CODE OF ETHICS

For Certified Specialists in Psychometry

INTRODUCTION

The Board of Certified Specialists in Psychometry’s (BCP) Ethical Principles of Psychometrists and Code of Conduct (hereinafter referred to as the Ethics Code) for Certified Specialists in Psychometry (hereinafter referred to as Psychometrists) consists of an Introduction, a Preamble, and Specific Ethical Standards. The Introduction describes the purpose and scope of application of the Ethics Code. The Preamble represents the highest ideals to which Psychometrists strive to achieve. Although the Ethical Standards are enforceable, the Preamble is not enforceable; however, Psychometrists are encouraged to consider it in making ethical decisions regarding a patient/client’s welfare. The Ethical Standards are not exhaustive and their applications may vary depending on the context. The Ethical Code applies only to Psychometrists’ activities that are part of their educational, clinical, or research roles as Psychometrists.

Being credentialed as a CSP commits Psychometrists to comply with the standards of the Ethics Code and to the rules and procedures used to enforce them. The Ethics Code applies to all CSPs regardless of any other professional affiliation.  Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an Ethical Standard is not itself a defense to a charge of ethical misconduct. 
 
The procedures for filing, investigating and resolving complaints of unethical conduct are to be directed to the BCP Appeals Committee. The BCP may impose sanctions upon its members for violations of the standards of the Ethics Code, including revocation of certification status and notification of other bodies and individuals of its actions.

The Ethics Code is not intended to be a basis for civil liability. Whether a Psychometrist has violated the Ethics Code does not by itself determine whether the individual is legally liable in a court action or whether other legal consequences occur.

PREAMBLE
Psychometrists (a.k.a. Psychological Technicians, Technicians, Associates, Consultants, etc.) bring training and skills to diverse settings that are much broader than the ability to administer and score standardized tests. Psychometrists function as integral members of multidisciplinary teams in settings such as mental health centers, medical facilities and schools. The Psychometrist is often in a position to spend extended periods of face-to-face contact with patients/clients and may glean crucial behavioral observations and self-reported data from patients/clients that other professionals may not. The primary mission of Psychometry is to apply the knowledge and skills of standardized assessment in a manner that is reliable, valid, fair, benevolent and unbiased, remembering both the welfare of the individual and society as a whole. Psychometrists strive to provide services to individuals while always respecting and protecting that person’s civil and human rights. Although test selection and interpretation of test results generally falls outside the scope of practice for Psychometrists they must have an understanding of what tests measure, purport to quantify, as well as be astute observers of human behavior, be knowledgeable about the range of typical expected behaviors and be able to demonstrate higher level reasoning skills such as knowing when to seek further consultation from a more experienced Psychometrist or supervisor.

The BCP promotes Psychometry through certification. In pursuit of this mission, the BCP promotes:
- Protecting the public
- Quality assurance in Psychometry practice
- The value of Psychometry
- Public awareness of quality Psychometry practice
- Professionalism in Psychometry
- Leadership in credentialing

ETHICAL STANDARDS

Section A. Personal and Professional Limitations

1. Psychometrists engage in continuous efforts to improve professional practices, services, and research. Psychometristsare guided in their work by evidence of best professional practices.

2. Psychometrists recognize the need for and seek continuing education to assure competent services and to maintain the minimum continuing education requirements set forth by the BCP (as required by their CSP credential).

3. Psychometrists recognize their limitations and only provide services or use techniques for which they are qualified by training and/or supervision including consultation with other Psychometrists and/or Psychologists/Neuropsychologists as needed.

4. Psychometrists accurately represent their level of competence, education, training and experience in a professional manner. Psychometrists are responsible for correcting any misrepresentations of their qualifications by others.

5. Unless specifically permitted by the licensure statutes of their state to provide assessment services independently, Psychometrists will work closely with and under the supervision of a licensed Psychologist/Neuropsychologist.

6. Psychometrists do not guarantee outcomes as the result of their work.

7. Through an awareness of the impact of stereotyping and unwarranted discrimination (e.g., biases based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other basis proscribed by law), Psychometrists guard the individual rights and personal dignity of the patient/client in the evaluation relationship.

8. Psychometrists are accountable at all times for their work-related behavior. They must be aware that all actions and behaviors of the Psychometrist reflect on professional integrity and, when inappropriate, can damage the public trust in the Psychometry profession. To protect public confidence in the Psychometry profession, Psychometrists avoid behavior that is clearly in violation of accepted moral and legal standards.

9. Products or services provided by Psychometrists by means of classroom instruction, public lectures, demonstrations, written articles, radio or television programs or other types of media must protect the confidentiality of patients/clients and meet the criteria cited in this code.

10. Psychometrists have an obligation to withdraw from the practice of Psychometry if they violate the Code of Ethics, or if the mental or physical condition of the Psychometrist renders it unlikely that a professional relationship will be maintained.

11. Ethical behavior among professional associates must be expected at all times. When a Psychometrist has doubts as to the ethical behavior of professional colleagues, the Psychometrist must take action to attempt to rectify this condition. If the intervention does not violate confidentiality or legal statutes, appropriate resolution would include bringing the behavior to the attention of the individual in an attempt to resolve the situation informally; or the behavior should be brought to the attention of the respective institution's internal channels and/or notifying their supervisor. However, if these procedures are ineffective the behavior should be brought to the attention of the BCP or the perceived violator’s profession.

Section B: Psychometry Relationship

1. The primary obligation of Psychometrists is to respect the integrity and promote the welfare of patient/client. The Psychometrist is also responsible for taking reasonable precautions to protect individuals from physical and/or psychological trauma.

2. When a patient’s/client’s condition indicates that there is a clear and imminent danger to the patient/client or others, the Psychometrist must take reasonable action to inform the supervising Psychologist/Neuropsychologist or facility so that potential victim(s) and/or responsible authorities may be informed.

3. Records of the evaluation, including interview notes, test data, correspondence, audio or visual tape recordings, electronic data storage, and other documents are to be considered professional information for use in Psychometry. Records should contain accurate factual data. The physical records are property of the supervising Psychologists/Neuropsychologists or their institution.

4. Psychometrists are responsible to insure that confidential information is handled appropriately. Confidentiality must be maintained during the storage and disposition of records. Adult records should be maintained for a period of at least 7 years after the last Psychometrist-patient/client contact, including cases in which the patient/client is deceased. Pediatric records must be retained until the patient/client is 18 years old regardless of how long it has been seen they were last assessed. If state law dictates a longer period, maintain records for the longer time period.

5. Psychometrists must ensure that data maintained in electronic storage are secure. By using the best computer security methods available, the data must be limited to information that is appropriate and necessary for the services being provided and accessible only to appropriate staff members involved in the provision of services. Psychometrists must also ensure that the electronically stored data are destroyed when the information is no longer of value in providing services or required as part of patient’s/client’s records.

6. Any data derived from a patient/client relationship and used in training or research shall be so disguised that the informed patient’s/client’s identity is fully protected. Any data which cannot be so disguised may be used only as expressly authorized by the patient’s/client’s informed and uncoerced consent.

7. Psychometrists who have an administrative, supervisory and/or personal relationship with individuals seeking testing services must not serve as the Psychometrist and should refer the individuals to other professionals. Exceptions are made only in instances where an individual's situation warrants testing intervention and another alternative is unavailable. Dual relationships that might impair the Psychometrist’s objectivity and professional judgment must be avoided and/or the Psychometry relationship terminated through referral to a competent professional.

8. The psychometry relationship and information resulting from it remains confidential, consistent with the legal and ethical obligations of Psychometrists.

9. Psychometrists are aware of the intimacy in the Psychometry relationship and maintain respect for the patient/client. Psychometrists must not engage in activities that seek to meet their personal or professional needs at the expense of the patient/client. Psychometrists refrain from work-related duties when there is a substantial likelihood that personal problems will interfere with performing their duties in a competent manner.

10. Sexual intimacy with patients/clients is unethical. Psychometrists will not be sexually, physically, or romantically intimate with patients/clients, and they will not engage in sexual, physical, or romantic intimacy with patients/clients within a minimum of two years after terminating the Psychometry relationship.

11. Psychometrists do not condone or engage in sexual harassment, which is defined as unwelcome comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature.

Section C: Psychometrist Supervision

1. Psychometrists may be supervised by more experienced Psychometrists while ultimate responsibility for the psychometric services is the responsibility of the supervising Psychologists/Neuropsychologists who meet all state and local licensing laws.

2. Supervision shall include consideration of all the following areas: a) ethical, legal and professional standards, b) technical skills and competency, c) the utilization of supervision by a supervisee, and d) the ability of a supervisee to function independently or with reduced supervision.

3. Specific supervision shall not be required for each patient/client evaluated or treated.

4. To maintain the professional nature of supervision, a familial or strong personal relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee is prohibited except in extraordinary circumstances such as the lack of availability of any other qualified supervisor.

Section D: Measurement and Evaluation

1. Psychometrists must follow standardized instructions as set forth by individual test developers and in proper context. Exceptions to standardized procedures may include research measures or in cases where standardized administrations may not be possible or appropriate (e.g., cross-cultural assessments, sensory limitations, significant cognitive impairment, etc.).

2. If selection of assessment instruments or techniques in a given situation or with a particular patient/client is found to be inappropriate, Psychometrists must contact the supervising Psychologist/Neuropsychologist and provide such information.

3. When making statements to the public about assessment instruments or techniques, Psychometrists must provide accurate information and avoid false claims or misconceptions concerning the meaning of the instrument’s reliability and validity and avoid providing interpretive information (unless qualified to do so by the regulations of their state laws and state credentials).

4. Psychometrists must not interpret results of instruments unless interpretation is a designated aspect of a specific job and the Psychometrist meets all state and local licensing requirements. All questions of interpretation must be directed to the supervising Psychologist/Neuropsychologist.

5. Psychometrists must provide objective written behavioral observations of patients/clients.

6. Because prior coaching or dissemination of test materials can invalidate test results, Psychometrists are professionally obligated to maintain test security.

7. Psychometrists must score test instruments according to the standardized rules in each test manual.

8. Psychometrists must ensure that computer-generated test administration and scoring programs function properly thereby providing patients/clients with accurate test results.

9. Psychometrists must not appropriate, reproduce, or modify published tests or parts thereof without acknowledgment and permission from the publisher, except as permitted by the fair educational use provisions of the U.S. copyright law.


Section E: Research and Publication

1. Psychometrists will adhere to applicable legal and professional guidelines on research with human subjects.

2. The ultimate responsibility for ethical research lies with the principal researcher, although others involved in the research activities are ethically obligated and responsible for their own actions.

3. Psychometrists who conduct research with human subjects are responsible for the welfare of the subjects throughout the experiment and must take all reasonable precautions to avoid causing injurious psychological, physical, or social effects on their subjects.

4. Psychometrists who conduct and report research investigations must do so in a manner that minimizes the possibility that the results will be misleading.

5. Psychometrists who supply data, aid in the research of another person, report research results, or make original data available, must take due care to disguise the identity of respective subjects in the absence of specific authorization from the subjects to do otherwise.

6. Psychometrists must give due credit through joint authorship, acknowledgment, footnote statements, or other appropriate means to those who have contributed to the research and/or publication, in accordance with such contributions.

7. Psychometrists should communicate with other Psychometrists the results of any research judged to be of professional value. Results that reflect unfavorably on institutions, programs, services, or vested interests must not be withheld.

8. Psychometrists who agree to cooperate with another individual in research and/or publication incur an obligation to cooperate as promised in terms of punctuality of performance and with full regard to the completeness and accuracy of the information required.

9. Psychometrists must not submit the same manuscript, or one essentially similar in content, for simultaneous publication consideration by two or more journals. In addition, manuscripts that have been published in whole or substantial part should not be submitted for additional publication without acknowledgment and permission from any previous publisher.


Section F: Private Practice

1. Psychometrists may not contract their professional services to anyone other than a Psychologist/Neuropsychologist who is fully licensed in the state of practice.

2. Psychometrists must refuse remuneration for consultation or psychometry with persons who are entitled to these services through the Psychometrist's employing institution or agency. Psychometrists must not divert to their private practices without the mutual consent of the institution and the patient/client.

3. Psychometrists who assume an executive leadership role in a private practice organization do not permit their names to be used in professional notices during periods of time when they are not actively engaged in the private practice of psychometry unless their executive roles are clearly stated.

4. Psychometrists must make available their highest degree (described by discipline), type and level of certification and/or license, address, telephone number, office hours, type and/or description of services, and other relevant information. Listed information must not contain false, inaccurate, misleading, partial, out-of-context, or otherwise deceptive material or statements.

5. Psychometrists who are involved in a partnership/corporation with other Psychometrists and/or other professionals must clearly specify all relevant specialties of each member of the partnership or corporation.


Addendum (affective April 5, 2010) Section A. Personal and Professional Limitations

Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulations, or Other Governing Legal Authority
If psychometrists’ ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, psychometrists clarify the nature of the conduct, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict consistent with the Ethics Code. Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights.

Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands
If the demands of an organization with which psychometrists are affiliated or for whom they are working are in conflict with this Ethics Code, psychometrists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict consistent with the General Principles an Ethical Standards of the Ethics Code. Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights.

Appendix: Certification Examination

Applicants for the BCP Certification Examinations must have fulfilled all current eligibility requirements, and are responsible for the accuracy and validity of all information and/or materials provided by themselves or by others for fulfillment of eligibility criteria.

The current Code of Ethics for Certified Specialists in Psychometry (CSP) can be found online at:http://psychometristcertification.org

© Copyright 2008, Board of Certified Psychometrists. Approved by the BCP on 6/9/06; amended 01/15/08 & approved by the BCP on 01/26/08; Addendum approved by the BCP on April 5, 2010; June 2016 - Addendum approved by BCP to correct language of the last sentence of the second paragraph.

Reference documents, statements, and sources for development of the BCP Code of Ethics were as follows:
The Ethical Standards of the American Psychology Association, Responsible Uses for Standardized Testing (AAC), codes of ethics of the American Psychological Association and the National Career Development Association, Handbook of Standards for Computer-Based Career Information Systems (ACSC), Guidelines for the Use of Computer Based Information and Guidance Systems (ACSCI) and The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Code of Ethics.

* - This Code of Ethics also applies to Psychometrists in Canada where Psychologists/Neuropsychologists are “certified” vs. licensed.

 

(Download pdf copy of Ethics Code) 

(Download pdf copy of Ethics Complaint Form)

(Download pdf copy of Ethics Rules & Procedures)


 


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