The ethical code of the psychologist of the Russian Psychological Society and the teacher-psychologist in Russia


Ethical code of psychologist and psychologist-educator 2017-2018

The ethical code of the psychologist of the Russian Psychological Society is compiled in accordance with:

  1. The Constitution of the Russian Federation,
  2. Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 152-FZ of July 27, 2006 "On Personal Data"
  3. The Charter of the Russian Psychological Society,
  4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
  5. Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association "Ethical principles of conducting medical research involving people as subjects of research"
  6. International Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists,
  7. Ethical metacodex of the European Federation of Psychological Associations.

This Code of Ethics of a psychologist was adopted on February 14, 2012 by the 5th congress of the Russian Psychological Society.

The Ethical Committee of the Russian Psychological Society is an advisory and regulating body of the Russian Psychological Society on professional ethics of a psychologist.

In this Code of Ethics, the term "psychologist" refers to a person who has a higher psychological education.

In this Code of Ethics, the term "Client" refers to a person, a group of persons or an organization that has agreed to be the object of psychological research for personal, scientific, industrial or social interests or has personally contacted the Psychologist for psychological assistance.

The effect of this Code of Ethics applies to all types of activities of psychologists defined by this Code of Ethics. The effect of this Code of Ethics applies to all forms of work of the Psychologist, including those carried out remotely or via the Internet.

The professional activity of a psychologist is characterized by his special responsibility to clients, society and psychological science, and is based on the trust of the society, which can be achieved only by observing the ethical principles of professional activity and behavior contained in this Ethical Code.

The ethical code of psychologists serves: for the internal regulation of the activity of the community of psychologists; for the regulation of relations of psychologists with society; the basis for applying sanctions in violation of the ethical principles of professional activity.

Ethical principles of a psychologist

Ethics of the work of a psychologist is based on universal moral and moral values. Ideals of free and all-round development of the person and its respect, rapprochement of people, creation of the fair, humane, prospering society are defining for activity of the psychologist. The ethical principles and rules of the psychologist's work formulate the conditions under which his professionalism, the humanity of his actions, respect for the people with whom he works, and under which the efforts of the psychologist bring real benefits are preserved and strengthened.

1.Principle of respect

The psychologist proceeds from respect for personal dignity, human rights and freedoms, proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international human rights instruments.

The principle of respect includes:

1.1. Respect for the dignity, rights and freedoms of the individual

1.1.1. The psychologist treats people with equal respect regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, belonging to a particular culture, ethnicity and race, religion, language, socioeconomic status, physical abilities and other grounds.

1.1.2. The impartiality of the Psychologist does not allow prejudice against the Client. All actions of the Psychologist regarding the Client should be based on data obtained by scientific methods. The subjective impression that the Psychologist has in communicating with the Client, as well as the social position of the Client, should not have any influence on the conclusions and actions of the Psychologist.

1.1.3. The psychologist avoids activities that can lead to discrimination of the Client on any grounds.

1.1.4. The psychologist should organize his work in such a way that neither its process nor its results harm the health and social situation of the Client and the persons connected with him.

1.2. Confidentiality

1.2.1. The information received by the Psychologist in the process of working with the Client on the basis of confidential relations is not subject to intentional or accidental disclosure outside the agreed terms.

1.2.2. The results of the research should be presented in such a way that they could not compromise the Client, the Psychologist or the psychological science.

1.2.3. Psychodiagnostic data of students, received during their training, should be treated confidentially. Information about Clients must also be treated confidentially.

1.2.4. Demonstrating specific cases of his work, the Psychologist must ensure the protection of the dignity and well-being of the Client.

1.2.5. The psychologist should not look for information about the Client that goes beyond the professional tasks of the Psychologist.

1.2.6. The client has the right to consult a Psychologist or work with him without the presence of third parties.

1.2.7. Uncontrolled storage of data obtained during research can harm the Client, the Psychologist and society as a whole. The order of handling of the data obtained in the studies and the procedure for their storage must be strictly regulated.

1.3. Awareness and voluntary consent of the Client

1.3.1. The client should be notified of the purpose of the work, the methods used and the ways in which the information is used. Work with the Client is allowed only after the Client has given informed consent to participate in it. In the event that the Customer is not in a position to decide on his own participation in the work, such a decision must be made by his legal representatives.

1.3.2. The psychologist should inform the Client about all the main steps or therapeutic actions. In the case of inpatient treatment, the Psychologist should inform the Client about possible risks and alternative methods of treatment, including non-psychological ones.

1.3.3. Video or audio recordings of a consultation or treatment A psychologist can only do after receiving consent from the Client. This provision applies to telephone calls. Familiarization of third parties with video, audio recordings of consultation and telephone conversations The psychologist can resolve only after obtaining consent from the Client.

1.3.4. Participation in psychological experiments and research should be voluntary. The client should be informed in a form understandable to him about the purpose, characteristics of the study and the possible risk, discomfort or undesirable consequences, so that he can independently decide on cooperation with the Psychologist. The psychologist is obliged to make sure beforehand that the dignity and personality of the Client will not be affected. The psychologist must take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of the Client and minimize the possibility of unforeseen risk.

1.3.5. In cases where preliminary comprehensive disclosure of information is contrary to the objectives of the study, the Psychologist must take special precautions to ensure the well-being of the subjects. Where possible, and provided that the information provided is not harmful to the Client, all clarifications should be made after the end of the experiment.

1.4. Self-determination of the Client

1.4.1. The psychologist recognizes the Client's right to maintain maximum autonomy and self-determination, including the general right to enter into a professional relationship with a psychologist and to terminate them.

1.4.2. A client can be any person in the case of his undoubted legal capacity for age, health, mental development, physical independence. In the case of inadequate legal capacity of a person, a person who represents this person's interests by law is the person who decides to cooperate with the Psychologist.

1.4.3. The psychologist should not interfere with the Client's desire to involve another psychologist for advice (in cases where there are no legal contraindications to this).

2. Principle of competence

The psychologist should strive to provide and maintain a high level of competence in his work, as well as recognize the boundaries of his competence and his experience. The psychologist should provide only those services and use only those methods that he studied and in which he has experience.

The principle of competence includes:

2.1. Knowledge of professional ethics

2.1.1. A psychologist must have an exhaustive knowledge of professional ethics and must know the provisions of this Code of Ethics. In his work, the Psychologist should be guided by ethical principles.

2.1.2. If the staff or students act as experimenters in carrying out psychodiagnostic procedures, the Psychologist must ensure, regardless of their own responsibility, that their actions comply with professional requirements.

2.1.3. The psychologist is responsible for the compliance of the professional level of the personnel he manages with the requirements of the work performed and this Ethical Code.

2.1.4. In his working contacts with other professionals, the psychologist should show loyalty, tolerance and willingness to help.

2.2. Limitations of professional competence

2.2.1. The psychologist is obliged to carry out practical activity within the limits of his own competence based on the received education and experience.

2.2.2. Only the Psychologist performs direct (questioning, interviewing, testing, electrophysiological research, psychotherapy, training, etc.) or mediated (biographical method, observation method, studying the products of the Client's activities, etc.) work with the Client.

2.2.3. The psychologist should possess methods of psychodiagnostic conversation, observation, psychological and pedagogical influence at a level sufficient to maintain the Client's sense of sympathy, trust and satisfaction from communicating with the Psychologist.

2.2.4. If the Client is sick, then work with him is permissible only with the permission of the doctor or the consent of other persons representing the interests of the Client.

2.3. Limitations of the funds used

2.3.1. A psychologist can apply techniques that are adequate to the objectives of the study, age, sex, education, the state of the client, the conditions of the experiment. Psychodiagnostic techniques, besides this, must necessarily be standardized, normalized, reliable, valid and adapted to the contingent of subjects.

2.3.2. The psychologist should apply the methods of processing and interpretation of data that have received scientific recognition. The choice of methods should not be determined by the scientific preferences of the Psychologist, his social hobbies, personal sympathy for clients of a certain type, social status or professional activity.

2.3.3. The psychologist is prohibited from presenting in the research results intentionally distorted primary data, deliberately false and incorrect information. If a psychologist finds a significant error in his research after the research has been published, he should take all possible actions to correct the error and further publish the corrections.

2.4. Professional Development

2.4.1. The psychologist should constantly raise the level of his professional competence and his awareness of the ethics of psychological work (research).

2.5. Impossibility of professional activity in certain conditions

2.5.1. If any circumstances compel the Psychologist to prematurely stop working with the Client and this can adversely affect the Client's condition, the Psychologist must ensure continuation of the work with the Client.

2.5.2. The psychologist should not perform his professional activities in the case when his abilities or judgments are under unfavorable influence.

3.Principle of liability

The psychologist must remember his professional and scientific obligations to his clients, to the professional community and society as a whole. The psychologist should strive to avoid harm, should be responsible for his actions, and also ensure, as far as possible, that his services are not abusive.

The principle of responsibility includes:

3.1. Primary responsibility

3.1.1. The decision of the Psychologist to carry out a research project or intervention presupposes his responsibility for possible scientific and social consequences, including the impact on individuals, groups and organizations involved in research or intervention, as well as an indirect effect, such as the impact of scientific psychology on public opinion and on development ideas about social values.

3.1.2. The psychologist should be aware of the specifics of the interaction with the Client and the resulting responsibility. Responsibility is especially great in the case of persons who suffer from drug dependence or persons who are limited in their actions as test subjects or clients, and also if the research or intervention program purposefully limits the Client's legal capacity.

3.1.3. If the Psychologist concludes that his actions will not lead to an improvement in the Client's condition or present a risk to the Client, he must stop interfering.

3.2. Do not do harm

3.2.1. The psychologist applies only such methods of research or intervention that are not hazardous to health, the state of the Client, do not represent the Client in the results of the research in a false, distorted light, and do not provide information about those psychological properties and characteristics of the Client that are not related to specific and coordinated tasks of psychological research.

3.3. Solving ethical dilemmas

3.3.1. The psychologist should be aware of the possibility of the emergence of ethical dilemmas and bear his personal responsibility for their solution. Psychologists consult on these issues with their colleagues and other important persons, and also inform them about the principles reflected in the Code of Ethics.

3.3.2. In the event that the Psychologist has questions of an ethical nature in connection with his work, he must apply to the Ethical Committee of the Russian Psychological Society for advice.

4. The principle of honesty

The psychologist should strive to promote the openness of science, education and practice in psychology. In this activity, the psychologist should be honest, fair and respectful of his colleagues. The psychologist should clearly represent his professional tasks and the functions corresponding to these tasks.

The principle of honesty includes:

4.1. Awareness of the boundaries of personal and professional opportunities

4.1.1. The psychologist should be aware of the limitations of both his capabilities and the capabilities of his profession. This is the condition for establishing a dialogue between professionals of various specialties.

4.2. Honesty

4.2.1. The psychologist and the Client (or the party initiating and paying for the psychological services for the Client) prior to the conclusion of the agreement stipulate remuneration issues and other essential working conditions, such as the distribution of rights and obligations between the Psychologist and the Client (or the party paying for psychological services) or the procedure for storage and use results of the study.

4.2.2. The psychologist should notify the Client or the employer that his activity is primarily subject to professional, rather than commercial, principles.

When applying for a job, a psychologist should inform his employer that:

  • within his competence, he will act independently;
  • he must observe the principle of confidentiality: this is required by law;
  • professional guidance of his work can only be done by a psychologist;
  • it is impossible for him to fulfill unprofessional requirements or requirements that violate this Code of Ethics.

When the Psychologist is employed, the employer must obtain the text of this Code of Ethics.

  • Public dissemination of information about the services provided by the Psychologist serves the purpose of making an informed decision by potential Clients to enter into a professional relationship with a Psychologist. Such advertising is acceptable only if it does not contain false or distorted information, reflects objective information about the services provided and meets the rules of propriety.
  • The psychologist is not allowed to organize advertising to himself or to any particular method of intervention or treatment. Advertising in order to compete under no circumstances should deceive potential Clients. The psychologist should not exaggerate the effectiveness of his services, make statements about the superiority of his professional skills and applied techniques, and also provide guarantees of the effectiveness of the services provided.
  • The psychologist is not allowed to offer a discount or a reward for sending clients to them or enter into agreements with third parties for this purpose.

4.3. Straightforwardness and openness

4.3.1. The psychologist should be responsible for the information provided to him and avoid distorting it in research and practical work.

4.3.2. The psychologist formulates the results of the research in terms and concepts accepted in psychological science, confirming his conclusions by presenting the primary materials of the study, their mathematical and statistical processing and the positive conclusion of competent colleagues. When solving any psychological problems, a study is conducted, always based on a preliminary analysis of the literature data on the question posed.

4.3.3. In the event of a distortion of information, the psychologist should inform the interaction participants about this and re-establish the degree of trust.

4.4. Avoiding Conflict of Interest

4.4.1. The psychologist should be aware of the problems that can arise as a result of ambivalence. The psychologist should try to avoid relations that lead to conflicts of interest or exploitation of the relationship with the Client in personal interests.

4.4.2. The psychologist should not use professional relations in personal, religious, political or ideological interests.

4.4.3. The psychologist should realize that a conflict of interests may arise after the formal termination of the relationship of the Psychologist with the Client. The psychologist in this case also bears professional responsibility.

4.4.4. A psychologist should not enter into any kind of personal relationship with his clients.

4.5. Responsibility and openness to the professional community

4.5.1. The results of psychological research should be available to the scientific community. The possibility of misinterpretation should be warned by a correct, complete and unambiguous statement. Data on participants in the experiment should be anonymous. Discussions and criticism in scientific circles serve the development of science and should not be impeded.

4.5.2. The psychologist is obliged to respect his colleagues and should not objectively criticize their professional actions.

4.5.3. The psychologist should not by his actions promote the ousting of a colleague from his sphere of activity or the deprivation of his work.

4.5.4. If the Psychologist believes that his colleague is acting unprofessionally, he should tell him privately.

Violation of the Code of Ethics of a psychologist

Violation of the Ethical Code of a psychologist includes ignoring the provisions set forth in it, misinterpreting them or deliberately violating them. Violation of the Code of Ethics can be the subject of a complaint.

A complaint of a violation of the Ethics Code of a psychologist may be submitted to the Ethics Committee of the Russian Psychological Society in writing by any individual or legal entity. The consideration of complaints and making decisions on them is carried out in accordance with the established procedure by the Ethics Committee of the Russian Psychological Society.

As a sanction applied to a Psychologist who violated the Code of Ethics, a warning may be issued on behalf of the Russian Psychological Society (public censure), suspension of membership in the Russian Psychological Society, accompanied by extensive information to the public and potential clients about the exclusion of this specialist from the current roster of psychologists of the RPO. Information about the sanctions applied is public and is transferred to professional psychological associations of other countries.

In case of serious violations of the Code of Ethics, the Russian Psychological Society may apply for the involvement of the Psychologist in court.

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