Solution-focused, respectful, nonexploitative, and empowering counseling relationships are built on high ethical standards. Understanding the principles listed in the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors (the code) is at the heart of the ethical decision-making process. The code defines the level of competency needed in professional relationships to promote and protect the spirit of caring and respect for individuals with disabilities.

It is essential that staff members adhere to the ethical standards stated in the code, as well as to policy and procedure, and that they be accountable to those standards.

The code defines the following six basic principles of ethical behavior:

  1. Autonomy: to honor a consumer’s right to make decisions
  2. Beneficence: to do good to others
  3. No malfeasance: to do no harm to others
  4. Justice: to be fair and give equal justice to all
  5. Fidelity: to be loyal and keep promises
  6. Veracity: to be honest

Counselors who violate the code are subject to the actions defined in agency policies for performance management. Counselors certified through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification are also subject to a commission action.