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Prevention Code of Ethics

Code of Ethical Standards

Principle 1:    Non-Discrimination

The counselor shall not discriminate against clients or professionals based on race, religion, age, gender, disability, national ancestry, sexual orientation or economic condition

  • The Certified Prevention Specialist/Certified Prevention Consultant (CPS/CPC) must not discriminate against service recipients, colleagues, or the general public based on race, religion, age, gender, national ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, political beliefs, HIV/AIDS status, socioeconomic or handicapping conditions.
  • The CPS/CPC should broaden his/her understanding and acceptance of cultural and individual differences in order to render services and provide information sensitive to those differences.

Principle 2:    Personal Responsibility

  • The CPS/CPC shall exercise competent professional judgment when dealing with service recipients, colleagues, or the general public and shall maintain their best interest at all times. 
  • The CPS/CPC shall serve as a responsible role model in applying prevention concepts to public and professional relationships.

Principle 3:    Professional Competence

  • The CPS/CPC shall provide competent, professional service to all in keeping with State of Michigan standards. Competent professional service requires:
    • thorough knowledge of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention
    • skill in presentation and education techniques
    • thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary to assure the highest level of quality service
    • willingness to maintain current and relevant knowledge through on-going professional education
  • The CPS/CPC shall asses personal competence, recognize personal boundaries and limitations, and not offer services beyond his/her skill or training level.
  • The CPS/CPC shall comply with and follow all laws, codes, rules, and regulations which apply to substance abuse prevention professional conduct.

Principle 4:    Professional Standards

The CPS/CPC shall maintain the highest professional standards and:

  • Shall not claim either directly or by implication professional knowledge, qualifications or affiliations that the CPS/CPC does not possess
  • Shall not lend his/her name to, or participates in any professional and/or business relationship which may knowingly misrepresent or mislead the public in any way
  • Shall not misrepresent his/her certification to the public or make false statements regarding his/her qualifications to the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP)
  • Must ensure that any materials or products with which he/she is associates in developing or promoting, whether for commercial sale or other use, are presented in a professional and factual way
  • Shall recognize the effect of substance use on professional performance and must be willing to seek appropriate treatment or to support a colleague in need of treatment services
  • Must fairly and accurately report appropriate prevention information to service recipients, colleagues, and the general public, acknowledging and documenting sources, materials, and techniques used
  • Must not misrepresent the work of others
  • Must not misrepresent one's own prevention work for personal or professional recognition, funding, or other gain

Principle 5:    Public Statements

  • The CPS/CPC must respect the limits of current knowledge in public statements concerning the effectiveness of prevention initiatives, prevention programs, prevention research, and alcohol, tobacco and other drug information.
  • The CPS/CPC who conducts training in prevention must indicate to the audience the requisite training/qualifications required to properly implement the material, program, or techniques presented/taught in the training.

Principle 6:    Material Credit

  • The CPS/CPC who participates in the writing, editing, development of production of professional papers, videos/films, pamphlets, books, or any other prevention materials must acknowledge and document any published or unpublished materials, techniques, or sources used in creating these materials.
  • The use of copyrighted materials without first receiving author approval is against the law and in violation of professional ethics.

Principle 7:    Recipient Welfare

  • The CPS/CPC shall maintain objectivity, integrity and the highest professional standards in:
    • delivering prevention service
    • providing a supportive environment
    • protecting the welfare and  upholding the best interest of both individual recipients and the public
    • maintaining an objective, non-possessive relationship with those they serve and not exploiting them sexually, financially, or emotionally
    • maintaining an ability and willingness to make appropriate referrals
  • The CPS/CPC shall not engage in any action that violates the civil or legal rights of the recipients.

Principle 8:    Confidentiality

The CPS/CPC has the responsibility to be aware of and to be in compliance with all applicable state and federal statues, guidelines, regulations, and agency policies. These include: 

  • notification of recipient rights
  • reporting child abuse or neglect
  • reporting misconduct by individuals or agencies 
  • Maintaining recipient confidentiality and safeguarding from disclosure confidential information acquired during service delivery

Principle 9:    Professional Integrity

  • The CPS/CPC should:
    • never knowingly make a false statement to the appropriate licensing/certification disciplinary authority
    • promptly alert a colleague to potentially unethical behavior so that colleague can take corrective action
    • report violations of professional conduct by other prevention professionals to the appropriate licensing/certification disciplinary authority when there is knowledge that the professional has violated professional standards
  • The CPS/CPC shall practice with integrity which can accommodate inadvertent error and the honest difference of opinion but not intentional deceit or subordination of principle.
  • The CPS/CPC shall not practice under a false name or under a name other than the name in which his/her certification is held.

Principle 10:  Remuneration 

  • The CPS/CPC must establish financial arrangements in professional practice in accordance with the professional standards that safeguard the best interests of service recipients, colleagues, and the public.
  • The CPS/CPC must not send or receive any commission or rebate or any other form of remuneration for referral of service recipients for professional services.
  • The CPS/CPC must not exploit the public's trust nor his/her relationship with service recipients to promote personal gain or the profit of any agency or commercial enterprise of any kind. 

Principle 11:  Societal Obligations

The CPS/CPC should:

  • advocate for consistent health promotion and awareness messages to the general public
  • provide factual state-of-the-art alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention information to recipients of prevention services
  • advocate public policy that would help strengthen the overall health and well-being of the community

Principle 12:  Professional Obligations

In addition to adhering to the obligations stated above, the CPS/CPC should strive to maintain and promote the integrity of certification within the State of Michigan, nationally and internationally, and the advancement of the alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention profession.