Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Differences in Competency and Qualification Requirements Between APA and ACA Code of Ethics

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2019

Journal Title

Journal of Integrated Social Sciences

ISSN

1942-1052

Volume

9

Issue

1

First Page

39

Last Page

56

Abstract

We conducted a section-by-section and line-by-line comparison of the ethical codes published by the American Psychological Association (APA, 2016) and the American Counseling Association (ACA, 2014). Overall, 144 differences exist between the two codes and, here, we focus on two constructs where 67 significant differences exist: competency and qualification requirements. Overall, we note that APA tends to focus on general ethical principles that practitioners must follow, whereas the ACA typically is much more prescriptive in delineating behavioral expectations. We summarize various differences that possess potential clinical practice implications and draw particular attention to the differences in how the words “and/or” are used in the respective ethical codes. We provide a discussion that focuses on four (4) specific ramifications of the differences between the two ethical codes, particularly for professionals who supervise others outside of their own APA or ACA professional contexts.

Keywords

Ethical codes, APA, ACA, competency requirements, qualifications requirements

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