Short content of the code of ethics: 5 pillars
The rules of conduct that are part of the code are divided according to five values or principles:
- Duty of professional confidentiality (Articles 5 to 20): a psychologist must in all circumstances treat the information exchanged between him/her and his/her client confidentially. This is also the case after the professional relationship ends. Only in certain cases does the law make an exception to this duty of professional confidentiality.This part concerns, among others, shared professional confidentiality, parental authority for minors, the experts’ investigation, the client’s free and informed consent, educational and training assignments, etc.
- Respecting the person’s dignity and rights (Articles 21 to 24): a psychologist must respect the rights of his/her client, more specifically his/her freedom, dignity, privacy, autonomy and integrity.This part concerns, among others, free and informed consent and the follow-up of minors.
- Responsibility (Articles 25 to 29): a psychologist is, regardless of his work rules, responsible for the choices he/she makes and the advice he/she gives. This chapter concerns, among others, his/her best efforts obligation, his duty to take out insurance and the continuity of his/her services.
- Competency (Article 30 to 34): a psychologist must keep up and further develop his expertise. If he/she is faced with the limits of his/her expertise, he/she must critically reflect on this. This part is about, among others, the need for timely evaluation and referral if necessary.
- Integrity and honesty (Articles 35 and 51): as a professional, a psychologist takes an independent position. However, he/she may not promote his/her personal interests as part of practising his/her profession. This principle restrains, among others, pursuit of profit, mixing roles and publicity on behalf of psychologists. This chapter also provides information about the provision of information and the duty to address colleagues about ethical errors.