The Speech Pathology Australia Code of Ethics (2010) outlines the principles and values speech pathologists aspire to in ethical decision making.
Members of Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) are required to abide by the Code of Ethics within all professional activities. It is fundamental to the professional responsibilities of speech pathologists that we observe the highest standards of integrity and ethical principles.
The Senior Advisor Ethics and Professional Issues provides support to members and the general public regarding ethical issues or queries, and is available to discuss the ethical and professional conduct of speech pathologists.
Code of Ethics Interpretation statement
As a self-regulating profession, the Code of Ethics assists and supports speech pathologists to aim for the highest levels of professional practice and deliver appropriate and effective health services.
Maintenance of a high level of professional competence and practice is essential for provision of speech pathology services, and for maintaining the standards of the profession and upholding the provision of evidence based practice.
Speech Pathology Australia members commit to upholding the Code of Ethics in their practice annually as part of their membership renewal, thereby ensuring the services they provide are safe and effective. New graduate members are required to complete the Ethic Education Package within the first year of membership to achieve full Certified Practising Speech Pathologist status.
As a self-regulating profession, the Code of Ethics is used by speech pathologists to:
- establish and maintain the highest standards of professional practice
- support speech pathologists to guide professional decision making and fulfil their professional obligations and responsibilities
- protect clients and the public by identification of inappropriate professional practice and minimise harm
- support a culture of professionalism and ethical practice
- provide informed choice for clients.
Code of Ethics
The Association's Code of Ethics includes:
- the values of our profession
- the principles that guide ethical decisions
- the standards of ethical practice and professional conduct expected of speech pathologists by our peers and the community.
The Code of Ethics:
- assists members of our Association to demonstrate professionally acceptable behaviour in their speech pathology practice
- provides values, principles and standards by which people outside our profession may evaluate speech pathology practice, and
- provides guidelines to identify and report a breach of ethics or professional conduct. It forms the basis for the decisions of our Association's Ethics Board.
The Association maintains the currency of the profession’s ethics by periodically reviewing and revising the Code of Ethics, most recently in 1999/2000 and 2010.
Speech Pathology Australia recognises the importance of the professional development in the area of Ethics. The Association has produced an Ethics Education Package and a selection of resources to support members.
In 2000, Association's the Ethics Board was established to promote ethical practice, manage and, when necessary, to enforce the Code.
Members of the public or members of the profession are encouraged to make a complaint if they believe there has been a breach of the Association’s Code of Ethics.
View the Ethics Board Background and Procedures .
The following people currently form the Ethics Board of Speech Pathology Australia.
Dr Suze Leitao
Ms Trish Bradd
Dr Susan Block
Ms Helen Smith
Dr Belinda Kenny
Ms Felicity Burke
Mr Tristan Nickless
Mr Grant Meredith
Dr Richard Saker
Ms Donna Dancer
Dr Nerina Scarinci
Mr Noel Muller
The Ethics Board is supported at the Association's Senior Advisor Ethics and Professional.
Ethical Practice in Speech Pathology
The Speech Pathology Australia Ethics Board has produced an ethics supplement of the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (JCPSLP) containing articles from 2005-2015 written by members of the Ethics Board and colleagues.
Articles are organised thematically and cover emerging trends in ethical issues, ethics in the workplace, ethics and technology, ethics and dysphagia management, and ethics and clinical education. View this issue of JCPSLP (Ethical practice in speech pathology).