After the COVID-19 pandemic, the International School Psychology Association (ISPA) is resuming its normal functioning. An example of this is the Annual Conference which will once again take place in July (this year in a hybrid format). Therefore, as we count down to the Conference, several of ISPA’s Committees and Task Forces are finalizing key documents that they have been working on for some time.
One of our most important documents is the ISPA Code of Ethics. It describes ethical principles and standards of conduct, and serves as a set of guidelines for school psychology practice, training, and research. Our Code of Ethics exemplifies what clients, policy makers and other stakeholders can expect from school psychologists. It was approved by the ISPA General Assembly in 1991 and revised in 2011. Now it is time to have another look at the document and also address a number of issues and ethical challenges that school psychologists have been facing in the past ten years. The Code is important for every school and educational psychologist, and especially for those colleagues who are practicing in countries where no national code of ethics is available.
The Ethics Committee has been working on a revision of ISPA’s Code of Ethics since 2018. Jürg Forster, Rina Chittooran and Patrick Carney led the process and present here a revised version for discussion among ISPA members. Several paragraphs of the code have remained unchanged, and others have been amended. The new version now also covers topics such as mental health, equity, inclusion, sustainable well-being, social media, bullying, cyber-bullying, evidence-based recommendations, strengths and resources, child-friendly practices and non-discriminating language. This documents: the Code of Ethics revision 2021 as well as the Code of Ethics of 2011 are published on our website.
Given the importance of the topic, the Ethics Committee and the ISPA Executive Committee encourage all current members to read the revised code and comment on it. For this purpose, a forum will be set up in the Members’ section of the website (click here) as of June 10, 2021. Comments and questions regarding the revised Code of Ethics may be posted in the forum by July 1, and the version to be submitted to the General Assembly will be published on the website by July 10.
The Ethics Committee will host a Zoom meeting for all ISPA members on June 16, 7:00 to 8:30 pm (London time), where the revised Code of Ethics will be presented and discussed. Current ISPA members can register for this meeting by clicking on this hyperlink. Another opportunity to discuss the revision will be the Ethics Committee meeting at the Conference, which is open to all conference registrants. The final vote regarding the revised Code of Ethics will take place during the Conference at the ISPA General Assembly on July 15, 2021.
Please take part in this important moment for our association.
Vítor Alexandre Coelho,
President, International School Psychology Association (2019-2021)