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Tuesday, 08 December 2020 08:12

Code of Ethics for Psychologists


     Each important profession in society has a set of ethics, laws, and principles that govern work, conduct, and conditions of its practitioners. This code of ethics is considered as a contract to be strictly adhered to by experts in the field. They should behave responsibly and professionally to avoid causing harm and violations as far as their profession or those who work in the field or man, targeted by this psychological service are concerned.

   The power and respect of this code of ethics stem from the moral commitment and sincere consensus regarding the setting of rules and regulations for this profession by its experts.

    By workers in the field is meant those psychologists who obtain a BA, a BSc, a diploma, an MA, or a Ph.D. in psychology and are practitioners. All those to whom this term applies shall adhere to this code of ethics and make others aware of it. Affiliation to the Egyptian Society for Psychological studies and Association of Egyptian Psychologists by which this code of ethics was set up implies strong compliance with it in addition to moral accountability before such bodies. As the work of experts in the field is diverse, adhering to this code of ethics in its entirety is incumbent.

   It is recommended both by the society and association that psychology major students be made aware of this code prior to their graduation. Workers in professions that help in offering services in the area of Psychological services such as psychologists, social workers, teachers, and others shall observe the principles and spirit of the code as a basis for cooperation by all parties concerned to continue.

1- General Principles

1/1 Psychologists are encouraged to cultivate their personal character and maintain integrity.

1/2 Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/ patients and take care of their well-being.

1/3 They must strive to benefit society and care to maintain the best interests of society, respect Divine Laws, constitution and law.

1/4 They must recognise the human rights of their patients without distinction of any kind, such as religion, sect, sex, age, race, or colour.

5/1  In his work, the psychologist will respect the rights of others to embrace values, attitudes and opinions that differ from what he espouses, and will not engage in any discrimination based on them.

6/1  The psychologist will establish an objective and balanced relationship with the client. The basis of which is honesty and non-deception; and will not seek to gain or benefit from the client in a material or moral way except within the limits of the agreed upon wage. Provided that this wage is reasonable and consistent with the prevailing law and norms, to avoid the suspicion of exploitation or extortion.

7/1  The psychologist will not establish private, personal relationships with the client that are marred by sexual, material, utilitarian, or selfish exploitation.

8/1  The psychologist should be clear to the client about the limits and possibilities of professional activity without exaggeration or deception.

9/1  The psychologist will not use technical tools or professional methods without appropriate proficiency or when not assured of their suitability for use.

10/1  The psychologist will not use recording tools or devices without first obtaining the client's permission and consent.

11/1  The psychologist is entrusted with the private secrets and personal data presented to him, and is responsible for securing them against the perception of others; except as required by the situation and for the benefit of the client (as in the case of counseling parents, treating children, and discussing cases with the clinical team or supervising specialists).

12/1  When the psychologist assigns one of his assistants or subordinates to deal with the client on his behalf, this specialist will bear full responsibility over the work of these assistants.

13/1  The psychologist will document his professional work with the utmost accuracy and in a way that any other specialist guarantees its completion, in the event of inability to continue with the task for any reason.

14/1  It is not permissible to publish the cases that the psychologist studies, treats, or faces in conjunction with what enables others to reveal the clients’ identity (such as their names and descriptions) to prevent causing them any embarrassment or the exploitation of the data published against them. 

15/1  When the client is unable to fulfill his obligations, the psychologist must follow humane methods of claiming the fee and direct the client to entities that may provide the service at low costs.

16/1  The psychologist performs the evaluation, diagnosis, or therapeutic intervention only within the framework of a professional relationship. All reports are based on evidence that supports their validity, such as measurements and interviews. These reports will only be submitted to the parties concerned with the treatment, otherwise, it must be by an explicit judicial order.

17/1  The psychologist strives for his actions and words to be directed towards raising the value of the psychological profession in the eyes of others, and earn it the respect and appreciation of society and keep away from vulgar and insulting attitude.

2- Psychometrics:
2/1 The preparation and authorship of the psychological tests or their use is restricted to the psychologist only who should strive to prohibit their circulation or sale to the non-specialists or to the non-concerned parties. These tests should be used by qualified psychologists merely.

2/2 The Preparation of authorship of the psychological tests is at least limited to the holders of a MA degree or those who have at least ten years of experience in the field of psychometrics. An exception to this is that the scales can be prepared under the supervision of a specialist.

2/3 A qualified psychologist should not publish a scale for the purpose of others' use of it, unless it is accompanied by the instruction booklet that includes the studies and research conducted on it and the results of these tests. It also contains the situations and people for whom it is not suitable to apply this test. The specialist should not assign any exaggerated descriptions to the scale in order to increase its distribution.

2/4 In case of extreme necessity, standards for which adequate psychological studies have not been conducted could be published mentioning this information in a prominent place.

2/5 It is prohibited to publish the names of the subjects or to present the results of their response on the scale in a way that may offend them as individuals or groups.

2/6 The psychologist is careful in publishing the scale in a high-quality print out and complete clarity in writing. On the other hand, the specialist who uses a test already published seeks to rely on the original published issue and not on a photocopy or otherwise.

2/7 It is prohibited to publish any paragraphs or parts of the psychological tests and measures or to show them in any public form, such as giving examples for clarification or explanation except for specialized academic purposes.

2/8 When using the test, the psychologist seeks to review it, train on it, and experiment with it in an exploratory way before starting to apply it for a scientific or practical goal. In addition, one of his responsibilities is to make sure that all the psychometric conditions apply to it.

2/9 The consent of the client or his guardian (in case he is unable to accompany) must be obtained to apply the test without any compulsion or pressure to measure the response or to continue the test until the end.

2/10 The psychologist bears the primary responsibility for the proper application, explanation and use of the measuring tools. He is also obliged to verify the evidence of the validity of the computer programs if they are used in one of the stages of application or correction. In addition, he bears the responsibility for what is mentioned in his report, whether the persons who have prepared these programs are his assistants or they are ready-made programs.

2/11 The psychologist issues his report or judgments on the test results within the limits of the performance possibilities in terms of honesty, consistency, and the legal sample, in addition to the differences between the respondents and the sample of technicians.

2/11   The psychologist writes his/ her report including the assessment of the test’s results, limited by the performance in terms of truthfulness, stability, regulation sample, and the differences between respondents and regulation sample.

2/12   The psychologist pledges to notify the customers of the applied test’s results, taking into consideration that this would not endanger his psychological health.

2/13   The qualified and fully trained psychologist is supposed to be the only one who applies and corrects psychological measurement tests.

3- Research Ethics and Response

3/1   The psychologist avoids dedicating research objectives for the sake of compliment, or for the sake of serving the goals of political propaganda.

3/2    Concerning the mystery that may envelop some processes of the research plan as to what extent they are ethical, the psychologist should discuss and check the plan with his colleagues and teachers.

3/3    In case that there were physical, social, or psychological harms, due to the processes of the study, the psychologist must stop the work in order to check that the expected results would deserve continuation. In this case, precaution should be maintained.

3/4   The psychologist should get the explicit approval of the researched people or their parents in case they show irresponsibility.

3/5   The psychologist shoulders the responsibility for the best choice of his/ her assistants, and he/ she should be responsible for his behavior and his assistants’ behaviors.

3/6    The psychologist pays great attention not to use his administrative authority, embarrassment or pressure practiced upon his students, employees, or patients so as to convince them of participating in the study or to continue had they wished to withdraw.

3/7    If the student’s participation was included as one of the requirements of studying, there would be the need for an alternative student had the former student wanted to withdraw.

3/8    The psychologist does not choose to work on a research revolving around the deception of the researched people save as otherwise provided (such as educational, applied, or scientific benefits). In this case, the psychologist should get the acceptance of the researched people.

3/9 The psychologist—when experimenting/trying on animals--makes sure to minimize the pain or *** that they may be exposed to the lowest possible degree.

3/10 The psychologist takes certain measures/steps to reward the subjects of the study such as to thank them in one of the margins of the final report.

3/11 All measures should be carefully taken to document information in the study report and all other psychological files—with clear reference to sources. It is not allowed present another researcher’s scientific data as if it is his/her own without clearly referencing all that is been quoted from others.

3/12 it is not allowed to be affected by the professional or academic status of the researcher involved in a study on the order in which their names are presented as a group. The order should reflect the size of actual participation and effort given in the study. It is recommended that their shares in the study are given in full detail.

3/13 if the study is derived from one student’s scientific thesis, he/she will referred to as the first author among the others.

3/14 a psychologist will not withhold the original data of his/her study from any other researchers who ask for them to reanalyze in order to confirm its results and validity or to do further analysis on them –on condition that the identity of original participating subjects will not be revealed, and any reference to these subjects will be blocked.

4- Ethics of Diagnosis and Treatment

4/1 A clinical psychologist will accept the participant/subject as it is without expressing any criticism, scolding, affection, unease, or condemnation  towards what they express/represent or do.

4/2 Before treatment, the psychologist will discuss with the client the nature of the healing program, the tariff/charge, method of payment, and revealing to the client limits of the clinical work done to him/her in order to diagnose the case, or guidance and treatment without any exaggeration.

4/3 A psychologist must completely commit to the schedule of sessions with the client.

4/4 If the psychologist participating in the treatment is a student or an assistant for a professor, or if he/she were a professor assisted by students, he/she must inform the patient of the reality.

4/5 A psychologist must obtain a written confirmation that the client agrees with all the clinical procedures and the due payment. This written confirmation/agreement must be in a clear language in which the client will declare that he/she has been unformed with all basic data related to his/her treatment.

4/6 A psychologist must be assured that the client is free of any physical or mental illnesses before accepting to be involved in the treatment. In case of doubt, the psychologist must refer the client to specialist physicians or ask for their assistance in the treatment procedures.

4/7 In the case of group family therapy, the psychologist must determine which of them is the patient and who is the assistant in the treatment, and he/she tries to reconcile the family relations in a way that neutralizes these relations  and does not call for separation except in the case of extreme necessity.

4/8 The psychologist must work to end the professional or therapeutic relationship with the client if it appears that it has achieved its goals of recovery or that its continuation with him/her  will not benefit the client, and in this case the specialist must advise the client to seek treatment from another side, and he/she bears full responsibility for providing all Facilities for the alternative.

4/9 / The clinical psychologist must cooperate with his/her colleagues from different specialties in the treatment team to achieve the best possible service to the client.

4/10 The recording of information about the patient is limited to the therapeutic goal and within its limits only, and does not go beyond that to information that is not beneficial to the treatment process, in order to reduce the violation of privacy

5- Ethics of teaching and training

5/1 The psychologist makes every effort to prepare and train new specialists in psychology while providing sincere advice and guidance to them.

5/2 The psychologist is keen to update his/her  teaching material according to the latest theories and scientific methods, and that the presented material is integrated and coherent and meets the objectives of the course

5/3 The psychologist seeks to verify the correctness of the data related to the academic subject, as well as to ensure the reliability of the evaluation methods in revealing the nature of the experience provided by the program.

5/4 The psychologist who works in teaching or training appreciates the authority he/she has. Trainees or students should make a balanced effort to avoid engaging in behavior that results in insulting or degrading students.

5/5 It is not permissible to train people to use methods or procedures that require specialized training or licensing, such as hypnosis, projective methods, psychophysiological methods, unless the trainees have the preparation and qualification for that.

5/6 The teaching psychologist must abstain from behaviors that offend him/her morally, such as forcing students to do acts of private benefit, absenteeism or repeated excuses from lessons, smoking or drinking drinks while teaching, and respecting the seriousness of the lesson and its specificity.

5/7 The psychologist working in teaching psychology should not accept  any external reward for the lectures, lessons, or supervision he/she provides to students other than the salary or bonus given to him by the responsible institution.

5/8 The teaching psychologist commits to simplify his/her material by answering the students’ questions and adopting their concerns and discussions inside and outside the classroom. 

5/9 The teaching psychologist commits to the greater good of the department by adopting the best academic elements indifferent to any type of competition that could arise based on the implemented choice. 

5/10 The teaching psychologist commits to being impartial to all colleges or to all types of the discipline (educational, academic, clinical). 

5/11 The teaching psychologist ensures the pursuit of balance between the academic and the applied majors, and welcome the novice faculty members regardless their majors and expertise.   

5/12 The teaching psychologist commits to the clean scientific competition and to update psychological knowledge through research and studies.

5/13 having been assigned any editorial responsibility, the teacher psychologist should only adhere to the scientific and objective standards. Additionally, he/she should keep compliments, connections and revenge out of his academic judgment on the assigned editorial job.

5/14 if assigned any editorial responsibility, the teacher psychologist commits to the confidentiality and copyrights of the assigned research.

6- Working in professional and productive establishments

6/1 The psychologist who works in professional and productive establishments considers assigning the right person in the right place based on capability, aptitude, qualifications, expertise and personal characteristics. The psychologist must convince the in charged personnel through the agreed upon standards. 

6/2  The psychologist who participates with groups or enterprises must commit to support their positivity and ensuring the safety of their secrets.

7- Media, advertisement, and testimony

7/1 The psychologist must not be fooled to convict innocents and emancipate convicts; when asked his/her professional opinion at courts.

7/2 The psychologist bears the ethical and professional responsibility in terms of propagandas done on him / her by others.

7/3 The psychologist must resist the many inaccurate psychological data or ideas that have been transmitted. In this regard, he/she should seek advice from his colleagues and cooperate with them so he/she can strengthen his/her own resistance and try to correct these errors.

7/4 The psychologist must avoid anything that raises suspicions which relate to propaganda and media about his/her own personality.

7/5 Any paid advertisement that flatters one of the activities of the psychologist must be clear that it is a paid advertisement unless it proves to be much clearer from the context.

7/6 The psychologist, in his/her own capacity as explained in this charter, must not participate in public talks or discussions except those that are fallen within his/her limits of his specialization, research, and interests.

8- Solving the charter implementation problems

8/1 The psychologist must be familiar with this Ethical Charter and spread awareness of it among his/her new psychologists, and among those who are dealing with psychological service from other specialties. The ignorance of the articles in this charter must not be considered an excuse for violating the charter articles.

8/2 If there is a conflict between the articles of this charter and the instructions of the institution which the psychologist works with, he/she must inform the management of the institution or people in charge about the nature of this conflict. He/she must not take sides with this ethical code.

8/3 In the event the psychologist violates one or more of the provisions of this charter, others must draw this to his/her attention in a friendly manner, in a manner that includes urging him/her to remedy the negative impact of this moral violation.

8/4 In the event the psychologist continues with his/her moral violations or commits an ethical act that cannot be tolerated, others must inform the Ethical Monitoring Committee and the Association and the League so they can carry out a proper investigation and recommend taking any appropriate measures after assessing the extent of the damage caused, and deciding what it deems appropriate in terms of moral penalties. The latter charges may reach a decision of dismissal or temporary deprivation of his/her membership from the Association or from the League. His/her workplace must be informed about the results and the outcomes of this investigation.

8/5 This charter will be published after its approval in the first issue of the Egyptian Journal of Psychological Studies and in the Journal of Psychological Studies. It will be then effective from the month following its last publication.

8/6 The articles of this charter will be reviewed whenever necessary in light of the new circumstances and practices that require modifications of its clauses. The amended articles must be approved by the Board of Directors and the General Assembly of both the Association and the League.

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