Approved by the IAEVG General Assembly, Stockholm, Sweden , 8. August 1995
The International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance is committed to the global provision of educational and vocational guidance processes, that are of high quality, provided by competent and recognized professionals, and designed to facilitate the personal choices and decisions of persons of all ages as they anticipate, prepare for, enter into, face and cope with the dynamics of the labour market and the workplace. The IAEVG mission statement, a separate document to which the ethical standards cited here relate, details the multiple ways by which the Association discharges its responsibilities on behalf of the qua-lity of the practitioners of educational and vocational guidance in their training and qualifications; in the development and provision of methods and materials pertinent to the provision of educational and voca-tional counseling for persons of different ages and settings; in the conduct of research and development; and in the advocacy of client needs for educational and vocational guidance with governments and institutions.
The commitments of IAEVG members to its mission, as a professional organization concerned with the provi-sion of quality services, research, and advocacy on behalf of personal educational and vocational choices, requires adherence to a public code of ethics that guides the actions of practitioners, provides evaluative cri-teria for self-assessments and peer evaluation regarding the quality of the practitioner role, and informs the public of expected standards of professional practices and behaviour. These ethical standards are consistent in essence with the ethical statements of colleagues in related professional areas who also are concerned with providing assistance to persons preparing for or engaged in work, training and education. Thus, the ethical standards of IAEVG, like those of members in other educational, scientific, and professional organiza-tions, are dedicated to the enhancement of the worth, dignity, potential and uniqueness of those persons whom IAEVG members serve.
Ethical standards, such as those which follow, identity minimum essentials by which to gauge ethical beha-viour. They cannot address every possible ethical conflict that IAEVG members experience in their nation or culture. Thus, the Ethical Standards provide below are intended to stimulate the self development of IAEVG members in their ethical behaviour and the creation of local and regional statements of ethical standards for which these standards may provide direction and advice.
Ethical Responsibilities to Clients
- Members of IAEVG accept the primary obligation to respect the dignity of each person to whom educa-tional and vocational guidance services are rendered. This obligation includes acceptance of the rights of the individual to make independent choices, to take responsibility for decisions reached, to engage in self -direction and self-development, and to preserve confidentiality. It also includes practitioner responsibility to be current with laws and policies that pertain to client rights.
- Members of IAEVG do recognize the obligation to provide equal opportunities in educational and voca-tional guidance without prejudice to persons of diversity in social status or educational background, gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or disability and avoid all forms of related discriminations.
- Members of IAEVG are sensitive to the total needs of clients (educational, vocational, personal and social) as they interact to affect the planning for or the adjustment to education and training, occupations, and careers and should refer to relevant experts if their own competency does not meet the client’s need.
- Members of IAEVG inform clients, orally or in writing, of the purposes, goals, techniques, policies and ethical standards under which educational and vocational guidance is provided, conditions in which consul-tation with other professionals might occur, and legal or policy constraints which relate to how services are provided. Any limits on confidentiality set by others will be discussed with the client before proceeding to put him or her in the position to choose personal responses to such limits and involvement. Disclosing of confi-dential information needs the client’s expressed consent.
- Members of IAEVG enhance client’s independent actions and therefore refrain from consciously dictating or coercing client choices, values, lifestyles, plans, or beliefs (e.g., general views on economic life) that represent the counsellor’s or other people’s, but not the client’s personal orientation or perspective. However, in situations where clients hold antisocial values that are of danger to themselves or others, it may be necessary for the counsellor to indicate what his/her professional values are and to what extent he/she supports social conventions.
- Members of IAEVG provide explanations of the content, purposes, and results of tests in language that is understandable to clients. Such practitioners use relevant standards to select, administer, and interpret assessment techniques. They recognize that emerging techniques, e.g. computer-based testing or career guidance programs, require periodic training and continuing familiarity with the professional literature in administration, scoring, and interpretation.
- Members of IAEVG promote the benefits, to clients, of new techniques and appropriate computer appli-cations when research or evaluation warrant such use. The counsellor/practitioner ensures that the use of computer applications or other techniques are appropriate for the individual needs of the client, that the client understands how to use the technique or process involved, and that follow-up counseling assistance is provided. IAEVG members further ensure that members of under-represented groups have equal access to the best techniques available to computer technologies, and to non-discriminatory, current and accurate information within whatever techniques are used.
- IAEVG members, in representing their professional competencies, training and experience to individual clients as well as to organizations for which consultation is requested, provide information that is clear accu-rate and relevant and does not include misleading or deceptive materials.
- Members of IAEVG avoid conflicts of interests which compromise the best interests of their clients when they engage concurrently in the career counseling of clients, serve as representatives of paid employment exchanges or as paid recruiters or intermediaries for training facilities. Where potential conflicts of interests occur, they should be made known to the client.
- Members of IAEVG make appropriate referral when their professional assistance cannot be provided or continued.
Attitudes to Colleagues and Professional Associates
- IAEVG members contribute to development and maintenance of cooperative relationships with professional colleagues and administrators in order to facilitate the provision of optimal educational and vocational guidance.
- IAEVG members are responsible for informing colleagues and administrators about aspects of the provision of educational and vocational guidance such as confidentiality and privacy guidelines.
- IAEVG members will provide professional colleagues and administrators with accurate, objective, concise and relevant information about the needs and outcomes of educational and vocational guidance for evaluative or other purposes.
- IAEVG members cooperate with their professional colleagues in implementing the Ethical Standards in the procedures and practices of their work setting. When direct information raises doubts as to the ethical behaviour of professional colleagues, whether IAEVG members or not, the member should discuss such concerns with the colleague or use available institutional channels to rectify the condition.
- In cases of conflict between professional ethical standards and directives or non-cooperation of an employee, IAEVG members will seek to consult directly with responsible administrators about the implica-tions of such conflicts and seek ways by which to eliminate them.
Attitudes to Government and Other Community Agencies
- If necessary, IAEVG members will advocate for and assist in the development of educational and vocational guidance services that are ethically rendered and relevant to client needs in cooperation with policy-makers, legislators or administrative personnel.
- IAEVG members are aware of and inform administrators, legislators and others of the accepted qualifica-tions and training expectations of competent practitioners of educational and vocational guidance and counseling services.
- IAEVG members actively cooperate with agencies, organizations and individuals in other institutions or in the community so as to meet the needs and provide services to clients.
Responsibilities to Research and Related Processes
- IAEVG members who have the appropriate training and skills to do so, acknowledge their responsibility to conduct research and report findings using procedures that are consistent with the accepted ethical and scientific standards of educational and psychological research practices. When client data are used for statistical, evaluative, research or program planning purposes, the IAEVG member ensures the confiden-tiality of the identity of individual clients.
- IAEVG members acknowledge their responsibility to share in the improvement of educational and voca-tional guidance by sharing skills, knowledge and expertise with colleagues and with professional associa-tions, such as IAEVG.
Responsibilities as an Individual Practitioner
- IAEVG members obtain the initial training and maintain a process of continuous learning in those areas of knowledge and skills required by the profession to be a qualified and competent practitioner of educa-tional and vocational guidance.
- IAEVG members function within the boundaries of their training and experience and refer to other profes-sional persons, clients for whom the practitioner is not prepared to assist. Each IAEVG member accepts the consequences of his or her professional actions and does so within the conscious and deliberate application of ethical guidelines.
- IAEVG members continue to reflect in their practice both the humanistic principles that underlie ethical behaviour as well as attention to the changing social and political questions that have ethical implications for practice. These include such questions as who are my clients (students, workers, employers, society as a whole) and what are the ethical issues of importance in these relationships? How do different forms of intervention (individual counselling, group work, computer-assisted programs, consultation with mana-gement in behalf of workers) differ in ethical concerns? How should educational and vocational guidance services ethically respond to the global tensions between economic and environmental issues in the working lives and workplaces of clients?
- IAEVG members are responsible for monitoring and maintaining their professional competencies and obtaining training on a periodic basis to ensure that they are able to provide competent services to cultural diverse clients and to effectively use new theories and intervention techniques, computer applications, and assessment processes. IAEVG members strive to be current with innovations and trends in the contexts and content of educational and vocational guidance and counseling and do so with an acknow-ledgement that professional and personal experiences and growth go on throughout one’s career.
- IAEVG members seek and participate in regular supervision by which to increase the knowledge and skills required to effectively discharge their professional responsibilities and to develop goals for continued learning.
- IAEVG members are aware of their values and attitudes, in order to remain discrete and objective in the help they provide to clients. In particular, they avoid all forms of racial, sexual, and age stereotyping and discrimination.
- IAEVG members, in cases where ethical issues are unclear or ambiguous, will consult in a confidential manner with a professional association or colleagues to attempt to clarify the issue or develop strategies to rectify the conditions that caused the problem. Failing that possibility, practitioners should directly con-tact the Secretary General of IAEVG to seek clarification, advice or to file a question of profes-sional ethics.