Psychologists have a responsibility to engage in ethical conduct in all aspects of their work, including teaching, research, practice and administration. Ethical principles (Respect for the Dignity of Persons, Responsible Caring, Integrity in Relationships, and Responsibility to Society) and corresponding values and standards are the foundation of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists.
Psychologists often find that further guidance is helpful in the application of these principles and values to ethical decision making in a particular area of activity. The two documents listed below, Ethical Guidelines for Supervision in Psychology: Teaching, Research, Practice, and Administration and its companion document Resource Guide for Psychologists: Ethical Supervision in Teaching, Research, Practice, and Administration provide such an elaboration related to the activity of supervision. The first document provides concise guidelines for conducting ethical supervision. The second document provides more detailed guidance for making ethical decisions related to supervision. It demonstrates the ethical decision-making process, provides some 78 life-like vignettes of dilemmas (including multi-cultural issues), and offers thought-provoking questions for discussion.
Both documents have the same unique features that add to their value for student and seasoned practitioner alike: (a) supervisee and supervisor share responsibilities for maintaining a respectful working relationship that enhances the learning; (b) all psychological activities contexts are addressed, rather than limiting discussion only to clinical or counselling practice; (c) each guideline is linked to one of the four ethical principles of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists; and (d) reflection and ethical decision making are encouraged where the most ethical course of action is unclear.
Together the two documents provide psychologists with tools to resolve the often complex dilemmas that they encounter in supervision. They also provide an excellent reference for educational and continuing competency programs.