APA’s Board of Directors has approved revisions to the "Rules and Procedures of the Ethics Committee" (the “Rules”). 

The revised Rules, adopted in response to the recommendations of the APA Commission on Ethics Processes, are designed to simplify and streamline the APA adjudication process, making the Rules less legalistic and easier to comprehend.

Under the new Rules, APA’s adjudication program focuses its efforts on Ethics Committee review of serious ethics violations that could lead to expulsion from APA. Timelines are simplified, made more consistent throughout the Rules, and, in some cases, shortened.

The Ethics Committee adjudicates three types of ethics cases.

  • These new Rules expand one well-functioning type of case — “show cause.” Show cause cases arise from a serious disciplinary action taken by another entity, such as a licensing board. Under the new Rules, the list of serious actions for which the show cause process may be used now includes any licensing board action significantly limiting the member’s license. In addition, disciplinary actions by other entities (such as a governmental body, faculty grievance committee, or civil or criminal court) can now be considered if APA can obtain a record showing the adverse action, the expellable behavior, and that the proceedings afforded the psychologist due process.
  • The second type of case, arising from an ethics complaint, is now reserved for complaints alleging serious, expellable behavior (for example, sexual misconduct, insurance fraud, plagiarism) that would otherwise have no avenue for review.
  • The third type of case, resulting from the Committee initiating its own investigation into alleged unethical conduct (“sua sponte” complaint), now requires a determination that no other entity can more appropriately review and discipline the unethical conduct.

For more information or to review the new 2018 Rules, please visit the Ethics Resources webpage.

Oct. 4, 2018