Codes of Ethical and Professional Conduct for
The ADACBGA Codes of Ethical and Professional Conduct for Certified Professionals (hereafter referred to as ‘the Rules’) shall be honored by all applicants and certified professionals. Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition set forth in the Rules will result in disciplinary action.
Discussion sections accompany some of the Rules. These discussions are intended to interpret, explain, or illustrate the meaning of the Rules, but the Rules themselves remain the authoritative statements of the conduct for which disciplinary action may be imposed.
1. Professional Standards
1.1 An applicant or certified professional shall meet and comply with all terms, conditions, or limitation of any professional credential they hold.
1.2 An applicant or certified professional shall not perform services outside of their area of training, expertise, competence, or scope of practice.
Discussion of Rule 1.2: When a consumer’s therapeutic issues are outside their level of professional functioning or scope of practice, the certified professional must refer the consumer to another professional who will provide the appropriate therapeutic approach for the consumer.
1.3 An applicant or certified professional shall not in any way participate in discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, national origin, socio-economic status, political belief, psychiatric or psychological impairment, physical disability, or the amount of previous therapeutic or treatment occurrences.
1.4 An applicant or certified professional shall place their application or credential(s) on inactive status for any mental, physical, or behavioral health related adversity that interferes with their professional functioning.
Discussion of Rule 1.4: The private life of an applicant or certified professional remains a personal matter to the same degree as any other person. However, when a personal issue begins to adversely affect professional performance, affecting the quality of service delivered and thus putting the consumer at risk, the applicant or certified professional must take sufficient and timely action to resolve any adversity that interferes with their professional functioning.
1.5 An applicant or certified professional shall not practice during the period of any denial, suspension, revocation, probation, or other restriction or discipline on certification, license, or other authorization to practice issued by any certification authority or any state, province, territory, tribe, or the federal government.
1.6 An applicant or certified professional must maintain a high standard of ethical and professional conduct. The moral, ethical and legal standards of behavior of the certified professional are a personal matter to the same degree as they are for any other citizen, except as these may compromise the fulfillment of their professional responsibilities or reduce the public trust in applicants or certified professionals
2. Criminal Activity
2.1 An applicant or certified professional shall report all arrests and case disposition, regardless of adjudication to any felony or first-degree misdemeanor crime. Such report must be received within 72 hours of release from any state or federal confinement.
Discussion of Rule 2.1: Any public record pertaining to an arrest, charge, disposition or sentencing of a certified professional shall be deemed as conclusive evidence of guilt of the felony or misdemeanor for which he or she has been convicted. If that felony or misdemeanor relates to the individual’s ability to practice in the credentialed discipline, the fact of conviction shall also be proof of violation of this Rule. All proceedings in which the sentence has been deferred, suspended, adjudication withheld, or a conviction expunged shall be deemed a conviction within the meaning of this section.
2.2 An applicant or certified professional shall not use, possess, or sell any unprescribed or illegal substance.
2.3 An applicant or certified professional shall comply with all federal and state laws.
3. Sexual Misconduct
3.1 An applicant or certified professional shall not engage in sexual misconduct with a consumer during the period of time services are being rendered to the consumer and a minimum of two years after the professional relationship has terminated.
Discussion of Rule 3.1: This Rule applies to any consumer of the agency by which the certified professional is employed, regardless of whether or not the consumer is assigned to the certified professional. For purposes of determining if sexual misconduct has occurred, the professional relationship is deemed to continue for minimum of 2 years from the date of the consumer’s last professional interaction with the certified professional’s employer. Although the professional relationship is deemed to be terminated 2-years after termination of professional services, the certified professional shall not engage in or request sexual contact with a former consumer at any time if engaging with that consumer would be exploitative, abusive or detrimental to that consumer’s welfare.
3.2 An applicant or certified professional shall not engage in sexual misconduct with any family member or guardian of a consumer during the period of time services are being rendered to the consumer.
3.3 An applicant or certified professional shall not engage a supervisee in sexual misconduct during the period of time supervisory relationship exists.
4. Fraud-Related Conduct
4.1 An applicant or certified professional shall not present fraudulent documents when applying for certification, certification upgrades, or certification renewal.
4.2 An applicant or certified professional shall not prepare fraudulent certification documents for certification applicants.
4.3 An applicant or certified professional shall not use a title designation, credential or license, firm name, letterhead, publication, term, title, or document which states or implies an ability, relationship, or qualification that does not exist.
4.4 An applicant or certified professional shall not practice under a false name or under a name other than the name under which his or her certification or license is held.
4.5 An applicant or certified professional shall not prepare, present, or participate in activities related to fraudulent billing or benefit claim under any employee benefit program or insurance policy/program.
4.6 An applicant or certified professional shall not produce, publish, create, or partake in the creation of any false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading advertisement.
5. Exploitation of Consumers
5.1 An applicant or certified professional shall not develop, implement, or maintain exploitative relationships with current or past consumers.
Discussion of Rule 5.1: Ethical problems are often raised when a certified professional blends his or her professional relationship with a consumer with another kind of relationship. The nature of the consumer-professional relationship is such that the consumer remains vulnerable to the real or perceived influences of the certified professional. An applicant or certified professional who is in a position to influence a consumer’s behavior may not impose their own desires upon the consumer.
5.2 An applicant or certified professional shall not misappropriate property from a consumer.
5.3 An applicant or certified professional shall not enter into a relationship with a consumer which involves financial gain to the certified professional or a third-party resulting from the promotion or the sale of services unrelated to treatment.
5.4 An applicant or certified professional shall not recommend to a consumer any unnecessary, ineffective, or unsafe device, treatment, procedure, product or service.
5.5 An applicant or certified professional shall not solicit gifts or favors from consumers.
Discussion of Rule 5.5: When a certified professional “plays” or “preys” upon the consumer’s gratitude for counseling services; or covertly or overtly implies or states that the consumer remains indebted to the certified professional and should “repay” him or her through gifts or other favors, their unique position of trust and responsibility with the consumer becomes jeopardized.
5.6 An applicant or certified professional shall not offer, give, or receive commissions, rebates, or any other forms of remuneration for a consumer referral.
Discussion of Rule 5.6: This standard shall be interpreted to include the practice commonly known as “patient brokering.”
6. Safety & Welfare
6.1 When a condition of clear and imminent danger exists that a consumer may inflict serious bodily harm on another person or persons, an applicant or certified professional shall, consistent with federal and state confidentiality laws, take reasonable steps to warn any likely victims of the consumer’s potential behavior.
6.2 An applicant or certified professional shall know and understand the different allowances and consumer protections between HIPAA (45 CFR Parts 160 & 164) and the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Confidentiality Rule (42 CFR Part 2), upholding both to the broadest possible interpretation in the protection of consumer confidentiality.
6.3 When a condition of clear and imminent danger exists that a consumer may inflict serious bodily self-harm, an applicant or certified professional shall, consistent with federal and state confidentiality laws, take reasonable steps to protect the consumer.
Discussion of Rules 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3: If during the course of treating a consumer, an applicant or certified professional becomes aware that a consumer:
- intends or is likely to commit some act which may result in serious bodily harm to another person or persons and there is a clear and imminent danger of such harm occurring, the certified professional has a duty to take reasonable steps to warn such persons; and/or
- intends or is likely to inflict serious bodily harm to himself or herself and that there is a clear and imminent danger of such harm occurring, the certified professional has a duty to take reasonable steps to protect the consumer.
In doing so, the certified professional should be aware that state and federal regulations set forth rules concerning the confidentiality of applicant-consumer or certified professional-consumer communications, consumer records, and identifying information.
In cases where the threat is of the commission of a crime on agency premises or against agency personnel, the rules may allow disclosure of the circumstances of the threatened crime and identity of the consumer directly to law enforcement officers.
In some instances, however, it may be necessary for the applicant, certified professional or their agency to make an emergency application to a court for an order permitting disclosure of information concerning the consumer or communications from the consumer before such information can be disclosed.
7. Records Management
7.1 An applicant or certified professional shall not falsify, amend, knowingly make incorrect entries, or fail to make timely essential entries into the consumer record.
7.2 An applicant or certified professional shall follow all Federal and State regulations regarding consumer records.
7.3 An applicant or certified professional shall comply with all federal and state confidentiality laws, applying the broadest possible interpretation of confidentiality protections in the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Confidentiality rule (42 CFR Part 2).
Discussion of Rule 7.3: Except as may otherwise be indicated in this Code, applicants and certified professionals are expected to refrain from revealing confidential information except as may be authorized by the consumer or required or authorized by law.
Applicants and certified professionals are expected to be familiar with and act in accordance with federal and state regulations concerning confidentiality of consumer records and identifying information.
8. Cooperation with the Board
8.1 An applicant or certified professional shall cooperate with an ADACBGA disciplinary investigation or proceeding.
8.2 An applicant or certified professional shall not attempt to prevent or interfere with a complaint from being filed or ADACBGA disciplinary investigation or proceeding to occur. Interference attempts may include but are not limited to: (a) the use of threats or harassment against, or an inducement to, any person in an effort to prevent or attempt to prevent a complaint from being filed, prosecuted or completed; (b) the use of threats or harassment against, or an inducement to, any consumer or witness in an effort to prevent them from providing evidence in an investigation, disciplinary proceeding or any other legal action; and (c) the willful misrepresentation of facts before the disciplining authority or its authorized representative.
8.3 An applicant or certified professional shall report any violation of the Rules by filing a formal Ethics Complaint with the ADACBGA. Complaints must be filed within no more than 30 calendar days of becoming aware of the violation.
8.4 An applicant or certified professional shall not file a false or misleading Ethics Complaint or information to the ADACBGA.
8.5 An applicant or certified professional shall comply with all federal and state confidentiality requirements when submitting any information to the Board.
Codes of Ethical and Professional Conduct for
The ADACBGA Codes of Ethical and Professional Conduct for Clinical Supervisors shall be honored by all applicants for the Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) credential and Non-CCS Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) recognition and all professionals who hold the CCS credential or Non-CCS ACS recognition in addition to those Codes of Ethical and Professional Conduct for Certified Professionals above.
1.1 A Clinical Supervisor shall limit practice to areas of competence in which proficiency has been gained through education or documentable experience or through the awarding of a reciprocal professional certification or license.
1.2 A Clinical Supervisor shall accurately represent areas of competence, education, training, experience and professional affiliations, in response to responsible inquiries, including those from appropriate boards, the public, supervisees and colleagues.
1.3 A Clinical Supervisor shall aggressively seek out consultation with other professionals when called upon to supervise counseling situations outside their realm of competence.
1.4 A Clinical Supervisor will refer supervisees to other competent professionals when they are unable to provide adequate supervisory guidance to the supervisee.
2. Service Recipients and Welfare Rights
2.1 The primary obligation of a Clinical Supervisor is to train Alcohol & Drug Counselors to respect the integrity and promote the welfare of service recipients.
2.2 A Clinical Supervisor shall instruct supervisees to inform service recipients that they are supervised and that details of their treatment can and will be discussed or reviewed with a Clinical Supervisor.
2.3 Any audio or video taping of a service recipient’s treatment must be authorized in writing by the service recipients prior to audio or video taping for clinical supervision purposes.
2.4 A Clinical Supervisor shall make supervisees aware of service recipients’ rights, including protecting service recipients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality in the counseling relationship and the information resulting from it. Service recipients shall also be informed that their right to privacy and confidentiality will not be violated by the supervisory relationship.
2.5 Records of the supervisory relationship, including interview notes, test data, correspondence, the electronic storage of these documents, and audio and video recordings are to be treated as confidential materials and stored only in platforms and/or through practices compliant with HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2, applying the broadest possible interpretation of confidentiality and privacy protections under both sets of federal regulations. Written permission for use of these materials outside of the supervisory session must be granted, in writing, by the service recipient.
2.6 A Clinical Supervisor is responsible for monitoring the professional actions of their supervisees.
2.7 A Clinical Supervisor is responsible for the presentation of adequate training for all supervisees in the area of transference, dual relationships, cultural sensitivity, and professional deportment.
3. Professional Behavior
3.1 Due to the unique scope of practice Alcohol & Drug Counselors provide, the Clinical Supervisor must monitor the following behaviors of their supervisees and themselves:
3.1.1 Conviction for the possession or use of any illegal drug, narcotic or mood-altering substance.
3.1.2 The use of intoxicants and/or non-prescribed and monitored mood-altering substances when engaged in professional pursuits.
3.1.3 The conducting of intimate, personal and/or business relationships of any kind with any service recipient or their families.
126.96.36.199 This applies to all service recipients.
188.8.131.52 A supervisee should have all relationships of this kind reviewed.
184.108.40.206 A Clinical Supervisor should consult with an objective peer when this issue is raised.
3.1.4 Counselors who are members of any Twelve Step or other peer recovery support/mutual aid group shall not become a sponsor, similar mentor, or simultaneously provide peer recovery support or coaching to any active or discharged service recipient, or their family members. The role and scope of the A&D Counselor and the Peer Recovery Specialist or Coach are unique and distinct from one another; Facilitating a dual relationship with a service recipient as both A&D Counselor and Peer Recovery Specialist or Coach, even when dual certified, is a violation of professional boundaries.
3.1.5 A Clinical Supervisor respects the dignity and protects the welfare of participants in research and is aware of federal and state laws, regulations and professional standards governing the conduct of research, including informed consent.
3.1.6 A Clinical Supervisor makes financial arrangements with clients, third party payers and supervisees that are understandable and conform to accepted professional practices.
220.127.116.11 Supervisors do not allow their supervisees to offer or accept payment for referrals.
18.104.22.168 Clinical supervisors will disclose their fees to clients and supervisees at the beginning of services and represent facts truthfully to clients, third party payers and supervisees regarding services rendered.
3.1.7 A Clinical Supervisor accurately represents their competence, education, training and experience relevant to their practice as a Clinical Supervisor and clinical experience.
22.214.171.124 A Clinical Supervisor assures that advertisements and publications in any media (such as directories, announcements, business cards, newspapers, radio, television and facsimiles) convey information that is necessary for the public to make an appropriate selection of professional services.
3.2 A Clinical Supervisor is in violation of this code if they:
3.2.1 Are convicted of any felony.
3.2.2 Engage in conduct which could lead to conviction of a felony or misdemeanor or are convicted of a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or function.
3.2.3 Are expelled from or disciplined by other professional organizations.
3.2.4 Have their core or specialty certification(s) and/or licensure(s) suspended, revoked, or otherwise disciplined by regulatory and/or credentialing bodies.
3.2.5 Refuse to seek treatment for problematic substance use, mental/emotional problems, or physical health problems that interfere with professional functioning.
3.2.6 Fail to cooperate at any point of an ethical complaint investigation.
4. Supervisory Role
4.1 Inherent and integral to the role of Clinical Supervisor are responsibilities for monitoring of service recipient welfare, insuring compliance with relevant legal and professional standards of service delivery, monitoring clinical performance and professional development of supervisees and evaluating and certifying current performance and potential of supervisees for academic, screening, selection, placement, employment, and credentialing purposes.
4.1.1 A Clinical Supervisor must maintain professional decorum and standards. Unprofessional behaviors as outlined in Section 3, Professional Behavior, herein will not be tolerated.
4.1.2 A Clinical Supervisor shall obtain ongoing training in the Clinical Supervision of A&D Counselors.
4.1.3 A Clinical Supervisor should pursue professional and personal continuing education activities to maintain their Clinical Supervisor credential and improve their supervisory skills. Competency in the Performance Domains of Clinical Supervision must be maintained.
4.1.4 A Clinical Supervisor should make their supervisees aware of professional and ethical standards and legal responsibilities of the counseling profession. In the absence of agency or state policy, industry standards of ethical behavior should be explained to the supervisee.
4.1.5 A Clinical Supervisor should not exploit, but should strive to enable supervisees to be competent, autonomous, professional, judicious, aware of limitations, and to become future supervisors if that is an appropriate career goal.
4.1.6 Procedures for contacting the supervisor, or an alternative supervisor, to assist in handling crisis situations should be established and communicated to supervisees.
4.1.7 Supervision is maintained through regular face-to-face meetings with supervisee in group or individual sessions.
4.1.8 Actual work samples via audio, counselor report, video, or observation should be part of the regularly scheduled supervision process.
4.1.9 A Clinical Supervisor should provide supervisees with ongoing feedback on their performance.
4.1.10 A Clinical Supervisor who has multiple roles (e.g. teacher, clinical supervisor, administrator, etc.) with supervisees should avoid any conflict of interest caused by these disparate roles.
126.96.36.199 The supervisees should know the limitations placed on the Clinical Supervisor and the supervisor should share supervision when appropriate.
4.1.11 A Clinical Supervisor should not sexually harass, make sexual advances or participate in any form of sexual contact with supervisees.
188.8.131.52 Supervisors should not engage in any form of social contact or interaction which would compromise the supervisor-supervisee relationship.
184.108.40.206 Dual relationships (including outside consults, partnerships, nepotism, etc.) with supervisees that might impair the supervisor’s objectivity and professional judgment should be avoided and/or the supervisory relationship terminated.
4.1.12 A Clinical Supervisor shall not use the supervision process to further personal, religious, political or business interests.
4.1.13 A Clinical Supervisor should not endorse any treatment that would harm a client either physically or psychologically and will ensure the professional quality of the program in which the supervisee participates.
4.1.14 A Clinical Supervisor should not establish a psychotherapeutic relationship as a substitute for supervision.
220.127.116.11 Personal issues should be addressed in supervision only in terms of the impact of these issues on clients and on professional functioning.
4.1.15 A Clinical Supervisor should never supervise past or current clients who are staff, or their family members.
4.1.16 A Clinical Supervisor should model appropriate use of supervision themselves for problem solving and practice reviewing.
4.1.17 A Clinical Supervisor must be straightforward with supervisees about observed professional and clinical limitations of the supervisee.
18.104.22.168 These concerns must be clearly documented and shared with the supervisee.
4.1.18 A Clinical Supervisor should not endorse a supervisee for certification or credentialing if the supervisor has documentable proof of impairment or professional limitations that would interfere with the performance of counseling duties in a competent and ethical manner.
22.214.171.124 The presence of any impairment should begin with a process of feedback and remediation so that the supervisee understands the nature of the impairment and has the opportunity to remedy the problem and continue with his/her professional development.
4.1.19 A Clinical Supervisor should incorporate the principles of informed consent and participation; clarity of requirements, expectations; roles and rules; and due process and appeal, into the establishment of policies related to progressive discipline.
4.1.20 A Clinical Supervisor must be able to integrate the 12 Core Functions of the Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a variety of Supervisory Models and Counseling Theories into their theoretical and supervisory approach.
4.1.21 A Clinical Supervisor should be an active participant in quality assurance and peer review.
4.2 The supervision provided by a Clinical Supervisor must be provided in a professional and consistent manner to all supervisees regardless of age, race, national origin, religion, physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, and marital, social, and/or economic status.
4.3 When a supervisor is unable to provide non-judgmental supervision a referral to an appropriate supervisor with a complete explanation to the supervisee must be made and documented in writing.