Ethics Resources

The Report of the APA Commission on Ethics Processes

The APA Commission on Ethics Processes was established via APA Board of Directors’ recommendation and APA Council of Representatives’ approval as one of the first steps in a series of recommendations following the APA Independent Review (also known as the Hoffman Report). The commission was made up of 17 members with subject matter expertise in ethics, half psychologists and half professionals representing disciplinary fields other than psychology, including law, philosophy, psychiatry, social science and medicine. Commission members represented a diversity of perspectives, specialties, practice settings and careers, as well as human diversity. The purpose of the commission was to examine APA’s ethics processes and recommend changes. The commission made 12 specific recommendations for change in the Commission Report.

Read the Commission Report (PDF, 330KB)

Efficiency Changes to the Rules and Procedures of the Ethics Committee

The Rules and Procedures of the Ethics Committee have been amended in order to increase the efficiency of the adjudication process.  At its Dec. 11-13, 2015, meeting, the Board of Directors voted to approve minor changes (PDF, 160KB) recommended by the Ethics Committee.

In summary, the changes provide that:

1. The Ethics Committee will rely on a member’s address in the membership records when providing notice to a member of ethics matters;  

2. The Ethics Committee will consider an “Alford” and “nolo contendere” plea as equivalent to a felony conviction for a show cause case;  and 

3. The Ethics Committee will accept an affidavit of resignation from a respondent member without requiring notarization.

The approved amendments are effective March 1, 2016, but will not be applied to current respondents if their application would adversely affect that respondent’s rights. In those instances, the pertinent provisions of the Rules and Procedures in effect at the time the member came under the scrutiny of the Ethics Committee will be applied (Rules and Procedures, Part II, section 1.3).

American Psychological Association Ethics Code

Rules and Procedures

About the 2003 Code

Ethics Rounds Monitor columns

APA Books on Ethics