EAPA-SA’s mission is that the Association: ensures the highest professional standards and ethics and continued development of South Africa’s employee assistance professionals, practitioners and service providers in their delivery of EP programmes.  The outworking of this mission is that EAPA-SA’s value system centres around protecting the South African workspace through promoting ethics, standards for practice and professional development among its member organisations, professionals and service providers in the EA field. Very importantly, the EAPA-SA Code of Ethics also serves to educate purchasers of employee assistance services.

It is in this light that EAPA-SA’s Code of Ethics was formulated to help promote the highest quality employee assistance programmes; provide a foundation for programme evaluation and accreditation; describe the scope of employee assistance services, as well as to operationalise programme standards to serve the needs of the EAPA-SA membership and other professionals. 

It ensure that all members, either designated or non-designated, who are registered with the EAPA-SA has a benchmark against which to comply in terms of certain basic ethical matters within the jurisdictional context of the Republic of South Africa.

“Very importantly, it also serves to educate purchasers of employee assistance services.”

The EAPA-SA Code of Ethics is seen as suitable for application in the wider EAP industry, despite its being applicable to members of EAPA-SA, only, in terms of jurisdiction.

All-encompassing

The EAPA-SA Code of Ethics is seen as suitable for application in the wider EAP industry, despite its being applicable to members of EAPA-SA, only, in terms of jurisdiction, encompassing student members, Employee Assistance Programme service providers, Employee Assistance practitioners, Employee Assistance professionals and EAP-related service providers. 

 

Appropriate 

 

The Code is based on the key activities, standards, goals and values of the Employee Assistance field, serving as a set of rules and standards according to which EAPA-SA members can conduct their professional behaviour. It seeks to assist, guide and direct all members with ethical deliberations, choices, decisions and their conduct. 

 

Applicable

The Code sets out ten ethical principles that guide the conduct of EAPA-SA members, who must comply with these at all times in the execution of their professional duties.  The principles are:

 

  • Confidentiality

The principle of confidentiality refers to the ethical duty on the part of EAPA-SA members to safeguard information entrusted to them by clients with whom they have a professional relationship. This includes the obligation to protect information from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, loss or theft.

  • Professional responsibility

Professional responsibility represents an area of practice in the employee assistance profession whereby members are expected, as professionals, to be accountable for the consequences of their actions and decisions. Demonstrating behaviour that upholds the public trust in EAPA-SA and making reasonable judgments when rendering professional services.

  • Professional competency

Professional competence refers to the ability of EAPA-SA members to act and perform their duties diligently in accordance with the required level of technical skills, knowledge and professional standards.

  • Professional development

Professional development embodies activities that develop and maintain the capabilities of professional members in performing competently in their professional environment to ensure that clients receive competent professional services based on current developments in practice, technology and legislation.

  • Record keeping

The principle of record-keeping relates to a systematic procedure by which the EAP-related records are created, maintained and disposed of to safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of information kept as EAP records.

  • Client protection

This relates to efforts to ensure fair, responsible and transparent professional services to clients – putting the interests of the client first in all professional activities and protecting them from unfair EAP-related trade practices.

  • Staffing

The principle of staffing relates to practices stemming from the EAP-SA standards and EAP members shall follow all the legal frameworks for staffing, to promote quality and equality and eliminate unfair discrimination in the recruitment and employment within the EAP profession or enterprises.

  • Business practice

This principle refers to the standards of conduct designed to guide practices associated with EAP business, to promote ethical management of EAP enterprises and protect and promote the integrity of the EAP profession.

  • Professional relationships

This principle is concerned with the proper conduct to be exhibited by EAPA-SA members in their professional interactions as EAPA-SA members and/or with other members, to foster the spirit of professional cooperation amongst members and other professionals for the benefit of clients and to protect the integrity and image of the profession.

  • Objectivity

 The objectivity principle relates to the obligation imposed on all members not to compromise their professional judgment because of bias or negative influence by others, to maintain the stakeholders’ confidence in EAPA-SA members and all the associated services offered by members.

  • Timely intervention

For the purposes of this Code of Ethics, timely intervention relates to the provision of prompt professional services to customers, to minimise disruptions in customers’ personal lives and/or business if they need contracted EAP services from members of EAPA-SA.

EAPA-SA members should note that disciplinary action may be taken for noncompliance with this Code when a member’s conduct is considered prejudicial to their status as a member or to reflect adversely on the reputation of the Employee Assistance Profession and of EAPA-SA.

Source:  Creating legacy in EAP business:  The South African approach towards Employee Assistance, Prof L S Terblanche, pp 170 – 190

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