Code of Ethics and Practice Standards
About BCFFPA Codes of Ethics and Practice Standards – 2012 Update
BCFFPA has 2 Codes of Ethics. The first is a general Code that our members agree to. The second is the Code of Ethics that governs our Board of Directors. (See the bottom of the page for links to these documents.)
The BCFFPA Code of Ethics, Practice Standards and Peer Review Guidelines document was first adopted by the membership at the 1996 AGM after 11 years of development. This was reviewed, revised and updated in 2012.
The general BCFFPA Code of Ethics is a living document that has developed over time to bring greater clarity, greater integration between the ethical statements and practice standards, and to ensure that the Code addresses all aspects of relationships caregivers find themselves in.
What is a Code of Ethics?
Ethics, simply put, means to do the right thing. We do the right thing when we take a course of action that mitigates or minimises the degree of harm or potential harm to individuals or groups.
Code of Ethics is an expression of the values of an occupational group, and the principles that guide members’ actions.
Values are what we consider to be important.
Ethical statements are general statements of principle that members agree to uphold.
Practice standards provide specific guidelines for actions that follow from the ethical statement.
An ethical dilemma arises in a situation that brings two ethical statements into conflict with each other. Judgement is often required to decide what course of action is most ethical in relation to the principles.
What is the Purpose of a Code of Ethics?
A Code of Ethics serves the following purposes:
- Ethical statements and practice standards provide guidelines that assist us in deciding what actions to take from an ethical viewpoint.
- A Code of Ethics is the expression of values and principles of a particular occupational group for its members and the general public. It is an important element in the identity of a group.
- A Code of Ethics permits the self-regulation of an occupational group by providing a basis for developing practice standards and eventually, for reviewing the actions of its members.
- A Code of Ethics has educational value in assisting members to develop their judgement in weighing alternative courses of action in difficult situations.
How do the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards Affect Members of the BCFFPA?
When members sign their membership applications, they indicate acceptance of the BCFFPA Code of Ethics and Practice Standards.
A process for peer review is the next stage of development. Peer review is a complex function through which an occupational group maintains accountability to the public by applying standards to its own members. The goals of peer review are self-regulation by an occupational group; the maintenance of standards and accountability; and discipline with a view to educating the individual members and the membership at large.
In the meantime, it will be important to assist members to become familiar with the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards and how they apply to fostering day-to-day.