the record’. As all communications are discoverable (including internal communication) Members and Representatives should consider the consequences of possible disclosure of their communications. Representatives must be cognisant of, and comply with, the media relations policies of their organisation.

 1.3 Relationships with regulators/auditors

All communication with regulators and auditors should be considered as public communication (see clause 1.2).

Members should deal with regulators/auditors promptly and professionally, understanding the possible impact of their actions on both their business and the industry.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall act in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards. No Member or Representative shall undertake, or assist another to undertake, any action which violates applicable laws, regulations or industry standards.

Code of Conduct

2.1 Anti Money Laundering

Members must establish, maintain and monitor policies and procedures to verify the identity of potential counterparties and to prevent dealing being used to facilitate money laundering. Members and Representatives must identify and report suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities.

2.2 Inside Information and Insider Trading

Trading in certain financial products when in possession of inside information is prohibited by law. Inside information is information that is not generally available and is price sensitive to a financial product.

Members must establish and maintain effective procedures (known as ‘Chinese Walls’) to quarantine inside information from trading or advising functions.

Where a Representative who is not behind a Chinese Wall acquires inside information, that Representative must promptly inform management and withdraw from any transaction which is affected by, or potentially affected by, such information.

Members and Representatives must not trade in relevant financial products, when in possession of inside information.

2.3 Artificial markets & market manipulation

Members and Representatives must conduct their trading activities in a fair and orderly manner and maintain the integrity of financial markets.

Representatives must not carry out trading that:

  •  will interfere with the normal supply and demand factors in the market for a financial product;
  • has the potential to create artificial markets or prices; or
  • is not based on a genuine trading or commercial intention.

Representatives must not knowingly assist a client to undertake any activity of this kind.

Members must provide their Representatives with clear guidelines on the proper conduct of their trading activities. 2.4 Out-of-market rates Representatives must not effect transactions at out-of-market rates, except where the transaction has an acceptable underlying commercial rationale. Members must ensure strict controls are in place to guarantee that out-of-market arrangements do not conceal improper conduct.

Where a Member allows the use of out-of-market rates, such as in some swap structures, historic rate roll-overs or synthetic financial products, the rationale underlying such transactions must be clearly identifiable and Members must ensure that proper audit trails exist.

2.5 Segregation of Front and Back Office Duties.

Members must ensure that internal policies and procedures regarding segregation of front and back office duties are strictly adhered to, in order to prevent any instance where trading personnel are in a position to issue or receive confirmations or make and receive payments.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall ensure that their dealings with others exemplify and actively foster an environment of mutual trust and respect. Members and Representatives shall not behave in a manner that is prejudiced, discriminatory or harassing.

Code of Conduct

3.1 Harassment

Representatives must not engage in behaviour that is harassing.

Harassment is any behaviour that is unwelcome, unsolicited, offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening. Its effect is to offend, upset, humiliate or intimidate an individual or a group. Harassment may be related to gender, race, age, marital status, religion, sexuality or disability. Harassment is not always intentional—behaviour that is humorous or insignificant to one person may cause offence to another.

Members must establish and maintain procedures to ensure that any such conduct is dealt with promptly, thoroughly and confidentially.

3.2 Unprofessional workplace or work-related behaviour

It is the responsibility of Representatives to behave in a professional manner at all times at work or work-related activities, and not place themselves in a position which may bring them, their organisation or the financial markets into question or disrepute.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall protect all information that is sensitive, confidential or private from misuse. A Member or Representative shall only use or disclose such information for the purposes for which it was collected or a permissible secondary use, unless disclosure is otherwise required by law.

Code of Conduct

4.1 Confidential Information

Notwithstanding the evolution of regulations providing for greater market transparency, from time to time Representatives will come into possession of information which they have an obligation not to disclose. Such confidential information may relate to clients, negotiations, transactions, dealings or their employers. Members must ensure that such information is adequately protected from unauthorised disclosure or misuse. Representatives must be vigilant and guard against inadvertent disclosure, such as where discussions may be overheard by outside parties.

Any attempt by a third party to coerce a Representative to disclose confidential information must be reported to senior management.

4.2 Respect privacy

Personal information must only be collected when it is necessary. It must be protected, and used only for approved purposes. Members who possess and Representatives who have access to private information must ensure that such information is not misused.


Code of Ethics

Subject to the previous principle, Members and Representatives shall be open and truthful, both within an organisation and to clients, counterparties and stakeholders, even when that may be difficult or possibly result in loss of business.

Code of Conduct

5.1 Clear and unambiguous language

Clear and unambiguous language must always be used. Representatives must be familiar with the market’s standard terminology and definitions as set out in the AFMA Market Conventions posted on the AFMA website (

When communicating with non-professional market participants, Representatives must ensure that the use of market terminology does not cause confusion.

5.2 Firmness of quotation

Representatives must clearly indicate to counterparties whether prices being quoted are firm or indicative.

Where an indicative price is quoted, it should be realistic, reflecting the full characteristics of the transaction.

5.3 Rumours and false, misleading or deceptive representations

Representatives must not initiate rumours or make false, misleading or deceptive representations. However, disclosure of the existence of rumours may be acceptable, provided the content is not represented as fact.

Representatives must ensure that, where they suspect a client has misunderstood any aspect of a transaction, any incorrect interpretation is corrected.

5.4 Collusion

Representatives must not attempt to act secretly, or collude to influence a revaluation or market price.

Senior management should be alerted to any unusual activity that may suggest such collusion.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall conduct business in a manner that is objective and impartial. Fairness requires managing one’s own prejudices and interests to ensure that biases or conflicts do not compromise professional conduct.

Code of Conduct

6.1 Incorrect quotes or prices Representatives must not take advantage of an obviously out-of-market price.

There will be times where it appears a price has been incorrectly calculated. When this occurs, the price-maker must be offered an opportunity to re-price. If the price-maker subsequently confirms a willingness to deal at the original price, the deal can be concluded.

6.2 A deal is a deal

Where a deal has been concluded, it should not be cancelled or amended without mutual agreement between the counterparties, unless such cancellation is in accordance with established and/or mandated trade cancellation policies governing the transaction.

6.3 Don’t use credit limits to get out of a deal

Representatives must not cite the non-availability of credit limits for the purpose of avoiding a deal with a counterparty or completing an agreed deal under any circumstance where this is not the case.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall be sensitive to potential conflicts of interest, and always appropriately disclose or manage them, even if this requires removing oneself from a transaction that leads to a conflict. Members and Representatives shall not misuse their position, or information they acquire by virtue of their position, for personal or corporate gain.

Code of Conduct

7.1 Conflicts of interest

Members must establish policies and procedures to identify avoid and manage actual and potential conflicts of interest, with respect to both business and personal conflicts.

7.2 Gifts and entertainment

Although it is recognised that gifts and entertainment may be offered in the normal course of business, excesses should be discouraged. Members must have established procedures for dealing with gifts and entertainment in order to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest.

7.3 Improper payments

Representatives must not use their positions to seek personal gain (including a benefit to family members or other associates) from clients or potential clients, nor should they engage in any act that could be interpreted as seeking or receiving a bribe, secret commission or questionable payment.

7.4 Trading on own account

Members must apply strict controls to, and monitor, Representatives trading on their own account, especially in their own or a related market. Such personal trading can be perceived as involving front running or insider trading, and can create real or perceived conflicts of interest.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall strive to exemplify best practice in the use of technical skills and knowledge, and shall seek continually to improve upon skills and knowledge through appropriate education and training.

Code of Conduct

8.1 Dealer Accreditation

Representatives must be appropriately competent and trained to perform their professional responsibilities.

Representatives are strongly encouraged to qualify for, and maintain, AFMA Accredited Individual status.

8.2 Allocation of responsibilities

Members must have procedures in place which require their Representatives to assume responsibility for understanding these Codes and the rules of their Member organisation.

Representatives must be provided with a clear description of their duties and responsibilities and management’s expectations of them.


Code of Ethics

Members and Representatives shall accept responsibility for their decision-making processes, the actions (or inaction) that they choose to take, and the foreseeable consequences that arise from those decisions.

Code of Conduct

9.1 Don’t act in an irresponsible manner

Members must develop policies and procedures in relation to the use of drugs and alcohol. If the consumption of alcohol or drugs impairs a Representative’s judgement, he or she must not engage in any financial markets activity for so long as he or she is impaired.

Members and Representatives must be aware of the risks involved, and of the disciplinary action that will be taken, in the event of breaches of these policies.

9.2 When something goes wrong, don’t try to hide it

Representatives must at all times act in a professional and honest manner. This principle extends to the willingness to admit to making mistakes, especially where those mistakes may impact on the commercial integrity of their organisation, their counterparties or the market.

Timely correction of errors can mitigate any consequent loss and reduce the likelihood of the need for lengthy investigations at a later date.

9.3. Mechanism for complaints

Effective and transparent mechanisms must be put in place by Members to ensure breaches of these Codes are brought directly to the attention of senior management.

This applies to issues raised by external parties and matters internal to an organisation.

9.4. Whistle Blowing

Members should encourage the development of a culture which accepts that reporting irregularities is part of a normal business environment.

Members should have effective and clearly defined whistle blowing processes in place for reporting breakdowns in the normal escalation process.

Members must ensure that those who escalate such issues are afforded protection from sanctions or discrimination.

9.5. Information to the Board

All material information must be escalated to the Board in a timely, clear and concise manner to ensure that the Board has all the information it reasonably needs to make informed decisions in relation to Financial Markets.

AICPA Code of Conduct (June 1, 2012)



AICPA Code of Conduct

Date Approved: 

June 1, 2012

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

AICPA Code of Conduct

AACC Code of Ethics (2004)



AACC Code of Ethics

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

AACC Code of Ethics

 The Y2004 Final Code

Developed and Drafted by the AACC Law and Ethics Committee

George Ohlschlager, Chairman







 I. Ethical Standards for Christian Counselors

II. Ethical Standards for Supervisors, Educators, Researchers, & Writers

 III. Standards and Exemptions for Ordained Ministers and Pastoral Counselors

 IV. Standards and Exemptions for Lay Helpers and Other Ministers

 V. Standards for Resolving Legal-Ethical Conflicts


 VI. Authority, Jurisdiction, and Operation of the Law & Ethics Committee (LEC)

 VII. Procedures for the Adjudication of Complaints Against AACC Members

 VIII. Procedures Following Action by Churches, Courts, and Other Bodies



Welcome to the Y2004 final revision of the AACC Christian Counseling Code of Ethics (Code). This edition of the Code revises the 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003 Provisional Codes, and supercedes those versions of the Code in their entirety. This is the Final Code version—the Code, with ‘Procedural Rules,’ in its completed form—which was first presented to the AACC membership at the 2003 AACC World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

With the publication of this Code on our web-site——we publicly present our ethics to our over 50,000 members in all 50 states and 50 other nations (as of Summer 2003). We also respectfully submit this document to the church and the helping professions, to the courts, legislatures, and licensure boards of America, to mental health and health-care organizations everywhere, and to the world-at-large.

This Code has already been adopted, in whole or in part, in nearly two dozen countries on every continent. It has been translated into Spanish, German, French, and Dutch languages. We at the AACC anticipate this Code becoming the basis of a worldwide statement of Christian counseling ethics and, as it spreads further internationally, the foundation of a 21st-century, global standard of Christian counseling care.

Work on this Code has been continuous for 10 years—since AACC created the Law and Ethics Committee in 1993. The primary mission given this group a decade ago was to construct and manage a new, Christ-centered, interdisciplinary code of ethics for Christian counseling as it matures into the 21st- century. This code begins to fulfill this mission.

Committee members, AACC leaders, and other colleagues who helped me develop, draft, and survive this project through 18 evolving drafts over ten years included: AACC President Tim Clinton, EdD; former president Gary Collins, PhD; Mark McMinn, PhD; Rosemarie Hughes, PhD; the late David Gatewood, MS; Peter Mosgofian, MA; W.L. Ryder, MD; Elizabeth York, MEd; Siang-Yang Tan, PhD; Chris Thurman, PhD; Ev Worthington, PhD; Tom Whiteman, PhD; Norm Wright, MA; Leigh Bishop, MD; Freda Crews, DMin, PhD; Gary Oliver, PhD; Bill Secor, PhD; Ron Hawkins, DMin, EdD; Diane Langberg, PhD; Michael Lyles, MD; and Archibald Hart, PhD.

The Holy Scriptures and the AACC Doctrinal Statement are foundational to this Code. Other ethics codes, in alphabetical order, that were consulted as we drafted this statement included those from the:

  •  American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), including portions of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) 
  •  American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) 
  •  American Counseling Association (ACA), including the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES—ACA related), and the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC—also ACA related) 
  • American Psychiatric Association (APiA) 
  • American Psychological Association (APoA), including APoA General Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services 
  •  Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) 
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), including NASW Standards for the Private Practice of Clinical Social Work 
  • The Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPDR)

Furthermore, many writings influenced this Code, especially by Alister McGrath, on “Doctrine and Ethics,” and Alan Tjeltveit, on “Psychotherapy and Christian Ethics.” Some rules for procedure, for resolution of conflicted values, and the detail in this document was suggested by the legal profession’s Code of Professional Responsibility, and by selected court cases, mental health license statutes, and licensure board administrative rules from California, Virginia, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, and New York.

This Code may be downloaded from the AACC web site, or purchased in paper form from AACC at a nominal cost. We continue to invite your feedback about this code (to—ideas and suggestions that will be considered for inclusion into future Code revisions. Also, we are developing a new section on the ethics of remote counseling—using the phone, the Internet, and doing in-home counseling—and a code specifically for lay helping ministry in the church. Your thoughts and comments here are also welcome. Thank you and may God bless your study and use of this new Code of Ethics


George Ohlschlager, JD, LCSW

Chairman, AACC Law & Ethics Committee


All members of the AACC, the IACC (International Association of Christian Counselors), and Christian counselors everywhere are invited to fully adopt this AACC Code of Ethics (Code) in their work as Christian counselors, ministers, and helpers as soon as they are able. This Code may inform and enlighten all Christian counselors and ministers, but is not strictly enforceable toward non-AACC persons, nor upon AACC members in their private lives apart from professional-ministerial roles.

The Code will become a mandatory ethic for all AACC/IACC members who elect to become credential holders or members of either the American Board of Christian Counselors (ABCC) or the Christian Care Network (CCN).*


The Code is designed to assist AACC members to better serve their clients and congregants and to improve the work of Christian counseling worldwide. It will help achieve the primary goals of the AACC—to bring honor to Jesus Christ and his church, promote excellence in Christian counseling, and bring unity to Christian counselors.

A New Code for an Emerging Profession

The Code is a comprehensive, detailed, and integrative synthesis of biblical, clinical, systemic, ethical, and legal information. It was created this way because vaguely worded, content limited, and overly generalized codes are insufficient for the complexities of the modern, 21st-century counseling environment. A more comprehensive and behavior-specific ethical code is needed for Christian counselors (and all mental health and ministerial professions, we believe) because of:

(1) the mounting evidence of questionable and incompetent practices among Christian counselors, including increasing complaints of client-parishioner harm;

(2) the largely unprotected legal status of Christian counseling, including the increasing state scrutiny, excessive litigation, and unrelenting legalization of professional ethics; and more positively

(3) the vitality and growing maturity of Christian counseling—including its many theories and controversies—indicating the need for an overarching ethical-legal template to guide the development of biblical and empirically sound Christian counseling models.

This Code—beyond defining the boundaries of unethical practice—affirmatively educates counselors in the direction of becoming helpers of ethical excellence, capable of more consistently securing the best counseling outcomes. This Code shows four streams of influence. These include (1) the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) and historic orthodox Christian theology;** (2) accepted standards of counseling and clinical practice from Christian counseling and the established mental health disciplines; (3) codes of ethics from other Christian and mental health professions; and (4) current and developing standards derived from mental health and ministry-related law. ____________________________________________

*NOTE 1. This code is adopted in its entirety by AACC affiliate organizations, the ABCC and the CCN. All ABCC and CCN members will be required to mandatory adherence to this code.

** NOTE 2. Although rooted primarily in an orthodox evangelical biblical theology, this Code is also influenced (according to the paradigm offered by Richard Foster) by the social justice, charismatic-pentecostal, pietistic-holiness, liturgical, and contemplative traditions of Christian theology and church history.

Mission, Uses, and Limits of the Code

The mission of this Code is to

(1) help advance the central mission of the AACC—to bring honor to Jesus Christ and promote excellence and unity in Christian counseling;

(2) promote the welfare and protect the dignity and fundamental rights of all individuals, families, groups, churches, schools, agencies, ministries, and other organizations with whom Christian counselors work;

(3) provide standards of ethical conduct in Christian counseling that are to be advocated and applied by the AACC (and ABCC and CCN) and that can be respected by other professionals and institutions.

This Code defines biblically based values and universal behavioral standards for ethical Christian counseling. We intend this Code to become a core document by which Christian counselors, clients, and the church oversee and evaluate Christian counselors and counseling values, goals, process, and effectiveness. Furthermore, the Code asserts a Christian counseling standard of care that invites respect and application by the courts, the regulatory bodies of church and state, insurance and managed care groups, other professions, and by society.

This Code should be seen as normative but non-exhaustive. It provides a common definition of practice, but does not presume to be a complete picture of Christian counseling nor does it necessarily cover all ethical issues. This Code outlines a foundation of preferred values and agreed professional behavior upon which Christian counselors can shape their identity and build their work. It defines standards upon which practice diversity is acknowledged and encouraged as well as the limits beyond which practice deviance is not allowed.

The Code is aspirational throughout the AACC and enforceable in ABCC and CCN. It consists of four major parts—Introduction and Mission, Biblical-Ethical Foundations, Ethical Standards, and Procedural Rules (which are being developed). It aspires to define, in the mission and the biblical-ethical foundations statements, the best ideals and goals of Christian counseling. The ethical standards and procedural rules are the codes of individual practice and organizational behavior that are to guide the membership of the AACC. The mission and foundations statements are to be consulted in working out the problems and dilemmas of ethics application and procedural rules interpretation.

Concerning language, we have endeavored to avoid pedantic, legalese, and sexist language, but we also avoid a radical inclusivism that de-sexes the name of God. Unless denoted, we use the term "client" to refer to clients, patients, congregants, parishioners, or helpees. "Counseling" is usually a generic reference to clinical, psychiatric, pastoral, and lay helping.

Grace for the Task Ahead

This is a dynamic Code, one that will anchor the mission of the AACC and retain some elements without change, but one that will also live and grow with the life and growth of the Association and its membership. The Code calls us to a life-long commitment to ethical and excellent service; it challenges us to encourage ethical behavior in our colleagues, churches, organizations, and communities. May God give us the grace to own it professionally, the strength to live it honorably, and the hope to see it as a foundation of common identity and corporate unity.


1st FOUNDATION: Jesus Christ—and His revelation in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible—is the pre-eminent model for Christian counseling practice, ethics, and caregiving activities.

2nd FOUNDATION: Christian counseling maintains a committed, intimate, and dedicated relationship with the worldwide church, and individual counselors with a local body of believers.

3rd FOUNDATION: Christian counseling, at its best, is a Spirit-led process of change and growth, geared to help others mature in Christ by the skillful synthesis of counselor-assisted spiritual, psycho-social, familial, bio-medical, and environmental interventions.

4th FOUNDATION: Christian counselors are dedicated to Jesus Christ as their ‘first love,’ to excellence in client service, to ethical integrity in practice, and to respect for everyone encountered.

5th FOUNDATION: Christian counselors accord the highest respect to the Biblical revelation regarding the defense of human life, the dignity of human personhood, and the sanctity of marriage and family life.

6th FOUNDATION: The biblical and constitutional rights to Religious Freedom, Free Speech, and Free Association protects Christian counselor public identity, and the explicit incorporation of spiritual practices into all forms of counseling and intervention.

7th FOUNDATION: Christian counselors are mindful of their representation of Christ and his church and are dedicated to honor their commitments and obligations in all social and professional relations.


+ NOTE 4. This statement of “biblical-ethical foundations” is not a doctrinal statement, nor is it intended to substitute for one. The AACC Doctrinal Statement is a separate standard that reflects the baseline religious beliefs and biblical commitments of AACC members. However, it is true that these seven foundation statements are implicitly rooted in the AACC doctrinal statement. Furthermore, combined with the Scriptures, the AACC doctrinal statement, and the statement of “Introduction and Mission” to this code, this section stands as the baseline ethics policy that will ground this code, assist the search for clear meaning and common interpretation, and guide the resolution of disputed applications of ethical standards and procedural rules.




ES1-100 First, Do No Harm

Christian counselors acknowledge that the first rule of professional-ministerial ethical conduct is: do no harm to those served.

1-101 Affirming the God-given Dignity of All Persons

Affirmatively, Christian counselors recognize and uphold the inherent, God-given dignity of every human person, from the pre-born to those on death’s bed. Human beings are God’s creation—in fact, the crown of His creation—and are therefore due all the rights and respect and ordered logic that this fact of creation entails.

Therefore, regardless of how we respond to and challenge harmful attitudes and actions, Christian counselors will express a loving care to any client, service-inquiring person, or anyone encountered in the course of practice or ministry, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual behavior or orientation, socio-economic status, education, denomination, belief system, values, or political affiliation. God’s love is unconditional and, at this level of concern, so must that of the Christian counselor.

1-102 No Harm or Exploitation Allowed

Prohibitively, then, Christian counselors avoid every manner of harm, exploitation, and unjust discrimination in all client-congregant relations. Christian counselors are also aware of their psychosocial and spiritual influence and the inherent power imbalance of helping relationships—power dynamics that can harm others even without harmful intent.

1-110 Avoidance of Client Harm, Intended or Not

Christian counselors strictly avoid all behavior or suggestion of practice that harms or reasonably could harm clients, client families, client social systems and representatives, students, trainees, supervisees, employees, colleagues, and third-party payors and authorizers.

1-111 Managing Client Conflicts

Christian counselors acknowledge that client conflicts are unavoidable. In fact, conflict and resistance are often a central dynamic of the helping process. We will attempt to resolve all counseling conflicts in the client's best interest. Counselors tempted to respond in harmful ways to clients shall seek out consultative and restorative help. If self-control is not accomplished—and client harm is not avoided—counselors shall terminate counseling relations and make referral in the client's best interest.

1-112 Action Regarding Clients Harmed by Other Helpers

Christian counselors take proper action against the harmful behavior of other counselors and pastors. We will act assertively to challenge or expose those who exploit others, and protect clients against harm wherever it is found, taking care to honor and support client decision-making regarding curative action against violators.

1-113 Managing Problems with Managed Care

Managed care has greatly expanded its influence in health and mental health service delivery. Widespread problems in client-provider-managed care relations are now being reported: breach of confidentiality, client abandonment, failure to maintain continuity of care, incompetent care, restriction of therapist choice and access, and even infliction of emotional distress. Christian counselors acknowledge these legal-ethical problems, and will avoid and work to correct any unethical entanglement and unintended client harm due to managed care relations.

1-120 Refusal to Participate in the Harmful Actions of Clients

Christian counselors refuse to condone, advocate for, or assist the harmful actions of clients, especially those that imperil human life from conception to death. We agree that the protection of human life is always a priority value in any professional or ministerial intervention. We will not abandon clients who do or intend harm, will terminate helping relations only in the most compelling circumstances, and will continue to serve clients in these troubles so far as it is humanly possible.

1-121 Application to Deadly and Threatening Behavior

Christian counselors refuse to condone, advocate for, or assist the suicidal, homicidal, or assaultive/abusive harm done to self or others by clients, including that which is threatened by verbal or other means. In fact, we are under an affirmative ethical duty to prudently intervene for the sake of protecting life, and under certain conditions, to report deadly threats to the proper authorities and those threatened by clients (see Code sections 1-430ff).

1-122 Application to Substance Abuse and Other Addictions

Christian counselors refuse to condone, advocate for, or assist substance abuse or other addictions and addictive behaviors by clients. We recognize and accept the distinction between drug dependence and addiction, and may support or assist clients in the use of necessary drugs—even those from which dependencies may develop for limited periods of time—when medically justified and under a physician’s supervision.

1-123 Application to Abortion

Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for abortion and the abortion-related activities of clients. All counselors will consider and inform clients of alternative means to abortion and, as far as it is possible, will continue to serve clients and work compassionately with them through the abortion crisis.

1-124 Application to Divorce

Christian counselors refuse to assume the decision for client divorce. We may assist clients in analyzing and making the decision to divorce, insofar as it is biblically permissible, as God does allow for divorce in some cases. Therefore, we may assist clients through the divorce process without being a divorce advocate, as that divorce decision must always reside in and be owned by the client. Christian counselors working in divorce mediation will be careful to communicate that such work is not an endorsement of divorce, but rather a decision to offer a better choice than adversarial litigation and its destructive family impact when divorce is inevitable.

1-125 Application to Premarital and Extramarital Sexual Behavior

Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for the pursuit of or active involvement in pre-marital and extra-marital sexual behavior by clients—promoting an affair is never proper counsel as a solution to marital problems. We acknowledge that sex is God’s good creation and a delightful gift when confined to one man and one woman in marriage. We may agree to and support the wish to work out issues of sexual behavior, identity, and attractions, but will encourage sexual celibacy or biblically proscribed sexual behavior while such issues are being addressed.

1-126 Application to Homosexual and Transgendered Behavior

Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for the pursuit of or active involvement in homosexual, transgendered, and cross-dressing behavior, and in the adoption gay & lesbian & transgendered lifestyles by clients. We may agree to and support the wish to work out issues of homosexual and transgendered identity and attractions, but will refuse to describe or reduce human identity and nature to sexual reference or orientation, and will encourage sexual celibacy or biblically proscribed sexual behavior while such issues are being addressed.

Christian counselors differ, on biblical, ethical, and legal grounds, with groups who abhor and condemn reparative therapy, willingly offering it to those who come into counseling with a genuine desire to be set free of homosexual attractions and leave homosexual behavior and lifestyles behind. Either goal of heterosexual relations and marriage or lifelong sexual celibacy is legitimate and a function of client choice in reparative therapy. It is acknowledged that some persons engaged in same-sex change or reparative therapy will be able to change and become free of all homo-erotic behavior and attraction, some will change but will still struggle with homosexual attraction from time to time, and some will not change away from homosexual practices.

1-127 Application to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for active forms of euthanasia and assisted suicide. We may agree to and support the wish not to prolong life by artificial means, and will often advocate for hospice care, more effective application of medicine, and other reasonable means to reduce pain and suffering.

Regarding patients or clients who wish to die, we will not deliver, nor advocate for, nor support the use of drugs or devices to be utilized for the purpose of ending a patient’s life. We recognize that the death of a patient may occur as the unintended and secondary result of aggressive action to alleviate a terminally ill patient’s extreme pain and suffering.

So long as there are no other reasonable methods to alleviate such pain and suffering, the Christian counselor is free to support, advocate for, and participate in such aggressive pain management in accordance with sound medical practice, and with the informed consent of the patient or the patient’s authorized representative.

1-130 Sexual Misconduct Forbidden

All forms of sexual misconduct in pastoral, professional, or lay relationships are unethical. This includes every kind of sexual exploitation, deception, manipulation, abuse, harassment, relations where the sexual involvement is invited, and relations where informed consent presumably exists. Due to the inherent power imbalance of helping relationships and the immoral nature of sexual behavior outside of marriage, such apparent consent is illusory and illegitimate.

Forbidden sexual activities and deceptions include, but are not limited to, direct sexual touch or contact; seductive sexual speech or non-verbal behavior; solicitation of sexual or romantic relations; erotic contact or behavior as a response to the sexual invitation or seductive behavior of clients; unnecessary questioning and/or excessive probing into the client's sexual history and practices; inappropriate counselor disclosures of client attractiveness, sexual opinions, or sexual humor; advocacy of the healing value of counselor-client sexual relations; secretive sexual communications and anonymous virtual interaction via the Internet or other electronic and informational means; sexual harassment by comments, touch, or promises/threats of special action; and sexual misconduct as defined by all applicable laws, ethics, and church, organizational, or practice policies.

1-131 Sexual Relations with Former Clients Forbidden

All sexual relations as defined in 1-130 above with former clients are unethical. Furthermore, we do not terminate and refer clients or parishioners, even at first contact, in order to pursue sexual or romantic relations.

1-132 Counseling with Marital/Sexual Partners

Christian counselors do not counsel, but make appropriate referral, with current or former sexual and/or marital partners.

1-133 Marriage with Former Clients/Patients

Since marriage is honorable before God, the lone exception to this rule against marriage to a former client, is a case anticipating marriage, so long as (1) counseling relations were properly terminated, and not for the purpose of pursuing marriage or romantic relations, (2) the client is fully informed that any further counseling must be done by another, (3) there is no harm or exploitation of the client or the client’s family as a result of different relations with the counselor, and (4) the marriage takes place two years or more after the conclusion of a counseling or helping relationship.

1-140 Dual and Multiple Relationships

Dual relationships involve the breakdown of proper professional or ministerial boundaries. A dual relationship is where two or more roles are mixed in a manner that can harm the counseling relationship. Examples include counseling plus personal, fraternal, business, financial, or sexual and romantic relations. Some dual relationships are not unethical—it is client exploitation that is wrong, not the dual relationship itself. Based on an absolute application that harms membership bonds in the Body of Christ, we oppose the ethical-legal view that all dual relationships are per se harmful and therefore invalid on their face. Many dual relations are wrong and indefensible, but some dual relationships are worthwhile and defensible (per section 1-142 below).

1-141 The Rule of Dual Relationships

While in therapy, or when counseling relations are imminent, or for an appropriate time after termination of counseling, Christian counselors do not engage in dual relations with counselees. Some dual relationships are always avoided—sexual or romantic relations, and counseling close friends, family members, employees, or supervisees. Other dual relationships should be presumed troublesome and avoided wherever possible. 1-142 Proving an Exception to the Rule The Christian counselor has the burden of proving a justified dual relationship by showing (1) informed consent, including discussion of how the counseling relationship might be harmed as other relations proceed, and (2) lack of harm or exploitation to the client. As a general rule, all close relations are unethical if they become counselor-client or formal lay helping relations. Dual relations may be allowable, requiring justification by the foregoing rule, if the client is an arms-length acquaintance—if the relationship is not a close one. This distinction is crucial in the applications below.

1-143 Counseling with Family, Friends, and Acquaintances

Christian counselors do not provide counseling to close family or friends. We presume that dual relations with other family members, acquaintances, and fraternal, club, association, or group members are potentially troublesome and best avoided, otherwise requiring justification.

1-144 Business and Economic Relations

Christian counselors avoid partnerships, employment relations, and close business associations with clients. Barter relations are normally avoided as potentially troublesome, and require justification; therefore if done, barter is a rare and not a common occurrence. Unless justified by compelling necessity, customer relations with clients are normally avoided.

1-145 Counseling with Fellow Church Members

Christian counselors do not provide counseling to fellow church members with whom they have close personal, business, or shared ministry relations. We presume that dual relations with any other church members who are clients are potentially troublesome and best avoided, otherwise requiring justification. Pastors and church staff helpers will take all reasonable precautions to limit the adverse impact of any dual relationships.

1-146 Termination to Engage in Dual Relations Prohibited

Christian counselors do not terminate counseling to engage in dual relationships of any kind. Some counselors and their former clients will agree that any future counseling will be done by someone else if, after legitimate termination, they decide to pursue another form of relationship.

ES1-200 Competence in Christian Counseling

1-210 Honoring the Call to Competent Christian Counseling

Christian counselors maintain the highest standards of competence with integrity. We know and respect the boundaries of competence in ourselves and others, especially those under our supervision. We make only truthful, realistic statements about our identity, education, experience, credentials, and about counseling goals and process, avoiding exaggerated and sensational claims. We do not offer services or work beyond the limits of our competence and do not aid or abet the work of Christian counseling by untrained, unqualified, or unethical helpers.

1-220 Duties to Consult and/or Refer

Christian counselors consult with and/or refer to more competent colleagues or supervisors when these limits of counseling competence are reached: (1) when facing issues not dealt with before or not experienced in handling, (2) when clients need further help outside the scope of our training and practice, (3) when either counselor or clients are feeling stuck or confused about counseling and neither is clear what to do about it, or (4) when counselees are deteriorating or making no realistic gain over a number of sessions. Christian counselors shall honor the client's goals and confidential privacy interests in all consultations and referrals.

1-221 Consultation Practice

When counseling help is needed, and with client consent, consultation may be attempted first, when in the client's best interest and to improve helper's knowledge and skill where some competence exists. Counselors shall take all reasonable action to apply consultative help to the case in order to gain/maintain ground toward client objectives. The consultant shall maintain a balanced concern for the client discussed and the practice/education needs of the consultee, directing the counselor-consultee to further training or special resources, if needed.

1-222 Referral Practice

Referral shall be made in situations where client need is beyond the counselor's ability or scope of practice or when consultation is inappropriate, unavailable, or unsuccessful. Referrals should be done only after the client is provided with informed choices among referral sources. As much as possible, counselors referred to shall honor prior commitments between client and referring counselor or church.

1-223 Seek Christian Help,

If Available When consulting or referring, Christian counselors seek out the best Christian help at a higher level of knowledge, skill, and expertise. If Christian help is not available, or when professional skill is more important than the professional's beliefs, Christian counselors shall use the entire network of professional services available.

1-224 Avoid Counsel Against Professional Treatment

Christian counselors do not counsel or advice against professional counseling, medical or psychiatric treatment, the use of medications, legal counsel, or other forms of professional service merely because we believe such practice is per se wrong or because the provider may not be a Christian.

1-230 Duties to Study and Maintain Expertise

Christian counselors keep abreast of and, whenever possible, contribute to new knowledge, issues, and resources in Christian counseling and our respective fields. We maintain an active program of study, continuing education, and personal/professional growth to improve helping effectiveness and ethical practice. We seek out specialized training, supervision, and/or advanced certification if we choose to gain expertise and before we practice and advertise in recognized specialty areas of counseling and clinical practice.

1-240 Maintaining Integrity in Work, Reports, and Relationships

Christian counselors maintain the highest standards of integrity in all their work, in professional reports, and in all professional relationships. We delegate to employees, supervisees, and other subordinates only that work these persons can competently perform, meeting the client's best interest and done with appropriate supervision.

1-250 Protective Action When Personal Problems Interfere

Christian counselors acknowledge that sin, illnesses, mental disorders, interpersonal crises, distress, and self-deception still influence us personally—and that these problems can adversely affect our clients and parishioners. When personal problems flare to a level that harm to one's clients is realized or is highly likely, the Christian counselor will refrain from or reduce those particular professional-ministerial activities that are or could be harmful. During such times, the counselor will seek out and use those reparative resources that will allow for problem resolution and a return to a fully functioning ministry, if possible.

ES1-300 Informed Consent in Christian Counseling

1-310 Securing Informed Consent

Christian counselors secure client consent for all counseling and related services. This includes the video/audio-taping of client sessions, the use of supervisory and consultative help, the application of special procedures and evaluations, and the communication of client data with other professionals and institutions. Christian counselors take care that (1) the client has the capacity to give consent; (2) we have discussed counseling together and the client reasonably understands the nature and process of counseling; the costs, time, and work required; the limits of counseling; and any appropriate alternatives; and (3) the client freely gives consent to counseling, without coercion or undue influence.

1-320 Consent for the Structure and Process of Counseling

Christian counselors respect the need for informed consent regarding the structure and process of counseling. Early in counseling, counselor and client should discuss and agree upon these issues: the nature of and course of therapy; client issues and goals; potential problems and reasonable alternatives to counseling; counselor status and credentials; confidentiality and its limits; fees and financial procedures; limitations about time and access to the counselor, including directions in emergency situations; and procedures for resolution of disputes and misunderstandings. If the counselor is supervised, that fact shall be disclosed and the supervisor's name and role indicated to the client.

1-321 Consent from Parent or Client Representative

Christian counselors obtain consent from parents or the client's legally authorized representative when clients are minors or adults who are legally incapable of giving consent.

1-322 Documentation of Consent

Christian counselors will document client consent in writing by professional service contract or consent form, the standard now required in most professional therapy relations, or by case note at the very least. 1-330 Consent for Biblical-Spiritual Practices in Counseling Christian counselors do not presume that all clients want or will be receptive to explicit spiritual interventions in counseling. We obtain consent that honors client choice, receptivity to these practices, and the timing and manner in which these things are introduced: prayer for and with clients, Bible reading and reference, spiritual meditation, the use of biblical and religious imagery, assistance with spiritual formation and discipline, and other common spiritual practices.

1-331 Special Consent for More Difficult Interventions

Close or special consent is obtained for more difficult and controversial practices. These include, but are not limited to: deliverance and spiritual warfare activities; cult de-programming work; recovering memories and treatment of past abuse or trauma; use of hypnosis and any kind of induction of altered states; authorizing (by MDs) medications, electro-convulsive therapy, or patient restraints; use of aversive, involuntary, or experimental therapies; engaging in reparative therapy with homosexual persons; and counseling around abortion and end-of-life issues. These interventions require a more detailed discussion with patient-clients or client representatives of the procedures, risks, and treatment alternatives, and we secure detailed written agreement for the procedure.

ES1-400 Confidentiality, Privacy, and Privileged Communication

1-410 Maintaining Client Confidentiality

Christian counselors maintain client confidentiality to the fullest extent allowed by law, professional ethics, and church or organizational rules. Confidential client communications include all verbal, written, telephonic, audio or videotaped, or electronic communications arising within the helping relationship. Apart from the exceptions below, Christian counselors shall not disclose confidential client communications without first discussing the intended disclosure and securing written consent from the client or client representative.

1-411 Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality and Privilege

Clients should be informed about both the counselor's commitment to confidentiality and its limits before engaging in counseling. Christian counselors avoid stating or implying that confidentiality is guaranteed or absolute. We will discuss the limits of confidentiality and privacy with clients at the outset of counseling.

1-420 Asserting Confidentiality or Privilege Following Demands for Disclosure

Protecting confidential communications, including the assertion of privilege in the face of legal or court demands, shall be the first response of counselors to demands or requests for client communications and records.

1-421 Disclosure of Confidential Client Communications

Christian counselors disclose only that client information they have written permission from the client to disclose or that which is required by legal or ethical mandates. The counselor shall maintain confidentiality of client information outside the bounds of that narrowly required to fulfill the disclosure and shall limit disclosures only to those people having a direct professional interest in the case. In the face of a subpoena, counselors shall neither deny nor immediately comply with disclosure demands, but will assert privilege in order to give the client time to consult with a lawyer to direct disclosures.

1-430 Protecting Persons from Deadly Harm: The Rule of Mandatory Disclosure

Christian counselors accept the limits of confidentiality when human life is imperiled or abused. We will take appropriate action, including necessary disclosures of confidential information, to protect life in the face of client threats of suicide, homicide, and/or the abuse of children, elders, and dependent persons.

1-431 The Duty to Protect Others

The duty to take protective action is triggered when the counselor (1) has reasonable suspicion, as stated in your state statute, that a minor child (under 18 years), elder person (65 years and older), or dependent adult (regardless of age) has been harmed by the client; or (2) has direct client admissions of serious and imminent suicidal threats; or (3) has direct client admissions of harmful acts or threatened action that is serious, imminent, and attainable against a clearly identified third person or group of persons.

1-432 Guidelines to Ethical Disclosure and Protective Action

Action to protect life, whether you’re a client or a third-person, shall be that which is reasonably necessary to stop or forestall deadly or harmful action in the present situation. This could involve hospitalizing the client, intensifying clinical intervention to the degree necessary to reasonably protect against harmful action, consultation and referral with other professionals, or disclosure of harm or threats to law enforcement, protective services, identifiable third-persons, and/or family members able to help with protective action.

1-433 Special Guidelines When Violence is Threatened Against Others

Action to protect third persons from client violence may involve or, in states that have a third-person protection (Tarasoff) duty, require disclosure of imminent harm to the intended victim, to their family or close friends, and to law enforcement. When child abuse or elder abuse or abuse of dependent adults exists, as defined by state law, Christian counselors shall report to child or elder protective services, or to any designated agency established for protective services. We shall also attempt to defuse the situation and/or take preventive action by whatever means are available and appropriate.

When clients threaten serious and imminent homicide or violence against an identifiable third-person, the Christian counselor shall inform appropriate law enforcement, and/or medical-crisis personnel, and the at-risk person or close family member of the threat, except when precluded by compelling circumstances or by state law.

When the client threat is serious but not imminent, the Christian counselor shall take preventive clinical action that seeks to forestall any further escalation of threat toward violent behavior.

1-440 Disclosures in Cases of Third-party Payment and Managed Care

Christian counselors are diligent to protect client confidences in relations with insurance and third party payors, employee assistance programs, and managed care groups. We are cautious about demands for confidential client information that exceed the need for validation of services rendered or continued care. We do not disclose or submit session notes and details of client admissions solely on demand of third-party payors. We will narrowly disclose information that the client has given written authorization only after we have discussed and are assured that the client understands the full implications of authorizations signed or contemplated to sign.

1-450 Disclosures for Supervision, Consultation, Teaching, Preaching, and Publication

Christian counselors do not disclose confidential client communications in any supervisory, consultation, teaching, preaching, publishing, or other activity without written or other legal authorization by the client. Counselors under supervision will disclose that fact to their clients. We will adequately disguise client identifiers by various means when presenting cases in group or in public forums. We will not presume that disguise alone is sufficient client protection, but will consider seeking client authorization when client identity is hard to conceal.

1-460 Maintaining Privacy and Preserving Written Records

Christian counselors will preserve, store, and transfer written records of client communications in a way that protects client confidentiality and privacy rights. This requires, at minimum, keeping records files in locked storage with access given only to those persons with a direct professional interest in the materials.

1-461 Maintaining Privacy in Electronic Databases

Christian counselors take special precautions to protect client privacy rights with records stored and transferred by electronic means. This requires, at minimum, use of password entry into all electronic client files and/or coded files that do not use client names or easy identifiers. Client information transferred electronically—FAX, E-mail, or other computerized network transfer—shall be done only after the counselor determines that the process of transmission and reception of data is reasonably protected from interception and unauthorized disclosures.

1-470 Advocacy for Privacy Rights Against Intrusive Powers

Christian counselors hear the most private and sensitive details of client lives—information that must be zealously guarded from public disclosure. Rapidly expanding and interlocking electronic information networks are increasingly threatening client privacy rights. Though federal and state laws exist to protect client privacy, these laws are weak, are routinely violated at many levels, and the record of privacy right enforcement is dismal. Accordingly, Christian counselors are called to wisely protect and assertively advocate for privacy protection on behalf of our clients against the pervasive intrusion of personal, corporate, governmental, even religious powers.

ES1-500 Ethical Practice in Christian Counseling and Evaluation

1-510 Fees and Financial Relationships in Christian Counseling

Professional Christian counselors will set fees for services that are fair and reasonable, according to the services contracted and time performed, and with due regard for the client's ability to pay. We avoid all deception, confusion, and misrepresentation about fees and in our financial relationships with clients and client systems.

1-511 Disclosure of Fees and Payment History

Fee schedules and rules for payment shall be outlined clearly for client review at the outset of counseling. Moreover, agreement about fees and payment schedules will be made as early as possible in the course of professional relations. We will provide clients or their representatives with a full and accurate account of previous and current charges upon request.

1-512 Sliding Fee Scales Encouraged

Christian counselors are free, within the bounds of biblical, professional, and community standards, to set their own fees. Clinicians are encouraged, however, to use sliding fee schedules, scaled to client's ability to pay, and other reduced payment methods to increase counseling accessibility to those of lesser financial means.

1-513 Pro Bono Work

Christian counselors are encouraged, beyond their fee schedule, to make a portion of their time and services available without cost or at a greatly reduced fee to those unable to pay.

1-514 Avoiding Self-serving Financial Relations

Christian counselors avoid financial practices that result or appear to result in greedy and self-serving outcomes. We do not select clients or prolong therapy based on their ability to pay high fees, nor do we quickly terminate counseling with low-fee clients. When making referrals, we do not divide fees with other professionals nor accept or give anything of value for making the referral. We do not exaggerate problems nor refer exclusively for specialized services to get clients into special programs or institutions in which we have a proprietary interest.

1-515 Financial Integrity with Insurance and Third-party Payors

Christian counselors maintain financial integrity with client insurers and other third-party payors. We do not charge third-party payors for services not rendered, nor for missed or cancelled appointments, unless specially authorized to do so. We do not distort or change diagnoses to fit restricted reimbursement categories. Any special benefits or reductions in client fees must also be extended in full to third-party payors.

1-520 Case notes and Proper Record-keeping

Christian counselors maintain appropriate documentation of their counseling activities, adequate for competent recall of prior sessions and the provision of later services by oneself or others. Records used in legal and other official capacities will show the quality, detail, objectivity, and timeliness of production expected by professionals who practice in these arenas.

1-521 Records Maintenance and Ownership

Records of professional activities will be created, maintained, stored, and disposed of in accordance with the law and the ethical duties of the counselor, especially maintaining client confidentiality. Ordinarily, client records belong to the employing organization or to the therapist in a private or group practice. However, in view of the expanding right of client record access and the ethic of continuity of care, clients’ records should follow the client. Therefore, in any dispute about record access or ownership at the termination of professional employment, the records will stay with the employer if the therapist is leaving the area and his or her clients, or they should go with the therapist if he or she is staying in the area and the clients are staying with the therapist.

1-530 Ethics in Testing, Assessment, and Clinical Evaluation

Christian counselors do clinical evaluations of clients only in the context of professional relations, in the best interests of clients, and with the proper training and supervision. Christian counselors avoid (1) incompetent and inaccurate evaluations, (2) clinically unnecessary and excessively expensive testing, and (3) unauthorized practice of testing and evaluation that is the province of another clinical or counseling discipline. Referral and consultation are used when evaluation is desired or necessary beyond the competence and/or role of the counselor.

1-531 Use of Appropriate Assessments

Christian counselors use tests and assessment techniques that are appropriate to the needs, resources, capabilities, and understanding of the client. We apply tests skillfully and administer tests properly and safely. We substantiate our findings, with knowledge of the reliability, validity, outcome results, and limits of the tests used. We avoid both the misuse of testing procedures and the creation of confusion or misunderstanding by clients about testing purposes, procedures, and findings.

1-532 Reporting and Interpreting Assessment Results

Christian counselors report testing results in a fair, understandable, and objective manner. We avoid undue testing bias and honor the limits of test results, ensuring verifiable means to substantiate conclusions and recommendations. We recognize the limits of test interpretation, and avoid exaggeration and absolute statements about the certainty of client diagnoses, behavior predictions, clinical judgments, and recommendations. Due regard is given to the unique history, values, family dynamics, sociocultural influences, economic realities, and spiritual maturity of the client. Christian counselors will state any and all reservations about the validity of test results and present reports and recommendations in tentative language and with alternative possibilities.

1-540 Working with Couples, Families, and Groups

Christian counselors often work with multiple persons in session—marriage couples, families or parts of families, and small groups—and should know when these forms of counseling are preferred over or used as an adjunct to individual counseling. In these relationships we will identify a primary client—the group as a unit or the individual members—and will discuss with our client(s) how our differing roles, counseling goals, and confidentiality and consent issues are affected by these dynamics.

1-541 Safety and Integrity in Family and Group Counseling

Christian counselors will maintain their role as fair, unbiased, and effective helpers in all marital, family, and group work. We will remain accessible to all persons, avoiding enmeshed alliances and taking sides unjustly. As group or family counseling leaders, Christian counselors respect the boundary between constructive confrontation and verbal abuse, and will take reasonable precautions to protect client members from any physical, psychological, or verbal abuse from other members of a family or group.

1-542 Confidentiality in Family and Group Counseling (see also ES1-400)

Christian counselors do not promise or guarantee confidentiality in family and group counseling, but rather explain the problems and limits of keeping confidences in these modes of therapy. We communicate the importance of confidentiality and encourage family or group members to honor it, including discussion of consequences for its breach. Christian counselors do not share confidences by one family or group member to others without permission or prior agreement, unless maintaining the secret will likely lead to grave and serious harm to a family member or someone else.

1-543 Avoiding and Resolving Role Conflicts

If/when Christian counselors are asked to perform conflicting roles with possible unethical consequences (i.e.: pressure to keep "secrets" or called to testify as an adverse witness in a client's divorce), we will clarify our therapeutic, neutral, and mediative role and/or decline to serve in a conflicted capacity, if possible. Some counselors will contract for professional neutrality at the beginning of professional relations, securing client agreement not to have oneself or one's records subpoenaed or deposed in any legal proceeding.

1-550 Working with Persons of Different Faiths, Religions, and Values

Christian counselors do not withhold services to anyone of a different faith, religion, denomination, or value system. We work to understand the client's belief system and always maintain respect for the client. We strive to understand when faith and values issues are important to the client and foster values-informed client decision-making in counseling. We share our own faith only as a function of legitimate self-disclosure and when appropriate to client need, always maintaining a humility that exposes and never imposes the way of Christ.

1-551 Action if Value Differences Interfere with Counseling

Christian counselor work to resolve problems—always in the client's best interest—when differences between counselor and client values becomes too great, adversely affecting counseling. This may include discussion of the issue as a therapeutic matter, renegotiation of the counseling agreement, consultation with a supervisor or trusted colleague or, as a last resort, referral to another counselor if the differences cannot be reduced or bridged.

1-560 Continuity of Care and Service Interruption

Christian counselors maintain continuity of care for all patients and clients. We avoid interruptions in service to clients that are too lengthy or disruptive. Care is taken to refer clients and network to provide emergency services when faced with counselor vacations, illnesses, job changes, financial hardships, or any other reason services are interrupted or limited. 1-570 Avoiding Abandonment and Improper Counseling Termination Christian counselors do not abandon clients. To the extent the counselor is able, client services are never abruptly cut-off or ended without giving notice and adequately preparing the client for termination or referral.

1-571 Ethical Termination of Counseling

Discussion and action toward counseling termination and/or referral is indicated when (1) counseling goals have been achieved; (2) when the client no longer wants or does not return to counseling; (3) when the client is no longer benefiting from counseling; or (4) when counseling is harmful to the client. Christian counselors shall discuss termination and/or referral with clients, offer referral if wanted or appropriate, and facilitate termination in the client's best interest. If crisis events alter, even end counseling prematurely the counselor, if it is safe and proper, should follow-through with the client to ensure proper termination and referral.

ES1-600 Ethical Relations in the Professional Workplace

1-610 Honorable Relations Between Professional and Ministerial Colleagues

Christian counselors respect professional and ministerial colleagues, both within and outside the church. We strive to understand and, wherever able, respect differing approaches to counseling. We strive to maintain collaborative and constructive relations with other professionals serving our client, in the client's best interest.

1-611 Solicitation of Clients Under Another’s Care

Christian counselors do not solicit clients nor do we knowingly offer professional services to those under the care of another mental health professional or pastor, except with that provider's knowledge, or when someone is in crisis. When approached by clients being served by other counselors, due regard will be given that relationship with a commitment to encourage client resolution with the other counselor before starting professional relations.


1-612 Maintaining Honor Toward Others When in Conflict

If a counselor learns that a current client is receiving therapy from another pastor or mental health professional, reasonable steps will be taken to inform the other helper and resolve the situation. Professional relations in this case are to be maintained, as much as is possible, with a priority of Christian love and peace.

Any action to challenge or confront the wrongdoing of other service providers will be done with accuracy, humility, and protecting the dignity and reputation of others. Behavior that slanders, libels, or gossips about colleagues, or uncritically accepts these things from others about other service providers, will be strictly avoided.

1-620 Maintaining Honorable Professional and Employment Relations

Christian counselors create and preserve honorable relations in the professional workplace, whether church, counseling agency, or other setting. We maintain the utmost honesty, respect, and integrity in all employment and collegial relations. We shall contract relations that balance the best interests of clients, colleagues, and our organizations, and will honor all contractual obligations, even if it is costly for us to do so. We will avoid all actions and appearances of greed, fraud, manipulation, and self-serving action in all collegial and employment relations, and will disclose and discuss all reasonably foreseen problems to our colleagues before they enter into relations with us.

1-621 Toward Clear Role Boundaries and Work Definitions

All professional/employment relations should be mutually understood and described in sufficient detail by work agreement. Administrators and staff should reasonably understand (1) required work behavior, expectations, and limits; (2) lines of authority and responsibility; (3) bases for and boundaries of accountability; and (4) procedures for voicing and curing disagreements and substandard work performance. When such guidelines do not exist, Christian counselors encourage development of sound collegial and employer-employee rules and relations.

1-630 Christian Counselors as Employers

Employers of Christian counselors shall provide a personnel program that honors the dignity and promotes the welfare of employees. Information will be given about the mission, goals, programs, policies, and procedures of the employing person or organization. Employers should deliver regular programs of in-service training, supervision of staff, and evaluation and review of employee work performance. Employers do not coerce, manipulate, threaten, or exploit employees or colleagues.

1-631 Employers Avoid Discrimination and Promote Meritoriously

Employers hire, evaluate, and promote staff meritoriously—based on staff training, experience, credentials, competence, responsibility, integrity, and ethical excellence. We do not discriminate in hiring or promotion practices on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, medical status, socioeconomic status, or special relationship with employer or other staff.

1-640 Christian Counselors as Employees

Counselors accept employment only when they are qualified for the position—by education, supervised training, credentials, skill, and experience. We will honor and advance the mission, goals, and policies of employing organizations. Employees have duties to both employers and clients and, in the event of conflict between these duties, shall strive to resolve them in ways that harmonize the best interests of both.

1-641 Employees Serve with Integrity and Dedication

Employees serve with dedication, diligence, and honesty, maintaining high professional and ethical standards. We do not abuse our employment positions, nor presume excessive demands or rights against an employer.

1-642 Moving From An Agency to Private Practice

While employed in a counseling agency, and for a reasonable time after employment, we do not take clients from an employing organization to develop a private or group practice of a competing kind. Any part-time practice while employed must be kept strictly separate from the clients and resources of the employing agency. If we develop a full-time private practice with intent to resign employment and take current clients, each client shall be apprised of their right to choose to stay with the employing organization or go with the therapist.

ES1-700 Ethics in Advertising and Public Relations

All advertising and public communications by Christian counselors shall be done with accuracy and humility, with a primary goal of assisting clients to make informed choices about counseling services.

1-710 Unethical Statements in Public Communications

Christian counselors make only factual and straightforward public communications and avoid statements that: (1) are false, inaccurate, exaggerated or sensational; (2) are likely to deceive or mislead others because it is partial or taken out of context; (3) are testimonials by current clients; (4) exploit other's fears or distressing emotions; (5) note the inferiority or negative characteristics of another counselor; and (6) express unique or unusual helping abilities outside the range of accepted Christian counseling practices. 1-720 Communication of Association with the AACC and Other Groups Public communication of AACC or other professional membership should adhere to all the requirements of this section and should not express or imply that such membership confers special status, expertise, or extraordinary competence in counseling.

1-721 Communication About Professional Status and Credentials

Christian counselors do not state that professional credentials—state licenses, graduate degrees, specialized training, church, professional, or governmental certifications, or any other credentials—confer greater status or power than the credentials actually represent. Advanced credentials shall be communicated with accuracy and humility, adhering to the guidelines of the credential itself.

1-722 Communication of Unaccredited and Unrelated Credentials

Christian counselors avoid public communication of degrees or credentials received from schools and organizations (1) not holding or maintaining a reputable and widely-known national stature, (2) not accredited by state, regional, or national authorities, or that (3) are not substantially related to counseling, pastoral counseling, or mental health services. Holders of a religious license or credential for church ministry only shall not state or imply that they are counseling professionals, or that they hold a mental health practice license.

1-730 Communication of Work Products and Training Materials

Christian counselors ensure that advertisements about work products and training events adhere to these ethics. We take care to avoid undue influence and respect informed consumer choice in promoting our work to anyone under our professional influence or authority.

1-740 Ethical Guidelines in Public Statements by Others

Christian counselors ensure adherence to these ethics by third parties we engage to create and make public statements about our work—employers, publishers, producers, sponsors, marketers, organizational clients, and representatives of the media. We do not pay for or compensate the news media for news items about our work. We are responsible to correct, in timely fashion, any misinformation by third parties regarding our work.

ES1-800 Ethical Relations with the State and Other Social Systems

Christian counselors, as individual members and as an Association, will strive to maintain ethical relations with the world-wide and the local church, with the state in its various forms, with the mental health professions and associations to which some of us belong, with other professions and organizations, and with society-at-large.

1-810 Ethical Relations to Other Professions and Institutions

Christian counselors recognize and respect that we are part of larger networks of Christian ministry and of mental health care. To borrow a metaphor, we envision church-based ministry and professional mental health care as the two tracks on which runs the Christian counseling train—tracks with different rather than opposing objectives. Within the AACC are representatives of many different mental health and ministerial disciplines—we invite and welcome them all in the name of Christ. We will honor and preserve these relations, will challenge value differences with respect, and will build the best relations we can with all these professions and institutions that intersect with us as Christian counselors.

1-820 Working for a Caring Church, a Just Government, and a Better Society

Christian counselors are dedicated to build a more caring church, a more just government, and a better society in which to live. We will honor the laws and customs of our culture, and will challenge them when they threaten or abuse our freedoms, dishonor our God, or deny the rights of those most powerless. When critical, we will strive to offer a better alternative—model programs to govern our ecclesiastical, socio-cultural, and governmental life.

We will support the cause of Christ and advocate for Christian counseling in the church, in our ministries and professions, and in society. We will work to shape laws and policies that encourage the acceptance and growth of Christian ministry generally and Christian counseling in particular. We will facilitate harmonious relations between church and state and will serve and advocate the best interests of our clients in church, community, and governmental relations.

1-830 Being Salt and Light in a Post-Christian Culture

Christian counselors acknowledge that we live in a post-Christian and pluralistic culture that no longer shares a common Judeo-Christian value base. We are called by Christ to be "salt and light" throughout our culture, a call of engagement with our culture and the world-at-large. Hence, the AACC will be and our members are encouraged to engage in active and honorable relations with the world around us—relations in which the world can see the light and taste the salt of Christ.

1-831 Christ and Culture: Diversity over Conformity

We accept that there are differing views within our Association on the proper relationship of the Christian life to a modern culture that no longer substantially honors Christ. Our association includes those who are largely apolitical—acknowledging a receding religious-cultural status as Christians but dedicated to building up the church and our profession. There are also those who believe it is necessary to retain a vibrant Christian value base in society and seek to return our culture to these roots, including by political and legal action. We wish to support this diversity and encourage this ongoing debate, respecting the validity of these different views as the healthy evidence of a living church and a vibrant and growing profession.


The Ministry of Christian Counseling Leaders Some Christian counselors serve in senior professional roles—as administrators, supervisors, teachers, consultants, researchers, and writers. They are recognized for their counseling expertise, their dedication to Christ and the ministry or profession to which they belong, and for their exemplary ethics. These leaders are responsible for the development and maturation of the Christian counseling profession, for serving as active and ethical role models, and for raising up the next generation of Christian counselors and leaders. ES2-100 Base Standards for Supervisors and Educators

2-110 Ethics and Excellence in Supervision and Teaching

Christian counseling supervisors and educators maintain the highest levels of clinical knowledge, professional skill, and ethical excellence in all supervision and teaching. They are knowledgeable about the latest professional and ministerial developments and responsibly transmit this knowledge to students and supervisees.

2-111 Preparation for Teaching and Supervision

Christian counseling supervisors and educators have received adequate training and experience in teaching and supervision methods before they deliver these services. Supervisors and educators are encouraged to maintain and enhance their skills through continued clinical practice, advanced training, and continuing education.

2-120 Supervisors and Educators Do Not Exploit Students and Trainees

Christian counseling supervisors and educators avoid exploitation, appearances of exploitation, and harmful dual relations with students and trainees. Students and trainees are taught by example and by explanation, with the mentor responsible to define and maintain clear, proper, and ethical professional and social boundaries.

2-121 Sexual and Romantic Relations Forbidden with Students and Supervisees

Christian counseling supervisors and educators (1) shall not engage in any form of sexual or romantic relations with their students and trainees, (2) nor subject them, by relations with others, to any form of sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment, (3) nor pressure them to engage in any questionable social relationships. The standards of sections 1-130ff, "Sexual Misconduct Forbidden," shall apply fully here.

2-122 Dual Relationships Cautioned

Integrity and caution shall be the hallmark of dual relationships between supervisors and supervisees and between teacher and student. Those relations that harm or are likely to harm students and trainees, or that impair or are likely to distort the professional judgment of supervisors and teachers shall be avoided. The standards of sections 1-140ff, "Dual and Multiple Relationships," and those stated below shall apply here.

2-123 Supervisors and Educators Do Not Provide Psychotherapy

Christian counseling supervisors and educators do not engage in psychotherapeutic relations with supervisees or students. Personal issues can be addressed in supervision and teaching only insofar as they adversely impact counselor supervision and training. Students and supervisees needing or wanting counseling or psychotherapy shall be referred to appropriate resources.

2-124 Acknowledgement of Professional Contributions

Christian counseling supervisors and educators shall fully acknowledge the contributions of students and trainees in any creative professional activity, scholarly work, research, or published material. This shall be done by coauthorship, assistance in speaking or project presentation, or other accepted forms of public acknowledgement.

ES2-200 Ethical Standards for Christian Counseling Supervisors

2-210 Counselor Supervision Programs

Christian counseling supervisors ensure that supervision programs integrate theory and practice and train counselors to respect client rights, promote client welfare, and assist clients in the acquisition of mutually agreed goals in the counseling process. Supervision programs in Christian counseling shall adhere to these ethics, to those of other applicable professional groups, and to all applicable state and federal laws.

2-211 Baseline Program Standards

Counseling programs shall only accept supervisees who are capable of professional practice, are fully informed about the program, and are committed to engage in counselor training following (1) mutual agreement that the supervisee meets base standards of education and experience; (2) disclosure of the training goals, supervisory site policies and procedures, and theoretical orientations to be used; (3) understanding of program relationship to national accreditation and credentialing organizations; (4) understanding of the standards, procedures, and time of evaluations of supervisee skill, professional-ethical awareness, and clinical effectiveness; and (5) disclosure of the manner and expectations regarding remediation of professional deficiencies and substandard performance.

2-220 Supervisors to Provide a Varied Experience

Christian counseling supervisors will provide a varied counseling experience, exposing the trainee to different client populations, clinical activities, and theoretical approaches to counseling. Supervisees should gain experience in direct counseling practice, clinical evaluation, treatment planning, record keeping, case management and consultative presentation, legal and ethical decision-making, and the development of professional identity.

2-221 Supervisors Are Responsible for Services to Clients

Christian counselor supervisors ensure that supervisee work with clients maintains accepted professional and ministerial standards. Supervisors do not allow supervisees to work with clients or in situations where they are not adequately prepared. Supervisors retain full professional-clinical responsibility for all supervisee cases.

2-230 Supervision Evaluation and Feedback Christian counseling supervisors meet frequently and regularly with supervisees and give timely, informative feedback about counselor performance and effectiveness. These evaluations shall minimally require supervisor review of case notes and discussion or brief check of each client case. Evaluative feedback is given in both verbal and written forms, covering counseling content, process, and ethical-legal issues of counselor training.

2-231 Supervisors Are Aware of Licensure and Certification Requirements Christian counseling supervisors are aware of and honor the legal, ethical, and professional requirements of supervisees who are pursuing state licensure and specialized certification standards. ES2-300 Ethical Standards for Christian Counseling Educators 2-310 Counselor Education and Training Programs Counselor education programs are dedicated to train students as competent practitioners using current theories, techniques, and ethical-legal knowledge. Christian counseling educators ensure that prospective students and trainees are fully informed, able to make responsible decisions about program involvement. 2-311 Baseline Program Standards Christian counseling educators accept students on the basis of their educational background, professional promise, ethical integrity, and ability to reasonably complete the program. Program information should clearly disclose (1) the subject matter and coursework to be covered; (2) program relationship to national accreditation and credentialing organizations; (3) the kinds and level of counseling skills necessary to learn; (4) personal and professional growth requirements and opportunities; (5) the requirements and kinds of supervised clinical practicums and field placements offered; (6) the kinds and quality of research opportunities, including thesis/dissertation possibilities and requirements; (7) the basis for student evaluation, including appeal and dismissal policies and procedures; and (8) the latest employment prospects and program placement figures.

2-312 Student and Faculty Diversity

Christian counseling educators ensure that their programs seek and attempt to retain students and faculty of a diverse background, including representation by women, minorities, and people with special needs.

2-320 Student and Trainee Evaluation

Christian counseling educators provide students and trainees with periodic and ongoing evaluation of their progress in classroom, practice, and experimental learning settings. Policies and procedures for student evaluation, remedial training requirements, and program dismissal and appeal shall be clearly stated and delivered to student-trainees. Both the method and timing of evaluations are disclosed to students in advance of program involvement.

2-321 Overcoming Student Limitations

Educators help students overcome limitations and deficiencies that might impede performance as Christian counselors. Student-trainees will be assisted and encouraged to secure remedial help to improve substandard professional development. Honoring student due process, supervisors and educators will retain and fairly exercise their duty to dismiss from programs student-trainees who are unable to overcome substandard performance.

2-322 Student-Trainee Endorsement

Educators and field supervisors endorse the competence of student-trainees for graduation, admission to other degree programs, employment, certification, or licensure only when they have adequate knowledge to judge that the student-trainee is qualified. 2-330 Integration Study and Training Christian counseling educators ensure that programs include both academic and practice dimensions in counselor training and integrate biblical-theological study with learning in the bio-psycho-social sciences, however these are emphasized. Students, if not producing research, should learn to be effective research consumers.

2-331 Exposure to Various Counseling Theories Encouraged

Educators develop programs that expose students to various accepted theoretical models for counseling, including data on their relative efficacy, and will give students opportunities to develop their own practice orientations. If a program adheres to or emphasizes one particular theoretical model, that fact should be clearly stated in all public communications without asserting that the model is superior to all others.

2-332 Teaching Law, Ethics, and the Business of Practice

Training programs should give teach students about the legal, ethical, and business dimensions of Christian counseling. This includes study of these issues throughout didactic and clinical training. Students should be able to make competent ethical judgments and assess their own practice limitations, learning how to analyze and resolve ethical-legal conflicts and do consultation and referral competently.

2-340 Field Placement, Practicum, and Intern Training

Educators develop clear policies and procedures for all field experience, practicum, and intern training experiences. Roles and responsibilities are clearly delineated for student-trainees, site supervisors, and academic supervisors. Training sites shall meet required training standards, including national accreditation standards if applicable. Field supervisors shall be competent and ethical in their clinical and supervisory work. Educators do not solicit and will not accept any form of fee, service, or remuneration for the field placement of a student-trainee.

2-341 Clients of Student-Trainees

Academic and field supervisors ensure that clients of student-trainees are fully informed of trainee status, and the trainees' duty to honor all professional obligations. Trainees shall secure client permission to use, within the bounds of confidential duties, information from the counseling work to advance their counseling education.

ES2-400 Ethical Standards for Christian Counseling Researchers

2-410 Respecting Standards of Science and Research Christian counseling researchers honor accepted scientific standards and research protocol in all research activities. Research is ethically planned and competently conducted. Researchers do not undertake nor do they let subordinates conduct research activities they are not adequately trained for or prepared to conduct.

2-420 Protecting Human Research Participants and Human Rights

Researchers maintain the highest care for human participants and respect human rights in all bio-psycho-social-spiritual research activities. Researchers plan, design, conduct, and report research projects according to all applicable state and federal laws, ethical mandates, and institutional regulations regarding human participants.

2-421 Special Precautions to Protect Persons

Researchers take special precautions and observe stringent standards when (1) a research design suggests deviation from accepted protocol, or (2) when there is any risk of pain or injury to participants, whether of a physical, psychosocial, spiritual, reputational, or financial nature. In all such cases, we will obtain appropriate consultation that apprises participants of these risks and secures informed consent.

2-422 Minimizing Undesirable Consequences

Researchers reasonably anticipate and diligently work to minimize any adverse or undesirable consequences of the research on human participants. This includes a commitment to minimize any possible long-term research effects, including those on the participants' person, family and family life, spiritual beliefs, moral values, reputation, relationships, vocation, finances, or cultural system.

2-430 Informed Consent and Confidentiality in Research

Researchers obtain informed consent from research participants using language that the participant can understand. This consent shall disclose (1) a clear explanation of research purposes and procedures, (2) any risk of harm, injury, or discomfort that the participant might experience, (3) any benefits that the participant might experience, (4) any limitations on confidentiality, (5) a commitment to discuss all concerns of the participant about the research, and (6) instructions on the right and the way to honorably withdraw from the research project. Researchers shall honor all commitments made to research participants. Data and results shall be explained to participants in ways that are understandable and that clarify any confusion or misconceptions.

2-431 Consent from Those Legally Incapable

Researchers obtain consent from parents or a participant's legal representative when the research participants are minors or adults incapable of giving consent. Researchers inform all participants about the research in understandable language, seeking the participant's understanding and assent.

2-432 Concealment and Deception in Research

When a research design requires concealment or deception, the researcher shall apply these methods most narrowly and will inform participants as soon as possible after the procedure. The research value of a deceptive practice must clearly outweigh any reasonably foreseen consequences, especially how such deception may reflect adversely on Christ and the church. Normally, we do not use methods of deception and concealment when alternative research procedures are available to accomplish the project objectives.

2-433 Protecting Confidentiality and Voluntary Participation

Researchers ensure participant confidentiality and privacy, and that subjects are participating voluntarily in the project. Any deviation from these ethics shall (1) be necessary to the project and justifiable upon panel review, (2) shall not harm the participants, and (3) shall be disclosed to the participants, ensuring their consent.

2-440 Reporting Research Results

Researchers report research results fully, accurately, and without alteration or distortion of data. Data and conclusions are reported clearly and simply, with any problems with the research design fully discussed. Researchers do not conduct fraudulent research, distort or misrepresent data, manipulate results, or bias conclusions to conform to preferred agendas or desired outcomes.

2-441 Protecting Participant Identity

Researchers are diligent to protect the identity of research participants in all research reports. Due care will be taken to disguise participant identity in the absence of consent by participants.

2-442 Reporting Challenging or Unfavorable Data

Outcomes that challenge accepted policies, programs, donor/sponsor priorities, and prevailing theory shall be reported and all variables known to have affected the outcomes shall be disclosed. Upon formal request, researchers shall provide sufficient original data to qualified others who wish to replicate the study.

ES2-500 Writing and Publication Ethics in Christian Counseling

2-510 Integrity in Writing and Publication

Christian counselors maintain honesty and integrity in all writing and publication ventures, giving full credit to whom credit is due. Christian counselors recognize the work of others on all projects, avoid plagiarism of other's work, share credit by joint authorship or acknowledgement with others who have directly and substantially contributed to the work published, and honor all copyright and other laws applicable to the work.

2-520 Submission of Manuscripts

Christian counselors honor all publication deadlines, rules of submission of manuscripts, and rules of format when submitting manuscripts or agreeing to write invited works. Articles published whole or in major part in other works shall be done only with the acknowledgement and the permission of the previous publisher.

2-521 Review of Manuscripts

Christian counselors and editors who review manuscripts for publication shall consider the work strictly on its merits, avoiding prejudice for or against a particular author. Reviewers will diligently protect the confidential, reputational, and proprietary rights of all persons submitting materials for publication.

2-522 Encouragement to New Authors

Christian counseling editors and publishers will be diligent to call forth, encourage, and help develop new writers and materials from among the growing community of Christian counselors.

2-530 Avoiding Ghost Writers

Christian counselors shall resist use of ghostwriters, where the name of a prominent leader-author is attached to work substantially or wholly written by someone else. Instead, in accordance with section 2-510 above, Christian counseling authors will give due authorship credit to anyone who has substantially contributed to the published text. Order of authorship should reflect the level of substantive contribution to a work.


ES3-100 Definitions and Roles of Pastors and Pastoral Counselor

3-110 The Pastor and Pastoral Counselor: Ordained Ministers of the Gospel Pastors and pastoral counselors have central roles in the counseling and care ministry of the church. They are normally ordained ministers, recognized by a reputable church denomination as called of God, set apart for special church ministry, and have fulfilled the education and preparatory tasks the church requires for that ministry.

3-111 The Specialized Pastoral Counselor Pastoral counselors and psychotherapists have received advanced training in counseling and psychotherapy and often counsel in a church or a specialized counseling setting. Pastoral counselors often have advanced degrees in counseling, have undergone counseling practicum training under supervision, and may be certified by national associations as a pastoral counselor or pastoral psychotherapist. ES3-200 Rules of Ethics Code Application and Exemption

3-210 General Rule of Ethical Code Application and Exemption Pastors and pastoral counselors shall honor this Code in it entirety, except for those code sections (1) not applicable due to their clinical professional nature, or (2) because a higher duty to church or ministry rules require a narrow exemption from this Code. Anyone claiming exemption to the Code has the burden of proving it, and the duty to draw that exemption as narrowly as possible, honoring all other Code requirements.

3-220 The Call of Christian Counseling to Gospel Fidelity

Pastors and pastoral counselors have a special call as intermediaries between Christian counseling and the church. They can challenge Christian counselors to hold faith to the Gospel and to apply counseling ministry to the mission and work of the church. They can mediate, explain, and refer parishioners to Christian counselors. They can also encourage involvement for those who need help, and communicate and explain the guidelines of the Code so that parishioners can better judge the value and safety of the Christian counseling work.


ES4-100 Definitions and Roles of Lay Helpers and Non-ordained Ministers

Lay helpers or non-ordained ministers have a significant role in the counseling and care ministry of the church. They are not professional clinicians nor ordained ministers, but may work as salaried staff or as volunteers in designated helping roles. These helpers often function in one-to-one helping roles and are increasingly involved in developing and leading the many small support and recovery group ministries of the contemporary church.

ES4-200 Rules of Ethics Code Application and Exemption

4-210 General Rule of Ethical Code Application and Exemption

Lay helpers and non-ordained ministers shall honor the Code in it entirety, except for those code sections (1) not applicable due to their manifestly professional or pastoral nature, or (2) because a higher duty to church or ministry rules require a narrow exemption. Anyone claiming exemption to the Code has the burden of proving it, and the duty to draw that exemption as narrowly as possible, honoring all other Code requirements.

4-220 Lay Helping Under Supervision of the Church

Lay helpers minister only under the supervision of the church or a Christian counseling organization. Lay helpers seek out and secure supervision and spiritual-ethical covering by pastors and professional clinicians. Independent, unsupervised, and solo practice or ministry by lay and unlicensed helpers and non-ordained staff shall be avoided due to its excessive risk for legal, ethical, spiritual, interpersonal, and ecclesiastical trouble.

4-221 Lay Helpers Do Not Accept Fees or Communicate False Roles

Lay helpers shall not seek or accept fees or other remuneration for ministry. Lay helpers do not state or allow helpees to believe that they are professional or pastoral counselors. Some lay or non-ordained helpers may receive a salary as a church or ministry employee, income that should not be confused with fees for services.

4-222 Aiding and Abetting Unauthorized Practice.

Pastors and professional Christian counselors do not aid and abet the practice of unlicensed, untrained, unqualified, or unethical counseling or lay helping by anyone. In counseling situations requiring help clearly beyond the scope, training, experience, or license required of the helper, supervising pastors and clinicians will require and assist appropriate consultation and/or referral.


ES5-100 Base Standards for Ethical Conflict Resolution

5-110 Base Rule for Resolving Ethical-Legal Conflicts

Christian counselors acknowledge the sometimes conflicting responsibilities to clients, to colleagues and employing organizations, to professional ethics, to the law, and to Christ. If a higher obligation to Christ or to the client's best interest suggests or requires action against legal, ethical, or organizational rules, we will act peaceably and humbly in its outworking, in a way that honors God and our role as Christian counselors.

5-111 First, Attempt to Harmonize Conflicting Interests

When caught between legal-ethical demands and the way of Christ or the best interests of the client, we will first attempt to harmonize biblical, clinical, legal, ethical, and client interests, if possible. We will secure proper consultation and take action that defines and offers a better and harmonious standard of professional conduct.

5-112 When Conflicts Cannot Be Harmonized

Christian counselors' fidelity to Christ sometimes calls us to respectfully decline adherence to non-Christian values and behavior. When such conflicts cannot be harmonized, some counselors will stand firm or act on Christian principle against the law of the state, the ethics of one's profession, or the rules of one's employing organization. Such action should be (1) defensible biblically and ethically, (2) according to the client's best interest, (3) done without self-seeking purposes, (4) done with sober consideration after consulting with informed colleagues and Christian counseling leaders, and (5) done with a willingness to pay any adverse consequences. Such action must never be done to hide wrongdoing or to justify an obscure or self-promoting position.

The AACC suggests that priority values in the resolution of these conflicts be (a) integrity to Christ and the revelation of Scripture, then (b) the client's best interests, then (c) fulfilling our legal, ethical, and organizational obligations in a way that is least harmful to Christ or our client's interest.

ES5-200 Resolving Conflicts with Employers and Colleagues

5-210 Ethical and Value Differences with Employers and Colleagues

If values and other differences with employers or colleagues become a source of conflict or influence client injustice, Christian counselors shall take appropriate action to resolve these problems in a way that honors Christ while also serving the client's best interest.

5-211 Christian Counselors Working in Public Agencies

Christian counselors working in public agencies will respect fair and circumspect rules against client evangelism or communicating Christian values without client consent. However, we may also challenge unjust prohibitions against the free expression of our beliefs, grounded in our biblical and constitutional right to religious freedom. These legitimate expressions of Christian beliefs include, but are not limited to: (1) serving Christian clients from a Christian value base; (2) sharing Christian values as a legitimate part of counselor self-disclosure; (3) responding to spiritual needs expressed by clients from a Christian frame of reference; and (4) displaying Christian symbols and literature in our office or place of work.

5-212 Conflict Resolution Process with Employers and Colleagues

Resolution of conflicts with employers or colleagues shall honor this process: (1) first attempt direct negotiations, (2) then mediation, and (3) then arbitration and/or binding arbitration. Litigation (4), when considered at all, shall be only as a last resort and only in cases of gross injustice where the offending party refuses or disdains all reasonable offers of non-litigated dispute resolution.

5-220 Law and Ethics Violations by Colleagues and Employers

Christian counselors with credible knowledge of legal or ethical violations by colleagues and employers shall take appropriate action to cure this problem, in the best interests of clients, and according to the requirements of applicable law-ethics. Curative action might include (1) confidential consultations (usually the first step), (2) direct communications with the violator, (3) report to one's own or the violator's supervisor, (4) assisting violated clients to take action, (5) report/complaint to the appropriate state agency or professional association, or (6) any other action appropriate to the matter.

ES5-300 Resolving Professional and Organizational Conflicts

5-310 The Higher Ethics of Jesus Christ

Christian counselors are bound to honor the ethics and rules of one's profession, church, or employing organization in every way possible. However, when these ethics and rules are in direct opposition to God, and if unable to harmonize the mandates of Scripture with these rules, we declare and support the right of Christian counselors to elect nonadherence to those ethics and rules that offend the way of Christ.

5-311 First, Act to Resolve Conflict with Church or Profession

Christian counselors always first seek peaceable and biblically-defensible resolution of disputes. After proper consultation with colleagues and Christian counseling leaders, we will define and advocate for a new ethical standard as an alternative to the offensive rule—one that honors Christ, protects the client's interest, and attempts fulfills the policy behind the ethical rule. 5-312 When Ethical Harmony Is Not Reached If ethical harmony is not possible, and after all attempts at resolution have been exhausted, Christian counselors may elect to violate the offending rule for the sake of Christ or the client. The violative action should be defensible biblically, logically, and clinically and, if possible, in accordance with the ethics intent. Counselors shall (1) define the rule that cannot be respected in the narrowest form possible, (2) declare to honor all other ethical mandates, (3) consult with other colleagues and soberly count the cost of such action and (4) be prepared to face any consequences for breach of ethics or rules.

ES5-400 Resolving Conflicts with the State and Its Laws

5-410 The Higher Law of Jesus Christ

Christian counselors are bound to honor the law in every way possible. However, when the law is in direct opposition to God, and if unable to harmonize the mandates of Scripture and the law, we declare and support the right of Christian counselors to elect nonadherence to those laws that offend the way of Christ.

5-411 First, Act to Resolve Legal Conflict

Christian counselors always seek first the peaceable and biblically-defensible resolution of disputes with the state and its laws. After proper consultation, including consulting with an attorney and with Christian counseling colleagues and leaders, we will attempt to define and advocate for a new and harmonious legal standard as an alternative to the law-offending rule at issue. This newly proposed standard will honor Christ, protects the client's best interest, and shows how the action of the new rule fulfills the intent or policy behind the law.

5-412 When Legal Harmony Is Not Reached

If harmony is not possible with the state and its laws, and after all attempts to resolve the issue have been exhausted, Christian counselor may elect action that violates the law for the sake of Christ or the client. The violative action should be defensible biblically, logically, clinically and, if possible, by the law's intent or policy.

Counselors shall (1) define the law that cannot be respected in the narrowest form possible, (2) declare to honor all other legal mandates, (3) consult with other colleagues, including lawyers, and soberly count the cost of such action, and (4) be prepared to face any consequences that may be imposed for violation of the law.


In order to fulfill its professional and ethical mission the AACC adopts these procedural rules for accurate assessment and the fair hearing and resolution of ethical complaints against its members. These rules purpose to (1) show society, the church, our related professions, and our multitude of clients and parishioners that the AACC has a serious commitment to live by and enforce these ethics, and (2) show our members that we are serious about protecting their ministries and reputations by honoring their right to justice and due process. In any action under these rules, the AACC shall consider this ethics code, its corporate bylaws, and the mandates of Scripture in the resolution of any problems in rule interpretation.


PR6-100 Mission, Authority, and Jurisdiction of LEC

6-110 LEC Mission

The mission of the AACC Law and Ethics Committee is to educate, encourage, and help maintain the highest levels of ethical conduct, practice excellence, and ministerial integrity among Christian counselors. This includes protecting clients and society-at-large from unethical conduct, educating and advocating this code to the AACC and the larger church and society, and to aid the AACC in its mission to bring unity and excellence to the Christian counseling field.

6-120 LEC Authority

LEC is authorized to formulate and promulgate ethical standards for Christian counseling that are to be honored by AACC members particularly, and the church and larger society more generally. LEC, or any committee it shall designate, shall investigate, hear, and act to justly resolve ethical complaints against AACC members. LEC shall also have authority to adopt rules and procedures, as needed, to govern the conduct of LEC and any person or matter within its jurisdiction. LEC shall also have authority to publish and publicly communicate its official actions, including disciplinary actions toward its members.

6-130 LEC Jurisdiction

LEC has personal jurisdiction with any member of the AACC. LEC also has subject matter jurisdiction regarding the ethical behavior and rules defined in this Code. LEC may, by the AACC's direction, address any issue or matter that affects the Association's integrity and ethical achievement of its mission.

6-200 General Orientation to Ethical Enforcement

6-210 Attitude and Action Toward Ethical Complaints

Neither LEC nor any member of the AACC shall refuse to hear nor uncritically accept a complaint against another member of the Association. Any LEC or Association member hearing a complaint individually shall take whatever action deemed appropriate to address and resolve the matter. When appropriate and feasible, this shall be done by direct consultation with violators or by working through local or regional collegial networks, taking care to honor the confidential and reputational rights of all those concerned in the matter.

6-211 Reporting Violations to LEC

If resolution attempts were unsuccessful by the member, or if the matter is more serious, or cannot be resolved by personal intervention, the member may direct the complainant to LEC.

6-220 Respecting Fundamental Rights of All Parties Involved

When LEC must act against an AACC member, it shall take care to maintain respect for the member's rights and reputation. The entire membership shall support LEC in this process, both to honor its ruling and to check and warn it when it might begin to stray from these values and purposes. Whenever possible, LEC shall balance and protect the multiple interests of client and community protection, Association integrity, and the legal and ethical rights and professional reputations of both complainants and complainees.

6-230 LEC Duties Toward the Complainant

Toward the complainant, LEC will honor his or her concerns, invite a full hearing of the complaint if needed, will seek to separate fact from rumor, and will take appropriate action to resolve the matter to the best of its ability to honor Christ and the complainant. 6-240 LEC Duties Toward the Complainee Toward the complainee, LEC will honor his or her right to be heard and defend against allegations, will protect the complainee's professional reputation and due process rights, will invite and give reasonable time to fairly respond to a complaint, and will narrow the issue(s) to that which is reasonably beyond dispute. LEC will always pursue the most just result, avoiding the extremes of minimized justice or excessive sanction.

PR6-300 Membership Response to LEC Action

6-310 Commitment to Cooperate with Ethics Process

AACC members assist the Association to honor and help enforce these ethical standards and rules. All members of the AACC shall cooperate fully and in a timely way with LEC and the entire ethics mission to assure the best achievement of our core commitment to excellence and unity in Christian counseling.

6-311 Failure to Cooperate with Ethics Process

Failure to cooperate with LEC or the ethics process in any manner shall not stop LEC from executing its duty. Failure to cooperate is itself a code violation and can result in ethical sanction.


PR7-100 General Rules of LEC Operation

7-110 Making and Amending Rules and Procedures

LEC may adopt and amend rules and procedures to govern the conduct of any matter within its jurisdiction. Any new or amended rule must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Committee and also be ratified by a majority of the National Advisory Board. No new or amended rule shall adversely affect the rights of a member under investigation by LEC at the time of the rules adoption.

7-111 Choice of Procedures and Action

Except as otherwise denoted in these ethics and rules, LEC reserves the right to choose the appropriate procedures to resolve matters justly and efficiently, balancing the interests of the general public, affected clients, the AACC, and its members.

7-120 LEC Meetings and Officers

7-121 Frequency of Meeting and Quorum

LEC shall meet at regular intervals, as needed. Conference calls can substitute for face-to-face meetings. A quorum shall consist of the majority of LEC members and official actions may be authorized by LEC when its members respond in person, by phone, by fax, by letter, or any other agreed means of action.

7-122 Selection of Officers and Sub-committees

Officers and Sub-committees may be appointed by LEC and/or AACC executive leadership action to serve terms and engage issues as are agreed among LEC members and AACC executive leadership.

7-123 Duties of the Chairperson and the Vice-chair

The Chairperson of LEC is responsible for the executive leadership of the Committee. He or she shall direct, in person or through appropriate designees, the work and process of LEC in all its responsibilities to the AACC. The Vice-chair shall be empowered to perform all the duties of Chair when s/he is not able to perform them, and shall perform other duties as are assigned by the Chair.

7-124 Majority Rule

Unless otherwise directed by these rules (see section 7-110 above), all official actions of LEC shall be authorized by a majority vote of its members present, or by any other authorized means of voting (see 7-121).

7-130 Open vs. Confidential LEC Process

LEC meetings and activities shall be either open to the membership or closed and confidential, with access in closed meetings given only to those designated parties with an interest in the particular matter. Closed meetings shall be done in ethical adjudications where the privacy interests of members or others deserve confidential process. All other LEC meetings may be open to any interested member.

7-131 Access to Closed Meetings

LEC and the AACC reserve the right to invite AACC executives or other desired personnel, experts, or consultants into confidential meetings, as may be necessary or desired to assist the adjudicatory process.

7-132 Open vs. Confidential Records

Except to inform the membership of final official disposition of a formal case and to assist the information/disclosure needs of the Association and the parties to the matter, all information and records of ethical adjudication against a member shall held in confidence by LEC. This may be further accepted in cases where client-parishioner risk or risk to the public welfare is judged by LEC to be significant. All other proceedings and records of LEC action shall be open to the membership. PR7-200 Ethical Complaint Procedures

7-210 Reception of a Complaint.

Proceedings against a member are initiated by the reception of a formal complaint, in verbal and written form, by LEC. Complaints may be received from members or nonmembers of AACC.

7-211 LEC (Sua Sponte) Action.

LEC may initiate proceedings on its own when it has sufficient evidence to do so, or as a response against a member who files a frivolous complaint, or if the complainant has a primary intention to harm another member. 7-220 Procedure for Making a Complaint Members shall contact LEC or Association offices to present their complaint. The complaint should be outlined in writing, in no more than one page initially, and note both the alleged violation of AACC ethics or rules, and any direct and other evidence the complainant has to support it.

7-221 Unacceptable Complaints.

LEC will not initiate proceedings in situations of anonymous complaints, complaints against nonmembers, or in counter complaints. In the latter case, LEC may consider whether a counter complaint has cause to proceed further only after the initial complaint is fully resolved.

7-222 Multiple Complaints

When numerous complaints against a member are received simultaneously, LEC may elect to combine them into one action or deal with them separately. When consecutive complaints are heard, LEC may elect to consider the disposition of any previous case against the member in its resolution of a current complaint.

7-230 Warning Against Frivolous and Vindictive Complaints

AACC members shall not make frivolous reports, without substantiation, or that are primarily motivated by anger or vindictiveness, or with an intent to harm the alleged violator. The primary motivations in reporting ethical misconduct are to protect clients and parishioners, to maintain the honor of Christ and the church, the honor of our professions, and to assist the cure and restoration of violators to ethical and effective ministry, if possible.

PR7-300 Complaint Assessment and Initial Action by LEC

7-310 Inability to Take Further Action

Failure of any one of the following standards shall render LEC unable to take further action against an AACC member. If it is dismissed, LEC shall so rule, the complainant notified of LEC's decision, and the matter closed.

7-311 Lack of Jurisdiction

LEC shall first determine whether it has jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is met if the complaint is directed toward a member in good standing of the AACC. Subject matter jurisdiction is met when the alleged wrongdoing of a member, acting in a professional-ministerial capacity, intersects the standards of this code.

7-312 Insufficient Information to Act

Further LEC shall then determine whether it has sufficient information to take further action. There must be (a) a clear violation of the Association's ethics, policies, or procedural rules, and (b) the information supporting the violation must be of sufficient weight and quality that, in LEC's judgment, it cannot be dismissed.

7-313 Failure of Procedure or Time Limits

Finally, LEC shall determine that proper procedures and time limits have been honored in the complaint process, as defined by this code.

7-320 Cause for Further Action.

If, in LEC's judgment, the standard of section 7-310 and following are satisfied, then it shall rule that cause for further action exists. It shall then review and decide the steps necessary to seek the most just, restorative, and least costly resolution. It shall gather the most reputable evidence that applies to the matter at hand, rejecting evidence that is speculative, incredible, and unsupportable.

7-321 LEC May Seek Informal Resolution of the Matter.

LEC may empower the Chair or a committee to address the matter directly with the complainee to seek a just resolution. The intervener may then recommend to LEC whether or not to close the matter at this stage and the reasons for its recommendation, and LEC may elect whether or not to accept the recommendation of the committee or pursue further action.

7-330 Initial Notification to Complainee.

If informal resolution is not elected or does not work, the violations and evidence supporting it shall be simply and clearly outlined in a query letter signed by the Chair and Vice-chair of LEC. This letter and a copy of the applicable ethics and rules shall be delivered to the complainee by mail or in person by LEC.

7-331 Requests for Additional Information.

LEC may request additional information from the complainant, the complainee, or any appropriate source to assist resolution of the matter.

7-332 Time for and Response from Complainee—Complaint Stage.

Within 30 days of reception of the letter, the complainee may respond in writing to the allegations. The complainee must respond personally and not through a third-party. The LEC Chairman may waive or adjust the time requirement if good cause is shown.

7-340 Case Closure for Insufficient Evidence.

If it becomes clear that insufficient or competing evidence raises substantial doubt about the occurrence of ethical violation, then LEC will close the case. It this action is taken, LEC shall promptly notify both complainant and complainee of its decision and reasoning.

7-341 Reopening a Closed Case

A case closed for insufficient evidence may be reopened upon the receipt of new evidence significant enough (as defined by section 7-310 ff. above) to justify reopening the matter within a reasonable time from the reception of the original complaint.

7-342 Alternative/Supplementary Action May Be Recommended

LEC reserves the right, whether a case is closed or stays open, to recommend alternative or supplementary action—referral to any relevant professional association, denomination, state licensure board, administrative agency, or any other appropriate body to hear the complaint.

7-350 Case Resolution by Mutual Agreement.

LEC may pursue case closure through a pre-formal agreement with the complainee that is restorative and corrective. By discussion, prayer, reasoning together, and negotiation, LEC will seek to resolve the matter in a way that serves the best interests of both the AACC and its members.

7-351 Structure of Agreement

Such agreement will usually clarify misunderstandings, direct corrective action, establish a time-frame for renewal of ethical relations and proper trust, define a fair assessment of these objectives, or any combination of these things. This agreement shall be signed by the LEC Chair and the complainee and shall be disclosed to the complainant, the complainee, and anyone else agreed to by the signatories.

7-360 Cause for Formal Case Review

If the matter cannot be closed or resolved as defined above and in the judgment of LEC sufficient cause exists to pursue the matter further, LEC shall then decide that "cause for formal case review" exists, so shall rule, will notify the applicable parties, and then move prayerfully to the next level of adjudication.

PR7-400 Formal Case Review Procedures

7-410 Selection and Operation of Case Review Sub-committee

LEC shall form a three-person sub-committee (sub-com), chaired by the Chair or Vice-chair, to hear and resolve a formal ethics complaint. This sub-com shall be given sufficient authority and the necessary resources to resolve the matter, consistent with these ethics and rules, in a just and timely manner. Sub-com recommendations shall be forwarded to and accepted by LEC when 2 votes of the sub-com exist.

7-411 Presentation of a Charge Letter

The complainee shall receive a formal charge letter from LEC, detailing the alleged wrongdoing, the specific code sections implicated, and the supporting evidence. The letter shall instruct the complainee as to the manner and time for response to allegations. Any supporting materials that LEC will use to assist its review shall be copied and sent with the letter.

7-412 Time for and Response from Complainee—Review Stage

The complainee has 30 days from the letter date to respond to the allegations, either in person or in writing. The complainee must follow all charge letter instructions and rules. Any waiver of time and action requirements must be made, in person or in writing, within the 30-day time frame. Legal counsel or other help may be consulted and can attend the case hearing for consultation but cannot speak directly for his or her client at the hearing—this representation must be done directly by the complainee.

7-420 Documentation, Review of the Evidence, and Recommendations

Additional documentation may be sent to LEC by the complainee within the 30-day period. LEC will, within this 30-day period, forward any additional information it receives to the complainee. LEC will review the case and render a judgment no later than 120 days from the date of the charge letter. One of four recommendations will be made to LEC by the sub-com and the appropriate parties notified of this decision.

7-421 Recommendation to Dismiss Charges

If the sub-com finds (1) no evidence or very weak evidence of violation, or (2) has insufficient evidence to render an informed judgment, or (3) finds a slight violation that has been or is in process of being corrected, it shall recommend that LEC dismiss the charge(s).

7-422 Recommendation to Educate and Repair

If the sub-com finds a more weighty violation, or a pattern of violation that is not too serious, and there is evidence of some correction, it may elect to recommend the complainee educate him or herself and repair the violation. Notification of such action will be communicated to the complainee and complainant only.

7-423 Recommendation to Reprimand and Suspend

If the sub-com finds a more serious violation, or a pattern of continuing violations with no repair started, but the likelihood of correction and restored practice is significant, it may recommend that LEC reprimand and suspend the member, with instructions for possible reinstatement. Such action, and the violations related to it, will be communicated to AACC members in official publications.

7-424 Recommendation to Terminate Membership

If the sub-com finds a very serious violation, or a pattern of continuing serious violations, especially after being challenged to change, and the likelihood of correction or value of it is slight (compared to the harm done), it may recommend to LEC that membership in the AACC be terminated. Such action, and the violations related to it, will be communicated to AACC members in official publications.

7-425 Agreed Resignation of Member

A member of the AACC may elect to resign his or her membership, or LEC may elect to offer such resignation to the member prior to termination of membership. Such action, and the violations related to it, will be communicated to AACC members in official publications.

7-430 Final Ruling of the Law and Ethics Committee

Recommendations for case disposition from the sub-com shall be heard and accepted by LEC. LEC rulings, tracking the recommendations of the sub-com, shall include sufficient information and instruction to satisfactorily achieve the stated objectives of the LEC ruling. Except in the case of termination of membership, all rulings by LEC at this stage shall be final, with no consequent appeal.

7-431 Limited Discretion to Modify Sub-committee Recommendations

LEC shall retain limited discretion to modify the recommendations of the sub-com if there is good reason to find that such change will yield a more just and restorative outcome. This discretion shall be used sparingly, and only in cases where there is a general consensus for such change among LEC members.

PR7-500 Formal Appeal Hearing Procedures

7-510 Complainee Election of Formal Appeal—Termination Cases

Only Appeal of rulings by LEC shall be allowed only in case of termination of AACC membership.

7-511 Time and Documentation

Both LEC and the complainee shall receive and argue from the same materials that formed the original judgment, plus any additional materials that are deemed necessary to support the appellate challenge. No hearing will take place within 30 days of the receipt of all relevant documents by both LEC and the complainee.

7-512 LEC Represented by the Chair or Vice-chair

LEC shall be represented by the Chair or Vice-chair of LEC (the other will sit on the appeals panel). They shall be responsible for arguing the case to the appeals panel to support the LEC ruling.

7-520 Standards and Conduct of the Formal Appeal Hearing

There shall one appeals hearing only, on a date and at a place that is most convenient for the appeals panel, whose ruling shall be final as to all matters concerning the case. The appeals panel will review the appeal and render a judgment no later than 30 days from the date of the appeals hearing.

7-521 The Appeals Panel

Appeals shall be heard by a five-person panel, consisting of the LEC Chair or Vice-chair (whoever is not representing LEC in the appeal) and at least two other LEC members (not those hearing the original action). Other panel members, if needed, shall be invited from the National Advisory Board.

7-522 The Appeals Standard—Unjust Result

The appellate panel must rule against the termination of membership if the complainee can show substantial evidence that (1) the sub-com panel or a member of it showed a clear intent to harm the complainee, or (2) that findings of fact or application of the ethics code were clearly erroneous, or (3) the application of termination was a clearly excessive and punitive sanction.

7-523 Representation by Self or with Legal Counsel

The complainee shall represent and speak for him or herself in all appellate actions, though they may choose to retain legal or other counsel who may help the complainee before and during the hearing.

7-524 Retention of Legal Counsel by the AACC

LEC may elect to retain legal counsel, or any other expert help it deems necessary.

7-530 Final Order of the Appeals Panel

The appeals panel shall rule, by at least 3 votes, either to uphold the prior LEC ruling or to reverse it. Upholding the rule will end the matter for the AACC. A reversal will lead to a dismissal of the prior ruling and an order for a new case review hearing with at least 2 new panel members on the sub-committee.


PR8-100 LEC Authorized to Act Independently or With Others

8-110 Litigation, License Revocation, or Other Disciplinary Action Not a Bar to Action by LEC

LEC reserves the right to proceed with an ethics action even if the member is engaged in litigation, license revocation, or other disciplinary action for the same or similar issues.

8-111 LEC Election to Stay Process Pending Resolution

LEC reserves the right to suspend an ethics action until case disposition in another legal or disciplinary forum is completed. Any delay in action by LEC shall not waive jurisdiction and any time constraints shall be suspended until the action is begun or resumed.

8-112 Retention and Referral of Jurisdiction to Other Bodies

LEC reserves the right to refer a case to another recognized body for action, and to cooperate or work jointly with another tribunal. Any referral to another body shall not constitute waiver of jurisdiction by LEC, nor shall LEC be barred from acting on its own following referral.

PR8-200 Bases for and Procedure of a Show Cause Hearing

8-210 Five Bases for a Show Cause Hearing

An AACC member may be directed by LEC to show cause why official action by LEC should not be taken if the member is sanctioned for misbehavior substantially related to his or her professional or ministerial tasks, in the form of (1) conviction of a criminal offense, (2) a malpractice judgment, (3) a malpractice settlement of $25,000 or more, (4) a license revocation or suspension action, or (5) any church, denominational, or any other official organizational act of expulsion, suspension, or de-ordination.

8-220 Notice by LEC and Response of Member

Upon receipt from LEC of a show cause letter, the member will have 30 days from the letter date in which to respond. The member may show cause based on either the unjust result standard (see section 7-522 above), or the lack of due process in the other proceeding.

8-230 Review of Prior Action and Recommendation

The LEC Chair or Vice-chair will review the evidence and prior proceeding and determine whether just cause exists to challenge its rule. If so, a recommendation will be made to start a formal case review on the merits according to the procedures of this code. If cause is not shown, a recommendation of termination of membership will be made based of the finding of the prior proceeding. 8-231 Stipulated Resignations The AACC and the member may stipulate and agree on the resignation of the member. Whether termination or resignation, the result will be published in official AACC publications.

8-240 Final Order of the Law and Ethics Committee

Recommendations for case disposition shall be heard and accepted by LEC. LEC rulings, tracking these recommendations, shall include sufficient information and instruction to satisfactorily achieve the stated objectives of the LEC ruling. All rulings by LEC in a show cause hearing shall be final, with no consequent appeal.


May God be exalted, the Holy Spirit invited, and Jesus Christ be seen in all of our counseling and helping endeavors. If done, our clients and parishioners will be blessed and not harmed, their wounds will be healed, their sins forgiven, and they will be given hope for the future. If done, we will participate in a wonderful adventure—one that will likely never grow old or stale—and we will fulfill our call to excellence and ethical integrity in Christian counseling.

End of the 2004 Final Code

Code of Ethics (2007)



Code of Ethics

Date Approved: 

December 2007

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics


The purpose of this code is to establish minimum standards of ethical practice for the CCAA Inc. The adherence to the wide range of ethical issues incorporated within the Code of Ethics applies to all levels of membership; that is, Associates, Graduate Members and Clinical Members.

Registered Members, as stated hereafter within this document, refers to Graduate Members and Clinical Members. Counsellors, as stated hereafter, refers to all members irrespective of membership status. In making ethical decisions, all counsellors affiliated with the CCAA are required to adhere to this Code of Ethics.

As Associates are not Registered Members, the CCAA carries no responsibility to investigate or mediate or act on complaints against Associates. The CCAA may choose to investigate, advise or act at discretion or for goodwill.

For an Associate to be responsible in terms of Counselling procedure, the CCAA advises that they should:

  •  Maintain regular supervision with a suitably qualified supervisor at a ratio of 1 supervision hour to 10 face to face counselling hours 
  •  Maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover either with their employing organisation or as an individual 
  •  Rely upon the involvement of their Supervisor or appropriate people in their Course, church or work for the mediation of any formal complaints according to the CCAA Complaints Procedure.

For CCAA’s Values, Vision and Mission, please refer to the CCAA website, under ‘About Us’.

1. General Principles

1.1 Members of Committees and counsellors affiliated with the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia, herein called the Association or the CCAA shall subscribe to;

1.1.1 the Statement of Faith of the Association

1.1.2 accept and maintain the highest ethical standards in their own personal life

1.1.3 not judge others by such standards, and

1.1.4 the maintenance and demonstration of both competence and ethical Christian behaviour in their dealings/relationships with clients, colleagues, other professionals and the general public

1.2 The maintenance of high standards of professional competence is a responsibility to be shared by all members of the CCAA in the interests of the public, the Christian community and the helping professions. Each counsellor shall work towards the improvement and refinement of counselling practice through the adherence to the high ethical standards stated herein.

1.3 Counselling is designed to provide encouragement and guidance to stimulate personal growth and development in the client. This will enable the client to cope more effectively with life issues, inner conflict, or crippling emotions. It assists individuals, families and couples to resolve interpersonal tensions, relate more effectively and help overcome self-defeating life patterns. This is the work of skilled, properly trained personnel, who have been recognised by the CCAA for their professional conduct and competency in the therapeutic application of counselling theory, using a variety of healing methods consistent with the integration of faith and practice.

1.4 As distinct from counselling, pastoral care refers broadly to the overall ministries of healing, sustaining, guiding, and reconciling. Lay counselling lends itself well to aspects of pastoral care ministry but is distinct from the training required of professional counsellors. In the practice of counselling, counsellors shall show respect for their client's personal worldview and offer help without bias across the boundaries of gender, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.

2. Professional Practice

2.1 In all professional matters, the Christian counsellor shall maintain practices that will protect the public and advance the profession. Counsellors shall not overstate their levels of competence or professional qualifications, nor shall they allow misrepresentation of a counsellor’s qualifications or affiliation. They shall offer only truthful statements of expertise and realistic expectations of counselling outcomes. Counsellors must correct others who represent any counsellor’s professional qualifications or services in a manner incompatible with these guidelines. Counsellors shall not use their knowledge or professional association to secure unfair personal advantage, nor shall they knowingly permit their services to be used by others for purposes inconsistent with the ethical standards of the Association. Communication of Membership of CCAA should not express or imply that membership confers special status, expertise, or extraordinary competence in counselling. Similarly, counsellors do not express or imply that other counsellors not in the CCAA are less competent or less ethical because of their lack of association. Counsellors must not use their affiliation with the Association for purposes that are not consistent with the stated purposes of the Association.

2.2 The recognised categories of membership in the CCAA are: Clinical Members, Graduate Members and Associates. Counsellors affiliated with the Association shall not falsely represent their category of membership. Only Registered Members are authorised to use the name of the Association as a recommendation for their counselling ethics and expertise. Where counsellors are advertising, public speaking or writing, due care must be practised to avoid any emphasis on their own professional expertise.

2.3 Counsellors are not to engage in financial practices that result, or appear to result, in greedy or self-serving outcomes. Counsellors are not to select clients based on their ability to pay high fees. Counsellors are not to unnecessarily prolong therapy or continue counselling with high fee clients or quickly terminate counselling with low fee clients. Financial arrangements for payment of professional service should be contracted before counselling begins, in a manner befitting normal business practice. Fee schedules and payment procedures shall be clearly stated and agreed upon by both counsellor and client. Fees for services should be established having due regard for a client’s ability to pay. In the event of a crisis (i.e. an event that holds immediate significance for recovery), counsellors should first respond to the crisis need. Financial considerations are of secondary importance and may even be waived. Payment of commission for the referral of a client is prohibited.

2.4 Referrals are to be accompanied by appropriate information to assist the referral process. Counsellors shall maintain records indicative of the problems and scope of service offered to each client. They shall be adequate for legal and other official recall, reflecting the level of professionalism presumed by the CCAA of its counsellors. Client communications shall be recorded in such a way as to protect privacy rights and confidentiality. Records shall be maintained, stored and disposed of by the counsellor according to ethical standards of confidentiality and security.

2.5 Counsellors shall avoid disparagement of a colleague to a client. If a counsellor considers that a colleague is worthy of criticism, it is his/her responsibility to approach that colleague personally. Should a counsellor disagree with a colleague in counselling or with another professional on professional issues, the counsellor must nevertheless refrain from criticising in a manner which casts doubt on that colleague/professional’s competence.

2.6 While counsellors are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards at all times in their counselling, they are encouraged to investigate and acquire appropriate insurance to indemnify themselves against legal redress. It is incumbent upon counsellors who are employers to provide such insurance in accordance with federal and state law for their employees. It is also incumbent upon counsellors who are employees to investigate and ensure that adequate insurance arrangements are in place by the organisation by which they are employed.

3. Client Relationship and Confidentiality

3.1 Counsellors shall respect and serve clients with excellence and ethical integrity, strictly avoiding all client harm and exploitation

3.2 Counsellors shall demonstrate sensitivity, humility, honesty, integrity and capability towards the client. In demonstrating respect for a client, counsellors shall avoid undue invasion of privacy in the collection and dissemination of information

3.3 Counsellors shall maintain client confidentiality, clearly defining the boundaries of such. Apart from the exceptions stated below, counsellors shall not disclose confidential client communications without first discussing the intended disclosure and then securing written permission from the client

3.4 Exceptions to maintaining confidentiality are: a client threatening to harm self or another through suicide, homicide, or serious and imminent abuse. It is the duty of counsellors to disclose such information to their supervisors and/or other appropriate professional

3.5 Counsellors must be aware of the power differential that exists between them and the client. The client is in a vulnerable position and the counsellor must adequately discharge their duty of care to protect the client and preserve the integrity of the client-counsellor relationship.

3.6 A counsellor shall maintain a relationship with a client on a professional basis, and avoid dual or multiple relationships. Should a dual relationship arise, counsellors are required to deal with the situation professionally and ethically, realising the potential damages of dual relationships.

3.7 Counsellors should not abruptly cut off or end services without giving notice and adequately preparing the client for termination or referral. Termination or referral is indicated when:

3.7.1 objectives have largely been achieved;

3.7.2 the client declines further counselling;

3.7.3 the client no longer benefits from counselling; and/or

3.7.4 the counselling is harming the client.

3.8 Except when precluded by unforeseen behaviour of the client, counsellors should discuss termination or referral with the client, offer referral if wanted or appropriate, and facilitate termination in the client’s best interest

3.9 Counsellors need to respect the religious convictions of clients and strive to understand their belief system. Bearing in mind the considerable influence counsellors have over clients, they need to avoid any imposition of their own faith. 

3.10 A counsellor who wishes to use case material in a publication, conference, public lecture or the like, needs to obtain written permission from the client(s) concerned. It is the responsibility of the member to thoroughly disguise the identity of the client, and the report shall provide a statement to this effect

3.11 A counsellor under supervision will disclose that fact to their clients, including information about discussion of case materials in supervisory sessions. Records of client communications are to be worded respectfully, in light of the client’s right to peruse his/her case notes, or where there are legal or court demands.

3.12 A counsellor will disclose only information that has written permission from the client, or which is required by legal or ethical mandates. The same principles of client confidentiality shall apply to group and family therapy, bearing in mind the problems of keeping confidences in these modes. Family or group members are encouraged to keep a contract of confidentiality with one another. Both supervisors and supervisees are required to maintain confidentiality, having first explained this to the client.

3.13 Counsellors accept the limitations of confidentiality when human life is endangered. Disclosure will be necessary if there is a threat to any person in the case of suicide, homicide, and/or the abuse of children, elders, and dependent persons. Protective action should be taken when the counsellor has:

3.13.1 reasonable suspicion that a minor (under 18 years), older person (over 65), or dependent adult has been harmed by the client; or

3.13.2 direct or implied client admissions of harmful acts or threatened action that is serious, imminent, and attainable against a clearly identified person(s).

3.14 Disclosure in situations, as described above, shall be made to the counsellor’s supervisor, and as appropriate, to the intended victim, to their family or friends, and/or to law enforcement personnel. In the case of child abuse, the counsellor shall report to child protective services or any other designated agency established for protective services.

3.15 Counsellors are responsible for maintaining adequate records that facilitate the rendering of professional services to their clients. These same records need to satisfy the requirement of lawful and regulatory processes, as well as the procedures required of the agency or institution to which the counsellor is associated.

3.16 Counsellors are responsible for securing and maintaining the confidentiality of records they have created. In the event of transfer, records should be secured and transported by authorised personnel only. Counsellors are responsible for the supervision of destroying records according to agency regulations and legal requirements. Clients are to be consulted for permission to electronically record a session, or for enabling observation of the session.

3.17 Counsellors acknowledge that records are maintained for the benefit of clients in the facilitation of rendering a professional service. Whilst client access to records cannot be reasonably refused, it may be appropriate to consider the competence of the client to manage information that may otherwise be misleading or detrimental. Therefore disclosure may be appropriately discouraged. If records pertain to multiple clients (e.g. family case) discretion of disclosure remains the responsibility of the counsellor to contain disclosure of records that pertain only to the inquiring client.

4. Dual Relationships

4.1 A counsellor is prohibited from carrying on sexual activities, inappropriate attachment or cohabitating with a current client under any circumstances. In determining whether a counsellor may marry, have a defacto relationship, engage in a friendship, or liaison with a former client where more than two years have elapsed since the ending or December 2007 Page 4 of 8 Christian Counsellors Association of Australia Code of Ethics termination of the professional relationship, the following matters will be taken into consideration by the Ethics Committee:

4.1.1 the length of the professional relationship;

4.1.2 the nature of the professional relationship;

4.1.3 the client’s mental state at the time he or she commenced the personal relationship with the counsellor;

4.1.4 the circumstances in which the professional relationship ended or was terminated;

4.1.5 the duration of time that has expired since the ending of the professional relationship; or,

4.1.6 whether anything else suggests that the counsellor is exploiting or harming the former client.

4.2 Counsellors must avoid dual relationships that could impair their professional judgement or increase the risk of client exploitation. This prohibition protects the client and reduces trouble with transference and counter-transference dynamics. Specifically, this means that counsellors will not provide counselling for those with whom they have the following relationships: sexual or romantic, family, close friends, employees, trainees or supervisees. Some dual relationships are not per se unethical, but are presumed troublesome and should be avoided whenever possible. Relationships in this category would include: business, church/ministry, fraternal clubs, students and other such acquaintances. Counsellors have the responsibility of proving a justified dual relationship by showing that the client:

4.2.1 has given informed consent (and understands how the relationship might be harmed as counselling proceeds);

4.2.2 will not be harmed or exploited through the counselling process;

4.2.3 will recognise that counselling is a different process to Prayer Ministry or Prayer Counselling and that all types of Prayer Ministry including Theophostic, Word of Knowledge, Spiritual Discernment, Prophecy and other similar practices are not counselling per se; they are practices of the Christian Church. Those engaged in such Prayer Ministries who are untrained counsellors are not covered by this Code of Ethics. There is a distinction between people who engage in Prayer Ministries and those who engage in Counselling.

4.3 Counsellors do not terminate counselling to engage in dual relationships of any kind.

4.4 Counsellors do not enter into closer relationships with former clients without reflecting on, and in most cases discussing with the former client, the potential adverse impact of closer relations on possible future counselling. Some counsellors and their former clients will agree that future counselling will be done by someone else if they decide to pursue another kind of relationship.

5. Inter-professional Relationships

5.1 Each counsellor shall seek to create and maintain collaborative and constructive relations with other helping professionals and inter-professional groups within the community throughout the course of his/her counselling practice.

5.2 Each counsellor must know and respect the limits of his/her expertise, knowledge and competence. Therefore, a counsellor shall not work in isolation, but shall seek out and maintain inter-professional associations for the purposes of clinical consultations, supervision and referrals. When consulting or referring, counsellors will fully consider their faith and value stance in the promotion or commendation of treatment techniques and procedures.

5.3 Counsellors shall consult with and/or refer to others when these limits of counselling competence are reached: when counsellors face issues not dealt with before and need help; when clients need further help which is beyond the training and skill of the counsellors; when counsellors or clients are stuck; when clients cease to benefit from the counselling process. The client’s best interests shall be upheld in all consultations and referrals, with the client’s objectives and confidential privacy interests honoured.

5.4 When possible, a counsellor shall seek out the best Christian help at a higher level of knowledge and expertise. If Christian help is unavailable, the counsellor will refer to another professional who will respect the client’s faith and values.

5.5 Members shall consider the holistic nature of a client, and therefore be willing to refer the client for medical, psychiatric, psychological or spiritual assessment and treatment.

5.6 Counsellors may also consider appropriate legal and social services available to the client.

5.7 Counsellors do not advise against medical or psychiatric treatment, the use of medications, legal counsel, or other forms of professional service solely because of personal Christian beliefs or because the provider is not Christian.

5.8 Counsellors shall not normally offer specialised counselling services to an individual who is currently receiving counselling.

5.9 Counsellors must not solicit business from any client in a similar existing relationship with another professional in pursuit of individual gain.

6. Professional Growth

6.1 Counsellors are obliged to remain as informed as possible and where applicable, contribute to new knowledge, issues, and resources in Christian Counselling.

6.2 Counsellors must maintain an active program of study, continuing education and personal and professional growth to improve helping effectiveness, and ethical practice.

6.3 Counsellors are expected to remain active in the meetings and affairs of the Association. When applicable, counsellors should combine with fellow counsellors and with the representatives of other helping professions to promote mutual professional growth.

7. Publication and Communication

7.1 Counsellors are expected to be scrupulous in any publicity, public announcements or publications to ensure that their private views are differentiated from that of the Association. All advertising and public communications (print media, electronic media or the Internet) by counsellors will proceed with humility, caution and with due regard to the limits of present knowledge. The primary goal of such communications will be assisting clients to make informed choices about counselling services.

7.2 Counsellors must avoid the following in their communications:

7.2.1 False statements, inaccuracy, exaggeration and sensationalism;

7.2.2 Any statement likely to mislead or deceive others because it is taken partially or fully out of context; 

7.2.3 Any statement likely to create an exaggerated belief or expectation of a favourable outcome merely because one has chosen you as a counsellor;

7.2.4 Any statement intended to appeal to a client’s fears, anxieties or emotions concerning the possible results of failure to obtain the desired services;

7.2.5 Testimonials by current or former clients;

7.2.6 Any statement concerning the inferiority or negative characteristics of another counsellor, whether in this Association or in another;

7.2.7 Any statement that expresses or implies unique or unusual helping abilities outside the range of accepted professional, pastoral, and lay practices in Christian counselling.

7.3 When expressing professional opinions, a counsellor or an officer shall not make it appear, directly or indirectly, that he or she speaks on behalf of the Association or its official position, unless authorised by the Committee of Management. When announcing or advertising professional services, Registered Members may list the following to describe the provider and services offered: name, postal and email addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, consultation hours, languages spoken, appropriate information concerning fees, relevant academic qualifications, CCAA membership, and a brief statement of the type of counselling services offered.

8. Unethical Conduct

8.1 All counsellors irrespective of membership status bind themselves to honour and enforce high standards of professional ethics. They must agree to abide by the disciplinary procedure of the Association.

8.2 Counsellors endeavour to assist and support all investigations, proceedings, actions, and rulings of the Ethics Committee that has jurisdiction over those charged with ethical violations. Every party involved in the procedure of investigation should endeavour to safeguard the confidentiality of alleged violators before the allegations have been proven.

8.3 Direct touch or other physical contact between client and counsellor is not advised. Any direct sexual touch or contact is forbidden.

8.4 Counsellors need to be mindful of their influential position and of the inherent power imbalance of helping relationships, thereby avoiding all harm and exploitation of clients. This includes all forms of sexual misconduct, whether by physical contact or non-contact. Non-contact includes sexual innuendoes, harassment or abuse such as seductive speech or non-verbal behaviour, promises/threats with sexual connotations, or any other sexual misconduct as defined by applicable laws, ethics and organisational practice policies.

9. Procedural Guidelines for the Ethics Committee

9.1 If counsellors appear to violate the Statement of Ethics, they may be cautioned through informal and/or formal resolution. Informal resolution is done through friendly remonstrance, a direct consultation with alleged violators or by working through local or regional collegial networks. A formal complaint may be made to the Ethics Committee in accordance with the following procedures:

9.1.1 A written and signed complaint of unethical practice shall be sent to the Ethics Committee.

9.1.2 A copy of the complaint shall be furnished simultaneously to the alleged violator(s). 

9.1.3 The Ethics Committee shall decide whether the complaint warrants investigation.

9.1.4 The Ethics Committee shall make one or more local visits to investigate the complaint.

9.1.5 Alleged violators shall have free access to all charges and evidence cited against them. They shall have full freedom to represent themselves before an oral hearing of the Ethics Committee, including the right to be represented by legal counsel.

9.1.6 The Ethics Committee after considering all representations, may advise that the charges are unfounded, or recommend a specified admonishment, reprimand, probation, suspension, or dismissal from membership.

9.1.7 The Ethics Committee may disclose the identity of a counsellor who has been proven to have violated the Association’s Ethical Code of Conduct. Should such disciplinary action result in suspension and/or dismissal from membership, the member’s accreditation certificate shall be surrendered to the Ethics Committee.

9.1.8 Alleged violators shall have a right of appeal to the Committee of Management following the disposition of the case by the Ethics Committee.

9.1.9 If a counsellor is removed for unethical conduct from either his or her denomination, church, faith group or from another professional group, the Ethics Committee shall investigate the matter in the same way as it investigates other resolutions or charges of unethical conduct.

9.1.10 Counsellors who make unfounded allegations for any reason against any counsellor of the Association shall be subjected to the disciplinary procedure by the Ethics Committee.

9.1.11 Members of the Ethics Committee shall disqualify themselves from investigating any allegation against a counsellor in which they are a party to, or have a pecuniary or other interest in.

9.1.12 Members of the Committee of Management shall disqualify themselves from voting on a recommendation of the Ethics Committee if they are party to the allegation examined or have a pecuniary or other interest in it.

10. Ethics in Supervision

10.1 The Association requires that a counsellor shall receive regular and frequent supervision with a qualified and experienced counsellor, in order to best serve the client. It is the duty of a counsellor to report to his/her supervisor when progress with clients is not being made, or there is a possible need for referral.

10.2 It is strongly recommended that counsellors communicate with their supervisors any problems, uncertainties, doubts or challenges that they face in dealing with clients, colleagues or other professionals.

10.3 Counsellors need to be aware of the potential dangers of transference and counter-transference, noting any reactions in themselves to their clients that are either inappropriate or out of control, hence reducing the effectiveness of the therapeutic process.

10.4 Supervision is not to be confused with personal therapy or education for the counsellor, but is a contract of accountability involving skill development. Peer Supervision is also an acceptable and useful form of professional development for counsellors at the Clinical Membership level. 

ABPS Code of Ethics



ABPS Code of Ethics

Date Approved: 

November 11, 2009

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

ABPS Code of Ethics

Section 1. Preamble

The Board requires the ethical behavior of candidates, diplomates, directors, advisory council members, examiners, consultant question writers and directors of the Board in fulfilling their professional responsibilities to patients, colleagues, and the public. Unethical or illegal physician behavior that comes to the attention of the Board through external or internal sources will be subject to review and judgment about compliance with these standards. If a violation has been judged to occur, then the individual will be afforded the benefit of the appeals process of the Board. With the exception of private letters of reprimand, disciplinary actions of the Board, including delay in progression through the examination process, suspension or revocation of certification will be placed in the public domain and will not be maintained in confidence.

Diplomates (or candidates, where applicable) of the Board are expected to act in accord with the General and Specific Principles of the Code of Ethics in all contacts with patients, peers and the general public. Further, candidates and diplomates are individually responsible and accountable for their actions and words, as well as the use of their names by any individual or entity. Candidates and diplomates shall be subject to disciplinary action if their words, deeds or actions are deemed not in accord with these principles.

I. The essential purposes of the Board are:

The purposes for which The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. ® was founded and for which this Board is organized are:

A. To establish requirements for the qualification of applicants who request a certificate of their knowledge in the field of plastic surgery in its broadest sense.

B. To conduct qualifying examinations of approved candidates who seek certification by the Board.

C. To issue certificates of qualification to those who meet the Board’s requirements and pass the respective examinations.

D. To protect the independence and integrity of the Board.

E. To do and engage in any and all lawful activities that may be incidental or reasonably related to any of the foregoing purposes, and to have and exercise all powers and authority now or hereafter conferred upon not for profit corporations under the laws of the State of Illinois. 

 II. The mission statement of the Board:

The mission of The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. is to promote safe, ethical, efficacious plastic surgery to the public by maintaining high standards for the education, examination, certification and maintenance of certification of plastic surgeons as specialists and subspecialists.

Section 2. General Principles

I. The principal objective of the medical profession is to render services to humanity with full respect for human dignity. Physicians should merit the confidence of patients entrusted to their care, rendering to each a full measure of service and devotion.

II. Physicians should strive continually to improve medical knowledge and skill, and must make available to their patients and colleagues the benefits of their professional attainments. Physicians have an affirmative duty to disclose new medical advances to patients and colleagues.

III. The honored ideals of the medical profession imply that the responsibilities of the physician extend not only to the individual but also to society. Activities, which have the purpose of improving both the health and well being of the individual and the community, deserve the interest and participation of the physician. IV. Surgeons are expected to provide competent and scientifically sound medical and surgical services with compassion and respect for human dignity as well as the rights and privacy of their patients.

Section 3. Specific Principles


Candidates applying for examination or diplomates participating in the Maintenance of Certification program of The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. ® pledge themselves to the highest ethical standards in the practice of medicine and plastic surgery and attest that they are in good ethical standing in their community. Candidates and diplomates also attest that they understand and agree that in the consideration of their application that their ethical and professional qualifications will be reviewed and assessed by the Board; that the Board may make inquiry of the persons named in the application and of such other persons as the Board deems appropriate with respect to their ethical and professional qualifications; that if information is received which could adversely affect the application, they will not be advised as to the identity of the individuals who have furnished adverse information concerning the candidate or diplomate. All statements and other information furnished to the Board in connection with such inquiry, the application or a candidate’s or diplomate’s admissibility to the examinations shall be confidential and not subject to examination by the candidate or by anyone acting on the candidate’s behalf.

 I. Candidates applying for examination or diplomates participating in the Maintenance of Certification program of The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc.® attest by signature on the Application that they understand and agree that:

A. The failure to maintain the moral, ethical and professional standing satisfactory to the ABPS; and

B. The falsification of any part of the Application or the Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form; or

C. The submission of any falsified documents or untruthful information to the Board; or

D. The use of any falsified Board documents or the submission of any such documents to other persons or entities; or

E. The giving or receiving of aid in the examinations as evidenced either by observation at the time of the examination or by analysis of answers; or

F. The unauthorized possession, reproduction, or disclosure of any material, including, but not limited to examination questions or answers before, during, or after the examination; or

G. The offer of any financial or other benefit to any director, officer, employee, proctor, or other agent or representative of the Board in return for any right, privilege or benefit which is not usually granted by the Board to other similarly situated candidates or persons; or

H. The failure to voluntarily participate in any Board investigation or to respond to any written inquiry from the Board; or I. The failure to establish an appropriate physician-patient relationship in preoperative and postoperative evaluation and obtain an informed consent prior to a surgical procedure;

May be sufficient cause for the Board to bar the candidate or diplomate permanently from all future examinations, to terminate the candidate’s or diplomate’s participation in the examination, to invalidate the results of the candidate’s or diplomate’s examination, to withhold the candidate ’ s or diplomate’s scores or certificate, to revoke the diplomate’s certification or to take other appropriate actions. 

II. Any diplomate (or candidate, where applicable) of the Board will be subject to review by the Ethics Committee and the Board and/or disciplinary action including suspension and revocation of certification if at any time the Board determines, in its sole judgment, that the diplomate holding the certificate was not properly qualified to receive it, or for other just and sufficient reasons, including, but not limited to:

A. The diplomate or candidate did not possess the necessary qualifications and requirements to receive the certificate at the time it was issued;

B. The diplomate or candidate possesses character deficiencies or evidences unethical behavior including but not limited to false, fraudulent or deceptive communications that fail to maintain the dignity and professionalism appropriate to a plastic surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc;

C. The diplomate or candidate was convicted of a felony;

D. The diplomate or candidate misrepresented his or her status with regard to Board Certification, including any misstatement of fact about being Board Certified in any specialty or subspecialty;

E. The diplomate or candidate engaged in conduct resulting in discipline by any medical licensing authority or in a revocation, suspension qualification or other limitation of his or her license to practice medicine in any jurisdiction;

F. The diplomate or candidate engaged in conduct resulting in the expulsion, suspension, disqualification or other limitation from membership in a hospital or in a local, regional, national or other organization of his or her professional peers;

G. The diplomate or candidate resigns from any organization while under investigation by that organization for unethical behavior;

H. The diplomate or candidate fails to inform the Board in a timely manner that the individual’s right to practice medicine has been limited, suspended, terminated, or otherwise affected in any state, province, or country for violation of a medical practice act, other statute or governmental regulation or, the candidate or diplomate has been disciplined by any medical licensing authority, professional organization or by a plastic surgery specialty society; 

I. The diplomate or candidate fails to approve all advertisements before dissemination or transmission and to retain a copy or record of all such advertisements in their entirety for one year after its dissemination. The candidate or diplomate shall be held personally responsible for any violation of the ABPS Code of Ethics incurred by a public relations, advertising or similar firm which he or she retains, or any entity that advertises on the candidate's or diplomate's behalf;

J. The diplomate or candidate fails to respond to or comply fully and openly with requests for information from the Board.

Section 4. Enforcement

Any candidate, diplomate, board director, examiner, advisory council member or consultant question writer charged with a violation of any ethical standard established by the Board herein may be subject to review by the Ethics Committee and the full Board and disciplinary measures, as defined by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. including revocation of certification.

Revision Approved November 11, 2009

Copyright, The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc.® This code was published with permission of the American Board of Plastic Surgery Inc. 

Code of Ethics for Pharmacists



Code of Ethics for Pharmacists

Date Approved: 

October 27, 1994

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics for Pharmacists


Pharmacists are health professionals who assist individuals in making the best use of medications. This Code, prepared and supported by pharmacists, is intended to state publicly the principles that form the fundamental basis of the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists. These principles, based on moral obligations and virtues, are established to guide pharmacists in relationships with patients, health professionals, and society.

I. A pharmacist respects the covenantal relationship between the patient and pharmacist.

Considering the patient-pharmacist relationship as a covenant means that a pharmacist has moral obligations in response to the gift of trust received from society. In return for this gift, a pharmacist promises to help individuals achieve optimum benefit from their medications, to be committed to their welfare, and to maintain their trust.

II. A pharmacist promotes the good of every patient in a caring, compassionate, and confidential manner.

A pharmacist places concern for the well-being of the patient at the center of professional practice. In doing so, a pharmacist considers needs stated by the patient as well as those defined by health science. A pharmacist is dedicated to protecting the dignity of the patient. With a caring attitude and a compassionate spirit, a pharmacist focuses on serving the patient in a private and confidential manner.

III. A pharmacist respects the autonomy and dignity of each patient.

A pharmacist promotes the right of self-determination and recognizes individual self-worth by encouraging patients to participate in decisions about their health. A pharmacist communicates with patients in terms that are understandable. In all cases, a pharmacist respects personal and cultural differences among patients.

IV. A pharmacist acts with honesty and integrity in professional relationships.

A pharmacist has a duty to tell the truth and to act with conviction of conscience. A pharmacist avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of patients.

V. A pharmacist maintains professional competence.

A pharmacist has a duty to maintain knowledge and abilities as new medications, devices, and technologies become available and as health information advances.

VI. A pharmacist respects the values and abilities of colleagues and other health professionals.

When appropriate, a pharmacist asks for the consultation of colleagues or other health professionals or refers the patient. A pharmacist acknowledges that colleagues and other health professionals may differ in the beliefs and values they apply to the care of the patient.

VII. A pharmacist serves individual, community, and societal needs.

The primary obligation of a pharmacist is to individual patients. However, the obligations of a pharmacist may at times extend beyond the individual to the community and society. In these situations, the pharmacist recognizes the responsibilities that accompany these obligations and acts accordingly.

VIII. A pharmacist seeks justice in the distribution of health resources.

When health resources are allocated, a pharmacist is fair and equitable, balancing the needs of patients and society.

* adopted by the membership of the American Pharmacists Association October 27, 1994.

The Delaware Lawyer's Code of Professional Conduct (2003)



Delaware State Courts Website

Date Approved: 

Effective July 1, 2003 and current through amendment to Rule 1.15 approved by the Court on Feb. 16, 2010, which appears in bold and becomes effective May 1, 2010

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

The Delaware Lawyer's Code of Professional Conduct

(Effective July 1, 2003 and current through amendment to Rule 1.15 approved by the Court on Feb. 16, 2010, which appears in bold and becomes effective May 1, 2010)

Preamble: A lawyer's responsibilities

[1] A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.

[2] As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As advisor, a lawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client's legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client's position under the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the client but consistent with requirements of honest dealings with others. As an evaluator, a lawyer acts by examining a client's legal affairs and reporting about them to the client or to others.

[3] In addition to these representational functions, a lawyer may serve as a third-party neutral, a nonrepresentational role helping the parties to resolve a dispute or other matter. Some of these Rules apply directly to lawyers who are or have served as third-party neutrals. See, e.g., Rules 1.12 and 2.4. In addition, there are Rules that apply to lawyers who are not active in the practice of law or to practicing lawyers even when they are acting in a nonprofessional capacity. For example, a lawyer who commits fraud in the conduct of a business is subject to discipline for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. See Rule 8.4.

[4] In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation. A lawyer should keep in confidence information relating to representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

[5] A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law's procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public officials. While it is a lawyer's duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it is also a lawyer's duty to uphold legal process.

[6] As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education. In addition, a lawyer should further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. A lawyer should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.

[7] Many of a lawyer's professional responsibilities are prescribed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as substantive and procedural law. However, a lawyer is also guided by personal conscience and the approbation of professional peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest level of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession and to exemplify the legal profession's ideals of public service.

[8] A lawyer's responsibilities as a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen are usually harmonious. Thus, when an opposing party is well represented, a lawyer can be a zealous advocate on behalf of a client and at the same time assume that justice is being done. So also, a lawyer can be sure that preserving client confidences ordinarily serves the public interest because people are more likely to seek legal advice, and thereby heed their legal obligations, when they know their communications will be private. Page 2 Del. Prof. Cond. Preamble

[9] In the nature of law practice, however, conflicting responsibilities are encountered. Virtually all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between a lawyer's responsibilities to clients, to the legal system and to the lawyer's own interest in remaining an ethical person while earning a satisfactory living. The Rules of Professional conduct often prescribe terms for resolving such conflicts. Within the framework of these Rules, however, many difficult issues of professional discretion can arise. Such issues must be resolved through the exercise of sensitive professional and moral judgment guided by the basic principles underlying the Rules. These principles include the lawyer's obligation zealously to protect and pursue a client's legitimate interests, within the bounds of the law, while maintaining a professional, courteous and civil attitude toward all persons involved in the legal system.

[10] The legal profession is largely self-governing. Although other professions also have been granted powers of self-government, the legal profession is unique in this respect because of the close relationship between the profession and the processes of government and law enforcement. This connection is manifested in the fact that ultimate authority over the legal profession is vested largely in the courts.

[11] To the extent that lawyers meet the obligations of their professional calling, the occasion for government regulation is obviated. Self-regulation also helps maintain the legal profession's independence from government domination. An independent legal profession is an important force in preserving government under law, for abuse of legal authority is more readily challenged by a profession whose members are not dependent on government for the right to practice.

[12] The legal profession's relative autonomy carries with it special responsibilities of self-government. The profession has a responsibility to assure that its regulations are conceived in the public interest and not in furtherance of parochial or self interested concerns of the bar. Every lawyer is responsible for observance of the Rules of Professional Conduct. A lawyer should also aid in securing their observance by other lawyers. Neglect of these responsibilities compromises the independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.

[13] Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by lawyers of their relationship to our legal system. The Rules of Professional Conduct, when properly applied, serve to define that relationship.


[14] The Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason. They should be interpreted with reference to the purposes of legal representation and of the law itself. Some of the Rules are imperatives, cast in the terms "shall" or "shall not." These define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline. Others, generally cast in the term "may," are permissive and define areas under the Rules in which the lawyer has discretion to exercise professional judgment. No disciplinary action should be taken when the lawyer chooses not to act or acts within the bounds of such discretion. Other Rules define the nature of relationships between the lawyer and others. The Rules are thus partly obligatory and disciplinary and partly constitutive and descriptive in that they define a lawyer's professional role. Many of the Comments use the term "should." Comments do not add obligations to the Rules but provide guidance for practicing in compliance with the Rules.

[15] The Rules presuppose a larger legal context shaping the lawyer's role. That context includes court rules and statutes relating to matters of licensure, laws defining specific obligations of lawyers and substantive and procedural law in general. The Comments are sometimes used to alert lawyers to their responsibilities under such other law.

[16] Compliance with the Rules, as with all law in an open society, depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon reenforcement by peer and public opinion and finally, when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary proceedings. The Rules do not, however, exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform a lawyer, for no worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by legal rules. The Rules simply provide a framework for the ethical practice of law.

[17] Furthermore, for purposes of determining the lawyer's authority and responsibility, principles of substantive law external to these Rules determine whether a client-lawyer relationship exists. Most of the duties flowing from the client-lawyer relationship attach only after the client has requested the lawyer to render legal services and the lawyer has agreed to do so. But there are some duties, such as that of confidentiality under Rule 1.6, that attach when the lawyer agrees to consider whether a client-lawyer relationship shall be established. See Rule 1.18. Whether a client-lawyer relationship exists for any specific purpose can depend on the circumstances and may be a question of fact. 

[18] Under various legal provisions, including constitutional, statutory and common law, the responsibilities of government lawyers may include authority concerning legal matters that ordinarily reposes in the client in private client-lawyer relationships. For example, a lawyer for a government agency may have authority on behalf of the government to decide upon settlement or whether to appeal from an adverse judgment. Such authority in various respects is generally vested in the attorney general and the state's attorney in state government, and their federal counterparts, and the same may be true of other government law officers. Also, lawyers under the supervision of these officers may be authorized to represent several government agencies in intragovernmental legal controversies in circumstances where a private lawyer could not represent multiple private clients. These Rules do not abrogate any such authority.

[19] Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a Rule is a basis for invoking the disciplinary process. The Rules presuppose that disciplinary assessment of a lawyer's conduct will be made on the basis of the facts and circumstances as they existed at the time of the conduct in question and in recognition of the fact that a lawyer often has to act upon uncertain or incomplete evidence of the situation. Moreover, the Rules presuppose that whether or not discipline should be imposed for a violation, and the severity of a sanction, depend on all the circumstances, such as the willfulness and seriousness of the violation, extenuating factors and whether there have been previous violations.

[20] Violation of a Rule should not itself give rise to a cause of action against a lawyer nor should it create any presumption in such a case that a legal duty has been breached. In addition, violation of a Rule does not necessarily warrant any other nondisciplinary remedy, such as disqualification of a lawyer in pending litigation. The rules are designed to provide guidance to lawyers and to provide a structure for regulating conduct through disciplinary agencies. They are not designed to be a basis for civil liability. Furthermore, the purpose of the Rules can be subverted when they are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a Rule is a just basis for a lawyer's self-assessment, or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary authority, does not imply that an antagonist in a collateral proceeding or transaction has standing to seek enforcement of the Rule.

[21] The Comment accompanying each Rule explains and illustrates the meaning and purpose of the Rule. The Preamble and this note on Scope provide general orientation. The Comments are intended as guides to interpretation, but the text of each rule is authoritative.

Rule 1.0. Terminology

(a) "Belief" or "believes" denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question to be true. A person's belief may be inferred from circumstances.

(b) "Confirmed in writing," when used in reference to the informed consent of a person, denotes informed consent that is given in writing by the person or a writing that a lawyer promptly transmits to the person confirming an oral informed consent. See paragraph (e) for the definition of "informed consent." If it is not feasible to obtain or transmit the writing at the time the person gives informed consent, then the lawyer must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter. (

c) "Firm" or "law firm" denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a law partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship or other association authorized to practice law; or lawyers employed in a legal services organization or the legal department of a corporation or other organization.

(d) "Fraud" or "fraudulent" denotes conduct that is fraudulent under the substantive or procedural law of the applicable jurisdiction and has a purpose to deceive. (e) "Informed consent" denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.

(f) "Knowingly," "known," or "knows" denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances.

(g) "Partner" denotes a member of a partnership, a shareholder in a law firm organized as a professional corporation, or a member of an association authorized to practice law. 

(h) "Reasonable" or "reasonably" when used in relation to conduct by a lawyer denotes the conduct of a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer. (i) "Reasonable belief" or "reasonably believes" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that the lawyer believes the matter in question and that the circumstances are such that the belief is reasonable.

(j) "Reasonably should know" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.

(k) "Screened" denotes the isolation of a lawyer from any participation in a matter through the timely imposition of procedures within a firm that are reasonably adequate under the circumstances to protect information that the isolated lawyer is obligated to protect under these Rules or other law.

(l) "Substantial" when used in reference to degree or extent denotes a material matter of clear and weighty importance.

(m) "Tribunal" denotes a court, an arbitrator in a binding arbitration proceeding or a legislative body, administrative agency or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity. A legislative body, administrative agency or other body acts in an adjudicative capacity when a neutral official, after the presentation of evidence or legal argument by a party or parties, will render a binding legal judgment directly affecting a party's interests in a particular matter.

(n) "Writing" or "written" denotes a tangible or electronic record of a communication or representation, including handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photography, audio or video recording and e-mail. A "signed" writing includes an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a writing and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the writing.

Rule 1.1. Competence

A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

Rule 1.2. Scope of representation

(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.

(b) A lawyer's representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views or activities.

(c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent. (d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.

Rule 1.3. Diligence  

A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

Rule 1.4. Communication

(a) A lawyer shall:

(1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(e), is required by these Rules;

(2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished;

(3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;

(4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and

(5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.

Rule 1.5. Fees (a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:

(1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;

(2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;

(3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

(4) the amount involved and the results obtained;

(5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;

(6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;

(7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and

(8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

(b) The scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation, except when the lawyer will charge a regularly represented client on the same basis or rate. Any changes in the basis or rate of the fee or expenses shall also be communicated to the client.

(c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by paragraph

(d) or other law. A contingent fee agreement shall be in a writing signed by the client and shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal; litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery; and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. The agreement must clearly notify the client of any expenses for which the client will be liable whether or not the client is the prevailing party. Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter, the lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, if there is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination. (d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:

(1) any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of which is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony or support, or property settlement in lieu thereof; or (2) a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case.

(e) A division of fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:

(1) the client is advised in writing of and does not object to the participation of all the lawyers involved; and

(2) the total fee is reasonable.

(f) A lawyer may require the client to pay some or all of the fee in advance of the lawyer undertaking the representation, provided that:

(1) The lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement that the fee is refundable if it is not earned,

(2) The written statement shall state the basis under which the fees shall be considered to have been earned, whether in whole or in part, and

(3) All unearned fees shall be retained in the lawyer's trust account, with statement of the fees earned provided to the client at the time such funds are withdrawn from the trust account.

Rule 1.6. Confidentiality of information

(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(2) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services;

(3) to prevent, mitigate, or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client's commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services;

(4) to secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules;

(5) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client; or

(6) to comply with other law or a court order.

Rule 1.7. Conflict of interest: Current clients

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:

(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or

(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.

(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:

(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client;

(2) the representation is not prohibited by law;

(3) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal; and

(4) each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

Rule 1.8. Conflict of interest: Current clients: Specific rules

(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless:

(1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing to the client in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;

(2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel on the transaction; and

(3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client in the transaction.

(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, except as permitted or required by these Rules.

(c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. For purposes of this paragraph, related persons include a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or other relative or individual with whom the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial relationship.

(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation.

(e) A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation, except that:

(1) a lawyer may advance court costs and expenses of litigations, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and

(2) a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client.

(f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:

(1) the client gives informed consent; 

(2) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship; and

(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.

(g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the participation of each person in the settlement.

(h) A lawyer shall not:

(1) make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer's liability to a client for malpractice unless the client is independently represented in making the agreement; or

(2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel in connection therewith.

(i) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:

(1) acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses; and

(2) contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.

(j) A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.

(k) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing paragraphs (a) through (i) that applies to any one of them shall apply to all of them.

Rule 1.9. Duties to former clients

(a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person's interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

(b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously represented a client:

(1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and

(2) about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter; unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:

(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known; or

(2) reveal information relating to the representation except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client.

Rule 1.10. Imputation of conflicts of interest: General rule

 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this rule, while lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless the prohibition is based on a personal interest of the prohibited lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm.

(b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:

(1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client; and

(2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter.

(c) When a lawyer becomes associated with a firm, no lawyer associated in the firm shall knowingly represent a client in a matter in which that lawyer is disqualified under Rule 1.9 unless:

(1) the personally disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(2) written notice is promptly given to the affected former client.

(d) A disqualification prescribed by this rule may be waived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.

(e) The disqualification of lawyers associated in a firm with former or current government lawyers is governed by Rule 1.11.

Rule 1.11. Special conflicts of interest for former and current government officers and employees

(a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer who has formerly served as a public officer or employee of the government:

(1) is subject to Rule 1.9(c); and

(2) shall not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.

(b) When a lawyer is disqualified from representation under paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:

(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.

(c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer knows is confidential government information about a person acquired when the lawyer was a public officer or employee, may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person in a matter in which the information could be used to the material disadvantage of that person. As used in this Rule, the term "confidential government information" means information that has been obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this Rule is applied, the government is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose and which is not otherwise available to the public. A firm with which that lawyer is associated may undertake or continue representation in Page 10 Del. Prof. Cond. R. 1.11 the matter only if the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.

(d) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee:

(1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9; and

(2) shall not:

(i) participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing; or

(ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).

(e) As used in this Rule, the term "matter" includes:

(1) any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other particular matter involving a specific party or parties, and

(2) any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of the appropriate government agency.

Rule 1.12. Former judge, arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or law clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consent, confirmed in writing.

(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge or other adjudicative officer may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge or other adjudicative officer.

(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:

(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(2) written notice is promptly given to the parties and any appropriate tribunal to enable them to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this rule.

(d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimember arbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party.

Rule 1.13. Organization as client

(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through its duly authorized constituents.

(b) If a lawyer for an organization knows that an officer, employee or other person associated with the organization is engaged in action, intends to act or refuses to act in a matter related to the representation that is a violation of a legal obligation to the organization, or a violation of law which reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, the lawyer shall proceed as is reasonably necessary in the best interest of the organization. In determining how to proceed, the lawyer shall give due consideration to the seriousness of the violation and its consequences, the scope and nature of the lawyer's representation, the responsibility in the organization and the apparent motivation of the person involved, the policies of the organization concerning such matters and any other relevant considerations. Any measures taken shall be designed to minimize disruption of the organization and the risk of revealing information relating to the representation to persons outside the organization. Such measures may include among others:

(1) asking for reconsideration of the matter;

(2) advising that a separate legal opinion on the matter be sought for presentation to appropriate authority in the organization; and

(3) referring the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the seriousness of the matter, referral to the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization as determined by applicable law.

(c) If, despite the lawyer's efforts in accordance with paragraph (b), the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization insists upon action, or a refusal to act, that is clearly a violation of law and is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, the lawyer may resign in accordance with Rule 1.16.

(d) In dealing with an organization's directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the organization's interests are adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing.

(e) A lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of its directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, subject to the provisions of Rule 1.7. If the organization's consent to the dual representation is required by Rule 1.7, the consent shall be given by an appropriate official of the organization other than the individual who is to be represented, or by the shareholders.

Rule 1.14. Client with diminished capacity

(a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.

(b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.

(c) Information relating to the representation of a client with diminished capacity is protected by Rule 1.6. When taking protective action pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized under Rule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the client's interests.

Rule 1.15. Safekeeping property

(a) A lawyer shall hold property of clients or third persons that is in a lawyer's possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer's own property. Funds shall be kept in a separate account designated solely for funds held in connection with the practice of law in this jurisdiction. Such funds shall be maintained in the state in which the lawyer’s office is situated, or elsewhere with the consent of the client or third person. Funds of the lawyer that are reasonably sufficient to pay bank charges may be deposited therein; however, such amount may not exceed $1,000 and must be separately stated and accounted for in the same manner as clients' funds deposited therein. Other property shall be identified as such and appropriately safeguarded. Complete records of such account funds and other property shall be kept by the lawyer and shall be preserved for a period of five years after the completion of the events that they record.

(b) Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third person. Except as stated in this Rule or otherwise permitted by law or by agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, upon request by the client or third person, shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such property.

(c) When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which both the lawyer and another person claim interests, the property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until there is an accounting and severance of their interests. If a dispute arises concerning their respective interests, the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved.

(d) A lawyer engaged in the private practice of law must maintain financial books and records on a current basis, and shall preserve the books and records for at least five years following the completion of the year to which they relate, or, as to fiduciary books and records, five years following the completion of that fiduciary obligation. The maintenance of books and records must conform with the following provisions:

(1) All bank statements, cancelled checks (or images and/or copies thereof as provided by the bank), records of electronic transfers, and duplicate deposit slips relating to fiduciary and non-fiduciary accounts must be preserved. Records of all electronic transfers from fiduciary accounts shall include the name of the person authorizing transfer, the date of transfer, the name of recipient and confirmation from the banking institution confirming the number of the fiduciary account from which the funds are withdrawn and the date and time the request for transfer was completed.

(2) Bank accounts maintained for fiduciary funds must be specifically designated as “Rule 1.15A Attorney Trust Account” or “1.15A Trust Account” or “Rule 1.15A Attorney Escrow Account” or “1.15A Escrow Account,” and must be used only for funds held in a fiduciary capacity. A designation of the account as a “Rule 1.15A Attorney Trust Account” or “1.15A Trust Account” or “Rule 1.15A Attorney Escrow Account” or “1.15A Escrow Account,” must appear in the account title on the bank statement. Other related statements, checks, deposit slips, and other documents maintained for fiduciary funds, must contain, at a minimum, a designation of the account as “Attorney Trust Account” or “Attorney Escrow Account.”

(3) Bank accounts and related statements, checks, deposit slips, and other documents maintained for non-fiduciary funds must be specifically designated as "Attorney Business Account" or "Attorney Operating Account," and must be used only for funds held in a non-fiduciary capacity. A lawyer in the private practice of law shall maintain a nonfiduciary account for general operating purposes, and the account shall be separate from any of the lawyer's personal or other accounts.

(4) All records relating to property other than cash received by a lawyer in a fiduciary capacity shall be maintained and preserved. The records must describe with specificity the identity and location of such property.

(5) All billing records reflecting fees charged and other billings to clients or other parties must be maintained and preserved.

(6) Cash receipts and cash disbursement journals must be maintained and preserved for each bank account for the purpose of recording fiduciary and non-fiduciary transactions. A lawyer using a manual system for such purposes must total and balance the transaction columns on a monthly basis. 

(7) A monthly reconciliation for each bank account, matching totals from the cash receipts and cash disbursement journals with the ending check register balance, must be performed. The reconciliation procedures, however, shall not be required for lawyers using a computer accounting system or a general ledger.

(8) The check register balance for each bank account must be reconciled monthly to the bank statement balance.

(9) With respect to all fiduciary accounts:

(A) A subsidiary ledger must be maintained and preserved with a separate account for each client or third party in which cash receipts and cash disbursement transactions and monthly balances are recorded. (B) Monthly listings of client or third party balances must be prepared showing the name and balance of each client or third party, and the total of all balances.

(C) No funds disbursed for a client or third party must be in excess of funds received from that client or third party. If, however, through error funds disbursed for a client or third party exceed funds received from that client or third party, the lawyer shall transfer funds from the non-fiduciary account in a timely manner to cover the excess disbursement.

(D) The reconciled total cash balance must agree with the total of the client or third party balance listing. There shall be no unidentified client or third party funds. The bank reconciliation for a fiduciary account is not complete unless there is agreement with the total of client or third party accounts.

(E) If a check has been issued in an attempt to disburse funds, but remains outstanding (that is, the check has not cleared the trust or escrow bank account) six months or more from the date it was issued, a lawyer shall promptly take steps to contact the payee to determine the reason the check was not deposited by the payee, and shall issue a replacement check, as necessary and appropriate. With regard to abandoned or unclaimed trust funds, a lawyer shall comply with requirements of Supreme Court Rule 73.

(F) No funds of the lawyer shall be placed in or left in the account except as provided in Rule 1.15(a).

(G) No funds which should have been disbursed shall remain in the account, including, but not limited to, earned legal fees, which must be transferred to the lawyer’s non-fiduciary account on a prompt and timely basis when earned.

(H) When a separate real estate bank account is maintained for settlement transactions, and when client or third party funds are received but not yet disbursed, a listing must be prepared on a monthly basis showing the name of the client or third party, the balance due to each client or third party, and the total of all such balances. The total must agree with the reconciled cash balance.

(10) If a lawyer maintains financial books and records using a computer system, the lawyer must cause to be printed each month a hard copy of all monthly journals, ledgers, reports, and reconciliations, and/or cause to be created each month an electronic backup of these documents to be stored in such a manner as to make them accessible for review by the lawyer and/or the auditor for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.

(e) A lawyer's financial books and records must be subject to examination by the auditor for the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of a certificate of compliance filed each year by the lawyer pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 69. The examination must be conducted so as to preserve, insofar as is consistent with these Rules, the confidential nature of the lawyer's books and records. If the lawyer's books and records are not located in Delaware, the lawyer may have the option either to produce the books and records at the lawyer's office in Delaware or to produce the books and records at the location outside of Delaware where they are ordinarily located. If the production occurs outside of Delaware, the lawyer shall pay any additional expenses incurred by the auditor for the purposes of an examination.

(f) A lawyer holding client funds must initially and reasonably determine whether the funds should or should not be placed in an interest-bearing depository account for the benefit of the client. In making such a determination, the lawyer must consider the financial interests of the client, the costs of establishing and maintaining the account, any tax reporting procedures or requirements, the nature of the transaction involved, the likelihood of delay in the relevant proceedings, whether the funds are of a nominal amount, and whether the funds are expected to be held by the lawyer for a short period of time. A lawyer must at reasonable intervals consider whether changed circumstances would warrant a different determination with respect to the deposit of client funds. Except as provided in these Rules, interest earned on client funds placed into an interest-bearing depository account for the benefit of the client (less any deductions for ser-Page 14 Del. Prof. Cond. R. 1.16 vice charges or other fees of the depository institution) shall belong to the client whose funds are deposited, and the lawyer shall have no right or claim to such interest.

(g) A lawyer holding client funds who has reasonably determined, pursuant to subsection (f) of this Rule, that such funds need not be deposited into an interest-bearing depository account for the benefit of the client must maintain a pooled interest-bearing depository account for the deposit of the funds; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to a lawyer who either has obtained inactive status pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 69(d), or has obtained a Certificate of Retirement pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 69(f), or has formally elected to opt out of this requirement in accordance with the procedure set forth below in subparagraph (k).

(h) A lawyer who maintains such a pooled account shall comply with the following:

(1) The account shall include only client's funds which are nominal amount or are expected to be held for a short period of time.

(2) No interest from such an account shall be made available to a lawyer or law firm.

(3) Lawyers or law firms depositing client funds in a pooled interest-bearing account under this paragraph (h) [(g)] shall direct the depository institution:

(a) To remit interest, net any service charges or fees, as computed in accordance with the institution's standard accounting practice, at least quarterly, to the Delaware Bar Foundation; and

(b) To transmit with each remittance to the Delaware Bar Foundation a statement showing the name of the lawyer or law firm on whose accounting remittance is sent and the rate of interest applied; with a copy of statement to be transmitted to the lawyer or law firm by the Delaware Bar Foundation.

(i) The funds transmitted to the Delaware Bar Foundation shall be available for distribution for the following purposes:

(1) To improve the administration of justice;

(2) To provide and to enhance the delivery of legal services to the poor;

(3) To support law related education;

(4) For each other purposes that serve the public interest.

The Delaware Bar Foundation shall recommend for the approval of the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware, such distributions as it may deem appropriate. Distributions shall be made only upon the Court's approval.

(j) Lawyers or law firms, depositing client funds in a pooled interest-bearing depository account under this paragraph shall not be required to advise the client of such deposit or of the purposes to which the interest accumulated by reason of such deposits is to be directed.

(k) The procedure available for opting out of the requirement to maintain pooled interest-bearing accounts are as follows:

(1) Prior to December 15, 1983, a lawyer wishing to decline to maintain a pooled interest-bearing account[s] described in this paragraph for any calendar year may do so by submitting a Notice of Declination in writing to the Clerk of the Supreme Court ab initio or before December 15 of the preceding calendar year. Any such submission shall remain effective, unless revoked and need not be renewed for any ensuing year.

(2) Any lawyer who has not filed a Notice of Declination on or before December 15, 1983, may elect not to maintain a pooled interest-bearing depository account for client funds as required and instead to maintain a pooled depository account for such funds that does not bear interest or that bears interest solely for the benefit of the clients who deposited the funds by certifying that the lawyer or law firm opts out of the obligation to comply with the requirements by timely submission of the Annual Registration Statement required by Supreme Court Rule 69(b)(i). Any such certification shall release the lawyer or law firm submitting it from participation effective as of the date that the certification is submitted and it shall remain effective until revoked as set forth below without need for renewal for any ensuing year. Page 15 Del. Prof. Cond. R. 1.16

(3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subparagraph, any lawyer or law firm may petition the Court at any time and, for good cause shown, may be granted leave to opt out of the obligation to comply with the mandatory requirements of this paragraph.

(l) An election to opt out of the obligation to comply with paragraph (h) hereof may be revoked at any time upon the opening by a non-participating lawyer or law firm of a pooled interest-bearing account as previously described and due notification thereof to the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 69(g).

(m) A lawyer shall not disburse fiduciary funds from a bank account unless the funds deposited in the lawyer’s fiduciary account to be disbursed, or the funds which are in the lawyer’s unrestricted possession and control and are or will be timely deposited, are good funds as hereinafter defined. "Good funds" shall mean:

(1) cash;

(2) electronic fund ("wire") transfer;

(3) certified check;

(4) bank cashier's check or treasurer's check;

(5) U.S. Treasury or State of Delaware Treasury check;

(6) Check drawn on a separate trust or escrow account of an attorney engaged in the private practice of law in the State of Delaware held in a fiduciary capacity, including his or her client's funds;

(7) Check of an insurance company that is authorized by the Insurance Commissioner of Delaware to transact insurance business in Delaware;

(8) Check in an amount no greater than $ 10,000.00;

(9) Check greater than $ 10,000.00, which has been actually and finally collected and may be drawn against under federal or state banking regulations then in effect;

(10) Check drawn on an escrow account of a real estate broker licensed by the state of Delaware up to the limit of guarantee provided per transaction by statute.

Rule 1.15A. Trust account overdraft notification

(a) Every attorney practicing or admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall designate every account into which attorney trust or escrow funds are deposited either as ‘Rule 1.15A Attorney Trust Account’ or ‘1.15A Trust Account’ or ‘Rule 1.15A Attorney Escrow Account’ or ‘1.15A Escrow Account,’ pursuant to Rule 1.15(d)(2).

(b) Bank accounts designated as ‘Rule 1.15A Attorney Trust Account’ or ‘1.15A Trust Account’ or ‘Rule 1.15A Attorney Escrow Account’ or ‘1.15A Escrow Account,’ pursuant to Rule 1.15(d)(2) shall be maintained only in financial institutions approved by the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection (the “Fund”).

(c) The Supreme Court may establish rules governing approval and termination of approved status for financial institutions and the Fund shall annually publish a list of approved financial institutions. No trust or escrow account shall be maintained in any financial institution that does not agree to make such reports. Any such agreement shall apply to all branches of the financial institution and shall not be canceled except upon thirty (30) days notice in writing to the Fund.

(d) The overdraft notification agreement shall provide that all reports made by the financial institution shall be in the following format:

(1) In the case of a dishonored instrument, the report shall be identical to the overdraft notice customarily forwarded to the depositor, and shall include a copy of the dishonored instrument to the ODC no later than seven (7) calendar days following a request for the copy by the ODC. Page 16 Del. Prof. Cond. R. 1.16

(2) In the case of instruments that are presented against insufficient funds, but which instruments are honored, the report shall identify the financial institution, the attorney or law firm, the account number, the date of presentation for payment, and the date paid, as well as the amount of the overdraft created thereby.

(e) Reports shall be made simultaneously with, and within the time provided by law for, notice of dishonor. If an instrument presented against insufficient funds is honored, then the report shall be made within seven (7) calendar days of the date of presentation for payment against insufficient funds.

(f) Every attorney practicing or admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall, as a condition thereof, be conclusively deemed to have consented to the reporting and production requirements mandated by this rule.

(g) Nothing herein shall preclude a financial institution from charging a particular attorney or law firm for the reasonable costs of producing the reports and records required by this rule.

(h) The terms used in this section are defined as follows:

(1) "Financial institution" includes banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, savings banks and any other business or persons which accept for deposit funds held in trust by attorneys.

(2) "Properly payable" refers to an instrument which, if presented in the normal course of business, is in a form requiring payment under the laws of Delaware. (3) "Notice of dishonor" refers to the notice which a financial institution is required to give, under the laws of Delaware, upon presentation of an instrument which the institution dishonors.

Rule 1.16. Declining or terminating representation

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:

(1) the representation will result in violation of the rules of professional conduct or other law;

(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client; or (3) the lawyer is discharged.

(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:

(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client;

(2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;

(3) the client has used the lawyer's service to perpetrate a crime or fraud;

(4) a client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement;

(5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;

(6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or

(7) other good cause for withdrawal exists.

(c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.

(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law.

Rule 1.17. Sale of law practice

A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area of law practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The seller ceases to engage in the private practice of law, or in the area of practice that has been sold in the jurisdiction in which the practice has been conducted;

(b) The entire practice, or the entire area of practice, is sold to one or more lawyers or law firms;

(c) The seller gives written notice to each of the seller's clients regarding:

(1) the proposed sale;

(2) the client's right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and

(3) the client's consent to the transfer of the client's files will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within ninety (90) days of receipt of the notice.

In a matter of pending litigation, if a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client may be transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizing by a court having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court in camera information relating to the representation only to the extent necessary to obtain an order authorizing the transfer of a file. If approval of the substitution of the purchasing lawyer for the selling lawyer is required by the rules of any tribunal in which a matter is pending, such approval must be obtained before the matter can be included in the sale.

(d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale.

Rule 1.18. Duties to prospective client

(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.

(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client.

(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the matter, except as provided in paragraph (d). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).

(d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:

(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing, or:

(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and

(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and

(ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.

Rule 2.1. Advisor

In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations, such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client's situation.

Rule 2.2. Intermediary (Deleted)

Rule 2.3. Evaluation for use by third persons

(a) A lawyer may provide an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone other than the client if the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects of the lawyer's relationship with the client.

(b) When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the evaluation is likely to affect the client's interests materially and adversely, the lawyer shall not provide the evaluation unless the client gives informed consent.

(c) Except as disclosure is authorized in connection with a report of an evaluation, information relating to the evaluation is otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

Rule 2.4. Lawyer serving as third-party neutral

(a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists two or more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a third-party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in such other capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter.

(b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer's role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer's role as one who represents a client.

Rule 3.1. Meritorious claims and contentions

 A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.

Rule 3.2. Expediting litigation

A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.

Rule 3.3. Candor toward the tribunal

(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:

(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;

(2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or

(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer's client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.

(b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.

(c) The duties stated in paragraph (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6. (d) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer which will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

Rule 3.4. Fairness to opposing party and counsel

A lawyer shall not:

(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;

(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or offer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law.

(c) knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal, except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists; (d) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent efforts to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party;

(e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness, or state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of an accused; or

(f) request a person other than a client to refrain from voluntarily giving relevant information to another party unless:

(1) the person is a relative or an employee or other agent of a client; and

(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the person's interests will not be adversely affected by refraining from giving such information.

Rule 3.5. Impartiality and decorum of the tribunal

A lawyer shall not:

(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law;

(b) communicate or cause another to communicate ex parte with such a person or members of such person's family during the proceeding unless authorized to do so by law or court order; or

(c) communicate with a juror or prospective juror after discharge of the jury unless the communication is permitted by court rule;

(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal or engage in undignified or discourteous conduct that is degrading to a tribunal.

Rule 3.6. Trial publicity

(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;

(2) information contained in a public record;

(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;

(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;

(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;

(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest; and

(7) in a criminal case, in addition to subparagraphs (1) through (6):

(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;

(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person;

(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and

(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation. 

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client. A statement made pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.

(d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyer subject to paragraph (a) shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).

Rule 3.7. Lawyer as witness

(a) A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness unless:

(1) the testimony relates to an uncontested issue;

(2) the testimony relates to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the case; or

(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client. (b) A lawyer may act as advocate in a trial in which another lawyer in the lawyer's firm is likely to be called as a witness unless precluded from doing so by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9.

Rule 3.8. Special responsibilities of a prosecutor

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;

(b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;

(c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;

(d)(1) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;

(2) when the prosecutor comes to know of new, credible and material evidence establishing that a convicted defendant did not commit the offense for which the defendant was convicted, the prosecutor shall, unless a court authorizes delay, make timely disclosure of that evidence to the convicted defendant and any appropriate court, or, where the conviction was obtained outside the prosecutor’s jurisdiction, to the chief prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred;

(e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:

(1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;

(2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and

(3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;

(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

Rule 3.9. Advocate in nonadjudicative proceedings

A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c), 3.4(a) through(c) and 3.5(a) and (c).

Rule 3.10. Communication with or investigation of jurors (Deleted)

Rule 4.1. Truthfulness in statements to others

In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:

(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or

(b) fail to disclose a material fact when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.

Rule 4.2. Communication with person represented by counsel

In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.

Rule 4.3. Dealing with unrepresented person

In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.

Rule 4.4. Respect for rights of third persons

(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person.

(b) A lawyer who receives a document relating to the representation of the lawyer's client and knows or reasonably should know that the document was inadvertently sent shall promptly notify the sender.

Rule 5.1. Responsibilities of partners, managers, and supervisory lawyers

(a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if:

(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or

(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.

Rule 5.2. Responsibilities of a subordinate lawyer

(a) A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted at the direction of another person.

(b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer's reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.

Rule 5.3. Responsibilities regarding non-lawyer assistants

With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:

(a) a partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer;

(b) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer; and

(c) a lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that would be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:

(1) the lawyer orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or

(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.

 Rule 5.4. Professional independence of a lawyer

(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:

(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons;

(2) a lawyer who undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation which fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer;

(3) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;

(4) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and

(5) a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.

(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.

(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.

(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:

(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;

(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation; or

(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.

Rule 5.5. Unauthorized practice of law; multijurisdictional practice of law

(a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.

(b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not:

(1) except as authorized by these Rules or other law, establish an office or other systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law; or

(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.

(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction or in a foreign jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:

(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter;

(2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;

(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.

(d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, or in a foreign jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that:

(1) are provided to the lawyer's employer or its organizational affiliates after compliance with Supreme Court Rule 55.1(a)(1) and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(2) are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this jurisdiction.

Rule 5.6. Restrictions on right to practice

A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:

(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the rights of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or

(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.

Rule 5.7. Responsibilities regarding law-related services

(a) A lawyer shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to the provision of law-related services, as defined in paragraph (b), if the law-related services are provided:

(1) by the lawyer in circumstances that are not distinct from the lawyer's provision of legal services to clients; or

(2) in other circumstances by an entity controlled by the lawyer individually or with others if the lawyer fails to take reasonable measures to assure that a person obtaining the law-related services knows that the services are not legal services and that the protections of the client-lawyer relationship do not exist.

(b) The term "law-related services" denotes services that might reasonably be performed in conjunction with and in substance are related to the provision of legal services, and that are not prohibited as unauthorized practice of law when provided by a nonlawyer.

Rule 6.1. Voluntary pro bono publico service

A lawyer should render public interest legal service. A lawyer may discharge this responsibility by providing professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means or to public service or charitable groups or organizations, by service in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession, and by financial support for organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

Rule 6.2. Accepting appointments

A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:

(a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;

(b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or

(c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.

Rule 6.3. Membership in legal services organization

A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, notwithstanding that the organization serves persons having interests adverse to a client of the lawyer. The lawyer shall not knowingly participate in a decision or action of the organization:

(a) if participating in the decision or action would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations to a client under Rule 1.7; or

(b) where the decision or action could have a material adverse effect on the representation of a client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.

Rule 6.4. Law reform activities affecting client interests

A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer. When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefitted by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the client.

Rule 6.5. Non-profit and court-annexed limited legal-service programs

(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides shortterm limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter:

(1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9(a) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; and

(2) is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule. Page 27 Del. Prof. Cond. R. 7.1

Rule 7.1. Communications concerning a lawyer's services

A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.

Rule 7.2. Advertising

(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media.

(b) Except as permitted by Rule 1.5(e), a lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services except that a lawyer may

(1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule;

(2) pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service. A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been approved by an appropriate regulatory authority; and

(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17. (c) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.

Rule 7.3. Direct contact with prospective clients

(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:

(1) is a lawyer; or

(2) has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.

(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:

(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or

(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.

(c) Every written, recorded or electronic communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall include the words "Advertising Material" on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person specified in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2).

(d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.

Rule 7.4. Communication of fields of practice and specialization

(a) A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.

(b) A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation;

(c) A lawyer engaged in Admiralty practice may use the designation "Admiralty," "Proctor in Admiralty" or a substantially similar designation. (d) A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:

(1) the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by an appropriate state authority or that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and

(2) the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.

Rule 7.5. Firm names and letterheads

(a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.1. A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.

(b) A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.

(c) The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm. (d) Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact.

Rule 7.6. Political contributions to obtain government legal engagements or appointments by judges

A lawyer or law firm shall not accept a government legal engagement or an appointment by a judge if the lawyer or law firm makes a political contribution or solicits political contributions for the purpose of obtaining or being considered for that type of legal engagement or appointment.

Rule 8.1. Bar admission and disciplinary matters

An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:

(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or 

(b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admission or disciplinary authority, except that this rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

Rule 8.2. Judicial and legal officials

(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.

(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Rule 8.3. Reporting professional misconduct

(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.

(c) This Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by rule 1.6.

(d) Notwithstanding anything in this or other of the rules to the contrary, the relationship between members of either (i) the Lawyers Assistance Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association and counselors retained by the Bar Association, or (ii) the Professional Ethics Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association, or (iii) the Fee dispute Conciliation and Mediation Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association, or (iv) the Professional Guidance Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association, and a lawyer or a judge shall be the same as that of attorney and client.

Rule 8.4. Misconduct

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so or do so through the acts of another;

(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.

Rule 8.5. Disciplinary authority; choice of law

(a) Disciplinary Authority. A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the lawyer's conduct occurs. A lawyer not admitted in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.

(b) Choice of Law. In any exercise of the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, the rules of professional conduct to be applied shall be as follows:

(1) for conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise; and

(2) for any other conduct, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer's conduct occurred, or, if the predominant effect of the conduct is in a different jurisdiction, the rules of that jurisdiction shall be applied to the conduct. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if the lawyer's conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer's conduct will occur.

CURRENT THROUGH: February 16, 2010.


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