Every discipline that has relatively autonomous control over its entry requirements, training, development of knowledge, standards, methods, and practices does so only within the context of contract with the society in which it functions. This social contract is based on attitudes of mutual respect and trust, with society granting support for the autonomy of a discipline in exchange for a commitment by the discipline to do everything it can to assure that its members act ethically in conducting the affairs of the discipline within society; in particular, a commitment to try to assure that each member will place the welfare of the society and individual members of that society above the welfare of the discipline and its own members. By virtue of this social contract, psychologists have a higher duty of care to members of society than the general duty of care that all members of society have to each other.

The Canadian Psychological Association recognizes its responsibility to help assure ethical behaviour and attitudes on the part of psychologists. Attempts to assure ethical behaviour and attitudes include articulating ethical principles, values, and standards; promoting those principles, values, and standards through education, peer modelling, and consultation; developing and implementing methods to help psychologists monitor the ethics of their behaviour and attitudes; adjudicating complaints of unethical behaviour; and, taking corrective action when warranted.

This Code articulates ethical principles, values, and standards to guide all members of the Canadian Psychological Association, whether scientists, practitioners, or scientist practitioners, or whether acting in a research, direct service, teaching, student, trainee, administrative, management, employer, employee, supervisory, consultative, peer review, editorial, expert witness, social policy, or any other role related to the discipline of psychology.


Second Full Draft of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, Fourth Edition

Request for Comment

The Second Full Draft of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, Fourth Edition is a result of the distillation of the many comments and suggestions submitted during three previous rounds of consultation, including comments regarding the first full draft of the revised Code distributed for comment in February 2015.

The CPA Committee on Ethics gratefully acknowledges the dozens of individuals and groups who took the time to review, critique, and suggest improvements during the previous rounds of consultation. Your comments made a significant and positive contribution to this current draft. Thank you.

The closing date for comment on the Second Full Draft of the Code is 30 May 2016.

Please send any comments you wish to submit regarding the Second Full Draft of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, Fourth Edition to:

Committee on Ethics
Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West
Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario
CANADA K1P 5J3
Tel: (613) 237-2144 or 1-888-472-0657
Fax: (613) 237-1674
E-Mail: ethicscttee@cpa.ca