Professional Standards and Ethics
From the Guidance for Use of the NASP Ethical Problem-Solving Worksheet (2020)
1) Describe the problem situation
Protect confidentiality: Avoid using personally identifiable information when making notes on the worksheet
2) Define the potential ethical-legal issues involved
Generate hypotheses regarding the issues involved in terms of the source of the dilemma.
3) Consult available ethical-legal guidelines
- Identify and record specific standards and statues related to the hypotheses.
- The following resources can be helpful in identifying legal and ethical issues:
- NASP Principles for Professional Ethics https://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/professional-ethics
- U.S. Department of Education, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. https://sites.ed.gov/idea/
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights: Protecting Students with Disabilities, FAQ about Section 504 and students with disabilities https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html
- U.S. Department of Education, Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
- Idaho Department of Education Code of Ethics https://www.sde.idaho.gov/cert-psc/psc/ethics.html
4) Consult with supervisors and colleagues
- Identify those with whom you will discuss the situation. These are the individuals with whom you will work to generate your solution to the ethical dilemma, not the persons involved in the situation.
- Some of those identified on the worksheet may not apply to a specific situation, some may share more than one of the suggested roles.
- Consider using roles as identifiers rather than names, or use initials or first names to avoid identifying the student involved.
- Identify administrative supervisor(s) to be consulted—immediate supervisor, directors, assistant superintendent, principal.
- Identify clinical supervisor(s) to be consulted—current and/or previous supervisors of one’s practice, previous intern and/or practicum supervisors.
- Identify professional colleagues to be consulted—NASP staff and volunteer leaders, NASP Communities participants, state association leaders, school psychology faculty members, in-system school psychologists, out of system school psychologists.
- Identify professional resources to be consulted—NASP website, including position papers, advocacy resources, Best Practices volumes, school psychology journals, Communiqué, handouts.
Submit a request to the ISPA Ethics Board Here
***Please note: In order to submit a request to the ISPA Ethics Board, you will need to summarize the steps taken to resolve the ethical dilemma (with an outline the 7 steps you took using the NASP Ethical Problem-Solving Worksheet)
5) Evaluate the rights, responsibilities, and welfare of all affected parties
6) Consider alternative solutions and consequence of making each decision
Think through and record the considerations for all parties involved. Not all parties listed will be involved in all situations, and, similarly, sometimes others will be involved who are not included in the list.
Generate and record several resolutions to the dilemma. Think through the consequences of each, including those which do not immediately seem like an appropriate course of action. This critical step will help ensure that all aspects of the situation are considered
7) Make the decision and take responsibility for it
Once a decision has been made, write it down, read it, and reread it. If the decision is something you feel reflects all the steps of the process and is aligned with the various parameters, proceed to generating next steps in moving forward. If the decision does not meet these criteria, revisit the various steps until an acceptable decision is reached.