Employee Assistance Professional's Association (EAPA) Code of Ethics
The EAPA Code of Ethics serves as a code of professional conduct for EAPA members. In cooperation with labor and management, EAPA members’ primary objective is to provide the most effective employee assistance services to individuals and their families suffering from emotional, behavioral, alcohol and drug-related problems. The following principles are in accord with this goal and serve as guidelines for duly-constituted national and local ethics committees in their efforts to educate EAPA members regarding ethical professional conduct. Members of EAPA affirm their endorsement of the Code of Ethics and acknowledge commitment to uphold its principles by signing the membership application and subsequent renewals.
EAPA members help protect labor, management and the community against unethical practices by an individual or organization engaged in employee assistance programs, direct treatment, or consultation activities. When an EAPA member knows of an apparent ethical violation by another EAPA member, it becomes his/her ethical responsibility to attempt to resolve the matter by bringing that alleged unethical behavior to the other member’s attention. If a resolution of ethical matters between members is not achieved, further informal consultation with colleagues and/or the local chapter’s ethics committee is recommended prior to any formalized national Ethics Committee review of a member’s complaint.
EAPA members treat client information as confidential. Members inform clients fully about their rights regarding the scope and limitations of confidential communications elicited during the assessment, referral, and treatment process. They do not disclose information without client consent except where failure to disclose would likely result in imminent threat of serious bodily harm to the client or others.
EAPA members who are Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers are expected to possess knowledge of work organizations, human resources management, EAP policy and administration, and EAP direct services. All members are expected to have knowledge of chemical dependency, addictions and emotional disorders, and acknowledge the necessity of continuing experience, education and training to maintain and enhance proficiency. While membership in EAPA may not be used to suggest professional competency, attaining the status of a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) does attest to meeting the requisite standard of knowledge for competency in EAP practice.
EAPA members do not discriminate because of a client’s race, religion, national origin, physical handicap, gender, or sexual preference. They conduct research that respects and safeguards the welfare of research participants. EAPA members make full disclosure of the functions and purposes of the Employee Assistance Program as well as any affiliation with a proposed therapist or treatment program, do not give or receive financial consideration for referring clients to particular therapists or treatment programs; do not engage in sexual conduct with clients; do not act in any manner which compromises a professional relationship.
Assessment and Referral
EAPA members are to make assessment and referral decisions only within their area of specific competency and to seek consultation or supervision when clinically indicated. To avoid appearances of conflicts of interest, it is recommended that members who do the initial assessment refer clients to individuals or entities not affiliated with the referring EAP or original referral source. Should a treatment decision be made to refer to the initial evaluator or an affiliated program, that disposition is to be done only if the client and contracting organization if informed of any financial interest in such a referral and it can be demonstrated that the referral is in the client’s best interest.
Public Responsibility and Professional Relations
EAPA members agree that practitioners, both non-degreed recovering persons, as well as other professionals, form a partnership in providing employee assistance services. As such, members: are responsible for educating and fostering the professional development of trainees; are encouraged to promote EAPA to the public and to provide statements based on objective information; and are expected to work cooperatively within their professional communities. Cooperation within a professional community precludes denigrating other professionals to promote one’s own interests, as well as fraudulent or grossly misleading advertising practices, and requires that one’s professional qualifications be presented to the public in an accurate and truthful manner. EAPA members are encouraged to assist another member to seek treatment if that member’s professional functioning becomes impaired through the use of alcohol, drugs, and/or mental illness.